What you don’t know about Oysters

Westport Historical Society hosting a field trip to Norm Bloom & Son Copps Island Oyster Facility on Tuesday, August 30 at 9:30 am. For three generations Norm Bloom & Son has farmed and harvested oysters and clams from the clean, cold waters of the Connecticut Shore.

Participants will learn first-hand how shellfish are commercially raised and harvested, and how this valuable, green farming industry depends on good quality water. Join Norm Bloom and Harbor Watch Staff for this fun and educational experience as we board a commercial fishing boat off Norwalk, and see how oysters are harvested and processed. We will discover how water quality conditions affect the harvest of this crop. Earthplace’s Harbor Watch Program is working to improve water quality conditions in watersheds and estuaries through its local monitoring efforts at the on-site Harbor Watch/Bloom laboratory. Tour the museum which houses an extensive collection of shellfish memorabilia and artifacts about the history of this valuable local industry.

After the tour feel free to visit their adorable shop managed by Norm’s daughter Jeanne, to purchase shellfish harvested that day and other gifts related to the sea.

This tour is limited to 30 participants and you are advised to dress comfortably and bring a hat and sunscreen. WHS will provide bottled water and a light snack for all participants. To get a better view of natural wildlife, you can bring binoculars to see ospreys, gulls, terns, cormorants, egrets and other shore dwelling birds.

The tour is a $10 donation to WHS’s educational programs. Tour will be held on Tuesday, August 30 from 9:30am -11:30am. The facility is located at 7 Edgewater Place, East Norwalk. Please meet at the facility for the tour. Reservations are required. Email: sgold@westporthistory.org to reserve a spot or call 203-222-1424.

Torrington House Tour Sept. 9 & 10

The second annual Torrington House tour is taking place this year on Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the preview party is slated to be held on Friday, September 9 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

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The The 2016 Torrington house tour will feature 6 interesting homes ranging in age from 1800 to 2013. These homes offer an array of style, size and personal décor. This year’s tour also includes two re-purposed dairy barns… one of which hosts an antique flea market and one of which has been restored for private events. The house tour homes have been lovingly cared for and are literally a tour through Torrington’s history.

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The houses include the Grosskost House, a colonial revival brick house built in 1934, the Harley T. Alling House built in 1918, designed by the well-respected Torrington architect, Edwin H. Waterbury, and the Leslie E. Clark House built in the tudor style in 1930. Also on the tour is a farmhouse, Giles Whiting House, built in 1800 and listed on the State Register of Historic Places, the Alpheus Hodges House, ca 1855 at The Inn at Mount Pleasant Farm built in the Gothic Revival style home around 1855 and a large barn built in 1860 and listed on the State Register of Historic Places. The final house on the tour is called Inverness, it is a grand contemporary that was built in 2013; a highlight of this home is the 30 mile view overlooking Torrington and the Naugatuck River Valley.

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The Preview Party on September 9 will begin with a bus tour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. of the featured homes. The party continues from 7-9 party in the restored. post and beam barn at the Inn at Mt Pleasant Farm.The party includes: food, drink ,music and great ambiance. Preview Party attendees also receive free admission to the Saturday tour.

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Tickets for the house tour on Saturday, September 10 are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the tour. The house tour includes a tour of six homes, shuttle bus (optional), and printed program. Some of the of the featured homes will have music and refreshments. Check in and shuttle buses are located at the NW CT Chamber of Commerce 333 Kennedy Drive Torrington. Tickets are available online. For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

America’s Pastimes: Sports and Recreation in Litchfield @ Litchfield History Museum

This season, the Litchfield History Museum located on the Green on the corner of Rte. 63 in Litchfield has planned an exhibition celebrating the world of sports in Litchfield as it exemplifies one of America’s favorite generational pastimes.

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Sports and recreation are universal experiences. Whether we make it to the big leagues or never leave our backyards, these activities play important roles in our lives. They promote health and wellness as well as leisure and relaxation. They teach us about competition, but also about working together. They help build teams and form lasting relationships. Above all else, they encourage us to move, to think, and to interact.

