Upcoming Programs & Registration

Below you will find details about the Gunn Museum’s special, one-time programs. For information about upcoming events at both the Gunn Museum and Gunn Library, check out the Gunn’s event calendar.

For assistance with Zoom, we recommend you watch these tutorials here. The Gunn Memorial Library also has a page that lists helpful links. If you have any further questions about our virtual offerings, please contact us at info@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org or 860-868-7756. Library staff is also available in person and over the phone at 860-868-7586 for help.

 

Washington History Club in the Morning

“Washington Inns,  Hotels and Taverns”

Monday, September 20, 2021 at 10am, in-person at the Senior Center

Click Here to Register

The Mayflower Inn, Circa 1920

Through the past three centuries dozens of lodging places have existed in town to accommodate visitors. These businesses also employed many Washington residents. If you worked for or stayed at any of the inns in town we’d love to hear from you. Some current and former innkeepers will be attending and participating in the discussion. Bring your related stories, photographs and objects to share! The Washington History Club in the Morning is a program of the Gunn Historical Museum and meets at the Washington Senior Center to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your memories with the group or just come and listen to the fascinating conversation about our town’s past. Registration is requested, but not required. The Washington Senior Center is located at 6 Bryan Hall Plaza in Washington Depot. We ask that everyone attending this in-person indoor program to please wear a face mask.

Gunn Museum at the Washington Harvest Festival

Sunday, October 10, 2021, 12-5pm at Riverwalk Pavilion

Let us know if you’ll be stopping by our booth: Click Here to Register

Stop by the Gunn Historical Museum’s booth at the Washington Harvest Festival at 11A School Street in Washington Depot to learn more about the history of Washington through the old photos of town we’ll have on display. Celebrate autumn at this event for the whole family with live music, kids activities, face painting, pumpkin carving, hay maze, fire truck rides, and more.

14th Annual Washington Cemetery Tour

Friday, October 29, 2021, 6:30-8:30pm

Ticket Registration Opens on Oct. 1

Washington Cemetery Tour

The Washington Cemetery Tour is an annual “living history” event produced by the Gunn Museum with the support of local theater luminaries, Doug and Martha Winkel of The Dramalites, showcasing the rich history of Washington using costumed actors to portray residents from the past. In this year’s tour, which will be in-person, we will be sharing new stories about “Residents of The Green”; the untold fascinating accounts of those who lived and worked around Washington Green in the past. Costumed tour guides with lanterns will lead groups of visitors along a magical path of 1,000 luminarias, spanning a quarter-mile from the Gunn Museum through the shadowy Washington Green Cemetery, where the town’s departed citizens will be stationed at their graves to tell their true tales. The rain date is Sat. Oct. 30, 6:30-8:30pm. New this year: Tickets are required to attend and can only be obtained in advance by online reservation starting on October 1 at gunnmuseum.org

No onsite tickets will be available as in years past. Attendees must check in at the booth in the museum parking lot 15 minutes before your tour departure time. Please print your tickets or have them ready on your phone when you check in. If you are late and miss your tour, we cannot add you to another tour.

The Washington Green Cemetery Tour starts at the Gunn Historical Museum at 5 Wykeham Road, Washington, CT. Tours depart every ten minutes between 6:30 and 8:30 pm and last approximately one hour. The First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road, across the street from the Museum, will be a stop on the Cemetery Tour this year. The Gunn Library and Museum buildings will not be open during the tour this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While there is no fee for this event, donations are greatly appreciated. All funds raised support the Gunn Historical Museum.

We ask that you please be mindful and select a time slot that you are certain you can attend, so that the tours can run smoothly the evening of the Cemetery Tour. No changes can be made to online reservations the day of the Cemetery Tour. If, for any reason, you need to cancel or change your time slot, you must do so online at least one day in advance. You may cancel your ticket online and then re-register, if space allows.

Tour guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight, dress warmly, wear comfortable walking shoes, and carpool since parking is limited. We also strongly encourage everyone attending the Cemetery Tour to wear a facemask. The rain date for the Cemetery Tour is Saturday, October 30 from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Parking is limited, with over 400 people typically in attendance. Be sure to allocate extra time to find a parking space and check in. Please park in one of the following designated parking lots or nearby side streets if the lots are full: Gunn Library parking lot at 5 Wykeham Road or Washington Club Hall parking lot at 92 Green Hill Road.

