Category: Newsletters

2023 NEWSLETTERS

Summer 2023 Meriden Historical Society Newsletter

Saturday 6/10

10-1:30 PM

CT Open House

EVERYBODY HAS A (HI)STORY

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Friday 6/16

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERIDEN

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Wednesday, 6/21 INTERNATIONAL MAKE MUSIC DAY

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Thursday 6/29 6:30

STONE BREAKER AND THE HANGING HILLS

Join us here at the Historical Society to create a special memory with a young person who is special to you. The theme is Everybody Has a (Hi)story. We will provide a question template which you can use to write your story!  It is a series of questions that a child can ask their special adult and can be done at home. The questions are on the last page. Our request is that the child(ren) along with their significant adult, visit us with their story on Saturday June 10th between 10 and 1:30.  We will take your picture and story and turn it into a finished document and email it back to you or you can come back in a week and pick it up.

Join us for a scavenger hunt. Email director@meridenhistsoc.org to request a copy of the rules. (They will be emailed on Friday at Noon to all) Each riddle describes a Meriden landmark or site and has a point value. You can choose which questions you answer, but your goal is to earn as many points as possible by solving the riddle, going to the site, photographing your team in front of each, and returning your answers in person to 41 West Main Street by noon on the 17th OR emailing them by to director@meridenhistsoc.org The team with the most points and proper photographs at 12 noon on Saturday the 17th wins! Prizes will be awarded!

Come enjoy music from 11-7 in the plaza next to the Historical Society and look at our music themed window display. This event is presented by Meriden Parks and Recreation and the Olde Church Acoustic Series.

Stone Breaker
Join us at the Historical Society to hear Kathleen Housley, author of Stone Breaker: James Gates Percival and the Beginning of Geology in New England. She will be sharing the life of James Gates Percival. His love of the Hanging Hills was lifelong. It was his realization that the Hanging Hills were volcanic and far older than 6,000 years, the presumed age of the Earth during his time, that helped push geology forward as a science in New England.

Admission is free to members. Suggested donation is $10.00 for non-members.

Please contact the office to reserve your seat (203-639-1913) or by email: info@MeridenHistSoc.org or click HERE to reserve online.

Thursday 7/27 6:30

STRIKES, SPARES AND GUTTER BALLS

Tuesday 8/1 5-8

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT

There is no Thursday evening presentation in August.

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MEMBERSHIP

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The Alley Cat: Meriden Alleys
Join us at the Historical Society to hear Art Dutra and Tony Ezzo. They will be sharing the history of bowling in Meriden and unveiling the model of the Ezzo Building.

Admission is free to members. Suggested donation is $5.00 for non-members.

Please contact the office to reserve your seat (203-639-1913) or by email: info@MeridenHistSoc.org or click HERE to reserve online.

Meriden’s 13th annual National Night Out being planned by the Council of Neighborhoods and the Meriden Police Department’s Neighborhood Initiative Unit will be held on Tuesday August 1st 5pm to 8pm at Hubbard Park. Rain date is Wednesday August 2nd. The event is free of charge including food and beverages, entertainment and children’s activities. Please bring your families and friends and join us!

COME SEE OUR WINDOWS

Flags are in our entryway. June Bride is in our eastern Window and Advertising in Meriden in our Western Window. The window facing the park features Music in Meriden.

Welcome to our new members

Stephen M. Clough, Sr. Rachel Nieland

Cheryl & Daimer Weston

ZEFFY – A NEW WAY TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, PAY DUES & MAKE DONATIONS TO THE SOCIETY

Welcome to Zeffy, our new online fundraising platform that now manages our event reservations, ticket purchases, donations, membership, volunteers and more. While other platforms take a portion of donations in fees, Zeffy gives 100% of all donations directly to nonprofits and relies on voluntary contributions as a source of income. When you use the platform it will ask you for a voluntary contribution to Zeffy, the default suggested is 18%. Just click on the 18%, scroll down and choose “other” which allows you to enter any dollar amount including zero.

If you prefer to use PayPal – we are subscribed to PayPal too.

Everybody has a (hi)story!

CT OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY JUNE 10 10-1:30

My important adult’s name is ___________________________________________________

Where was s/h born? _________________________________________________________

S/he is ______________ years old.

His/her favorite thing to do when s/he was my age was _______________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

S/he went to school at __________________________________________________________

His/her favorite thing about Meriden is _____________________________________________

His/her favorite thing about me is _________________________________________________

What’s one thing s/he wants me to remember when I am an adult _______________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What’s one thing about our [family] history s/he thinks I should know _____________________

______________________________________________________________________________

His/her favorite subject in school ___________________________________________________

His/her favorite place to visit as a child ______________________________________________

If s/he could do anything in the world what would it be? ________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Where should we email your picture and story?

Email address: _________________________________________________________________

Your name _____________________________________________________________________

PAST NEWSLETTERS:

May 2023 Meriden Historical Society’s Newsletter

News and Events

5/25/2023 6:30 PM

MERIDEN’S PEOPLE OF NOTE – With Justin Piccirillo

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ART AND ARTISANS OF MERIDEN

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MM&HC WINDOWS

FLAGS, MANSIONS, & THE THOMPSON CHOCOLATE CO.

Join Justin Piccirillo on May 25th in the Meriden Historical Society Lecture Hall to explore the topic of Meriden’s People of Note. This hour-long presentation will look at local influential people, from musicians and sport figures to visionaries and writers. This conversation will bring awareness to our city’s incredible history and its history makers. Admission is free to members. Suggested donation is $5.00 for non-members.

Please contact the office to reserve your seat.

 (203-639-1913) or by email: info@MeridenHistSoc.org

Our current exhibit Art and Artisans of Meriden can be viewed at the Society’s Museum and History Center, 41 W. Main Street, downtown Meriden until the end of May.

Admission is free to members. Suggested donation is $5.00 for non-members.  Please contact the office to schedule your tour.

 (203-639-1913) or by email: info@MeridenHistSoc.org

Flags are at our entry way. Photographs of various Meriden mansions and the history of Meriden’s Thompson Chocolate Company are our feature window displays for the month of May.

                             

6/3/23 1:00 PM

JUNE TEA

Fundraiser

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TOMIE DEPAOLA On Friday, May 5th, the US postal services issued a stamp honoring author and illustrator Tomie dePaola who was born and grew up in Meriden. On Monday, May 1, 2023 the City council declared Friday, May 5th Tomie dePaola day. In this photo taken at city hall, Joe Zajac (Meriden Hall of Fame, holding a facsimile of the new stamp), Judie (dePaola) Bobby (Tomie’s sister, holding the proclamation), Brian Cofrancesco (Kiwanis) and Ruth Borsuk (Meriden Historical Society), pose after having spoken at the event

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CLOUGH FAMILY DONATES FAMILY ARTIFACTS TO THE SOCIETY   On Wednesday, May 3rd, four Clough family cousins gathered at the Meriden Historical Society to donate family records and artifacts produced by their great-grandfather Roger M. Clough (1852-1934), owner of the RM Clough company of Meriden and Tolland.   The items will be displayed at our museum.  Do you remember the Ray Clough gas station on N. Broad Street in Meriden?     

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IN RECOGNITION & WITH THANKS We extend our heartfelt thanks to our members Bruce Rovinsky and Sherwin Borsuk for doing the lion’s share of the physical moving of the Bernice Morehouse Research Center and Annex to our new facility at 41 West Main St. They were assisted at times by other members and friends of the Society. By doing the move ourselves the society was able to save many thousands of precious dollars.

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MEMBERSHIP We note with sorrow the passing of Lucy Mickiewicz, a long time member and supporter of the Meriden Historical Society

What: June Tea – a fundraiser

Where: Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St, Meriden

When: Saturday, June 3, 2023  1:00-3:00

Price: $30.00

Number of seats: 40

Tickets must be purchased by Saturday May 27th.   Call us for details.  203-639-1913.

April 2023 Meriden Historical Society’s Newsletter

News and Events

4/27/2023 6:30 PM

Phil Callan Talks to the Stars – an Evening with Radio Host Phil Callan

Join us at the Society’s Museum and History Center, 41 W. Main Street, Downtown Meriden for an Evening with Radio Host Phil Callan.

