While the Avon Historical Society is best known to the public for it programs, events and maintaining historic buildings, there are many projects going on in the background that also pertain to the mission of the Society. The duration ranges from short to long term projects. Others are ongoing throughout the year. Below is a list of the most active ones.
Avon, Connecticut: an Historical Story, 2nd edition – Coming in Spring 2018
A group of volunteers have been working on the second edition of Avon, Connecticut: an Historical Story
, originally published in 1988 for the Avon Historical Society by Mary-Francis MacKie. This 323-page book is considered to be the definitive guide to Avon’s history. In 1988 over 500 copies were purchased and the Society has sold out the copies. The Board of Trustees decided to refresh the content while creating a second edition and publish it as a book-on-demand. A committee of five, under the leadership of Trustee Eric Throndson, has painstakingly read every page and created a new format. This volume is in the final stages of editing now. It is anticipated the second edition will be available by Spring 2018, at this website's gift shop.
Tablescapes Fundraiser in March 2018
Since the beginning of the Avon Historical Society in 1974, two local women have been at the forefront in running large scale fundraisers for the Society that range from antique shows at the high school to cow chip raffles on a farm in Avon, all with great success. Next year, they will coordinate Tablescapes to debut on March 23 & 24, 2018 at the North House in Avon. This event of designer and amateur table settings will be on display for two days for the general public to view and become inspired. Using a table setting as a “canvas” it encourages professionals and amateur decorators to show off their best skills in this uber creative event. It is being run by the dynamic duo of Mary Harrop and Sharon Genovese who have worked as a team for over thirty years in support of the Avon Historical Society.
Town History for the Children of Avon
Thanks to Society volunteer, Janet Conner, head of the Special Projects Committee which now numbers over ten members, every school child in Avon (K-12) will have the opportunity to learn something about Avon’s history. For more than five years, her committee has created and given numerous lively presentations. Coming in 2018, there will be a display at Avon High School about the former Sleepy Hollow milling community of East Avon (where Avon Old Farms School is located today) as well as a display in Avon Middle School, titled “Avon in the Industrial Revolution,” featuring the Climax Fuse Company, Avon Manufacturing Company, Avon Creamery, and more! Thompson Brook School (grades 4 & 5) will have a display under glass entitled “The Faces of Sleepy Hollow” with names, occupations and a brief summary of what that community with photographs taken almost 100 years ago of the Judd family members who lived and worked there. Pine Grove Elementary School will enjoy a lesson in Dwight Eisenhower over President’s Day with an in-person presentation of Ike and his wife, Mamie and their connection to Avon. Roaring Brook Elementary School will participate in an interactive game to learn about what sort of clothes early residents of Avon wore in the 19th century. This committee is dedicated to educating not only school children but the general populace about the true history of Avon.
Endowment Management for the Future
Over the past several years, the Avon Historical Society has been the fortunate benefactor of a sum of money from the estate of former Avon resident, William Yandow. In order to be prudent in using this generous donation, the Board of Trustees formed an investment committee to oversee the proper means of investment. They monitor the invested funds and make recommendations to the full Board of Trustees on a regular basis to ensure these funds act as an endowment for the future of the Society and its mission. If you wish to leave a bequest to the Avon Historical Society to allow it to continue to preserve Avon’s historical past, please contact the President.
Schoolhouse No. 3 Restoration
Schoolhouse No. 3 is the Town of Avon’s oldest structure. Built in 1823 where the current Avon Free Public Library is located on Country Club Road, this building is in need of major renovation. When it was moved to the current location on Route 44 in 1985, a cellar was added as well as an enclosed shed for a visitor entrance. For many years it was called “The Living Museum” because it housed many artifacts from the time of Avon’s naming in 1830 as well as a display about the Farmington Canal which crossed over the land where it sits. It was open to the public on Sundays in the summer and on special occasions. Due to a lack of attendance in the summer and a strong need to refresh the exhibit, it has been closed until further notice and is used as the Society’s headquarters and archival storage of large artifacts. However, the Town of Avon and the Avon Historical Society feels that with the upcoming 200th anniversary of the schoolhouse being built, it is timely to focus on its renovation in order to reopen it as a museum for its anniversary in 2023. A full five-year plan of action to repair and restore the building is underway.