Thankful Arnold House The Haddam Historical Society
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The Haddam Historical Society is open on an APPOINTMENT ONLY basis

Visitors must call ahead for an appointment at least 48 hours in advance so we can make sure staff is available. MASKS required and social distancing will be followed.


Thanksgiving Weekend
History Scavenger Hunt

The Haddam Historical Society is sponsoring a drive-around-town History Scavenger Hunt over Thanksgiving Day Weekend (November 25-29). The hunt has 10 questions and participants will venture around Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck to locate the answers. Each question will start with background information containing clues, and then ask you to locate a building or site, of which there are several examples in town. No two answer sheets need to be the same!

This family fun activity will allow you to explore our town’s rich heritage. We are asking that groups/families take a photo of each of their 10 answers and post to Instagram with #haddamhistory. You will also email your answer sheet to the Haddam Historical Society which puts your team in the drawing for the grand prize.

The Scavenger Hunt clues will be distributed (via email) Wednesday, November 25, and teams will have five days to complete the hunt at their own pace. Registration is required for a nominal fee of $ 10 per group, and you can register online.

Please practice social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols during the hunt. We ask that you respect private property.


Connecticut's Historic Gardens 2021 Poster Art Contest

Connecticut's Historic Gardens is seeking artwork for a poster to advertise the 2021 Conneticut's Historic Gardens Day. Deadline for submission is Feburary 28, 2021. Visit for more information.



Labor Day Weekend Scavenger Hunt
September 5-7, 2020

The Haddam Historical Society is hosting a family scavenger hunt over Labor Day Weekend to inspire residents to learn more about the heritage of their community and what makes it so special. Groups will be tasked to “hunt” for remnants of our past and legacy items we honor today. The adventure may bring you to places you have never visited or teach you about people who had a significant effect on our town’s character. Groups will be able to complete the “hunt” at their own pace over the three-day weekend.

Clues will be distributed on Saturday morning at the Thankful Arnold House Museum. Registration is required for a nominal fee of $10 per group/family. All groups who complete the “hunt” will receive a prize and entered in a grand prize drawing.


Thankful Arnold House Museum
Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day
Sunday, June 28, 2020 NOON to 4 pm

Celebrating Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day will be a little different in 2020 due to Covid-19. Visitors to the museum garden will learn how herbs, vegetables and plants were used by the Widow Thankful Arnold in the early 19th century. The Wilhelmina Ann Arnold Barnhart Memorial Garden features over 50 varieties of herbs including those used in cooking, dyeing, fragrance and medicine. Guides will be hand to answer questions. The event is free of charge but reserved, timed tickets are required through Eventbrite: The tours will last 45 minutes and the limit is 8 visitors per tour.

Please note that guests are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering during their visit and practice social distancing. The museum will not have guided tours and gift shop will not be open. The museum is located at 14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, Connecticut.


Connecticut Spring Antiques Show

March 21 and 22, 2020
The Hartford Armory
360 Broad Street, Hartford CT

For tickets and information visit

Haddam Shad Museum
Currently not open due to Covid 19
The Haddam Shad Museum will be open on Sunday 10 am to 3 pm from April 5 to June 14, 2020. The museum, the only one of its kind in the United States, displays the history of shad fishing on the Connecticut River since Colonial days. We will be glad to open it by appointment at other times for any groups interested. The Museum Directors are familiar with both commercial and sport shad fishing. The Museum is located at 212 Saybrook Road, behind the American Oil Gas Station in Higganum, CT. For information call 860-267-0388


28 th Annual
Winter Woolies Knitting Circle
January 19, 2020
February 2, 2020

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m
Thankful Arnold House Museum
14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, CT
Do you have a knitting or needlework project that has been sitting around waiting for you to finish it? Join Beth Hartke to work on that neglected piece or start a new one and enjoy the company of others with NO modern-day intrusions. Registration is required, since space is limited. Admission is free.