A graduate of Meriden High School (class of 1956), Phil enjoyed a 40-year career as a Radio host. From Meriden’s WMMW to WRCQ, WDRC and WJMJ, he interviewed many celebrities many of whom became good friends.   Phil will share anecdotes from his many interviews and illustrate them with video clips. 

Admission is free. Seating is limited. Reservations are recommended, by calling the office (203-639-1913) or emailing us: info@MeridenHistSoc.org

Art and Artisans of Meriden – Exhibit

Close to 80 people braved the rainy day and attended the combined Meriden Historical Society and Gallery 53 March program and art exhibit: Art and Artisans of Meriden with Justin Piccirillo, rendering it a great event. Justin will be back to continue and cover more of the artists in his book.

Due to its popularity, the exhibit will remain open until mid-May

Books are still available in our gift shop. Please call the office 203-639-1913 or email info@MeridenHistSoc.org to arrange for a tour.

Benjamin Franklin Students Visit to the Andrews Homestead On April 4th , the 5th grade students of the Benjamin Franklin School and their teachers visited the Society’s Museum at the Andrews Homestead. Volunteer Christina Ruel relayed the history of the building and the Colonial and Revolutionary connection to the Andrews.  Sherwin Borsuk and Ruth Borsuk walked the students through the different displays that highlight Meriden’s rich manufacturing history and illustrate the lifestyle of the building’s residents in colonial and Victorian times. 

6/3/23 1:00 PM

June High Tea

A Fundraiser

What: June Tea – a fundraiser

Where: Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St, Meriden

When: Saturday, June 3, 2023

By Reservations only. Details to follow

Welcome to our new members, Jeff Griffin of Meriden CT,

Dale Hunter of Meriden CT, Donna Hunter of Meriden CT, Annamarie LaMontagne & Thomas Spratta of Meriden CT, Julie Larson of Meriden CT, and Chester Ryanski of Meriden CT.

Our display windows downtown no longer feature Napier (east window) or the Millinary industry of Meriden (south window). Our new display will feature the mansions of Meriden (west window) and the Thompson Chocolate Company (east Window). Support Meriden’s downtown; grab a cup of coffee at one of the coffee shops or bakeries and do some old-fashioned window-shopping.

Downtown gets a bad reputation on social media, but social media does not walk downtown.

March 2023 Meriden Historical Society’s Newsletter

News and Events

Arts and Artisans of Meriden with Justin Piccirillo – Exclusive Advance Introduction of Justin’s NEW book! An illustrated program and book signing

Where: Meriden Historical Society Museum and History Center, 41 West Main Street, downtown Meriden.

When: March 15 through the month of April.

In conjunction with the publication of Justin Piccirillo’s book “Art and Artisans of Meriden”, the Meriden Historical Society and Gallery 53 are showcasing a collection of images and artifacts highlighting Meriden’s artistic heritage. The exhibit can be viewed at the main gallery of the Meriden Historical Society’s Museum and History Center, 41 West Main Street, Downtown Meriden, Thursday evenings 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM with tours given at 4:00, 5:00 & 6:00; Saturday mornings 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM with tours given at 10:00, 11:00 & 12:00, and by calling ahead to schedule an appointment.

Saturday 3/25/2023 1:00 PM

Join us at the Meriden Historical Society’s Museum and History Center, 41 W. Main St. Downtown Meriden, for a captivating presentation by Justin Piccirillo, local artist, educator, and author, as he unveils his new book, “Art and Artisans of Meriden.”  Justin will present an overview of his book, talk about prominent individual artists, and relate how this convergence of talent created a culture of creativity that remains part of the fabric of our community to this day. 

Seating is limited and filling quickly.  Please be sure to go to Gallery 53’s web site ( https://www.gallery53.org/artbookpresentation.htmlahead of time to sign up and  guarantee your seat. Admission is free.

Arcadia Press made books available for the event at a special rate, proceeds of which will benefit both the Society and Gallery 53. Purchase your book from the Meriden Historical Society ($25.00 cash or checks) or, online on Gallery 53’s web site ( https://www.gallery53.org/artbookpresentation.html) .   Call the office (203-639-1913) for details.

Meriden Show and Tell: What is it? Where is it? Who is it? – Thursday, 3/30/2023 6:30 PM

Join us at the Society’s Museum and History Center, 41 W. Main Street, Downtown Meriden and share your stories, discoveries and queries relating to Meriden and its history. A panel of members of the Society will be on hand to answer questions and present unusual items from the Society’s collection.

Seating is limited. Admission is free. Reservations are recommended, by calling the office (203-639-1913) or emailing us: MeridenHistoricalSociety@gmail.com

Membership:

Welcome to our new member, Emile Pierides of Meriden CT

We note with sorrow the passing of Frank Suzio, a longtime member and supporter of the Society.

CT Open House Day:

Saturday, June 11, 2022 

11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Meriden Historical Society History Center

41 W. Main Street – Meriden

Free admission. Donations gratefully accepted.

Our June Program Presentation will feature Sylvester Poli Theater Magnate, his life and involvement in Meriden. Presented by Michael J. Zaffino.

Thursday, June 30th at 6:30 pm at the Society’s History Center

41 w. Main St., downtown Meriden

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GRAND OPENING REPORT

More than 200 people attended our 2-day grand opening celebration. The event would have not been the success it was if not for the dedicated volunteers – those who unpacked, cleaned, set up displays organizing all those items moved from the research center and those who organized the event itself. Such activities

included ordering tablecloths, enlisting sponsors to cover the cost of the opening night gala event, sending out invitations, lining up antique cars and setting up ice cream give-away coupons. Thank you goes to the Gala Committee: Lesley Carabetta, Deborah Patterson, Mike Rohde, Ric Suzio, Michael Zaffino and Mark Zebora. Another thank you goes to our worker-bee volunteers who prepared the building and the displays for the event: Chris Ruel, and Lesley Carabetta, Michael Zaffino, Barbara Austen, Sherwin Borsuk, Paul Butkus, A. Lee Campione, Rick Dickson, Lewis Kraft, Anna-Marie Lamontagne, Hunter McMahon, Deborah Patterson, Nancy Rohde, Bruce Rovinsky, Stacey Rovinsky, Lesley Solkoske and Phil Toussaint.

Heartfelt thanks to Eversource, Barker Specialty, Sherwin and Ruth Borsuk, Community Health Center, Inc., Cox Communications, Hot and Tasty Deli, Meriden Farmers Market, Meriden Puerto Rican Festival Committee, Meriden YMCA, Prentis Printing Solutions, Inc., Thompson Chocolate and the Record Journal fgor sponsoring the event and to all who came and made the grand opening truly grand.

Uniforms on Display – our salute to the people of Meriden and their service to the community and the country
Mayor Scarpati delivers an address on behalf of the City of Meriden.
Sunday visitors enjoy guided tours given by our volunteers.
Neda Weathers, a long time volunteer and a past president of the Society, inspects small items in a state-of-the-art display case.

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WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS:

Joshua Dumitt – Meriden, CT

David Grodzicki – Meriden, CT

Elizabeth Horan – Meriden, CT

Christine Ivers – Meriden, CT

David Ivers – Meriden, CT

Brian Lamphier – Middlefield, CT

Macri Enterprises LLC – Meriden, CT

The Donna & Frank Nedelka family – Meriden, CT

Sound Spectrum Entertainment of Wallingford CT

Robert W. Squire and Family of Meriden, CT

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IN MEMORIAM:

Gladys (Mike) Beloff

Vincent (Vinny) Spratta

Both were long time members of the Meriden Historical Society.

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WE THANK OUR CORPORATE SUPPORTERS

Jonal Laboratories

456 Center St., Meriden CT 06451

203-634-4444

www.jonal.com

Macri Enterpises, LLC

387 South Colony St.,

Meriden, CT 06451

203-600-5075

MacriSigns@gmail.com

Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St., Meriden, CT 06450

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

Meriden Memorial Funeral Home

450 Broad St., Meriden, CT 06450

203-235-9181

www.MeridenMemorialfh.com

Mule Security & Electric Inc.

