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MHS Adult Programs

Conversations with the Curator

For current and new MHS Members
Variable dates, times, and locations, announced prior to each occasion
Refreshments are served.
Please RSVP at 203.245.4567.

An adult education program offered at varied occasional intervals, these casual and informative conversations focus on notable items in the MHS collection. Tricia Royston, MHS board member and exhibits chair, leads each program. These free programs are offered to MHS members as a benefit of membership. New members are welcome to join at the door.



The Frederick Lee Lectures

Typically offered during the winter months, this annual series of three monthly lectures covers a variety of topics from important persons and historic places and events to matters of preservation, conservation, and stewardship. Offered on select Sunday afternoons, each of these superb and stimulating programs is open to MHS members and to the public. 

Admission: $5 adults; $4 MHS members; $2 students and children ages 10 and older
4 pm on selected Sundays (see below)
Hubley Hall at the Franklin A. Bower Church House of the First Congregational Church of Madison
on the Madison Green (26 Meetinghouse Lane)
All programs are recommended for adults and children 10 and older.
Note: In the event of inclement weather, each program will be delayed until the immediately following Sunday. 
For more information, call 203.245.4567.

Tenth Anniversary Season: A Commemoration of World War I
The 2017 Frederick Lee Lectures will complement the collaborative MHS/CLEMA exhibition, Over Here, Over There: Madison in World War I. Three humanities professionals will offer unique programs that describe historical events and trends in this world-changing era.

Note: After each Lecture in 2017, the MHS Exhibition Hall at Lee's Academy will be open from 5 to 6 pm. Refreshments will be offered.

January 8 (snow date January 15) 
The Decisive Day
Presenter: Mark Albertson
Author Mark Albertson reveals the world-changing effects of April 6, 1917, when the U. S. Congress declared war and in doing so established the role of the United States as a world power.

February 12 (snow date February 19)
Sergeant Stubby: How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation
Presenter: Ann Bausum|
Award-winning author Ann Bausum tells the story of a valiant dog who made life-saving a personal mission in WWI.

March 12 (snow date March 19) 
Sirens on the Front Line: Ambulance Drivers in the Great War
Presenter: George King and Jeff Klinger
George King and Jeff Klinger help us discover the essential life-saving roles of the ambulance drivers who served at the front in World War I.

Field Trips

Occasional guided field trips are a delightful addition to MHS programs for adults, high school and college students, and children.

2017 date to be announced
Smallpox Burying Ground Tour
9 am to 11 am

$5 per person 18 and older; free to MHS members and children.

Presenters Joel Helander and Lyle Cubberly will lead this brief, easy hike to the historic pock lot, owned by and under the protection of the Madison Historical Society. Learn about the eighteenth-century smallpox epidemics and about the local soldiers who fought in the French and Indian War and returned with a disease that required their quarantine from the loved ones who awaited their return.

Please meet at the commuter lot on Goose Lane, near I-95 exit 59, in Guilford shortly before 9 am. At 9 am sharp, we will travel to the nearby trailhead in individual participants' cars. We highly recommend sturdy, weather-resistant walking shoes. You may also wish to carry a walking stick and use tick and insect repellent.

The MHS History Book Group

A history book discussion group, led by MHS board member Lyle Cubberly, Ph.D., and by other volunteer members, meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the Allis-Bushnell House at 853 Boston Post Road. Please note that handicapped access is available; limited parking is in the rear. (In case of inclement weather, the group typically delays the meeting to the fourth Tuesday of the month.)

At each meeting, participants can offer suggestions for readings. Books set aside at the E. C. Scranton Memorial Library in Madison can be borrowed by library-card-holding participants.

MHS members and the public are welcome at no charge. Drop-in visitors and teen readers are welcome.

For more information, please contact the MHS at 203.245.4567. You may add your email address to a History Book Group list by writing an email to moderator Lyle Cubberly at

2017 History Book Group Schedule and Titles

January 17
1415: Agincourt

Anne Curry

As night fell in Picardy on Thursday October 24, 1415, Henry V and his English troops, worn down by their long march after the taking of Harfleur and diminished by the dysentery they had suffered there, can little have dreamt that the battle of the next day would give them one of the most complete victories ever won. Anne Curry’s startling history recreates the campaign and battle from the perspectives of the English and the French. One of the best battle accounts ever published, Anne Curry has updated this classic work in honor of 600th anniversary of Agincourt.

February 21
The Concise History of Ireland
(NEW edition)
Sean Duffy

This one-volume survey is complemented by maps, photographs, and diagrams. Duffy has written a text of exceptional clarity, stressing the enduring themes of Ireland's long cultural continuity; the central importance of its relationships with Britain and mainland Europe; and the intractability of the ethnic and national divisions in modern Ulster.

March 21
Mohawk Baronet - Sir William Johnson

James Thomas Flexner

In this "scholarly, stirring, and brightly written study," Flexner writes an in-depth biography of one of the most interesting figures in eighteenth-century America. Full of color and incident, it illuminates Indian life, the colonial frontier, the wars with the French, the economic forces based on furtrading and land speculation, and the tangled relations of the crown, royal governors, and New World assemblies. The personality of the indomitable Johnson, has" never before been so effectively depicted."

April 18
1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Eric H. Cline

In this account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Cline tells the gripping story of interconnected failures, invasions revolts, earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to and ultimately destroyed the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

May 16
The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream

H. W. Brands

“I have found it.” These words, uttered by the man who first discovered gold on the American River in 1848, triggered the most astonishing mass movement of peoples since the Crusades. California’s gold drew fortune-seekers from the ends of the earth. It accelerated America’s imperial expansion and exacerbated the tensions that exploded in the Civil War. And, as H. W. Brands makes clear in this spellbinding book, the Gold Rush inspired a new American dream—the “dream of instant wealth, won by audacity and good luck.” He tells this epic story from the perspectives of adventurers, entrepreneurs, prospectors, soldiers, and scoundrels, imparting a visceral sense of the distances they traveled, the suffering they endured, and the fortunes they made and lost.

June 20
The Jesuit Relations

Allan Greer

Vitally important, the writings of seventeenth-century French Jesuits in Native North America tell the story of early American encounters. This new edition deftly binds these firsthand accounts into an accessible sampler. A detailed introduction provides background on the missionaries, the Indians, and their cohabitation in early North America. The journal entries describe the Huron, Algonquin, Iroquois, and Montagnais peoples.

July 18

August 22

September 19

October 17

November 21

December 19

For more information, call 203.245.4567.





Madison Historical Society
14 Meetinghouse Lane
Madison, CT 06443-3155