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This exhibit highlights the role of sports and recreation in Litchfield from its founding to today, showcasing the stories and experiences of Litchfield residents, players, coaches, fans, and enthusiasts. To communicate the active nature of this history, the exhibit groups together sports, games, and leisure activities of both past and present based on the actions they entail, from swinging a tennis racket to playing a game of chess. The exhibit incorporates several hands-on interactives for visitors to enjoy.

So whether you want to swing a bat with the Tri-State Champion Cowboys, race your way through the Litchfield Hills, splash around in Bantam Lake, ride a high wheel to the town green, score a basket in the school gym or play cricket with the students of the Law School, this is one exhibit you won’t want to miss!

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For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Teatime in Shelton

The Second Annual Autumn Tea, complete with fancy hats, scones, sweets, and surprises, will be hosted on Saturday, September 17, by the Shelton Historical Society. It will be held at the Huntington Congregational Church, 19 Church St. from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

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A highlight of this event will be the unique table settings and centerpieces created by members and friends of the Society. Ladies who attend are encouraged to wear their best chapeau.

The afternoon also provides an opportunity to showcase some of the special items that the Society has in its collection. Members of the Historical Society’s youth group, the Teen Time Travelers, will assist and serve the refreshments.

The cost for the afternoon tea is $25 with proceeds to benefit Shelton Historical Society and its programs. Reservations for the tea must be received by September 7th and may be made by sending a check to Shelton Historical Society, P.O. Box 2155, Shelton, CT 06484. Please mark “tea party” in the memo line.

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About the Shelton Historical Society

Shelton History Center, owned and operated by Shelton Historical Society, is located at 70 Ripton Rd. and consists of six historic structures. Late last year, the Brownson House, built circa 1822, suffered severe water damage during a storm as its roof was under repair. The Society has been working to repair and restore the house this year and all proceeds from the tea will be directed toward that cause. Other structures include the Wilson Barn, built in the 1860’s, which holds an exhibit on the development of Shelton; the Trap Fall School, a one-room school built in 1872; and three outbuildings. The mission of the Historical Society is to “preserve elements of the community’s history in order to create connections between Shelton’s past, present, and future generations through education, maintaining a museum with its collections, and providing a voice in the community regarding matters of historical significance.” For additional information including directions, please call (203) 925-1803, visit www.sheltonhistoricalsociety.org or see Shelton History Center’s Facebook page.

Take a chance on a Harley

Have you ever wanted to win a Harley — and to cruise the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut amid the beautiful firecolors of fall? If this is a dream of yours then take a chance with the clever raffle offered by the New England Carousel Museum (http://www.thecarouselmuseum.org) in Bristol.

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The New England Carousel Museum draws the winning ticket for the lucky winner of its annual raffle on November 19,2016 at 7 pm! The 2500 tickets that benefit the Carousel Museum are running out, fast — to avoid disappointment buy your tickets today…it might be your lucky day!

For only $20.00 per ticket, you have a chance at this year’s first prize,a splendid 2016 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide motorcycle. The second prize is a 5′ x 8′ trailer, and the third prize is a $100.00 gift certificate redeemable at Yankee Harley Davidson in Bristol. Everyone is welcome to join them for the drawing but the winner need not be present. The winner is called immediately upon completion of the drawing.

Tickets can be purchased on line by visiting their homepage (http://www.thecarouselmuseum.org), just scroll down the page and download the raffle form. Fill out the form and send it along with your check for $20 to: The New England Carousel Museum, 95 Riverside Avenue, Bristol, CT 06010 to receive your ticket and a chance to win a Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide motorcycle! Make sure to make your check payable to the Carousel Museum!

The Museum is located at 95 Riverside Avenue, Route 72 in Bristol. For more information, call the Carousel Museum at (860) 585-5411. Fax: 860-314-0483, E-mail: info@thecarouselmuseum.org, Web site: www.thecarouselmuseum.org.

About the New England Carousel Museum

The New England Carousel Museum was founded as a nonprofit educational organization in 1990, in Bristol, Connecticut. Visitors to the Museum will tour two floors of fascinating displays, exhibits and galleries including: The New England Carousel Museum, The Museum of Fire History, The Fine Art Gallery and The Greek Museum of Art and History. In season the New England Carousel Museum also manages the historic Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford CT.