113 Broad St., Meriden, CT 06450

203-238-7561

www.mulesecurity.com

New England Capital

Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT 06451

203-935-0265

www.newenglandcapital.com

Plimpton & Hills Corp.

300 Research Pkwy, Meriden CT 06450

860-694-9180

www.PlimptonHills.com

The Russell Hall Company

19 N. George St., Meriden, CT 06451

203-235-6391

www.Russellhall.com

Sound Spectrum Entertainment

25 No. Plains Hwy

Wallingford, CT 06492

203-317-7129

Rozz1@aol.com

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc.

54 Chamberlain Hwy., Meriden, CT 06451

203-237-7403

www.suzioinsurance.com

Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel

80 Britannia St. Meriden, CT 06451

203-639-3513

www.tuxisfuel.com

Valentin Karate

75 S. Colony St. Meriden, CT 06450

203-238-0427

https://valentinkarate.net/

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IN RECOGNITION OF THE GENEROSITY OF OUR GRAND OPENING GALA SPONSORS

Our Title Sponsor:

EVERSOURCE

https://www.eversource.com

Our Gold Sponsor

BARKER SPECIALTY

https://barkerspecialty.com/

800-277-5377

Our Silver Sponsors

COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, Inc.

860-347-6971

COX COMMUNICATIONS

https://www.cox.com/

844-486-1256

HOT AND TASTY DELI

https://tastydelict.com/

203-235-3190

MERIDEN FARMERS MARKET

https://www.meridenct.gov/visit/meriden-farmers-market/

860-841-0888

MERIDEN PUERTO RICAN FESTIVAL COMMITTEE

https://www.facebook.com/MeridenPuertoRicanFest/

MERIDEN YMCA

https://www.meridenymca.org/

203-235-6386

PRENTIS PRINTING SOLUTIONS, Inc.

http://www.prentisprinting.com/

203-634-1266

THOMPSON CHOCOLATE

https://thompsonchocolate.com/

203-235-2541

Our Media Sponsor

THE RECORD-JOURNAL

https://www.myrecordjournal.com/

203-634-3933

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SPOTLIGHT ON A VOLUNTEER: Lesley Solkoske

Our volunteer spotlight is on Lesley Solkoske, a 43-year resident of Meriden and a volunteer to the Meriden Historical Society since 1985. She is an avid collector of open salts. According to the Opensalts web site, “an open salt is a small dish used as a piece of tableware for holding salt that is not in a saltshaker.” I have had the pleasure of working with her since February and she played a large role in helping us move and get organized for our grand opening.

How did you get involved with the Meriden Historical Society?
The catalogs from the silver companies are what drew me to the Historical Society. I had been collecting antique open salts since childhood but purchased my first one made in Meriden in Snohomish, WA in 1985. Shortly after that, I spent one happy afternoon at the Andrews Homestead pouring over catalogs that Allen Weathers (Curator of the MHS and a walking encyclopedia of all that is Meriden) patiently pulled out for me. At that time, I think they were all still in boxes in one of the upstairs rooms. At the end of the day, I discovered I didn’t have correct change to pay for Xerox copies, so I gave Allen $20 to pay for the copies and a membership. When my work hours changed, I was able to take Wednesday afternoons off. I spent those afternoons for the next 2-1/2 years going through all the catalogs, researching my salt collection. It was the best part of my week!

What activities have you helped with during your volunteer time?
At the end of the 2-1/2 years, I figured it was time to give back and asked Allen what I could do to help. He gave me a project collating 50 categories of the businesses in the city directories. I remember at the time thinking that no one would ever use the reference, but I have been amazed at how many times we have turned to that research for answers. The next big job was continuing to sort and organize the books in the library, after the previous volunteer was unable to continue. (The MHS holds a collection that deals with anything related to Meriden and the books written by Meriden authors.) It has proven to be an ongoing project.
Over the years, I have helped with packing and moving twice, driven a sag wagon during a parade, learned how to create a PowerPoint presentation, and been a Board member and held offices of Vice President and President. Other jobs have included doing inventory, filing, taking photos, researching telephone and mail requests, and hosting a fundraiser tea at the Homestead. There are so many ways for volunteers to help out, but for me, the best part is the researching. I love going through all the wonderful old catalogs.

When you are not helping out at the MHS, what other things do you enjoy doing?
When not at the Historical Society, I enjoy reading, knitting, and playing bridge. But my big passion is still collecting open salts. When I bought that first one back in 1985, I thought there might be a dozen or so made in Meriden. Today I have 450 – mostly silver-plated ones, but also some sterling, cut glass, and porcelain. With the catalog research, I have been able to identify and date many, which is importation information for collectors. Open salts were only a small fraction of the production of the silver companies. We are very fortunate to have such a rich manufacturing history in our town and the Historical Society to preserve it.

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April-May, 2022

 

SHADOWS OVER DAWNLAND

Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 6:00 PM in the Lecture Hall of the Meriden Historical Society’s new History Center 39-41 West Main Street, downtown Meriden & Zoom  

James T. Powers, author of Shadows Over Dawnland will discuss the historical experience of the Quinnipiac people during the first fifty years of the English colonization of their ancestral home, the Dawnland, 350 years ago. Book signing following the lecture. This lecture is free and open to the public. Zoom registration is required. To register, go to our website https://MeridenHistoricalSociety.org and follow the link. Sincere thanks to the Meriden Public Library for hosting the registration on their event scheduler.

 

 

GRAND OPENING & OPEN HOUSE OF THE MERIDEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S HISTORY CENTER 

Sunday, April 24, Noon – 4:00 PM  39-41 W. Main Street, downtown Meriden featuring displays of Meriden’s Places, People & Products. Free ice cream cones to the first 250 attendees, courtesy of the YMCA and ZAHA Ice Cream Shop. This fun event is free and open to the public.

 

 

 

OPEN HOUSE AT THE MOSES ANDREWS HOMESTEAD, the Meriden Historical Society’s Museum

Every Sunday in May 11:00 – 3:00 located at 424 West Main Street, Meriden The museum will be open to the public May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th.. On display are items highlighting Meriden’s rich manufacturing history. Admission is free, donations will be appreciated.

 

 

MEET MIKE ZAFFINO OUR ADMINISTRATOR

Michael J. Zaffino came to Meriden Historical Society via the great resignation movement occurring in the U.S. during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Previously, he was a Reading Specialist at Bunnell High School in Stratford. He has over 30 years of experience in education, working in both private and public schools. He holds a M.S. in History from Southern Connecticut State University and has taught a variety of history classes to middle school, high school and college students. Mike resides in West Haven with his wife, Lynn, daughter, Michaela, and a mixed breed rescue named Oakley. He has officially adopted the city of Meriden as his personal sister city. In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, walking, reading, movies, sports, gardening, and going to tag sales.

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP

As a result of moving, we have fallen behind on our responses to research inquiries and on organization of items. We could really use more volunteers. If you can help, please call Ruth Borsuk at 203-464-2751, or Mike Z, our administrator, at 203-634-1913 or 475-775-5049. Volunteers can now access our 41 W. Main location every day except Monday.

 

GRANTS

We’d like to recognize the following organizations for their generous grant contributions: The CUNO Foundation, Meriden Economic Development Co., and CT Humanities.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

Michael Lafreniere of Tacoma, WA

Robert & Janet Mule of Wallingford, CT

Maura Santoni of Newport News, VA

Sharon and David Smith of Meriden, CT

Jewel Stern of Coral Gables, FL

Efrain Valintin of Meriden, CT

Valentin Karate of Meriden, CT

Mike, Lynn & Michaela Zaffino of West Haven, CT

 

 

WE THANK OUR CORPORATE SUPPORTERS

Jonal Laboratories

456 Center St., Meriden CT

203-634-4444

www.jonal.com

Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St., Meriden, CT

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

Meriden Memorial Funeral Home

450 Broad St., Meriden CT 06450

203-235-9181

www.MeridenMemorialfh.com

Mule Security & Electric Inc.

113 Broad St., Meriden CT

203-238-7561

www.mulesecurity.com

New England Capital

Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT

203-935-0265

www.newenglandcapital.com

Plimpton & Hills Corp.

300 Research Pkwy, Meriden CT 06450

860-694-9180

www.PlimptonHills.com

The Russell Hall Company

19 N. George St., Meriden, CT

203-235-6391

www.Russellhall.com

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc.

