Online with Litchfield Historical Society

On March 31 the Litchfield Historical Society is offering a live session on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. called, “Coffee with a Curator.” The Litchfield Historical Society is excited to bring the museum into your home with Coffee with a Curator. Sit down with a cup of coffee and have one of our curators share items from our artifact collections and archives.

The Series continues on Friday, April 3 at 1 p.m. with a session called What is That – A History Museum! This program will uncover a history mystery! From unusual objects to strange stories, participants will be taking a close look at the weird and wonderful things in the Society’s collection to see if you can solve the history mystery!

On April 7 at 10:30 a.m. get ready to once again sit with the Society’s Curator with a cuppa! On Tuesday, April 7th at 10:30, Archivist Linda Hocking will be teaching viewers how to read historical documents. Participants will learn about trends and changes in penmanship, the process of transcribing documents, and tips on how to decipher hard to read handwriting.

If you miss these sessions, feel free to explore the Litchfield Historical Society’s online interactive exhibit that connects them to the Bauhaus School in their latest online exhibit! Directly embedded to the website, click on the icons to read object labels, see more images, and follow links to additional information. Click here for the link.

The Institute for American Indian Studies is Bringing Native American Stories and History To You!

Since you can’t come to the Institute for Native American Studies, so the Institute is bringing the Museum to you, virtually! Although we’re not able to welcome you on-site, our staff is doing everything we can to stay connected to you and to our community. While we’re closed, we’re using technology to keep us together. You can keep in touch with us on Facebook, Instagram, and through updates on our website, https://www.iaismuseum.org or you can email us at general@iaismuseum.org. We will be providing stories and learning experiences for you until we can be together again.

In the spirit of enjoying our museum from home we are inviting everyone to join us Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/IAISMuseum at 2 pm for the month of March for a new video series we are calling “Inside with IAIS.” On Wednesday, March 25, at 2 p.m. there will be a lesson in archaeology with the research staff that will reveal the finer points of this fascinating discipline. On Friday, March 27, join Darlene Kascak, Native American Storyteller as she weaves a tale of how the animals as we know and love today came to be. To finish off the month of March, on the 30th kids are invited to explore the world of nature journaling by learning how to set up a journal that will help them record all their outdoors discoveries. Two videos have already appeared and can be found https://www.facebook.com/IAISMuseum.

At the end of March on our Museum Facebook Page, we will ask a series of questions related to our live Facebook Page Video Sessions. Answer all the questions correctly and be entered into a contest to win an amazing prize!

One way you can help the Institute for American Indian Studies during this time is to become a member. Our mission is to educate and preserve Native American history and culture and we need your help to accomplish this. Please click the link here https://www.iaismuseum.org/support/membershipbenefits/and become a member today. As an IAIS Member, your benefits include Unlimited free admission to the museum, reduced or free admission for special events, discounted workshop and summer camp fees, discounts in the IAIS Museum Shop, quarterly calendar of IAIS activities and workshops, invitations to exhibit openings and special events, and your choice of one of four books as a welcoming gift.


Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Update from White Hart Inn – Salisbury

The White Hart Inn located in Salisbury has just announced new hours and take out details for their restaurant. The details are as follows

Provisions Hours
Starting Tuesday, March 24th Provisions will be open from 11am-5pm every day. Orders are for takeout only and must be called in ahead of time, to limit all face-to-face interactions (we miss seeing you, but we want to keep it brief!). Click here for our new takeout menu, filled with options that will keep you happy and satisfied in the comfort of your home.

Tap Room
We continue to offer takeout from our Tap Room Menu every night from 5pm-8pm. We are now accepting online orders. Don’t forget to add a bottle of wine to your order—we’re pretty sure you have earned a big glass of something delicious!

Our rooms
Because we are what the Connecticut government deems an “essential” business, our Inn is still available to staying guests. Several of our rooms and suites have private entrances that don’t require passage through the lobby or any other public spaces. As usual, we are keeping all areas clear and immaculately clean, following the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC and the WHO. And we have great room service, too!

Medicinal Monday – Sacred Smoke – The Art of Smudging

These days health is on everyone’s mind with the spread of the coronavirus. Native Americans believe that natural herbs and plants affect the spirit and the soul of a person. This type of healing combines many elements such as spirituality, preparation, ceremonies, and rituals using natural preparations. Burning sage, for example, is a powerful ritual that has its roots in some Native American traditions. Today, many people burn sage to cleanse a space or environment of negative energy, to encourage wisdom and clarity, and to promote healing.

