Ukrainian Egg (Pysanky) Decorating Workshop for Adults and Kids

On March 24 from 1 – 3 p.m. the Wilton Historical Society is hosting a Ukrainian Egg decorating workshop just in time for the Easter Holiday.

Participants will learn the colorful and venerable craft of decorating eggs in the Ukrainian style, known as pysanky (their name is derived from the Ukrainian verb meaning to write). Expert egg decorator Susan Clark will lead this workshop for adults and children on Saturday, March 24 from 1:00 – 3:00 at the Wilton Historical Society. This ancient craft uses symbols and motifs to create a jewel-like egg. Intricate designs can be created with geometric forms, or with more naturalistic, flowing patterns. Participants will be using a kistka, a pointed implement a bit like a pen, filled with beeswax and heated, to draw designs on the eggs between bathing them in colored dye. Decorate eggs in a traditional design, or create your own.

For adults and children ages 9 and up. Children ages 6-8 must be accompanied by adult. Wilton Historical Society Members $20; Non-members $25. Registration required: or call 203-762-7257.
The Wilton Historical Society 224 Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897

Did You Know?
“According to Ukrainian folklore, the fate of the world depends on pysanky, intricately decorated dyed Easter eggs. As long as people make pysanky, it is said, a monster personifying evil will remain chained to its cliff and the world will be safe.” – The New York Times, , 4/5/1984

Patriotic Posters @ Bruce Museum

The variety of approaches that government agencies used to encourage widespread participation in the war effort was impressive, from the allure of artist Howard Chandler Christy’s young woman who, in a 1917 poster, seductively proclaimed, “I Want You for the Navy,” to the inquisitional tone of a war loan poster of the next year: “Are you 100% American? Prove it! Buy U.S. Government Bonds.”

Other posters combine image and text in ingenious, surprising, and sometimes disturbing combinations. In one of the iconic wartime posters from 1918, artist Joseph Pennell powerfully imagined a partially destroyed Statute of Liberty and New York City aflame in the background, with the plea, “That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth / Buy Liberty Bonds / Fourth Liberty Loan.”

“This show represents a hallmark of the Bruce — to develop creative ways to showcase our collection in meaningful exhibitions that link artistic works with human history on a global and local scale,” says Kirsten Reinhardt, museum registrar. “These posters were displayed all over the country, including in Greenwich, and the power of their message remains strong today.”

Once hailed as “the War to End All Wars,” World War I was one of the largest and deadliest conflicts in human history. Over 70 million personnel were mobilized, and more than 9 million military combatants and 7 million civilians died during the four and a half years of conflict, much of it spent in the grueling stalemate of trench warfare.

After long pursuing a policy of non-intervention, the United States entered the war on April 6, 1917. Responding to patriotic appeals and passage of the Selective Service Act, four million Americans served in uniform during the Great War, including, for the first time, thousands of women. In all, 116,516 U.S. soldiers gave their lives in combat, and an additional 200,000 were wounded, a casualty rate far greater than in World War II. According to “Greenwich, An Illustrated History,” 30 young men from Greenwich were either killed in action or died from their wounds.

Patriotic Persuasion: American Posters of the First World War is organized by Elizabeth D. Smith, Zvi Grunberg Resident Fellow 2017-18, in consultation with Ken Silver, Adjunct Curator at the Bruce Museum and author of Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-garde and the First World War, 1914-1925. The exhibition is generously supported by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund, with support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

Related Programs:

Film: The Great War, March 21 & 28
Drawing on unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, the PBS documentary The Great War tells the story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The two-part series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers,” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. It is a story of heroism and sacrifice that would ultimately claim 15 million lives and profoundly change the world forever.
March 21, 10:30 – 11:30 am. The Great War: Part I (2018) PBS (60 minutes)
March 28, 10:30 – 11:30 am. The Great War: Part II (2018) PBS (60 minutes)
Advance reservations required at Free for Bruce members, $10 for non-members (includes Museum admission).

Monday, April 16, 10:00 – 11:00 am. Monday Morning Lecture. “America Calls”: Mobilizing Artists during the Great War” by Robin Jaffee Frank, Ph.D. Before, during, and after World War I, American artists of all generations, aesthetic styles, regions, and political points of view developed imagery to express ideas about the imperiled world in which they lived. When the United States finally entered the ongoing conflict—marking the first time American troops were sent overseas to defend foreign soil—President Woodrow Wilson mobilized artists to design posters to support the war effort. This lecture will explore seductive and persuasive propaganda in the context of the larger response of artists (including painters and sculptors) to the “war to end all wars.”