54 Chamberlain Hwy., Meriden, CT

203-237-7403

www.suzioinsurance.com

Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel

80 Britannia St. Meriden, CT

203-639-3513

www.tuxisfuel.com

Valentin Karate

75 S. Colony St. Meriden, CT 06450

203-238-0427

https://valentinkarate.net/

MAY 2021

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

THE FACES OF HUBBARD PARK – The Men and Women Behind the Making of a Masterpiece

Join us on Thursday, May 20 at 6:30pm as Justin Piccirillo, author of the newly-released book “Hubbard Park,” tells the stories of the people who made this celebrated Meriden masterpiece a local landmark.

This program will be presented on Zoom and also streamed to the Meriden Historical Society’s Facebook page https://fb/me/e/GlwN7q4B

Please RSVP your attendance on Zoom at

https://tini.cc/mhs-hubbardpark

Registered attendees will receive a link to the program via email the day of the program.

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VICE IN MERIDEN – Smoking Drinking Gambling MERIDEN ITEMS For Bad Habits


is our current exhibit AT THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD located at 424 W. Main Street and sharing a parking lot with Benjamin Franklin School. Designed as a self guided tour, the exhibit features items made in Meriden or for Meriden, for use with bad habits which, done to excess, are considered vices. The exhibit will be open to the public EVERY SUNDAY IN MAY – 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM & on Saturday, June 12th as part of the CT Open House program.

Observing COVID-19 safety recommendations, social distancing, wearing of masks and a limitation on number of groups in the building, will be strictly enforced.

A walk-through VIDEO of the exhibit, narrated by Sherwin Borsuk and captured by videographer Marcus Hamilton, will be available on our YouTube Channel

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LIVE THE STORY – A WALK THROUGH HUBBARD PARK With Justin Piccirillo is scheduled for Saturday, June 12 (rain date Sunday, June 13) 2021 at 10:00 AM

Meet at Hubbard Park’s parking lot for a walk through the lower park. Justin’s newly-released book “Hubbard Park,” will be available for purchase.

This is a free program. Donations are welcome.

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THE MERIDEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY COMMUNITY TAG SALE FUND RAISER
Will be held at the Society’s Bernice Morehouse Research Center parking lot (1090 Hanover Ave, Meriden) Starting on May 15th 2021 and every 2nd Saturday of the month starting June 12th on, weather permitting, with a rain date on the following Saturday.

Setting up is open to the public at a cost of $15.00 per set-up ($10.00 for members of the Meriden Historical Society).
For more information please contact our board member Peter Slavinski at 203-721-4640.

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NAPIER BOARD OF DIRECTORS TABLE DONATED TO THE MERIDEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY BY ION BANK

In an extraordinary gesture, Ion bank has donated the exquisite board of directors table of Meriden’s Napier Company, thus returning the table to Meriden. Originally, the oversized table was given to Meriden’s Castle Bank where it was used until the bank was acquired by Ion (then Naugatuck Savings) Bank.

We hope to be able to display and use this historic table in the near future.

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WE WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBER

Arthur Dutra III of Meriden CT

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FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK

All who voted for the Meriden Historical Society at the Ion Bank Community Award Program. Thanks to your supporting vote, the Society received a $400.00 check from Ion Bank.

 

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

Hergott Dental Associates

166 S. Broad St., Meriden CT

203-235-3738

www.hergottdental.com

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Jonal Laboratories

456 Center St., Meriden CT

203-634-4444

www.jonal.com

***

Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St., Meriden, CT

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

***

Mule Security & Electric Inc.

113 Broad St., Meriden CT

203-238-7561

www.mulesecurity.com

***

New England Capital Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT

203-935-0265

www.newenglandcapital.com

***

The Russell Hall Company

19 N. George St, Meriden, CT

203-235-6391

www.Russellhall.com

***

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc.

54 Chamberlain Hwy., Meriden, CT

203-237-7403

www.suzioinsurance.com

***

Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel

80 Britannia St. Meriden, CT

203-639-3513

www.tuxisfuel.com

MARCH 2020

BUSTER KEATON – THE GREATEST OF THE SILENT CLOWNS
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 6:30 p.m.
Meriden Public Library
105 Miller St., Meriden, CT
Three silent comedians ruled the silver screen before the arrival of sound to the movies: Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton. Sherwin Borsuk MD, president of the Meriden Historical Society and a Keaton aficionado, will present Buster Keaton – his life and phenomenal acrobatic movie achievements. The talk will be accompanied by stills and short movie clips.
Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR – MERIDEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS:
• Historic Hubbard Park – Part I with Justin Piccirillo
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 6:30 pm at the Meriden Public Library.
• South Meriden’s Hanover Trolley Park with Lesley Solkoske
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 6:30 pm at the Meriden Public Library.
• Vice in Meriden – the Products and Services for Smoking Drinking Gambling and More in Meriden’s Past – Open House and Special Exhibit
Every Sunday in May (3, 10, 17, 24 & 31) 11:00 am – 3:00 at the Meriden Historical Society’s Museum, the Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St, Meriden, CT.

ANDREWS HOMESTEAD CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS – A FOLLOW UP
Our Christmas Open House (12/7&8/2019) was a heartwarming success. Close to 200 people came through the exhibit, many visiting for the first time. Not only did they enjoy the decorations, but they also learned about the history of Meriden and its manufacturers. The door prize, a generous donation by the Thompson Chocolate Co. was won by Lynn Dean.

BEN FRANKLIN SCHOOL 5TH GRADE GIRLS CLUB HELP DECORATE THE ANDREWS HOMESTEAD
The Society, in partnership with Ben Franklin School, welcomed the 5th Grade Girls Club. They brought with them a variety of hand-crafted ornaments to decorate our Christmas tree. They also showed an interest in hearing about Meriden’s past and were given a tour of the Homestead. In return, the Society gave them a souvenir ornament as a token of our appreciation.

LATEST ADDITIONS TO OUR COLLECTIONS
An acquisition fund has been established from the proceeds of the sale of items from The Lester Dequaine and Frank Chiarenza collections. Those collections were given to the Society for the purpose of fundraising. The Collections Committee has been busy acquiring items to add to our permanent collection.
New additions to the Bradley & Hubbard display: We now have a 12” statuette entitled “le Gamin” which depicts a young boy who looks like a street urchin from the 1800s. There is also a cast iron, japanned finished shelf clock with gold and floral stenciling.
You may remember seeing a large, framed drawing of a clock in the form of a soldier wearing a wig and three-cornered or “cocked” hat, with his hands holding a clock face in his belly.
This drawing was done in 1856 by Pietro Cinquinni and accompanied his patent application. These clocks were known as “Blinking Eye” or “Winker” clocks because the eyes moved via a connection to the clock mechanism. We have always wanted to find one of these clocks for our display and now we have one! Ours is missing its mechanism; however, it is the cast iron figure of “The Continental”. It was manufactured by Bradley & Hubbard and is worth seeing.

Our clock was produced prior to the granting of the patent and is marked in the base as “Patent Pending 1856” and “PCF,” presumably signifying Pietro Cinquinni. Design Patent No. 916 was issued in 1857 and subsequent clocks were marked “Patented July 14, 1857.” The hat portion of the clock case is independent from the rest of the casting. This allowed B&H to substitute a different hat on the same body and offer the clock as “the Admiral”. An example of this design is included in the collections of the Smithsonian.
New additions to the Silver City Glass Co. display case include a frosted glass bowl & candlestick console set donated by a Society member. A black glass box in their early “Daisy” pattern was also purchased for the collection.

We have added a cobalt blue, medium sized dresser box with a “blown out” zinnia flower on the cover, done by the C. F. Monroe Co. This acquisition was made possible through the Don & Carol Lyle Fund.
Thompson Chocolate Co. has generously donated some of their outdated candy molds. They are now on permanent display at the Andrews Homestead. These and other newly acquired items will be on display at our Museum’s upcoming May Open House & Special Exhibit event (Every Sunday in May, 11:00 – 3:00, at the Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St.).

