Camping and More @ Lake Compounce this Summer

Bear Creek Campground is one of Connecticut’s most amazing campgrounds in the Litchfield Hills and opens in May. This campground is part of Lake Compounce, a family-friendly destination with an award-winning roller coaster, several water parks, and even an antique carousel.

Bayou Bay is an enormous wave pool that is the perfect place for youngsters and teens alike and is the perfect place to splash around. Another top two attractions is a family rafting experience that twists and turns down Mammoth Falls and if you like to slip and slide at top notch speed, try out the slide called the rip tide racer. For younger kids five and under, the lazy Croc-O- Nile river wade pool is a perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. If your kids love pirate ships, don’t miss Clipper Cover, a pirate ship that has a 3– gallon dump bucket and a ship that fires water out of cannons.

In addition, don’t miss the Phobia Phear Coaster which is the newest thrill at Lake Compounce and the most unforgettable moment of all. It is New England’s first triple launch coaster with speeds of up to 65 miles per hour and a blood-chilling cobra roll 150 feet in the air! One of the most amazing rides is the award-winning Boulder Dash that is the #1 wooden roller coaster in the world that wends down a mountainside around boulders and through the New England woods. For folks that like nostalgia the park also offers a ride on the Wildcat Roller Coast that has been thrilling families since 1927.

At Bear Creek Campground families can pitch a tent, rent an RV site or rent a one or two bedroom cabin, cub hut or even a tipi to spend the night in! There is a two night minimum in all cabins during the weekends (Friday – Sat.) and a three-night minimum on holidays.

Memorial Day Weekend Sale @ Cornwall Bridge Pottery

Located in the scenic village of West Cornwall on Rte. 128 (69 Kent Road South) by the historic covered bridge that spans the Housatonic River, Cornwall Bridge Pottery has just announced its annual Grand re-opening and Memorial Day Sale on May 26 and May 27 from 11 am to 5 pm.

In 1976 Cornwall Bridge Pottery began making lamps for Bloomingdale’s as they hosted an American Craft Celebration in honor of the nation’s 200th Anniversary. Forty-one years later they have become world renown for our artistic and elegant one of a kind designs and are a steady feature in the Shaker Workshops catalog. We have customers lighting their homes with our lamps from the Caribbean, throughout Europe and all across the United States. When you buy one of our lamps you will brighten that dark corner of the room, illuminating an heirloom treasure, or, gently read that favorite book.

Celebrate this Memorial Day Weekend with this year’s selection of high-quality lamps. In their continued commitment to function, quality, and price some lamps will be discounted as much as 75%. Arrive early for the best selection of lamps for you to add to your collection, or, to give as a gift to a loved one!

Wampum Demonstration with Annawon Weeden @ IAIS

In 20th century slang, the word wampum was commonly used to denote money along with such terms as loot, moolah, and even clams, a far cry from what it meant to Native Americans who used wampum to foster spiritual and social bonds among the Native communities. The fascinating story of wampum will be told at a special Wampum Demonstration & Talk with Annawon Weeden, from the Mashpee/ Wampanoag tribe on Saturday, May 19, at the

Institute for American Indian Studies.
About Wampum

Wampum is composed of white and purple beads and discs fashioned from two different shells. The white beads are made from the whelk, a sea snail and the purple beads are made from a quahog. These shells are found in the ocean water south of Cape Cod to New York, with an abundance of them in Long Island Sound.

The shells were harvested in the warm summer months. After the meat was eaten, the shells were drilled and polished. A hole was pierced through the shell so they could be strung on strings made from plant fibers or animal tendons. Typically tubular in shape, the beads were then woven into belts, necklaces, headpieces, bracelets, earrings and other adornments. The beads were even used at day-long games with the winners taking the wampum bounty.

The color of the beads had meaning for the Algonquians. The white beads represented purity and light and were used as gifts to mark important events like births and marriages. The purple beads represented serious events like war or death. The combination of these beads represented the duality of the world, light, and darkness, man, and woman, life, and death.

Wampum Today & The Workshop

Today, Native artists and culture bearers continue to craft wampum jewelry and use wampum belts to record tribal history. At this workshop on May 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington participants will learn about the significance of wampum and how it continues to provide a social and spiritual bong among Native communities. A highlight of this workshop will be to watch the remarkable process of how wampum is made while listening to the stories the beads tell as they are strung.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

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.

