Ready for Halloween? A Haunting at Mill Hill in Norwalk October 15 and 22

As the sun sets, on Mill Hill in Norwalk, the spirits come out to play. Take a lantern-light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard and hear chilling tales from the spirits of Norwalk’s past on Saturdays, October 15 and 22 (rain or shine). Tours are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each tour will be followed by refreshments in the old one-room schoolhouse. This pre-Halloween event is organized by the Norwalk Historical Society.

During “A Haunting at Mill Hill,” participants will hear stories of murder, death, destruction and more while they meet renegade Tory Easias Bouton, Chester, the haunted Civil War statue, and other entities from Norwalk’s colorful history. The cemetery is located at 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT 06851.

Space for each tour is limited so reservations are recommended (203-846-0525). Advance tickets are $10 for adults/teens and $6 for children ages 8-12 (not recommended for children younger than 8). Tickets at the door are $12 for adults/teens and $8 for children. There is a $2 discount for Norwalk Historical Society members. For more information visit http://norwalkhistoricalsociety.org.

About Mill Hill Historic Park

The Mill Hill Historic Park consists of three historical buildings and the third oldest Burying Ground in Norwalk.

The Burying Ground on Mill Hill dates to 1767 and was originally called Whitney’s Hill after a miller that opened a mill on the site. A list of those buried in the Mill Hill Burying Ground was recorded in 1924 and consisted of the names on the headstones that were clearly readable. Not all that are buried on Mill Hill are accounted for because in the Colonial Period less than a third of the burials were marked with an inscribed headstone. Some of the time, a simple rock was used.

Several notable buildings are located on the grounds of the Mill Hill complex. The federally styled brick Norwalk Town House dates to 1835 and served a multiple of purposes over the years as a gathering place for special groups.

The Law Office of Governor Fitch is also on the grounds. Thomas Fitch was Governor of the Colony of Connecticut from 1754 to 1766. Restored in 1971, the small colonial style building I saw on the grounds was reconstructed as a colonial law office. Originally, it was part of the kitchen wing of Governor Fitch’s house. I was told that it was the only portion of the house that survived the burning of Norwalk by the British on July 11, 1779. The house that stands on Mill Hill today, was once located in East Norwalk. It was moved in 1956 because it was in the construction path of the Interstate 95.

The red-clapboarded building known as the Downtown District School House is also located in the complex and was built in 1826. The building was used as a school until 1871. The British destroyed the original school, and the present schoolhouse was built on the lines of the first utilizing its original foundation.

Norwalk Seaport Association Stages Murder Mystery to Preserve Historic Sheffield Island Lighthouse October 21!


Who done it? Find out as Norwalk Seaport Association (NSA) hosts a murder mystery dinner, “Double Trouble,” to benefit Sheffield Island lighthouse. The event will be held at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., and includes hors d’oeuvres and dinner while guests solve an exciting and entertaining mystery.

“It’s great fun to stage this murder mystery in support of our ongoing efforts to demystify the historic beauty and magnificence of our Sheffield Island lighthouse,” said Tom Shrum, president of the non-profit, volunteer-run NSA. “There’s no better way for southern Connecticut residents to show our pride in our local maritime heritage.”

This is the second event this year to benefit the lighthouse. In March, a sold-out crowd at NSA’s Light Keeper’s Gala collectively donated a record $49,000 for the environmental organization’s stewardship of the lighthouse.

Reservations to the murder mystery are required. Tickets are $75 per person for Seaport Association members and $85 for non-members, and can be purchased online at www.seaport.org.

About Norwalk Seaport Association

Norwalk Seaport Association was established in 1978 and stewards the Sheffield Island lighthouse, which celebrates 142 years as the jewel in Long Island Sound. During the summer, its C.J Toth ferryboat takes visitors to Sheffield Island for tours of the historic lighthouse, special events and enjoyment of a walking trail through the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge.

NSA provides environmental education programs that use Sheffield Island and offers diverse special events and community projects, including the annual NSA Oyster Festival, now in its 34th year. This event attracts up to 50,000 people during three days in early September and provides $200,000 in fundraising opportunities for more than 20 other local non-profit organizations. In addition, the Seaport Association helped create Norwalk’s Coastal Area Management Plan; establish the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; and revitalize historic South Norwalk.

More information can be found at www.seaport.org.

New Canaan Nature Center’s 42nd Annual Fall Fair October 15

The crisp days of autumn are here! It is a glorious time of year in Connecticut when families can enjoy traditional fairs and festivals amidst a backdrop of orange, scarlet and gold leaves.