HELP US PRESERVE MERIDEN’S PAST
There are so many Meriden related items waiting to be discovered. Items from any of the Meriden manufacturers, old sales catalogs and advertising items, photos showing street scenes and buildings are especially interesting. Even things that may seem insignificant can be an insight into the past. If you are in the process of downsizing or wondering what to do with Meriden related items, be sure to contact us at our email address: meridenhistoricalsociety@gmail.com or by phone: 203-639-1913 (please leave a message).

UNDERCLIFF SANATORIUM: INFORMATION WANTED Our member Eileen Sypher had sent us the following call for help: “I am writing a book on my father who spent a year at Undercliff in 1951-2 for his tuberculosis. He died in 1952 before he could tell me about his life there. I am eager to hear from anyone who had a relative or friend there while it was a tuberculosis sanatorium—do you have stories? Letters? Photos? Any tidbit most welcome! In my writing I will mention no names, of course, should you share with me. I am eager to restore these forgotten histories that are a part of so many lives and of Meriden’s past. Rev. Dr. Eileen Sypher. Email: esypher@comcast.net or call 860-391-1860 and leave a message.”
We hope you or someone you know can help.

WE NOTE WITH SORROW THE PASSING OF OUR MEMBERS:
Lawrence McLane Morehouse
Walter Shamock

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:
Jacquelyn Beale, Sherwin & Ruth Borsuk, Bruce and Suzana Burchsted, Michael & Lizbeth Cardona, Ellen Carter, William Glick, Gregg D. Hugo, Judith Laczek, Robert Marchetti, Dan Metz, Diantha Morse, Joan M. Munger in memory of Leon Bartholomew, Robert B. Siegler, The Suzio Insurance Center Inc., Philip Toussaint, Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel, Suzanne Zajac, our anonymous donor at Your Cause, and the many visitors to the Andrews Homestead and to the Bernice Morehouse Research Center. Donations in Memory of Larry McLane Morehouse were received from: Arnold Bloch, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc., Joseph Lanterna, John & Martha McCarthy and Susan Webber

WE WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS:
Barbara Austen and Family, June Banack, Michael Banack, Michael Cardona & Family, Hergott Dental, Jonal Laboratories, Jocelyn S. Linnekin, Darrell Lucas, Robert Marchetti, The Russell Hall Co., Eileen Sypher, Cindy & Bob Tencza & Family, and Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

Hergott Dental Associates
166 S. Broad St., Meriden CT
203-235-3738
www.hergottdental.com

Jonal Laboratories
456 Center St., Meriden CT
203-634-4444
www.jonal.com

Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C.
636 Broad St., Meriden, CT
203-238-1010
www.mqmlawyer.com

Nest Egg Auctions
758 Four Rod Rd., Berlin, CT
203-630-1400
www.nesteggauctions.com

New England Capital
Financial Advisors LLC
79 Main St., Meriden, CT
203-935-0265
www.newenglandcapital.com

Record Journal
500 S. Broad St., Meriden, CT
203-317-2407
www.myrecordjournal.com

The Russell Hall Company
19 N. George St, Meriden, CT
203-235-6391
www.Russellhall.com

Spoonshoppe Brooke Deli
1320 E. Main St., Meriden, CT
203-630-3354
www.spoonshoppe.com

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc.
54 Chamberlain Hwy., Meriden, CT
203-237-7403
www.suzioinsurance.com

Tuxis Ohr’s Fuel
80 Britannia St. Meriden, CT
203-639-3513
www.tuxisfuel.com

NOVEMBER 2019

HISTORIC FICTION AS A PORTAL TO THE PAST: The Lyman Family of Lyman Orchards

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 6:30 p.m. Meriden Public Library 105 Miller St., Meriden, CT

Meet author Diana Ross McCain as she discusses her new novel Thy Children’s Children, based on the true story of the first five generations of the Lyman family of Lyman Orchards of Middlefield, CT, as an example of how well-researched historical fiction both entertains and informs. Books (hard cover, 634 pages) will be available for purchase and book-signing ($20.00 includes CT sales tax). This program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library and the Meriden Historical Society. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

ANDREWS HOMESTEAD CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS

Join us Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. to tour one of Meriden’s oldest homes, all dressed up for the holidays.

FUNDrive – SAVERS FUNDRAISER

Thanks to your generosity, we collected and turned in over 700 lbs of soft items. Sincere thanks to all who dropped off clothing and other soft goods for this fundraiser.

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

Arthur Bell, Ollie Collins, Mr. & Mrs. Mark Corte, Sandra Ennever, Eugene Glen, Don Lyle, Neda Weathers, Our Anonymous Donor at Your Cause, and to the visitors to the Andrews Homestead and the Bernice Morehouse Research Center.

MERIDEN HALL OF FAME:

George S. Jeffrey was inducted to the Meriden Hall of Fame in the Historical Person Category. Dr. Sherwin Borsuk, president of the Meriden Historical Society, presented and accepted the honor.

The three other inductees to this year’s Meriden Hall of Fame were Major Dr. E. Robert Bertolli O.D. in the category of Science and Medicine; Joan Edgerly in the category of Community Service, and Stanley Hancock in the category of Business and Commerce.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS

Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St., Meriden, CT

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

***

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Rd., Berlin, CT

203-630-1400

www.nesteggauctions.com

***

New England Capital

Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT

203-935-0265

www.newenglandcapital.com

***

Record Journal

500 S. Broad St., Meriden, CT

203-317-2407

www.myrecordjournal.com

***

Spoonshoppe Brooke Deli

1320 E. Main St., Meriden, CT

203-630-3354

www.spoonshoppe.com

***

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc.

54 Chamberlain Hwy., Meriden, CT

203-237-7403

www.suzioinsurance.com

***

OCTOBER 2019

UPCOMING PROGRAM:

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2019

6:30 p.m.

Meriden Public Library

105 Miller St., Meriden, CT

 

MAKING HISTORY / MAKING PLACE: A CELEBRATION OF CONNECTICUT MUSEUMS

Picture Show and Lecture with William Hosley.

Connecticut has 169 towns and as many community-based historical museums. Most are small. Many are run by volunteers. No two are alike. They preserve & present great local stuff and stories. They collect. They offer public programs. They advocate for preservation. They serve schools and greet tourists. They are a civic miracle. This is their story and why they matter.

This program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Historical Society and the Meriden Public Library. The program is free and open to the general public. 

OUR MUSEUM’S OCTOBER OPEN HOUSE & SPECIAL EXHIBIT:

THOMPSON CHOCOLATE Celebrating the 140th Anniversary of Meriden’s Chocolatier

  • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 13, 20 & 27
  • 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  •  The Andrews Homestead – Meriden Historical Society Museum, 424 West Main St., Meriden, CT

Andrews Homestead, Meriden Historical Society Museum, will be open to the public every Sunday in October from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Dedicated to the history of our city’s manufacturing era, the museum is chuck-full of examples of items made here in town. Come see our newest acquisitions.

OUR SPECIAL EXHIBIT THIS YEAR is dedicated to THOMPSON CHOCOLATE in conjunction with the company’s 140th anniversary.

The Andrews Homestead shares a parking lot with Benjamin Franklin School. By permission of the Police Department, for this exhibit – Sundays only, you may disregard the “do-not-enter” sign posted at the entrance to the parking lot.

We will be raffling a Thompson Chocolate basket on each of the open house dates.

Admission is free – donations are always appreciated.

A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT:

I am writing to introduce myself, Sherwin Borsuk, as incoming president of the Meriden Historical Society (The Society), and to let you know what we are up to this year.

Our board of directors is engaged in the revision of the bylaws and the formalization of the standing committees.

The standing committees will be:

  • Marketing and Public Relations – promote and publicize events, provide access to media, and maintain The Society website and bulletin.
  • Membership – promote new membership, maintaining member records and renewals, as well as thanking donors.
  • Collections Management – acquire items for The Society’s collections, keep records of holdings, and sell or donate items not related to the mission of The Society.
  • Programs – arrange for 5-6 speaker programs yearly, coordinating site, equipment and refreshments, as well as arranging exhibits at The Society’s museum (Andrews Homestead).
  • Facilities – maintain and improve The Society’s properties.
  • Grants – apply for grants as directed by the board of directors and report the status of grant monies to the board and grantor(s).
  • Nominating – nominate board members and officers annually and provide biographies to the Secretary.
  • Tag Sales – coordinate, staff, and publicize the summer tag sale fundraisers.
  • Finance – steward the financial assets of The Society, investments, real estate, etc.