About Smudging

Smudging traditions vary depending on the location of a particular Native American community. One factor is constant, smudging must be done carefully and with a positive frame of mind because you are communicating with the powers of the plants and the spirits of this ritual. Smudging must be completed with respect and honor if it is to work.

Smudging can be thought of as a purification ceremony – it is like bathing in sacred smoke, and the way to remove negative energy and to restore balance. According to the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, the four medicines are tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar. Tobacco comes from the east and represents balance. Sweetgrass comes from the south and represents kindness and attracts positive energy. Cedar is the western direction and represents harmony and wards off sickness. Sage is the northern direction and represents protection from negative energy and brings spiritual blessings.

Sage and Smudging

Many people use sage in the smudging ceremony because it purifies your life from negativity. When smudging, use an abalone shell and light the herbs. Fan the smoke with a feather, many use the feather of an eagle to keep the smoke active. The use of a feather is symbolic of our connection to the Creator.

Traditionally, when lighting the smudge, face east, the traditional direction of the beginning and of birth. After lighting the smudge, wash your hands in the smoke then bring the smoke to your eyes to see good things, your nose to smell good things, your mouth to say good things, and your ears to hear good things. You can also wash the smoke over your head, down your arms, past your heart to feel good things, down your legs, and behind your back. You may want to offer thanks for all that is good in your life as this is time for reflection and connection to a higher power, your spiritual self, or whatever you are comfortable in believing in a positive way.

It is important to set the proper stage and attitude for your smudging ceremony. Set a time when you won’t be distracted and use this ceremony to take away bad energy and to bring good energy to you. For a traditional healing video on smudging see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db-Dxzf0CJw

The Gift Shop at the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, CT has a supply of sage for smudging available for sale!

Ives Concert Hall – Nicholas Wallace – Illusionist

Some say life is an illusion… and watching Nicholas Wallace… you might believe it is true! Nicholas Wallace is a true Master of subtle illusion and manipulation, and a gifted storyteller. Nick Wallace can best be described as a minimalist – who has forgone fancy props and special effects and prefers to conjure with an audience’s imagination by presenting magic and mind-reading in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. He has been described as pure evil wrapped in Mr. Rogers’ sweater.

Nick has appeared on season 14 of America’s Got Talent, Penn, and Teller: Fool Us, as well as FOX TV’s Houdini & Doyle’s World of Wonders. He has been named the Canadian Champion of Magic by the Canadian Association of Magicians and is the 2018 recipient of the Allan Slaight Award for Canadian Rising Star.

Nick Wallace is performing at Ives Concert Hall located at Western CT University on 181 White Stree in Danbury on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. This is a show that you will not want to miss! For tickets click here.

Native American Traditional Maple Sugar Festival March 14

​​Maple Sugaring has been a tradition in New England for centuries that heralds the first glimpse of spring. This tradition was practiced long before the colonists arrived by Native Americans, who in fact where the first people to tap the sugar maple in order to make sugar. The gathering of sap and production of maple sugar is an important event in the annual lifecycle of Native Americans. It is a time when large extended families would gather at Sugar Maple plots to share in the work of making maple sugar.

On March 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Institute for American Indian Studies ​on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut, there will be a maple sugaring demonstration by Jeff and Judy Kalin of Primitive Technologies. The Kalins will demonstrate several traditional techniques of collecting sap and boiling it down into sugar. This maple sugar celebration, collection and boiling down process will take place in the newly restored 16th century replicated Algonquian Village. Visitors will listen to traditional Native American stories of the ways the sap was collected and how important the seasonal gift of maple sap is to the Native American community.

“We want visitors to the Institute to understand how Native people learned to transform the sap from a tree into sugar,” explains Jeff Kalin. “We will be demonstrating the traditional techniques of collecting and evaporating this sap using a variety of tools and containers. Hot stones pulled from the fire, will be used to evaporate the sap from wood containers, which alone would not have been able to withstand the direct fire.” Kalin will explain how water is evaporated from sap using simple techniques and items made and collected from the forest, which is key to how Native Americans made maple sugar traditionally. Visitors will also learn about the importance of how understanding seasonality and their environment, made it possible for local inhabitants to use the sap from the maple tree to provide an annual supply of sugar for their use or trade among the Native American communities and colonists.

An added sweet bonus of this event is the “made from scratch” pancakes served up with local maple sugar, coffee, and orange juice. The Maple Sugar Demonstration is noon – 3 pm., the Pancake Brunch is 11 am – 2 p.m., and children’s activities are 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 pm. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, children are $6, and members are free. The pancake breakfast is an additional $5.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the Institute For American Indian Studies​ preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. They have the 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.