The New Canaan Nature Center’s 42 annual Fall Fair is chock full of traditional fall fair activities that will please young and old alike. Visitors to the Fair will enjoy pony rides, a “haunted” woodland trail, apple slingshots, nature-based crafts, a hay maze, cupcake and pumpkin decorating, and fire engine rides on New Canaan’s antique fire engine, Old Faithful. The giant bungee jump, one of last year’s most popular attractions will also be back along with the “Kids On The Go” obstacle course and other inflatable rides.


The Fall Fair will feature a wide range of entertainment throughout the day. The Moses Brothers band will entertain families with a live performance of their blues/bluegrass/rock music from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. The 4th Annual Apple Pie Eating contest will begin at 3 p.m. with categories for youth and adults. There is an entry fee ($5 for youth and $15 for adults) and prizes will be awarded. Other live shows include birds of prey demonstrations, shadow puppet shows and story readings between 10:30am – 2:30pm.

New this year will be an “Eco-Village” where attendees can learn about the latest products, services and businesses to help green their home, family and life. Participating Eco-Village sponsors/exhibitors include Alteris Renewables, BPC Green Builders, Going Green Landscape Lighting, Graze Delivered, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. and Vinylume Inc. Renewal by Andersen.

A wide range of fresh foods will be available to purchase throughout the day, including grilled hot dogs, pulled pork and vegetarian sandwiches, pizza, hot soup and hot and cold beverages. A variety of homemade baked goods will be for sale courtesy of Nature Center volunteers.

Admission to the Fall Fair is free and parking is available at St. Mark’s and the First Presbyterian Church. Tickets can be purchased for $1 each for the activities and food, which range from 1-7 tickets.

About the New Canaan Nature Center

The New Canaan Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization that is an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature. The annual Fall Fair helps raise funds to maintain and offer this community treasure admission-free to residents of New Canaan and the surrounding area throughout the year. For more information about the Fall Fair visit www.NewCanaanNature.org of call (203) 966-9577.

The Discovery Museum Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month October 8th

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is proud to announce free admission as part of its celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month on October 8th. To celebrate the day, Bi-lingual docents will be on hand to show visitors around the musuem.

The day’s events will showcase Hispanic scientists, engineers, and inventors whose genius expanded the frontiers of science and space and improved the social and health conditions of populations around the globe.

Visitors to the Museum will discover the rich, Hispanic legacy and ongoing discoveries which contribute to our quality of life, whether it is finding the cure for leprosy or being the first female astronaut in space to represent the Latino population (with almost 1,000 miles logged!)

Events highlighted will include a Skype video conference with scientists at Arecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico, with the distinction of being the largest of its kind in the world! There will also be Hands-On Dynamic Demonstrations (some bi-lingual) throughout the day.

A special favorite will be the four Full-Dome Planetarium Shows (some bi-lingual) that are being offered throughout the day. Make-and-Take children’s activities, and a peak at the new traveling exhibit “Contraptions” will round out the fun.

A special feature will be live broadcasts by Radio Cumbre from the Discovery Museum that will include drawings for free museum memberships and passes.

About The Discovery Museum and Planetarium

Connecticut’s pre-eminent science and planetarium resource for more than 60,000 visitors, school children, and teachers. The mission of the Discovery Museum and Planetarium is to “engage, excite, and educate” in the exploration of science, technology, and innovation.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is a hands-on interactive museum for all ages with over sixty-five exhibit areas featuring “see, hear and touch” explorations of science, technology and ideas.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium is located at 4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604. http://www.discoverymuseum.org.

HawkWatch and Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar at Greenwich Audubon Through Nov. 20

Each autumn, 17 species of hawks, eagles and vultures migrate southwest over Quaker Ridge’s scenic hilltops in northern Greenwich.

The fields are one of the highest locations in town and the sweeping views are an excellent vantage point for spotting birds. On clear days in September when winds are from the North, birders may count a few thousand broad-winged hawks as they swirl in ‘kettles’ before heading South along migration routes.

In the late 1960’s, birders searched Fairfield County for the best sites where large numbers of migrating raptors could be observed. Over several years, more than a dozen sites were tested on weekends and in the end, it was determined that the Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Audubon Greenwich, was the best site in the area.

Ever since 1972, migrating hawks have been officially counted as they pass over Quaker Ridge (a.k.a. Hawk Watch Lawn). As part of the network of hawk watch locations nationwide, the Greenwich Audubon Society hired a full-time hawk watcher in 1985.The Official Hawk Counter staffs the site 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday, from August 20-November 20, each year.