Robin Jaffee Frank has organized exhibitions, lectured, and published widely on American visual culture from the colonial through contemporary periods. She organized World War I Beyond the Trenches at the New-York Historical Society in 2017. From 2011 to 2016, Robin was Chief Curator of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, where she oversaw an encyclopedic collection of 50,000 objects, and led the curatorial team through the museum’s major renovation and reinstallation. Prior to working at the Wadsworth, Robin was a curator at the Yale University Art Gallery. Advance reservations required at Free for Bruce members, $10 for non-members (includes Museum admission).

About the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum is located in a park setting just off I-95, exit 3, at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is also a 5-minute walk from the Metro-North Greenwich Station. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with ID, and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at

Medicinal Monday – Dogwoods

No taller than 25 feet, the dogwood tree grows from Maine to Florida and as far west as Texas. For many, it is a symbol of spring with its pink or white blossoms, and to Native Americans, it marks the time when crops can be planted. Some, consider it to be one of the most beautiful flowering trees in America. Native Americans long recognized the many medicinal attributes of the dogwood tree and used the roots, berries, and leaves of this tree in many ingenious ways.

Distinguishing Characteristics
With its three to five-inch blossoms and graceful form, the dogwood tree, that is native to North America is beautiful year-round. The dogwood tree usually blossoms in April. An interesting fact is that the blossoms of this tree are not actually flowers but a type of leaf known as bracts. The blossoms last for three or four weeks, and the scarlet berries that follow them can linger into the early winter months. In the summer the dogwood’s beautiful green leaves give way to beautiful scarlet fall foliage and the dark mottled pattern of the bark of this tree provides a beautiful contrast to winter snow. There are eleven species of dogwood trees native to the United States.

Medicinal Uses
Dogwood trees are more than pretty fragrant blossoms to Native Americans who consider these trees as symbols of protection and safety in southeastern Native American tribes. In some Mohawk communities, the primeval Tree of Life in the Sky World is said to be a giant dogwood tree. In Northwestern tribes such as the Quileute and Makah, the dogwood symbolizes good luck. Tribes with dogwood clans include the Zuni tribe, which is called Pikchikwe.

The bark of dogwood tree is a rich source of bitter-tasting tannins. A tea made from the inner bark was used by Native Americans to treat malaria and fever, especially during the Civil War. It was also used to treat pneumonia, colds, and diarrhea; and taken to improve digestion. The berries and roots of the dogwood tree were also used to make a dye. Berries were eaten and could be put into a stew. Dogwood sap, however, is toxic and it is reported that some tribes used this as a poison.

Externally, the inner bark of the dogwood tree was used to heal ulcers and sores. The Cherokee chewed on the bark to relieve a headache and the Arikara mixed it with bearberry. The inner bark was also mixed with tobacco to be used in sacred pipes. Another ingenious use of this tree in the early 19th century was that the Native Americans used the twigs of the dogwood tree to clean their teeth as we would use a toothbrush or toothpick today.

Five Fun Facts About Dogwoods
The English language developed the phrase “dog tree” in 1548. It derived from the word “dagwood” because its slender stems were used for making narrow items like daggers, arrows, and skewers. The name was changed to dogwood in 1614.

Some believe the name dogwood originated because people would wash their dogs in hot dogwood water to treat skin conditions such as mange. Others thought the sound of the wind blowing through the leaves of a dogwood tree sounded like a pack of dogs barking.

Fruit and seed of the dogwood tree are an important source of food for birds and mammals.

During the Victorian Era, men would give an unmarried woman they wanted to court a dogwood blossom to determine her affection for him. Acceptance of the flower was a signal that the lady was interested, a flower that was returned was a sign of unrequited love.

Wood from the dogwood tree is used in the manufacture of roller skates, tool handles, spools, spindles and golf club heads.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Through archaeology, the IAIS is able to build new understandings of the world and history of Native Americans, the focus is on stewardship and preservation. This is achieved through workshops, special events, and education for students of all ages.

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS has an outdoor Three Sisters and Healing Plants Gardens as well as a replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village. Inside the museum, authentic artifacts are displayed in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary exhibits from prehistory to the present that allows visitors a walk through time. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut and can be reached online or by calling 860-868-0518.

Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps: Their History, Memories and Legacy

The Historical Society of Easton will be celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the founding of one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s most successful programs during the Great Depression with a lecture on the History of Civilian Conservation Corps in Connecticut given by Marty Podskoch, an award-winning author, and historian. The PowerPoint presentation and lecture will be held on Sunday, March 18th at 4 PM at the Easton Public Library’s Community Room, 691 Morehouse Road, Easton.

Did you know that Connecticut had 21 Civilian Conservation Camps? The lecture will explore the Civilian Conservation Corps Camps that sprinkled Connecticut’s countryside, the works they accomplished and their legacy. The CCC was a public works program established as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal which operated from 1933 to 1942. It focused on young men and veterans in relief families who had difficulty finding employment during the Great Depression. The program provided unskilled manual labor related to environmental conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands. The US Army supervised the camps which had approximately 200 men each. Workers built trails, roads, campsites, dams, stocked fish, built and maintained fire towers, observers’ cabins and telephone lines, fought fires and planted millions of trees. The program was disbanded in 1942 due to the need for men in WWII.

