Through the Lens: Torrington Photographs 1870 – 1970 @ Torrington Historical Society

Photography takes an instant of time and captures that moment forever. Historical images bring us back to the time and place where they were taken, they are the essence of an areas’ cultural heritage. A new photography exhibition has just been mounted by the Torrington Historical Society that will be on display through October 31, 2019, called, Through the Lens: Torrington Photographs 1870-1970.

This exhibition focuses on the works of several local photographers, both professional and amateur, which are well represented in the Society’s collections. Included in the exhibition is the work of Christie Siebert, F.O. Hills, Sidney Jennings, and Thomas Wootton. Also featured in this exhibit are images from the Charles Harris Photo Album, acquired by the Society in 2018. The album features approximately 80 photographs of downtown Torrington from the late 1900s through the early 1930s.

The highlight of this exhibition is that many of the images have been recently acquired by the Torrington Historical Society and are on display for the first time. Visitors will find images that depict scenes of daily life that include downtown Torrington in the 1870s with its wooden buildings, dirt roads, and early factories. Other images give visitors a bird’s-eye views of Torrington; a turn of the 20th-century birthday party; O&G truck moving a small building along a north end street as neighborhood children look on, and photos of various businesses from the late 19th century through the 1970s.

The exhibition will be of special interest to photography buffs because of the variety of photography mediums on display. Original images, including albumen prints, glass-plate negatives, black and white prints, and color slides that were digitized and enlarged make it easy for visitors to study the fascinating details of these historic images.

The Torrington Historical Society is located on 192 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information visit their website.

Native American Green Corn Festival August 3 @ Institute for American Indian Studies

The Green Corn Ceremony is one of the most important celebrations in Native American life because corn is an integral part of religious and ceremonial life that brings communities together. The Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut is holding their 15th annual Green Corn Festival on August 3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to observe this time treasured tradition.

Join Museum Staff, Members, and Friends as they welcome the first corn of the season with music, drumming, dancing, children’s activities, stories by a professional Native American Storyteller, and much more! Wander the trails to our 16th century replicated village, tour our museum to learn about Native Cultures, check out the crafts in our gift shop, and try your hands at corn-centric crafts. A special treat is the powwow styled food such as frybread that is not to be missed.

A special highlight planned for this year’s event is a performance of the Native Nations Dance Troupe led by Erin Lamb Meeches, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. These traditional dances evoke the beauty, honor, and tradition of Native People.

About Green Corn

The expression “Green Corn” refers to the first ripened sweet corn that you can eat. The Green Corn Ceremony is marked with dancing, feasting, fasting, and religious observations. In the Eastern Woodlands Native people depended on three staples – corn, beans, and squash. These food items were called “The Three Sisters.” The Three Sisters were mixed together to make a vegetable dish called succotash that is still popular today.

Admission for this event, held rain or shine is $10 for Adults; $8 seniors; and $6 for Children.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have an outdoor replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village and 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 in Washington Connecticut.

Be a Winner @ Norfolk’s Weekend in Norfolk Aug 2-4

On August 2, 3, and 4 everyone is a “winner” in Norfolk. Fun for all is the watchword in Norfolk, Connecticut during the town’s Fourth Annual three-day, town-wide festival, A Weekend in Norfolk, better known as WIN. https://weekendinnorfolk.org. Everyone’s invited to come with family and friends to enjoy more than 80 events—mostly free—that Norfolk’s organizations, businesses, and individuals will be putting on to welcome visitors to their town.

On Friday, August 2, take a tour to see the magnificent Tiffany stained glass windows at the Immaculate Conception Church and in the Battell Chapel. If you are in a romantic mood, head to the picturesque village green to get married or to renew your vows, the organizers of WIN have bouquets, ring bearers, and witnesses standing by on the Village Green. There are also artisan demos, and the opening reception for the Norfolk Artists & Friends 11th annual exhibition, plus concerts at Infinity Hall and the Yale Music Shed. For literary lovers, there is a celebration of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday at the Norfolk Library. If you like nature and are strong of wind and sound of heart, enter in the hike the peaks challenge, which is a three-day, six peak hiking challenge organized by the Norfolk Land trust.