Current members of Friends of the Gunn Historical Museum will be given preference for the first tour (first come, first serve, until filled) and should pre-register by calling the museum at 860-868-7756 before October 1 to reserve their tickets for the first tour. If you aren’t currently a member, click here to join online: www.gunnlibrary.org/gunn-museum/museum-support/

“The Washington Cemetery Tour is my favorite annual event. I enjoy bringing friends to hear the stories of people who lived here years ago” says area resident Rich Pomerantz. “It’s incredibly special to see the cemetery path lined in candlelit luminaries as we are guided by local area students dressed in period costume,” says Pomerantz. “It’s one of the best things to do in our wonderful town. I look forward to it each year.”

Thank you to this year’s Washington Cemetery Tour Sponsors to Date!:

Ericson Insurance Advisors

George Home

Klemm Real Estate

Paul Hirschauer at Guaranteed Rate

The Matthews Group

Union Savings Bank

William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty

If you’d like to become a sponsor, contact: jchapin@biblio.org

Reflections on the Marble Corridor of Western New England

Monday, November 15, 2021 at 6:30pm on Zoom

Click Here to Register

Early 19th Century Litchfield County Marble Quarry

As early as the 1780s, western New England stonecutters, discovering high quality marble in the Litchfield Hills, the Berkshires, and Vermont, soon began exporting artfully finished products to points south and beyond. At its height the marble industry along the Taconic Range (today’s Route 7 corridor) was a bee hive providing thousands of monument, gravestones and architectural features to buildings, cemeteries and town squares. Rutland, Vermont; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and the village of Marbledale in Washington, Connecticut were economically transformed by the stonecutting industry. Many other locales had smaller quarries, different materials and locally-grown products they were known for. The products they made were varied, artistic, and sophisticated. It was an art industry of national influence. It’s a legacy worth caring about and a legacy at risk.

William Hosley

William Hosley is a cultural resource development and marketing consultant, social media expert, historian, writer, and photographer. He is passionate about local history and historic preservation and has developed a deep attachment to dozens of places worth caring about. He was formerly Director of the New Haven Museum and Connecticut Landmarks, where he cared for a chain of historic attractions. Prior to that, as a curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum, Bill organized major exhibitions including The Great River: Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley (1985), The Japan Idea: Art and Life in Victorian America (1990), and Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt’s Empire (1996), that spawned the Coltsville National Park. As an expert in heritage tourism, Bill has studied, lectured and advised museums and heritage destinations around the country. Bill has also served as a content specialist for PBS, BBC and CPTV film documentaries.

Washington History Club at Night

“Washington Fun Times: Dances, Proms & Other Celebrations”

Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at 6:30pm, in-person at the Gunn Library

Click Here to Register

Washington High School Dance, circa 1950

Join us for a lively conversation, moderated by long-time Washington resident Dimitri Rimsky, about Washington’s dances, proms, and other celebrations as we remember the fun times in our town’s history. Bring your favorite stories, photos and objects to share! The Washington History Club at Night, a program of the Gunn Historical Museum, meets in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your memories with the group or just come and listen to the fascinating conversation about our town’s past. Registration is requested, but not required. The Gunn Library is located at 5 Wykeham Rd. on Washington Green. We ask that everyone attending this in-person indoor program to please wear a face mask.

Raising the Curtain: The History of Theater in Washington

Monday, December 13, 2021 at 6:30pm on Zoom

Click Here to Register

Washington Play Poster, circa 1880

This guest lecture, co-sponsored by the Gunn Historical Museum and The Dramalites, will explore the many ways in which Washington, Connecticut residents enjoyed, performed in, and learned from the performances of plays and other entertainments from the mid 19th century to the present day. Theater in Washington at times confronted social norms and traditions, and at other times celebrated them. From anti-slavery productions to patriotic pageants and re-enactments, from commercially-produced minstrel shows to the productions of gifted amateurs such as the Dramalites, theater has been an important part of community life, bringing together residents from all walks of life.

Sarah Griswold

A graduate of the Wykeham Rise School as an Art Major back in what she calls the school’s Golden Age, Sarah Griswold is an Independent Consultant and Mentor to Cultural and nonprofit organizations throughout Connecticut.  Recent clients include the Institute for American Indian Studies and many others.  She is a board member of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community in Bridgeport.  Previously, she was Curator of the Gunn Historical Museum and Executive Director for the Seabury Society for the Preservation of the Glebe House in Woodbury, CT. Her short-lived theatrical performing career began and ended in Fourth Grade where she delighted in being the wicked stepmother in the Woodbury Elementary School production of Hansel and Gretel. While at the Gunn she presented an exhibit on Washington Theater, and she recently left the board of Bated Breath Theatre Company, an organization that is completely rethinking what it is to do theater.