You, as a member of The Society, are encouraged to join any of the standing committees that appeal to you. Your participation will enhance the vitality of our organization. The work of The Society is never-ending and the various committees outlined above can always use more hands.

If you are interested in joining one of the committees, please e-mail me at meridenhistoricalsociety@gmail.com or leave me a message at 203-639-1913

We will be having a continued series of talks in partnership with the Meriden Pubic Library. Please see our newsletter or our website (www.meridenhistoricalsociety.org) for updated details.

Our Fall exhibit at the Andrews Homestead is devoted to Meriden’s Thompson Chocolate Company, founded in 1879. Rumor has it that there will be free samples of Thompson products (according to Mayor Kevin Scarpati). You are encouraged to come and enjoy it!

Finally, we are currently looking for a larger home for our research center here in Meriden, as our research and other materials have us bursting at the seams. Sometime in the near future we hope to find a suitable solution be it a new location or a major expansion and we’ll likely need to have a fundraising campaign to enable us to afford a larger home.

As always, your support of the Meriden Historical Society is, and will be, greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Sherwin Borsuk

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES:  Rockwell and silver city Overlay  by: Paul S. Butkus

Meriden was home to several silver overlay companies, most notably the Rockwell Silver Company and the Silver City Glass Company. There are references to other companies producing silver overlay in Meriden but none to the same extent or notoriety. Overlay companies did not produce their own glass but rather decorated pieces made by the large glass, china or ceramic companies and the same blanks were frequently used by competing overlay companies. The use of the same blanks, paper labels or similarly themed designs can often complicate the proper attribution for some pieces. As a result, collectors often identify a piece simply by the glass manufacturer due to the greater availability of information on those companies. Another complicating factor in overlay identification is the way in which some patterns were adapted to varying sized pieces. The overall composition was cropped as needed to fit smaller pieces.

A case in point… (Click here to read the complete article and see all images associated with it)

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

  • Don Lyle for his donation of C. F. Monroe Co. research material. The comprehensive research material came from the collection of Don’s wife, Carrol of blessed memory.
  • Andy Piatek who lent us some of his Silver Overlay catalogs so that we could digitize/copy them and add them to our collection of reference catalogs.
  • All our friends who have been bringing items of Meriden interest to the Research Center.
  • All who supported us by bringing items for our tag-sale booth and for our Savers Fund Raiser event.
  • Our Anonymous Donor at Your Cause.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR:

Our November Lecture will take place on

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

6:30 p.m.

Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller St., Meriden, CT

HISTORICAL FICTION AS A PORTAL TO THE PAST. A PROGRAM ABOUT A NEW NOVEL BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF THE LYMAN FAMILY OF LYMAN ORCHARDS with author Diana Ross McCain.

 

Please support our Corporate Members

 

Mahon, Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St., Meriden, CT

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

 

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Rd., Berlin, CT

203-630-1400

www.nesteggauctions.com

 

New England Capital

Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT

203-935-0265

www.newenglandcapital.com

 

Record Journal

500 S. Broad St., Meriden, CT

203-317-2407

www.myrecordjournal.com

 

Spoonshoppe Brooke Deli

1320 E. Main St., Meriden, CT

203-630-3354

www.spoonshoppe.com

 

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc.

54 Chamberlain Hwy., Meriden, CT

203-237-7403

www.suzioinsurance.com

 

September, 2019

UPCOMING PROGRAM

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

6:30 PM

At the Meriden Public Library

105 Miller St. Meriden CT

VOTES FOR WOMEN

In 2020 we mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. The fight for women’s right to vote was long and took many twists and turns. Join us to learn about the Connecticut women who fought on a local, state, and national level and on whose shoulders we stand. Be inspired by their stories to use your vote to give a voice to women. This program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Historical Society and the Meriden Public Library. The program is free and open to the general public. 

*****

MERIDEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY COMMUNITY TAG SALE

  • SEPTEMBER 14. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • LOCATION: Meriden Historical Society’s Bernice Morehouse Research Center’s parking lot 1090 Hanover Ave. Meriden, CT 06451
  • RAIN DATE: the Saturday following the original date
  • COST TO SET UP: $15.00 donation to the Society per set-up ($10.00 for members).
  • CONTACT: Bill Siegel 203-237-2217

As in previous years, the Meriden Historical Society will set up its own booth in the shed.  We hope to see you there.

*****

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

We are looking for dedicated volunteers for the following projects:

  • Cataloging and organizing our collection of photographs
  • Photographing and cataloging items in our collections
  • Researching (doing detective research work) to help answer the many queries addressed to the Society
  • Greeters/docents  for our open house events at the Andrews Homestead

Come meet our volunteers at the Bernice Morehouse Research Center, 1090 Hanover Ave. in South Meriden on Wednesdays between 1:30 and 4:00 pm.

*****

FUNDrive – FUNDRAISER THROUGH SAVERS

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 14 

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

AT THE RESEARCH CENTER 1090 Hanover Ave. Meriden CT 

Your no longer needed, gently-used clothing, linens, jewelry, shoes, accessories (such as belts and purses), and small household goods can raise funds for us. We have teamed up with Savers Stores and their fundraiser program.  Savers will pay us 20 cents per pound of soft goods and 10 cents per pound of small household goods we bring to them, so PLEASE think of us when you clean your closets.

*****

CUNO FOUNDATION GRANT

We were delighted and honored to receive a $2000 grant from the Cuno Foundation. This grant allowed us to purchase a new, state of the art new computer/Work Station complete with a new wide screen monitor and will allow us to purchase more, much needed, acid-free, storage materials. While the first will consolidate all our digitized archival records and facilitate research, the latter will help preserve many of our fragile paper, cloth, and photographed materials.

Our heartfelt thanks to the Cuno Foundation for their continued support of our mission to preserve Meriden’s past for future generations and our purpose: being an active research center disseminating information on Meriden’s industry and Meriden’s History.

*****

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES

Meriden Cut Glass Company PATTERN NAMES

by: Paul S. Butkus

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Meriden-Cut-Glass-TM-3.jpg

“Give Me Back My Name”

by Talking Heads

There’s a word for it
And words don’t mean a thing
There’s name for it
And names make all the difference in the world

The lyrics above, from a song by the Talking Heads released in 1985, illustrate one of the frustrations with identifying cut glass patterns. With hundreds of patterns introduced by each glass company, developing unique names must have been a challenge and many times only numbers were used. Are the names we commonly use today to describe some of the more collectible patterns their original names?

Several Meriden Cut Glass Company designs are among the most collectible patterns. Names like “Alhambra” immediately bring to mind pieces with a crenelated rim and a series of interlocking hexagons. The original patent, numbered 41,091 and issued to Thomas A. Shanley on January 17, 1911 does not list a name for the pattern but the Alhambra name appears in multiple company catalogs and period advertisements that exist in reference collections throughout the country and in reprints of some of those catalogs. For other patterns where documentation has not been readily available, some names may have been invented by those who were compiling pattern guides.  As research continues and new evidence is discovered about pattern names, will collectors adopt the original names or hold onto the names they have been comfortable with for decades? “Names make all the Difference.”

Recently acquired printed catalog materials from a number of wholesale and retail companies has shed light on the original names for the highly collectible patterns known in the trade as Theodora, Byzantine and Cetus. By cross referencing documented pattern names and images from Meriden Cut Glass Co. materials in the Meriden Historical Society’s collection and patent records with these advertisements, it was possible to identify which groups of cut glass items were made by Meriden (and also J.D. Bergen) even though not labeled as such. The wholesalers and retailers were relying on their own reputations for presenting the quality of goods instead of offering a branded product.

The following illustrations are from the “13th Annual Illustrated Catalogue and Price List of A. C. Becken, The Chicago Wholesale Jeweler, 1904.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Meriden-Cut-Glass-Feather-Bowl-1.jpgCommonly referred to as Theodora, this pattern by Wm. R. Eliot is described in patent No. 32,211, Feb 13, 1900:  “springing upward are feathers . . . giving them the semblance of peacock- feathers.” Printed name is FEATHER.