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.

In Time We Shall Know Ourselves @ Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum has opened In Time We Shall Know Ourselves, an exhibition of black-and-white photographs by New Haven photographer Raymond Smith. The exhibition will be on display in the Museum’s Bantle Lecture Gallery through June 3, 2018.

Inspired by the photographs taken in the American South in the 1930s by Walker Evans, a teacher and mentor of Smith at Yale University, as well as by Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958), in the summer of 1974 Smith embarked on a photographic expedition of his own. Smith traveled with his friend Suzanne Boyd in an aging Volkswagen from New England through the South and into the Midwest, camping and photographing people and places he encountered during the three-month journey.

 Intending to write a Ph.D. thesis in American Studies, Smith instead channeled his intense curiosity about his country and its inhabitants into a moving suite of portraits, works that are at once down-to-earth, melancholy, and filled with surprise.
 The exhibition features 52 photographs, most of which are vintage prints. Smith also has produced a book, In Time We Shall Know Ourselves. In the book Smith explains where he got the title. Driving south toward New Orleans and on the outskirts of Hattiesburg, Miss., midway through his trip he saw this sign: “In time we shall know ourselves/ Even as also we are known/ As we ourselves are known.”
 
The Bruce Museum will host a reception and artist talk for the exhibition on Sunday, April 15, 3 – 5 pm. At 3:30 pm, Raymond Smith will present a lecture titled, “I Am a Camera,” which will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. The reception is free for Museum members and students (with valid ID); non-members $15. Advance registration is required, as seating is limited. To reserve your seat, please visit brucemuseum.org and click “Reservations,” or call 203-869-0376.
 

“Ellen Moon: A Sense of Place” @ Sharon Historical Society

Sharon Historical Society & Museum announces the opening on May 12 in Gallery SHS of a solo exhibition of artwork by local artist Ellen Moon titled “Ellen Moon: A Sense of Place.” An opening wine and hors-d’oeuvres reception to which the public is invited free of charge will be held on Saturday, May 12 from 5:00 to 7:00PM. The show will run through June 22. A portion of all purchases supports the Sharon Historical Society & Museum’s mission.

Ellen Moon, a resident of Cornwall, is a versatile and accomplished artist. She received a BA in art from Connecticut College and an MA in drawing and MFA in Multimedia from The University of Iowa. As she describes when asked, “I am an artist because it is in my nature to be so. A cat hunts, a bird flies—I make stuff. Just can’t help it.” Ms. Moon’s work has three strands—fiber, watercolors, and costumes. The strands are interlaced by her love of the natural world. The centerpiece of this exhibition at Gallery SHS will be Ellen Moon’s “365Days”, a series of plein air field paintings which is a monumental achievement of watercolor jewels, painted in one field over the course of 365 days.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was on the same page as Ms. Moon, albeit some time earlier, when he said “To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and, in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.” The exhibition of “365 Days” will be complemented by additional work in various media, sizes and subjects from Ms. Moon’s expansive body of work. Moon’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions over more than three decades throughout the area and beyond, including several group shows at the Sharon Historical Society & Museum.

Gallery SHS is located at the Sharon Historical Society & Museum, 18 Main Street, Route 41, Sharon, CT. The gallery and museum are open Saturday from 10-2 and Wednesday through Friday from 12-4, and by appointment. For more information and directions to Gallery SHS, call (860) 364-5688, email director@sharonhist.org, or visit www.sharonhist.org.

Tracing Native American Genealogy @ Institute for American Indian Studies

These days there are many ways to trace one’s ancestral roots — from DNA kits to massive websites; but sometimes insider knowledge can save a person a great deal of time and aggravation. This is especially true for tracing one’s Native American ancestry. To start your voyage of discovery or to get past a research hump, join Jeanne Morningstar Kent to learn how to trace your Native American heritage on May 12, at the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington Connecticut, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Tracing Native American genealogy can be tricky because there are very few official records about early Native Americans. Morningstar is an enrolled member of the Nulhegan Band, Coosuk-Abenaki of Vermont, and descended from Nipissing, Montagnais, and the Algonquin People from the Quebec area of Canada, making her uniquely qualified to help you navigate the somewhat complicated ways of tracing your Native American ancestry.