Marty Podskoch a retired reading teacher and an award-winning author who has been recognized for his extensive work researching and documenting the history of the Catskills, the Adirondack fire towers, and the Civilian Conservation Corps Camps. Soon he will release a travel guide called Connecticut 169 Club: Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut. Marty will have several of his books available for sale and signing after the lecture.

While the lecture is free to all to attend, donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated to support the Historical Society’s efforts and future events. For more information please call the Historical Society of Easton at 203-292-3533, email us at or visit our website:

March Meeting of the Gunn Historical Museum’s Washington History Club in the Morning

The Gunn Historical Museum’s Washington History Club in the Morning will meet at the Washington Senior Center on Monday, March 19 at 10am. The topic of discussion will be the history of the Washington Supply Company. Founded in 1893, and celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, The Supply is a Washington institution with a long history. Valerie Sedelnick, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Supply Co., Jay Combs, Vice President and Service Manager, and former employees will be in attendance and join in the conversation. Bring your memories, stories, photographs, and object to share!

Washington Supply Company in Washington Depot by Joseph West in May 1915.
Photograph from the collection of the Gunn Historical Museum.

The Washington History Club in the Morning is a program of the Gunn Historical Museum and meets the third Monday of the months of September, December, March and June at 10:00am at the Washington Senior Center to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your memories and stories with the group or just come and listen to the fascinating conversation about our town’s past. Bring your photos and objects for show and tell!

Everyone is invited to attend this free program. The Washington Senior Center is located at 6 Bryan Hall Plaza, Washington Depot, CT 06794. Call the Gunn Museum at 860-868-7756 or view for more information.

Trial of the Century: Nuremberg Trials Lecture at Westport Historical Society

On  Thursday, March 15 from  7 – 8 pm,  Historian Mark Albertson,  joins the Westport Historical Society to recreate November 20, 1945, 10 a.m. In the old fortress prison in Nuremberg, northern Germany, 23 defendants fill the prisoners’ dock in the central courtroom, some of them the elite of Nazi political gangsterdom. The ensuing trials would be an effort to dispense justice in lieu of vindictive retribution. If the world were to have any chance to heal, the Rule of Law would have to prevail. Citing violations of international law such as crimes against humanity, crimes against peace, and war crimes, the Nuremberg judges would create for posterity volumes of evidence, court proceedings, and judgments to serve as a model for post-war humankind as a way to build a better world.

 In the end, Nuremberg produced not the judgment of God or the judgment of history, but humankind’s judgment of its own: an admission that organizations do not start wars or commit atrocities, but people do. And be it a head of state or a lowly military private, nobody should be above the law.

 Mark Albertson is an historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America. A longtime member of the United States Naval Institute, he has authored several books, including USS Connecticut: Constitution State Battleship, They’ll Have to Follow You!: The Triumph of the Great White Fleet, and On History: A Treatise. Mark is currently at work on another book, Sky Soldiers: The Saga of Army Aviation.

Mark has published numerous articles on issues of history and current events and is an avid speaker on a variety of issues on history. In May 2005, he was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly for his efforts in commemorating the centennial of the battleship USS Connecticut. Mark teaches history at Norwalk Community College for the Extended Studies Program and the Lifetime Learners Institute. Learn more at 

 Nuremberg Trials, Thursday, March 15, 7-8 pm Westport Historical Society 25 Avery Place, across from Town hall. To register, go to or 203-222-1424. Suggested Admission $10 members, $15 nonmembers. Light refreshments will be served.

Audubon Sharon hosts MapleFest along with Maple Bake Sale

Audubon Sharon will be holding its annual MapleFest on Saturday, March 17 between 12 and 4 pm at the Sharon Audubon Center, Route 4, Sharon, CT. On-going guided 45-minute tours will lead visitors through the Center’s sugaring operation, including a working sugarhouse and a re-creation of Native American and early colonial sugaring methods. Participants can watch as pure sugar maple sap is collected from the trees and turned into delicious maple syrup. Admission for the event is $6.00 adults and $4.00 children (2 and under free.) Wear warm clothes and boots, as much of the tour is outdoors.

Fresh, homemade maple baked goods and coffee will also be available for purchase during the day as part of the Maple Bake Sale. Each treat will be made with the Center’s very own maple syrup! Fresh syrup will be available for purchase while supplies last, as well as locally made maple candy.

For more information on MapleFest or the Audubon Sharon sugaring operation, contact the Audubon Center at (860) 364-0520, visit, or like us on Facebook.