The pace picks up on Saturday, August 4, with continuing art events, a furniture making demonstration, tours of Tiffany Stained Glass Windows, and multiple concerts, including a free concert at the Music Shed. The Norfolk Farmers Market is celebrating the day with a variety of special events for young and old alike including chef demonstrations. If you are a history buff, don’t miss a walk through Norfolk’s Industrial past with historian, Richard Byrne. On this walk, you will learn about the once thriving mills and factories on the Blackberry River. The popular kids’ fire hose water soccer event will take place from 12 noon to 3 pm. The day winds down with a Taste of the Town from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Manor House, and Family Fun Night at the Botelle School from 6 pm to 10 pm that will feature a DJ, field games, an outdoor movie, and food for sale. If just music is more your style there is a Debussy, Strauss and Shubert Concert at Yale Music Shed from 8 pm to 10 pm.

Sunday, August 5, is no time to go home—there are more tours including the Whitehouse (former Stoeckel Mansion), samples of a getaway day at Mountain View Green Retreat, Tiffany Stained Glass Window tours, farm tours, and an open house at the Norfolk Country Club with the chance to see its famed 9-hole golf course. In addition to the music and art shows, there will be a hot dog eating contest, a demonstration of fly tying and casting on the green, and a 5K- trail run.
For up to the minute information on WIN, Weekend In Norfolk, visit https://weekendinnorfolk.org for details.

Learn how to paint your own wine or beer stein

Learn how to paint your own wine glass or beer stein at the American Clock and Watch Museum on March 10 from 6-7 pm. The Art Truck will be at the American Clock & Watch Museum for this special wine glass and beer stein painting night. The fee is $35 and includes all materials (wine glass or beer stein, paints, brushes, etc.), wine, and cheese. The wine glass painting class held at the museum this time last year sold out quickly! To reserve your spot, call 860-278-6864 or register at www.thearttruck.com

The American Clock & Watch Museum is located at 100 Maple Street, Bristol, Connecticut. The museum holds one of the largest collections of American clocks and watches in the world with approximately 6,000 timepieces in its collection. As visitors travel through the museum’s eight galleries, many timekeeping devices chime and strike upon the hour. Located in the historic “Federal Hill” district of Bristol, the museum boasts 10,000sq. ft. of exhibit space housed in an 1801 Federal-style home and two modern additions. It has a beautiful sundial garden that is meticulously maintained by the members of the Bristol Garden Club.

Celebrateatavenuenearyou

The museum is devoted to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the history and science of clocks, watches, and other timekeepers of horological interest; operate a research library with historic and contemporary literature devoted to the history, development, and manufacture of timekeepers; support a publication program to acquire, prepare, edit, publish, and distribute new and reprinted documentary materials relative to clock and watch making and manufacture; encourage the preservation of information, objects, architecture, and historic sites related to American horology; and study and interpret the history of American horology through educational programs for both general audiences and clock enthusiasts, cooperating with other public and private agencies to make programs available to the widest possible audience.

The museum will be open daily for the 2016 season from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from April 2nd to November 30th and weekends during the month of December. There is an admission charge. For more information, call 860-583-6070 or go to www.clockandwatchmuseum.org. For more area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Sessions Woods is calling all runners!

If you enjoy walking and running on beautiful nature trails then join the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) for the 3rd. Annual Run for the Woods on Saturday, September 19 at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area located on Rte. 69 about three miles south of Rte. 4 in Burlington Connecticut.

courtesy Miranda Linsky
courtesy Miranda Linsky

CFPA advocates for people that love the outdoors with the support of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have organized a 10K Trail Race that begins at 8:30 a.m., a 5K Trail Race at 9 a.m. and a 5K walk at 9:00 a.m. at Sessons Woods.

Participants will walk or jog on beautifully maintained trails and will pass by wetlands, meadows, and a beaver pond. Lucky participants may even catch a glimpse of a pileated woodpecker, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse or a majestic broad-winged hawk.