***

Commonly referred to as Byzantine, this pattern by Wm. R. Eliot is This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Meriden-Cut-Glass-Garland-Bowl-1.jpgdescribed in patent No. 32,210, Feb. 13, 1900:  “As herein shown, the design comprises four bands festooned, the surfaces of which are checkered, and on each band is a series of punties, differentiating in size.” Printed name is GARLAND.

***

.

A variant of the GARLAND pattern has a characteristic miter cut in This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Meriden-Cut-Glass-Longwood-Bowl-1.pngplace of the terminal punties and is named LONGWOOD.

***

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Meriden-Cut-Glass-Cluney-Bowl-1.jpgCommonly referred to as Cetus, (a name apparently ‘made up by the Pearsons’ according to CriticalGlass.com), is actually named CLUNEY.

.

***

Other illustrated patterns in this catalog correlate with well documented MCG Co names so it is unlikely that the names shown with these particular bowls were made up. Based upon the findings, we should give them back their names.

*****

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS

Karen Erasmus, Dave Fugge, Laureen Galayda, Joan Kilby, Justin Piccirillo

*****

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

Accredited Appraisals Associates

Nancy Benaro

Sherwin Borsuk

Paul Butkus

A Lee Campione

The Cuno Foundation

Christine Czapiga

Jan Fontanella

Lorraine Hancock

David S. Kenny

Joseph Kiely

Joan Kilby

Jim & Beth Lewis

Kenneth Lonczak

Deborah Patterson

Andy Piatek

Rob LaRiviere at The Remodeling Company

Lesley Solkoske

Suzanne Zajac

Visitors to the Andrews Homestead

Visitors to Bernice Morehouse Research Center

Our Anonymous Donor at Your Cause.

*****

 

 

Please support our Corporate Members

Mahon Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St. Meriden CT

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

 

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Rd. Berlin, CT

203-630-1400

www.NestEggAuctions.com

 

New England Capital

Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT

203-935-0265

www.NewEnglandCapital.com

 

Record Journal

500 S. Broad St. Meriden

203-317-2407

www.myrecordjournal.com

 

Spoonshoppe Brooke Deli

1320 E. Main St.Meriden CT

203-630-3354

www.Spoonshoppe.com

 

Suzio Insurance Center LLC

54 Chamberlain HWY, Meriden CT

203-237-7403

www.SuzioInsurance.com

APRIL, 2019

UPCOMING PROGRAM

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE: TUESDAY April 9, 2019

At the Meriden Public Library

105 Miller St. Meriden CT

6:30 PM

STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS OF MERIDEN.

Architectural art can be found throughout Meriden. Amy Prescher, an art and architecture historian and a faculty member of Connecticut State University, will present us with a program on the treasures of stained glass windows found in our city.

The program is co-sponsored by the Meriden Historical Society and the Meriden Public Library; it is free and open to the public.

****

GARDEN TOUR – POSTPONED

We regret to announce that due to the unexpected passing of the organizer of this event, the Garden Tour fund raiser, originally scheduled for June 1st this year is postponed and will take place next year at a date yet to be determined. If you are interested in getting involved with this event, please contact  Martha Colarese , the Meriden Historical Society’s president, at the Meriden Historical Society.

****

NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Meriden Cut Glass Co. and the Identification of “Fanned Hobstars”

Click on title above to view the latest article by Paul Butkus, our board member and researcher. Paul has just finished digitizing our Wilcox loose catalogs and has dedicated his article to the Meriden Cut Glass Company and the identification of “Fanned Hobstars”.

****

MAY OPEN HOUSE & SPECIAL EXHIBIT

Every Sunday in May

At the Andrews Homestead

424 West Main St. Meriden CT

11:00 am – 3:00 pm

RECENT ACQUISITIONS: NAPIER, ROCKWELL, WAVE-CREST AND MORE

As in previous years, the Andrews Homestead will be open to the public from 11:00 till 3:00 every Sunday in the month of May. On display will be some of our recent acquisitions, all by Meriden artisans and manufacturers. The exhibit will feature silver on glass items by Rockwell Silver; Jewelry and more by the Napier Company; boxes and plaques by the C. F. Monroe Company and more. Admission is free, donations will be much appreciated.

****

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

We are looking for dedicated volunteers for the following projects:

  • Cataloging and organizing our collection of photographs
  • Photographing and cataloging items in our collections
  • Researching (doing detective research work) to help answer the many queries addressed to the Society

Come meet our volunteers at the Bernice Morehouse Research Center, 1090 Hanover Ave. in South Meriden on Wednesdays between 1:30 and 4:00 pm.

****

CONVERT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS, SLIDES AND VIDEOS TO DIGITAL FORMAT

As a service to the community, The Meriden Historical Society is offering to send your VHS videotapes, photographs slides and even music to Innovative Document Imaging (http://idiimage.com/) to be digitized. A tentative collection date is scheduled for June. Look for more details including a price list in our May newsletter.

****

YOUR OPINION MATTERS:

A survey is coming your way.

The Meriden Historical Society’s history spans a whole century (and more). With its eyes to the future, the Society’s board of directors is interested in your opinion as to the direction the Society should take.

We are in the process of composing a brief survey. The survey will be mailed to all members. We hope you will give us 5 minutes of your time. We need your input.

****

WE NOTE WITH SORROW THE PASSING OF OUR MEMBERS:


Nancy Laurentano – December 2018

We’ll miss Nancy for her generosity and for her love for all that is Meriden.

Frank Chiarenza – June 2018

We’ll miss Frank for his knowledge of glass and for his generosity to the Society.

Emily Belanger – February 2019

We’ll miss Emily for her generosity and her love for all that is Meriden.

and

Agnes Baur – March 2019

We’ll miss Agnes for her extensive knowledge of the painter Frederick Matzow and for her generosity to the Society.

****

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK:

Lynn Boyangut; Alice Meigs; Suzio Insurance Company; Philip Toussaint; and our anonymous donor at Your Cause.

Welcome to Our New Members

Philip Toussaint of Hartford CT

Kenneth Lonczak of Meriden CT

Joseph Kiely of Meriden CT

The Family of Marcus Hamilton of Meriden

Judy Kiely of Meriden CT

and

Maryanne Harrison of Meriden CT

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS:

Macri Roofing, Inc.

36 Duffy Ave. Meriden, CT

203-235-4830

www.MacriRoofing.com

Mahon Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St. Meriden CT

203-238-1010

www.mqmlawyer.com

Meriden Self Storage

210 Pomeroy Ave, Meriden

203-639-7335

www.MeridenSelfStorage.com

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Rd. Berlin, CT

203-630-1400

www.NestEggAuctions.com

New England Capital

Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., Meriden, CT

203-935-0265

www.NewEnglandCapital.com

Record Journal

500 S. Broad St. Meriden

203-317-2407

www.myrecordjournal.com

Spoonshoppe Brooke Deli

1320 E. Main St.Meriden CT

203-630-3354

www.Spoonshoppe.com

Suzio Insurance Center LLC

54 Chamberlain HWY, Meriden CT

203-237-7403

www.SuzioInsurance.com

March 2019

Upcoming Program:

ARCHITECTURE OF MERIDEN: – Lorenzo Hamilton: – Architect of Meriden’s Notable Early 20th Century Homes.

Designed by Lorenzo Hamilton

Marcus Hamilton, a life-long Meriden resident, will present a program on the life and works of his grandfather, Lorenzo Hamilton, a grandson of H. Wales Lines. The program will include a bit of history about this storied Meriden family and examples of the homes Lorenzo Hamilton designed throughout Meriden.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 –
6:30 p.m. 
At the Meriden Public Library
105 Miller St. Meriden CT

The lecture programs are co-sponsored by the Meriden Public Library. Free admission. Refreshments will be served.

Platt And Maloney High School Students Research Meriden Personalities for Meriden Hall Of Fame Nominations

Students researching for their Hall of Fame project

The Research Center was host to Platt and Maloney High School students in conjunction with their research for candidates for the 2019 Meriden Hall of Fame. About 15 students from Platt High School rotated through our Bernice Morehouse Research Center in December, and, in January about 20 students from Maloney High School were hosted. The students came to do their research and were showed how to access our inventory of information on Meriden’s people from the past. They were asked to give us copies of their research to be added to our files. Our members, Ruth Borsuk, Sharon Deming, Dan Metz, Jane Mulligan, Deborah Patterson, Chris Ruel and Allen Weathers volunteered their efforts to make it a success.