Two special exhibitions at Fairfield Museum and History Center

The Fairfield Museum and History Center, located on 370 Beach Road in Fairfield is hosting two special shows through September 18 and both relate to the rich cultural heritage of Connecticut.

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The first special exhibition is called, “Connecticut, 1940: Farms, Factories and the Photographs of Jack Delano”. In 1940 and ‘41, photographer Jack Delano (1914–1997) documented farm and city life in Connecticut for the Farm Security Administration. In rare early color photographs as well as black-and-white images, Delano captured views of Connecticut as it recovered from the Great Depression, showing views of farmers, factory workers, and commuters. Born in Ukraine, Delano emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1923 and studied art and music at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. A musician and composer as well as a photographer, Delano traveled throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico as a FSA photographer before serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, he settled with his wife Irene in Puerto Rico, where he lived for the rest of his life.

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The second exhibition is fun for the whole family and is called “Fabulous Animals” that showcases the illustrated world of Robert Lawson who had a long and distinguished career as an artist and children’s book illustrator and author from 1892-1957. Perhaps best known for illustrations of The Story of Ferdinand and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Lawson is the only artist and author to have won both the Caldecott and the Newbery Awards. A resident of Westport, Connecticut, Lawson and his wife Marie, also an illustrator, lived at Rabbit Hill, pictured in Robert Lawson’s book Rabbit Hill (1945). The exhibition features a range of Lawson’s original drawings and paintings. Sponsored by CT Humanities; special thanks to Maureen Aron and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

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Visitors to the Fairfield Museum and History Center will also view an ongoing exhibition called “Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past” . This hands-on exhibition invites visitors to explore the history of Fairfield and its region over the past four centuries. Look inside a Native American wigwam, climb into an American Revolution fort, decipher a spy code, and look through the windows of a trolley. Young and old alike will enjoy learning how people worked, lived, and built communities over time by exploring original objects, individual stories, and engaging activities.

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For more area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

Paris Lights up the Bruce Museum in Greenwich

Paris had been known as the City of Light long before the widespread use of gaslight and electricity. The name arose during the Enlightenment, when philosophers made Paris a center of ideas and of metaphorical illumination. By the mid-nineteenth century, the epithet became associated with the city’s adoption of artificial lighting: in the 1840s and 1850s, gas lamps were first widely installed, while electric versions began to proliferate by the end of the 1870s. Even as rivals, including Berlin, London, New York, and Chicago, increased the quantity of light in their rapidly electrified cities, Paris managed to maintain its reputation because of the beauty of its illuminations. Light remained and remains to this day a key signature of the French capital.

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Electric Paris at the Bruce Museum on One Museum Dr. in Greenwich Connecticut is the first exhibition to explore the ways in which artists responded to older oil and gas lamps and the newer electric lighting that began to supplant them around the turn of the twentieth century. While artificially illuminated public spaces and private interiors appear frequently in works of art and popular depictions of contemporary life during this period, the different types of lighting that animate such spaces – and their distinctive visual properties – have not been considered in detail.

Approximately 50 works – paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs – by such artists as Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jean Béraud, James Tissot, Charles Marville, Childe Hassam, Charles Courtney Curran, Alfred Maurer, and Maurice Prendergast, among others, will be on view.

Each of the exhibition’s four sections – Nocturnes, Lamplit Interiors, Street Light, In and Out of the Spotlight – reveals the prominent role of artificial illumination in the art of the period and in the making and transformation of modern Paris. Whether nostalgic renderings of gaslit boulevards, starkly illuminated dance halls, or abstracted prisms of electric streetlamps, the works of art on view suggest the diverse ways in which Parisians experienced the city as it transitioned from old to new technologies.

On view and opening on the same day as Electric Paris, the science galleries will sizzle with excitement with a show called Electricity. The show, developed by the Franklin Institute, brings the science and history of electricity to life through engaging, hands-on interactives. Visitors will learn the fundamental principles behind electricity such as magnetic fields, electric charges and battery technology.

For more area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com