Registration fees are $25 for the 5K run or walk, and $35 for the 10k run. On the day of the race registration increases by $5. Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the race. If you can’t join in the events, and love the outdoors, you might consider making a general donation to CFPA or dedicating it to one of the runners or walkers. All donations go to the protection of Connecticut forests and trails. For more information, registration, and pledging guidelines visit http://www.ctwoodlands.org/run-for-the-woods

This year CFPA’s Run for the Woods has joined the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series. The races, which are run primarily on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails (BBHT), are organized and directed by a variety of running enthusiasts and clubs across the state. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) is grateful for their cooperation and support in making this series possible. The goals of the series are to promote and create greater awareness of trail running on the BBHT System, attract more runners to Connecticut trail running races, strengthen the running community, raise awareness for CFPA’s trail maintenance efforts and enhance the experience for the runners who already support our races through series points and recognition. To learn more about the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series, please visit www.ctwoodlands.org/TrailRunning.

About Sessions Woods

The biggest threat facing CT’s wildlife is the loss of habitat. Since more than 90% of land in CT is privately owned, the Wildlife Division established the Sessions Woods Management Area to begin to meet the needs of the State’s wildlife.

Sessions Woods is more than a tract of natural land set aside for wildlife, it also introduces visitors to wildlife and natural resources management through a variety of educational programs, demonstration sites, displays and self-guided hiking trails.

When you walk the trails here, you experience more than just the benefits of a healthy hike in the fresh outdoor air. Along the sides of the Beaver Pond Trail, Forest Meadow Trail and in the Backyard Habitat Demonstration Area you will find demonstrations of wildlife and habitat management practices.

About CFPA

The CFPA is Connecticut’s first nonprofit conservation organization that was established back in 1895 and is best known for maintaining the 825-mile Blue Blaze hiking system. Their mission is to protect forests, parks, walking trails, and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land. CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders, and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut’s rich natural heritage. CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.

CFPA envisions Connecticut as a place of scenic beauty whose cities, suburbs, and villages are linked by a network of parks, forests, and trails easily accessible for all people to challenge the body and refresh the spirit. They picture a state where clean water, timber, farm fresh foods, and other products of the land make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural well being.

Hotchkiss Fyler House is open for the season

The Torrington Historical Society, located at 192 Main Street, is open for the season and will remain open through October 31st. The Society is home to three cultural attractions: the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, the permanent exhibit, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington, and the Hendey Machine Shop exhibit Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Shop 1870-1954. The Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum and the two exhibit areas are open to the public Wednesday – Saturday, 12-4 p.m.

1835057

Fodor’s Guide to New England described the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum as “one of the better house museums in Connecticut”. Built in 1900, this grand Victorian mansion was commissioned by Orsamus and Mary Fyler and was designed by New Haven architect William H. Allen. The house was built by Hotchkiss Brothers Company, a Torrington firm. The Torrington Historical Society acquired the home in 1956 when Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss, daughter of the original owners, bequeathed the house and its contents to the Society.

Today, visitors to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum can see the home as it was when last occupied by Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss. This grand home is rich in details: mahogany paneling, ornate carvings, stenciled walls, murals, parquet floors and ornamental plaster. Family furnishings include impressive collections of porcelain, glass and oriental carpets as well as paintings by Ammi Phillips, Winfield Scott Clime, E. I. Couse, George Lawrence Nelson and Albert Herter. Guided tours of the house museum are available for $5 per person; children 12 and under are free. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12-4; the last tour is at 3:30 p.m.

Hotchkiss Fyler House Museum, Torrington CT

The Torrington History Museum, adjacent to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, contains an award-winning permanent exhibit, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington. This self-guided exhibit explores the city’s history while showcasing photographs and artifacts from the Society’s collection. Audio and video components and hands-on interactive stations are featured in this exhibit. Admission is $2; children 12 and under are free. Another exhibit, Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Company 1870-1954, is located in the Carriage House. This exhibit features an operational belt-driven machine shop, a video kiosk, and a photographic history of the Hendey Machine Company, a former Torrington manufacturer of lathes, shapers and milling machines. Admission is free.

3604857

The John H. Thompson Memorial Library houses archives pertaining to Torrington history. Researchers may visit the library Wednesday-Friday 1-4, or by appointment. For more information about the Society or to become a member, please visit www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org or contact the Society at (860) 482-8260.