Items wanted for a Dedicated Napier Co. of Meriden Display Case.

Napier Bar Items

We are planning to setup a permanent display case at the Andrews Homestead featuring The Napier Company.  For that reason, we are reaching out to our membership asking for permanent donations of Napier cocktail items, barware, cigarette related items, banks or jewelry. We look forward to being able to give the proper attention to one of the most well-known manufacturers in Meriden’s history. Please contact us by phone at 203-639-1913 or email us. If possible, please attach a photo or give a description of the item.  Thank you.

WANTED: Product Catalogs and information related to Meriden Glass Companies

As part of an ongoing research project and possible future exhibit, the MHS is asking its supporters if they have any early original catalogs from the various glass companies that operated in Meriden around the turn of the 20thcentury up until WWII. Specifically, we are interested in companies such as the Rockwell Silver Company, Silver City Cut Glass Company and the Silver City Glass company during their early period (well before the introduction of the ‘Anniversary’ themed silver overlay pieces).  We are also interested in the companies that produced cut glass during the American Brilliant Period 1876-1918 such as J.D. Bergen Company, J.J. Niland Company, C.F. Monroe Company, Meriden Cut Glass Company and the Meriden Flint Glass Company. Any other glass companies that operated in Meriden that you have documentation on would also be greatly appreciated.
We have several reprinted catalogs at the MHS for some of the cut glass companies but we are hoping that some original materials may still be around in people’s attics and basements. If you know that family members worked for any of these glass companies and could take a look through your family archives to see if you have any information it would be greatly appreciated. We know that there are descendants of glass cutters and decorators who still live in the area and would love to hear stories about what their families did and see any examples of their work. Donations of materials related to Meriden companies are always welcomed by the MHS but we would be equally grateful for the opportunity to review and scan the materials to include in our archives. Please contact Paul S. Butkus at the MHS who is organizing this project.

We Note with Sorrow 
The passing of our volunteer and board member, Sharon Louise Robarts Deming. 

Sharon worked to organize, catalogue and conserve our image library.  The Research Center won’t be the same place without her, nor will our table at the Hanover School holiday fair.  We will miss her gentle presence and her expert driving skills in the Memorial Day Parade.  We were fortunate to have had her with us, however briefly — and Meriden is fortunate to have her as part of its history.

 For Their Generosity we thank

Michael Barker, Jacquelyn Beale, Ellen M. Carter, Ruth Ann C. Davis, William Glick, Nancy Gluck, Judith Laczek, Daniel Metz, Joan M. Munger for her donation in Memory of Leon Bartholomew, Robert and Judith Panciera, Janet Pestey, Robert R. Siegler and the Mahon, Quinn & Mahon Professional Corporation for their donations to the Society.

Welcome to our new members

David Grodzicki – winner of Christmas in the Village raffle.
Carol Hilton of Parkton, MD
Sara Hilton of Baltimore, MD
The Mahon, Quinn & Mahon Professional Corporation of Meriden, CT
David Pare for the Record Journal
The Spoonshopppe Brooke Deli of Meriden CT


Please support our Corporate Members


Macri Roofing, Inc.

36 Duffy Ave. Meriden, CT
203-235-4830
www.MacriRoofing.com

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Mahon Quinn & Mahon, P.C.

636 Broad St. Meriden CT
203-238-1010
www.mqmlawyer.com

**********************************

Meriden Self Storage

210 Pomeroy Ave, Meriden
203-639-7335
www.MeridenSelfStorage.com


**********************************

Nest Egg Auctions

758 Four Rod Rd. Berlin, CT
203-630-1400
www.NestEggAuctions.com


**********************************

New England Capital Financial Advisors LLC

79 Main St., So. Meriden, CT 
203-935-0265
www.NewEnglandCapital.com

**********************************

Record Journal

500 S. Broad St. Meriden
203-317-2407
www.myrecordjournal.co
m

**********************************

Spoonshoppe Brooke Deli

1320 E. Main St.Meriden CT
203-630-3354
www.Spoonshoppe.com


**********************************

Suzio Insurance Center LLC

54 Chamberlain HWY, Meriden CT
203-237-7403
www.SuzioInsurance.com

**********************************

APRIL 2018

APRIL PROGRAM: UP WEST MAIN AND DOWN MEMORY LANE – Digitized Images of West Main Street, Meriden in 1960 Thursday, April 12th, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the Meriden Public Library, 105 Miller Street, Meriden, CT.

Please join us for a nostalgic photographic “walk” along West Main Street Meriden as it was photographed 58 years ago, back in 1960.

Our newest PowerPoint slide presentation captures the store fronts along the north (odd numbers) side of West Main Street starting at Colony Street and ending at 109 W. Main.

The program is free and open to both members and the public.   Refreshments will be served.

 

SPRING TEA: CELEBRATE SPRING AT THE HOMESTEAD

A spring fund raiser tea will be held on May 5th from 1:00-3:00 at the Andrew’s Homestead, 424 West Main St, Meriden, CT.

The Homestead’s display rooms will be set for a traditional afternoon tea featuring a variety of tea sandwiches, scones, assorted desserts and teas, as well as a door prize and table favors.

On display will be selected tea and coffee sets from the Historical Society’s International Silver collection. The tea will open the Homestead’s special May exhibit.

The price of tickets is $22.

Space is limited so we urge you to make your reservations early.

Reservations can be made by calling: 203-440-3686

 

MAY OPEN HOUSE & SPECIAL EXHIBIT:

Every Sunday in May 11:00 – 3:00 at the Andrews Homestead, 424 W. Main St. Meriden CT, sharing a parking lot with the Benjamin Franklin School.

Our May exhibit will be in conjunction with the Spring Tea Party being held on Saturday May 5th. The following day, May 6th will be the start of the Sunday exhibits that will feature a selection of items made by Meriden companies, related to the serving of tea.

Best of all, changes have been happening inside the Homestead. We have been going through our inventory and have discovered some impressive items that have been stored away for much too long. We’re really excited about showing off our restocked and reorganized displays for this exhibit.

If you are a new member this year, please mention that when you come to the exhibit. We have a special gift for you. Come and enjoy.

 

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS: Ronald Abbe of Meriden CT, Michael and Shelley Barker of Bloomfield CT, Britney & Jack Corey of Meriden CT, Joy Higgins of Meriden CT, Robert LaRiviere Sr. of Meriden CT, George and Rowena McGoldrick of Meriden CT, Miroslava Ness of Venice, FL, Judith & Robert Panciera of Meriden CT, Lori Raguckas of Meriden CT, Justin & Marisa Rogers of Meriden CT, Geoffrey Ruel and Family of Meriden CT, Ken Ruel & Family of Meriden Ct, and to our new corporate members, Suzio Insurance of Meriden CT, and Meriden Self Storage of Meriden CT

 

FOR THEIR GENEROSITY WE THANK: Nancy Benarro, Daniel Busa, Martha Colaresi, Bill Glick, Nancy E. Gluck, Robert LaRiviere and the Remodeling Company, Don & Kathleen McMahon, Alice Meigs, Joan Munger (IMO Leo Bartholomew), Bruce & Stacey Rovinsky, and The Meriden Lions Club.

 

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CORPORATE MEMBERS 

Nest Egg Auctions

https://nesteggauctions.com

758 Four Rod Road

Berlin, CT 06037

203-630-1400

 

The Remodeling Company

848 N. Colony Rd

Meriden, CT 06450

203-213-1053

 

New England Capital Financial Advisors, LLC

http://newenglandcapital.com

79 Main St.

Meriden, CT 06451

203-935-0265

 

Suzio Insurance Center, Inc

http://www.suzioinsurance.com

54 Chamberlain Hwy

Meriden, CT 06451

 

Meriden Self Storage

https://www.meridenselfstorage.com

210 Pomeroy Ave.

Meriden, CT 06450

203-639-7335