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News and Upcoming Events

A Doll’s Christmas
Calling All Dolls
December 9, 2018 at 1 pm
Thankful Arnold House Museum

On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at pm, story-teller Miss Christine Fielding will entertain children with holiday stories in the historic Thankful Arnold House Museum including our favorite, “A Doll’s Christmas” by Tasha Tudor. We encourage children to bring their dolls or stuffed animals and enjoy an afternoon tea and tales of Christmas past. Appropriate for ages 3 and above.

There will be a small craft for both children and adults and our store will be open for holiday shopping. Stop by for some warm cider and step back in time.

Free and open to the public.


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.


Haddam Historical Society
Founders' Day Dinner

Sunday, November 4, 2018
5:30 pm cocktails
7:00 pm dinner
Inn at Middletown
70 Main Street, Middletown, CT
$55 per person
Entree Selections
Fillet of Salmon
Breast of Chicken Pomodoro
Beef Tenderloin Tips
*Vegetarian on request
RSVP by October 29, 2018
860-345 or

D. & H. Scovil:
The Early Years Including the
Manufacturing of Gun Barrels

Second Program in The Scovil Ledger Series

Sunday, October 28 at 2 pm
Haddam Fire Station #1, 439 Saybrook Road, Higganum, CT
Free Admission

On Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 2 pm at the Haddam Fire Station #1, 439 Saybrook Road, Higganum native, Lindamae Peck will talk about her continued research into the D. & H. Scovil company records, this time focusing on the early years of the 1840s when Daniel and Hezekiah Scovil started their firm. Interestingly, like their father Hezekiah Scovil Sr., they also manufactured gun barrels before concentrating primarily on the planters hoe. Free admission and light refreshments. For additional information visit .


Cell block Tales
Tour of the Haddam Jail
Saturday, October 20, 2018
1 pm to 4 pm

The Haddam Historical Society will host a tour of the historic Haddam Jail cellblock on October 20, 2018 from 1 pm to 4 pm. Visitors will meet some of the famous and not so well- known historic prisoners who were incarcerated in the Haddam Jail in the 19 th and 20 th centuries. Local actors and drama students will portray real characters who were incarcerated for debt to murder. Hear their stories, Learn their fate!

Admission is $5 per person, children under 12 are free. For more information visit or call 860-345-2400

September 2018

22nd Annual
Venture Smith Day

A Connecticut Freedom Trail Celebration
1 pm to 4 pm
Saturday, September 8, 2018

First Church Cemetery, Route 151 (Town Street), East Haddam, CT

Dr. Jesse Nasta, Professor of African American Studies at Wesleyan University
Karl P. Stofko, East Haddam Municipal Historian
Elizabeth Norman, Connecticut Explored
Michael Borders, Illustrator and Muralist

Past Events
August 2018

Click HERE Photo for Open House Talk reservations

July 2018

2nd Annual Croquet and Chardonnay Tournament
Saturday, July 14, 2018 4 pm to 7 pm (rain date is July 15, 2018)

Join the Haddam Historical Society for a lovely summer afternoon of croquet, wine and appetizing nibbles at the beautiful Nestledown Estate on Walkley Hill. Our knowledgeable course designers have devised both traditional and challenging layouts including the infamous Heartbreak Hill. There will be both single and double tournaments and the top three winners will earn the coveted bronze, silver or golden mallet. Croquet whites are optional and there will be a hat decoration contest. The afternoon will also feature a silent auction fundraiser. Tickets are $35 per person. Online Tickets: Click Here


Haddam Historical Society Scholarship Award, 2018
On Tuesday, June 12, 2018 the Haddam Historical Society presented its sixth annual High School Scholarship Award at the Haddam-Killingworth High School Award Ceremony to Taylor Esposito, daughter of David Esposito and Tracy Esposito of Haddam. The $500 scholarship award was based upon scholastic standing, contribution to school, community activities and interest in history. Taylor will be attending SUNY Cortland in pursuit of a BA Musical Theater degree.

The society is delighted to be able to help support the continued education of one of our community’s deserving students and advocate for the importance of history both locally and globally, noted Scholarship chair Susann Costa.

Pictured: Taylor Esposito and Scholarship Chair, Susann Costa.


June 2018

Connecticut Open House Day- June 9, 2018. 12 noon to 4 pm at the Thankful Arnold House

The Haddam Historical Society will participate in the 14th Annual Connecticut Open House Day on Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 12 Noon to 4 pm. This statewide event supported by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism is designed to broaden awareness of Connecticut’s cultural assets and encourage visitors to become ambassadors who share newfound discoveries with families and friends.


Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day- June 24, 2018. 12 noon to 4 pm at the Thankful Arnold House

Visitors will learn how herbs, vegetables and plants were used by the Widow Thankful Arnold in the early 19 th century. The Wilhelmina Ann Arnold Barnhart Memorial Garden features over 50 varieties of herbs including those used in cooking, dyeing, fragrance and medicine. The museum’s newly interpreted outhouse will also be on the tour.

This year’s activity for both adults and children will be making a small hedgehog or mouse from teasel plants grown in the garden or make a lavender sachet. Our newly published garden brochure will be featured and distributed throughout the afternoon. Light refreshments will also be served including our famous rhubarb tea. For further information visit or call 860-345-2400.


Summer Program at the Haddam Historical Society June 26 to June 29, 2018 at the Thankful Arnold House Museum

The Haddam Historical Society is pleased to announce its 13th annual summer program, “AWeek in the Life of an Early American Child,” offered for girls and boys ages 8-12. This year the program will take place Tuesday, June 26 – Friday, June 29, 2018.

Students will travel back in time to the year 1830 and spend the week with Mrs. Thankful Arnold and her family. All activities take place at the Thankful Arnold House Museum in Haddam, and they include caring for farm animals; carding, spinning and felting wool; creating a mini floorcloth; making butter; baking; playing with Colonial toys and games, and even dancing! The fee is $139 for the four days with all materials and snacks included. The first three days, Tues June 26, Wed June 27 and Thurs June 28, will be half-day sessions (9 am to noon). Friday June 29 will be a full day session (9 am to 3 pm).

For more information and registration, go to . For questions, contact Sarah Neal, Education Coordinator, The Haddam Historical Society, at or call 860 345-2400.

Haddam Historical Society, 14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, CT 06438































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