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Gunn Historical Museum
5 Wykeham Road
P.O. Box 1273
Washington, CT 06793
Thursday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sundays 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. (through Jan. 18)
Stephen Bartkus, Curator email@example.com
Alexandra Madsen, Curatorial Assistant
All of our programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated.
There is no admission charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.
We would be happy to help with your research, but our other commitments
require that you make an appointment at least three weeks in advance.
Exhibits & Programs
Over There: Washington and The Great WarMay 4, 2014 - January 18, 2015
This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of World War One, one of the largest and bloodiest conflicts in history, where over 70 million military personnel were mobilized around the world and more than 10 million combatants and 7 million civilians were killed, including several from Washington, CT. Over 100 men and women from Washington, and more than 150 alumni and faculty from The Gunnery served in The Great War. Students in Bart McMann's Artifacts and Archives class at The Gunnery conducted research on their school’s involvement in the war and share their findings in a section of this exhibit.
Letters, pictures, and an interesting array of period artifacts from the museum, local families, and collectors, including Peter Tragni and Dr. Robert Jacobs, among others, are used to explore the dramatic experiences of Washington's soldiers, along with the extensive support efforts that were happening on the home front in Washington through such organizations as the Sister Susie Society, the Red Cross, the Women's Land Army, and the Home Guard. All of their fascinating stories will be shared in this exhibit and a diverse series of public programs (see below) through the year, sponsored in part by the Connecticut Community Foundation.
Art director Chris Zaima, designer Sandy Booth, and painter Keith Templeton, along with a team of other volunteers and staff, have created another visual masterpiece. Local history will come alive as visitors step back in time and explore the lives of Washington's residents during World War One, through their own words, and the impact this war had on our small town.
Admission to the exhibit is free, and this exhibit will be on display through January 18, 2015. For more information, call the Museum at 860-868-7756 or view www.gunnlibrary.org for more information or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readings from the Archives:
Sister Susies on Washington Green - The Allied Market Fundraiser - August 5, 1916
The Sister Susie Society 1914-1918
Monday, May 5 at 10:00 a.m. at the Washington Senior Center
Prior to World War I a group of girls living around Washington Green met weekly during the summer at each other's houses for a morning of reading and sewing. They were known as the Junior Reading Circle. With the outbreak of the war they started working for the Allies sewing refugee garments and surgical dressings and renamed themselves "The Sister Susie Society", from the popular war song "Sister Susies Sewing Shirts for Soldiers". This paper, written by Dorothy Abbot Loomis and Edith Rossiter Bevan in 1930, discusses the members of this group and all that they did to support the war effort in Washington. Staff will present this paper about the history of Washington from the Museum's archive, related photographs and artifacts from the Museum will be displayed, and attendees will share their memories in a discussion that follows. The Washington Senior Center is located at 6 Bryan Hall Plaza in the center of Washington Depot.
Sunday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. at the Gunn Library and Museum
To End All Wars: Music of World War One
Rick Spencer will perform both well-known and obscure songs of the period along with a discussion of the issues, events, and personalities of First World War. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of World War One, which claimed over 10 million lives and came to be called "The War to End All Wars". The folk and popular songs of the period were patriotic and inspiring. Some were filled with pathos, describing tragedy, loss, and the fears and hopes of those who were affected.
Rick Spencer has been in the historical performance industry for over 25 years. He worked for 20 years as a researcher, historian and presenter of traditional maritime songs and sea chanteys at Mystic Seaport and has performed widely in the United States, Canada and Europe. Rick is best known for his work as a developer and presenter of theme-based historic music programs. He is the former executive director and curator of the Dr. Ashbel Woodward Museum in Franklin, CT.