For further information call Lisa at Haddam Historical Society 345-2400 or

JANUARY 1, 2020 AT 1 PM

Name of Park: Haddam Meadows State Park
Name of Trail: No specific trail as this park is open
Time of Event: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Meeting Location: By parking lot at entrance of park
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Minimum Age for Children: Children ,under 16 years of age ,must be accompanied by an adult
 Any restrictions? (i.e. no pets p ermitted):  Pets must be leashed and well-behaved
Length of Hike: About 2 miles

Things to bring (water, snowshoes, snacks, etc.) Wear sturdy shoes.  If snow cover is deep, snowshoes are encouraged.  Bring water.

Cancellation Information: (phone, e-mail, text? call?)  Stormy weather and/or extreme cold will cancel the hike.  Email; Cancellation will also be posted on local (Haddam) Facebook pages

 The  approximately two -mile hike will include  the following: history, ecology, the human impact on the landscape, native plants  found in the memorial butterfly garden and opportunities to volunteer at the park.



On November 3, 2019 the Haddam Historical Society awarded the 2019 Founders’ Day Award to father/daughter duo, Bill and Laura Schneider.

Bill Schneider has served on the Board of Directors for multiple terms, holding the position of Vice President for a number of years. He is the organizations graphic designer and has been responsible for designing everything from our membership brochure to our house tour programs. Bill was one of the leads on the archeological dig, has been involved with our collaboration with the Haddam Shad Museum and volunteers for most events and programs.

Laura Schneider is the youngest person ever to receive the award. Laura arrived in 2009, as a camper in our “A Week in the Life of An Early American Child” and has been a fixture at the society since then. She has worked as a camp assistant, tour guide, photographer, office assistant, shop keeper, traffic control, and all -around good sport.

She has catalogued collections items, scanned countless photos and documents and was instrumental in the archaeological dig. She has helped out at most fundraisers and tours and is probably one of the most organized people we know.


Higganum Landing
National Register Historic District

The Society is thrilled to announce that the Higganum Landing National Register District has been approved by the National Park Service (before shutdown) and is now official. This is the third National Register District in Haddam. The other two consist of the Haddam Center National Register District and Camp Bethel National Register District. The town has one individual listing on the National Register, the James Hazelton House.

Higganum Landing Nomination


Pictured: Jack Calhoun, John Stellenwerf, Barbara Stellenwerf and Dianne McHutchison

Haddam Historical Society Founders’ Day Awards 2018

Haddam: On Sunday, November 4, 2018, the Haddam Historical Society held its 40 th Annual Founders’ Day Dinner which pays tribute to the town’s founding fathers and mothers as well as the Native Americans from whom the Plantation at Thirty Mile Island was purchased for 30 coats in 1662.

Each year the Society bestows the Founders’ Day award to a person or persons who have performed an outstanding service to the organization and contributed to furthering the mission of the Haddam Historical Society, which is to preserve, collect, interpret and promote the history and heritage of Haddam for present and future generations.

This year the Society honored a number of worthy individuals who have not only supported the Historical Society but have given back to the community at large in a number of significant ways.

John and Barbara Stellenwerf are long time members of the Society who have assisted at many events and in particular working on the appearance and flowers at the Connecticut Spring Antiques Show. They are also extremely active in the Haddam Garden Club and Brainerd Memorial Library.

Dianne McHutchison has served as the President for the Haddam Historical Society for the last two years and has overseen numerous projects including our new garden shed, strategic plan and an archaeological dig. She is the former president of the Haddam Neck Fair Association and continues to serve on the Fair’s Board of Directors. She is involved with the Haddam Neck Congregational Church, Haddam Neck Quilt Show and local land conservation efforts.

Former State Trooper and life-long Higganum resident Jack Calhoun has devoted his time to many causes in town from the Lions to serving on Capital Planning Commission and the Haddam’s Zoning Board of Appeals. He is extremely active with the Higganum Congregational Church and volunteers for many local fundraisers including Grimm’s Haunted House. He has been the Haddam Historical Society’s liaison with the Haddam Shad Museum over the past few years to ensure the museum remains in town. He is a wonderful story-teller and resource of local history and tales.

The Society also honored our dear friend the late Doug Roper who was always available when we needed him. His talent to fix or figure anything out was a gift, and the Society frequently called on Doug to help us with minor to major problems. He would rush down to the Thankful Arnold House Museum in a minute when we called and helped keep the museum and grounds in tip-top shape. He will be missed dearly.
































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