Participants in this workshop will learn the best places to begin research, which can be a fascinating and rewarding process. The focus of this workshop will be most helpful for people tracing Native Ancestors in New England and Quebec, Canada. “This talk is geared to New England and Quebec because it is based on my own genealogy work for myself and my father’s family. This is what I am most familiar with. I am currently working on another family line that is in the Midwest and southern states, so I will be able to answer some questions regarding pursuing non Native research in those areas,” says Morningstar.

Highlights of this program are the helpful hints that Morningstar will share to make your research easier. Some hints will be places to find information and how to recognize Native names even though they sound like Christian names.

Based on her successful research of her own Native American ancestry, Morningstar will provide essential information on the best techniques for tracing your Native past. “Anyone who has heard family stories about an ancestor being Native with possible roots from Canada will be most interested in what I cover. I am open to answering whatever genealogy questions I can as I am now pursuing my mother’s side of the family, which is not Native and primarily requires research in the Midwest and southern states of the USA. It is different.

This workshop, Moccasin Tracks: Native American Genealogy with Jeanne Morningstar Kent is expected to sell out and reservations are required. Call 860-868-0518 or email general@iaismuseum.org to reserve your place. Adults are $15, Seniors $13, Children are $11 and members of IAIS are $5.

The Institute for American Indian Studies
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.

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.

Copps Island Luau & Blessing of the Seaport Ferry

Have you ever tasted raw clams and oysters fresh off an oyster boat, visited a 4th generation oyster farm or witnessed the blessing of a fleet of boats? Get ready for an unforgettable way to experience our shoreline at the Seaport Association’s Copps Island Oyster Luau on May 19, 2018, from 6 pm to 8 pm at one of Connecticut’s most revered oyster companies, Norm Bloom & Son Oyster Farm in Norwalk.

Tracing its origins back centuries to Mediterranean fishing villages, the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony hosted by the Seaport Association is based on a tradition meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season for the area’s commercial fishing community as well as for the Seaport’s vessel, C. J. Toth, that offers cruises to Sheffield Island from May through September.

Over the years, the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony has evolved into a variety of festivities hosted by the Seaport Association and this year’s new event, Copp’s Island Luau promises a night of good food and drink among friends, old and new. This New England style Luau has been organized to celebrate the treasures of our Connecticut coastline… clams and oysters! The event will be held on Copps Island at Norm Bloom and Son, a fourth-generation family owned farm that provides some of the freshest and most luscious oysters and clams that you will ever taste!

The fun doesn’t stop there! Expect to enjoy the tropical sounds of a ukulele trio, savor island-themed hors-d’oeuvres, and sip on beer and wine. The Seaport Association has even concocted “one” special tropical drink, called “Tropical Grace” to salute the “Grace P. Lowndes Oyster Boat. All of this is included in the cost of the ticket that helps to raise funds for the programs of the Seaport Association that include the preservation of our maritime heritage, the environment of Long Island Sound and to help children experience the 150-year-old Sheffield Lighthouse. So, pull out your most colorful Hawaiian shirt and join in the fun!

This unique experience is limited to only 200 special guests so be sure to get your ticket early as this event is expected to be a complete sellout. Tickets are $75 online before May 6 and $85 after May 7, and, at the door if space permits. This event welcomes adults 21 and up only. For Tickets click here. And, after this fantastically fun event, there is still time to explore all that Norwalk has to offer.

About the Seaport Association

Formed in 1978 by a group of local citizens the Seaport Association offers a cultural, environmental, and historical journey to the Norwalk Islands. The Sheffield Island Lighthouse and the Light Keeper’s Cottage provide a unique historical and educational landmark that strives to increase awareness, appreciation, and consideration of our environment and how the preservation of historic buildings and nature contribute to our quality of life.

It is our belief that preservation strengthens the perpetual partnership between the past, present, and future. As an Association, we are dedicated in our efforts to preserve our maritime heritage, the environment of Long Island Sound, and helping children experience our 150-year-old lighthouse on Sheffield Island.

About Copps Island Oysters

Norm Bloom and Son founded in 1994 have spent countless hours on the water doing what they love most, harvesting and farming oysters. The Bloom family has been involved in the oyster business since the 1940s and today, Norm Bloom and Sons is one of the largest oyster farms on the east coast.

With an eye to the future, Norm Bloom and Sons have teamed up with marine biologists and local oystermen to preserve Long Island Sound in order to create a sustainable breeding and farming environment for the shellfish industry.