Saturday, June 28 at 11:00 a.m. at the Gunn Library and Museum
The Beginning of the End: The Origins of World War I
Dr. Michael Nolan, a professor of European History at Western Connecticut State University, will present a lecture to mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austrian Empire, the spark that ignited World War One. On June 28, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated by a Serbian nationalist who was a Black Hand Terrorist as they visited the city of Sarajevo. This assassination was the catalyst of World War One, a four-year event that claimed the lives of over 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians around the globe. Dr. Nolan will discuss the contentious years leading up to the assassination, how the events of that day unfolded, the impact the resulting war had on the 20th century, and who was really to blame for the origins of the war, the answer to which is not as clear cut as many might think and has vexed historians for the past century. Dr. Nolan is a 2001 graduate of Brandeis University and is the author of The Inverted Mirror: Mythologizing the Enemy in France and Germany, 1898-1914 (New York, Berghahn Books, 2005).
Mondays, July 14, July 28, August 11 & August 25 at 1:00 p.m.
World War I Film Series at the Gunn Library
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of World War One, one of the most significant conflicts in history, claiming millions of lives and altering the global balance of power. In support of the Museum's exhibit "Over There: Washington and the Great War," we'll screen a selection of some of the most popular World War I films at the library in the Wykeham Room, Mondays at 1:00 p.m. These films vividly represent different events of the war and its impact. The Museum's exhibition will be open for viewing before each screening. The screenings planned are:
All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is requested.For more information, contact Margaret Ferguson at 860-868-7586 or email@example.com.
- Monday, July 14, 2014 - The African Queen
Starring Academy Award winners Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, The African Queen tells the timeless tale of two mismatched strangers joining forces in a common cause - and finding love along the way. The story chronicles the burgeoning romance between Bogart's river rat Charlie Allnut and Hepburn's missionary Rose Sayer, as they reluctantly join forces to torpedo a German gunboat in war-torn East Africa. Rated PG / 105 minutes.
- Monday, July 28, 2014 - A Farewell to Arms
A ravishing adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's legendary novel. Starring Gary Cooper as Lt. Frederic Henry, a young ambulance driver for the Italian army in WWI, when seeking cover during an air raid, he encounters Nurse Catherine Barkley and the world shifts under his feet. They fall in love and in the midst of war and some intrigue, the pair struggles to stay together and survive the horrors around them. Rated PG / 152 minutes.
- Monday, August 11, 2014 - Flyboys
Join Washington, CT director Tony Bill for a discussion and screening of his film, Flyboys. Inspired by the true story of the legendary Lafayette Escadrille, this action-packed epic tells the tale of America's first fighter pilots. These courageous young men distinguish themselves in a manner that none before them had dared, becoming true heroes who experience triumph, tragedy, love and loss amid the chaos of WWI. Rated PG-13 / 139 minutes.
- Monday, August 25, 2014 - War Horse
From legendary director Steven Spielberg comes this epic adventure, a tale of incredible loyalty, hope and tenacity. Set against the sweeping canvas of World War I this deeply heartfelt story begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse name Joey and his young trainer Albert. When they are forced apart by war, we follow Joey's extraordinary journey as he changes and inspires the lives of everyone he meets. Rated PG-13 / 146 minutes.
Museum Programs at the Washington Senior Center
Readings from the ArchivesGunn Museum Curator Stephen Bartkus presents coffee hour readings from the archives of the Museum on the first Monday of the month at 10:00 a.m. from October to May, in the Washington Senior Center. A paper about the history of Washington from the Museum's archive is read, related photographs and artifacts from the Museum are displayed, and attendees share their memories in a discussion that follows.
Washington History ClubThe Washington History Club meets at the Washington Senior Center on the third Monday of the month at 10:00 a.m., typically from September to June, to discuss the history of Washington and the villages of New Preston, Marbledale and Woodville. Participants are asked to bring their photographs and objects that relate to the monthly topic for show and tell. Everyone interested in the history of our town is invited to attend the meetings and share their memories.
The Washington Senior Center is located at 6 Bryan Hall Plaza in the center of Washington Depot and can be reached at 860-868-0735.
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