Gift from Bauer Trust for 2010 MHS Lee's Academy Exhibition
The Erwin Bauer Charitable Trust will once again be an underwriter of an important MHS project. An exhibit on the history of Lee's Academy and the development of academic academies in Connecticut during the nineteenth century will open at Lee's Academy in June 2010. Lee's Academy is a significant historic structure and an important element in Madison's history. The exhibit will interpret the original use of the academy through archival images, documents, and artifacts. Funds from the Bauer Trust will cover the costs to assemble, produce, and install text panels, labels, and photographs. The Erwin C. Bauer Charitable Trust is a private foundation that supports a range of public and charitable projects and organizations created for the benefit of residents of Madison. The MHS is proud to be supported by the Bauer Trust.
March 2009: Congratulations to the MHS Exhibits Committee
The MHS has been honored with an Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations for its exhibition, A Road Runs Through It: How the Turnpike Transformed Madison. Spearheaded by MHS board member Paulette Kaufmann, the exhibit offers a look back in the rear-view mirror to 1958, when the Connecticut Turnpike changed the place and pace of Madison. Community interest in the exhibit was energized in October by a visit from Connecticut's Governor Jodi Rell and officials from the State Department of Transportation. Its success has inspired the MHS to continue its efforts to create high-caliber programs and exhibitions for the education and entertainment of the community. The MHS offers special thanks to the many Madison citizens who supported this exhibit, which will be open to the public again in the summer of 2009.
February 2009: MHS Board of Directors Elects New Officers
Lynn Friedman has been elected by the Board of Directors as the new president of the MHS, and Paulette C. Kaufmann has been elected the Society's new Vice President. A former president of the Norwalk Historical Society and former historian of the Rowayton Historical Society, Ms. Friedman replaces Robert M. Green, who served for the last three years and will continue to serve on the Board. Both Friedman and Kaufmann have been MHS Board members since 2006; Lynn also served as the Society's first Executive Director.
July 2008: Herzogs Receive 2008 Jane R. Kuhl Award
The MHS presented the 2008 Jane R. Kuhl Award to John and Diana Herzog in July 2008 for their commitment to historic preservation in Madison. The Herzogs have single-handedly saved two of the town's oldest historic houses from demolition. They purchased and are in the process of restoring both the 1720 David Field House on Green Hill Road and the 1730 Shelley House on the Boston Post Road. Mr. and Mrs. Herzog are residents of Madison.
May 2008: 1730 Shelley House Is Saved
How do you make a historic house a home, especially when it is one of the ten most endangered historic sites in Connecticut? On Saturday, May 8, visitors had a chance to find out for themselves when the MHS hosted a tour of the 1730 Shelley House at 248 Boston Post Road. The colonial structure is cited in the National Register of Historic Places. It was recently acquired by a Madison resident who serves on the advisory council of the CT Trust for Historic Preservation, who is having the building restored.
Morning tours ($5) were conducted by noted architectural historian James Sexton, Ph.D, who has served as a consultant to many history groups along the shoreline. MHS volunteers offered free tours in the afternoon. MHS Board members Kim Agresta and Susani Amuan chaired the event.
Visitors were able to view exhibits about the history of the house, and refreshments were served. Charles Shelley, a descendant of the colonial owners of the house was present to talk about the history of the Shelley family, and local builders Peter Gulick and John Spradlin were on hand to explain their painstaking approach to restoring historic properties. “We aim to undo the damage done by people, insects, and weather,” Gulick explained. “We want to keep as many of the original materials as possible and update the structures in a style that fits the house.” Last July the MHS awarded Gulick the Jane Kuhl Award for Historic Preservation in Madison for his rehabilitation of the 1690 Jonathan Murray House on Scotland Avenue.
January 2008: Teresa H. Johnson Bequest Benefits MHS Education Fund
In January 2008 the Madison Historical Society was the grateful recipient of a very generous bequest from the Estate of Teresa H. Johnson. The widow of Dr. Harry J. Johnson, an expert in preventive medicine, Teresa H. Johnson was a longtime supporter of the Society. For many years she and her husband lived in Madison in the c. 1745 Ensign Nathaniel Stevens House on Summer Hill Road. Over the years, the Johnsons were generous to many educational causes, providing college scholarships to graduating seniors in New York City as well as at Madison’s Daniel Hand High School, where two four-year scholarships are granted each year.
The arrival of this donation was particularly timely, coming on the heels of the Society’s renewed dedication to its Children’s Education Program. Acknowledging Mrs. Johnson’s commitment to education, the Board of Directors of the MHS has voted to use the monies to create the Teresa H. Johnson Education Fund, which will now enable the MHS to work with more educators and students in more schools throughout the system.
In 2007 the newly reorganized MHS Education Committee had already begun a study of ways to improve the Society’s outreach program to Madison’s public schools. Peter Bizier, a Social Studies teacher at Madison’s R. H. Brown Middle School, has recently become the committee chairman. Among the educational plans under development is a living-history program about Chloe Bushnell—feminist, abolitionist, and mother of Cornelius S. Bushnell, the developer of the USS Monitor.