On weekends, volunteer counters help to staff the site. Anyone is welcome to volunteer to become a counter at the Audubon’s Hawk Watch. The more eyes the better because the seasonal counts average 18,000 raptors. You don’t need to be able to identify the hawks. Greenwich Audubon simply needs eyes watching the skies! In fact, some of the best spotters are beginners that know very little about identification. Volunteers count and record the data and then, researchers can try to gauge the health of Northeastern raptor populations.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the Greenwich Audubon Center during this exciting time of year and to ask questions, talk with volunteers, and enjoy counting eagles, hawks, and falcons from Hawk Watch Lawn.

For detailed data about raptor sightings at Greenwich, visit http://www.hawkcount.org.

Hawkwatch Festival & Green Bazaar October 1 & 2

Coming up on October 1 & 2, at the peak of the migration spectacle, Greenwich Audubon will host the ‘HawkWatch Weekend Festival & Green Bazaar’ that will feature two days of live birds of prey and animal shows, hands-on nature education, bird workshops, activities for kids, eco-shopping, food, and more! Festival is Rain or Shine from 11 am-5 pm. Admission is $7 for youth/$10 for adults (New or current Audubon Members: $5 for youth / $7 for adults). $35 National Audubon Society family memberships will be available at the Festival Gate.

For more information visit http://greenwich.audubon.org. To learn more about exhibiting or the schedule, call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239.

About the Audubon Center at Audubon Greenwich

The Audubon Center in Greenwich opened in 1942 as the National Audubon Society’s first environmental education center in the United States on land donated by Eleanor Clovis Reese and H. Hall Clovis. The 295-acre sanctuary has approximately seven miles of trails that lead to a hardwood forest, old fields, lake, streams and vernal ponds. Reminders of the past are the stone walks, an old apple orchard and original New England homestead buildings. Audubon Greenwich’s main sanctuary is the site located at 613 Riversville Road, which is comprised of 285 acres, with 7 miles of walking trails. There you will find the Kimberlin Nature Education Center building with exhibits, staff offices and classrooms. The Center contains the Hilfiger Children’s Learning Center with hands-on nature activities and interpretive natural history exhibits, the Kiernan Hall Nature Art Gallery, a Wildlife Viewing Window and honey bee hive exhibit, a Nature Gift Store: books, binoculars, birdfeeders, gifts. The Kimberlin Center is also available for event rentals and children’s parties. Audubon Greenwich is comprised of 11 other sanctuaries totaling 686 acres of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, and 15 additional miles of hiking trails.

Westport CT Arts Center Sponsors Facebook Contest

Westport Arts Center Sponsors Facebook Contest Westport Arts Center is offering through Facebook a chance to win artwork by three well-known local artists: Janine Brown, Miggs Burroughs and Nina Bentley. The artists have generously donated original works of art to help the Westport Arts Center build a fanbase. “Long-time WAC patron and Fairfield-based artist, Janine Brown, initiated this idea in an effort to help the Arts Center build its social media presence,” said Alyssa Crouse, Westport Arts Center marketing director. “Facebook is an excellent way for us to communicate information instantaneously to people in the community, share links, and network in a unique way. We invite everyone in Westport and beyond to join WAC’s growing network of fans and enter this exciting contest to win original works of art by artists that are recognized internationally.”

To enter the contest, log onto your Facebook Profile at http://www.facebook.com. In the search window, type in “Westport Arts Center” and click on the option that comes up in the search window. At the Westport Arts Center Facebook, page click “Like” on the top of the page. Those who are already WAC fans will be automatically entered into the contest.

Three winners will be randomly selected in a drawing and announced via Facebook on Thursday, October 1.

The Westport Arts Center is a visual and performing arts organization dedicated to creating arts experiences that enrich the lives of area residents and the entire community. The Westport Arts Center is supported with funds from the Arthur and Heida Hermanns Holde Foundation, Inc., the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, 4th Row Films, Thomas and Jeanne Elmezzi Private Foundation, Fairfield County Bank, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Gault, Inc., GWAY Marketing Gymnasium, Independent Film Channel, Melissa and Doug, Moffly Media, New Alliance Bank, Pepperidge Farm, Inc., U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Westport Resources, Westport Sunrise Rotary, Young Voices Program, Xerox Foundation, and WSHU Public Radio Group.

For information, contact Westport Arts Center at 203-222-7070 or go to the website at ww.westportartscenter.org. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.