Lectures, Music, & More!

People still talk about the stunning series of programs over a four year period that coincided with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Many of these events featured skilled re-enactors in period dress and filled the community room at the Avon Public Library to standing room only.

The Society continues to offer remarkable presentations on a wide range of topics, providing an informal forum for professors and researchers, home-grown experts, published authors, and local history enthusiasts to share their fascination with the history of our region. These enthusiastic speakers are all knowledgeable in their area of expertise and we truly appreciate their willingness to engage our audiences.

We offer these programs at different times of the day and on different days of the week to provide the community with a variety of access options. These events are usually held at the Avon Free Public Library or at the Senior and Community Center at little or no cost to the public. However, if you enjoyed our program, please consider making a donation to allow us to continue our Mission.

Please contact us if you wish to be considered as a speaker for future programs. If you would like to make a donation to support the programs offered by the Avon Historical Society, you can do so by visiting our Donations Page.


DEEDS NOT WORDS: 100 Years of the Vote for Women

Sponsored by: Connecticut Humanities
Presented by: Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center
November 2019 - November 2020

The trio of Avon’s Historical Society, Library and Senior Center has received a $4,030.00 grant from CT Humanities to help fund the first half of a year-long series entitled DEEDS NOT WORDS: 100 Years of the Vote for Women. This series will focus on events that contributed to the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It will run from November 2019 to November 2020 with events at the Library and Senior Center; this grant funds the first six months of events.

The goal of this DEEDS series is to have the audience think widely about what Connecticut was doing in the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries and how those moving forces shaped the dialogue leading up to the passage in 1919 and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. The notion of voting equality started in 1848, but was quickly dismissed. It took the organizing of several national Progressive Suffrage groups, with state chapters, to move the needle in every corner of the country. By 1869 Connecticut had a very active state chapter in favor of suffrage; while in 1910 another chapter formed to oppose it. But what was the suffrage movement and who were these women who took charge to change their world?

In our research we found quite a detailed story of how the suffrage movement in Connecticut took shape and the women who were both for and against it! Our DEEDS series will examine this and how it impacted the national movement. As well, we will uncovered the many Farmington Valley women, and men, who played national roles on both sides of the cause! We will have speakers, book talks, movies, exhibits and a debate. We invite the public to join us for the 12-month series to learn about the complicated and deep story of the cause of women’s suffrage in America,” explained Terri Wilson, president of the Avon Historical Society.

Paleoindian Site in Avon—First Public Presentation

Saturday, February 15, 2020, at 5:00 PM
Snow date: Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 5:00 PM
Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Road

Presentation of the site’s background, preliminary findings and broader context within the Paleoindian period. Presented by Senior Archeologists David Leslie and Sarah Sportman, of Archeological and Historical Services of Storrs, CT.

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From Seneca Falls to the 19th Amendment: Songs of the Women's Suffrage Movement

Friday, February 21, 2020, at 2:00 PM
Snow date: Friday, February 28, 2020, at 2:00 PM
Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Road

The struggle for women's suffrage was an important and hard-fought step toward gender equality. Music was one of the significant tools used in the crusade for a woman's right to vote. Songs were composed to advance (and to oppose) the agenda that culminated in the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. This program presents some of the most engaging and interesting songs of the movement, with historical commentary, in commemoration of the approaching centennial of a woman's right to vote.

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Meet Isabella Beecher Hooker: One of Connecticut’s Suffragettes

Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 6:30 PM
Snow date: Monday, March 30, 2020, at 6:30 PM
Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road

Tempest-Tossed is the first full biography of the passionate, fascinating youngest daughter of the "Fabulous Beecher" family—one of America's most high-powered families of the nineteenth century. Older sister Harriet Beecher Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Brother Henry Ward Beecher was one of America's most influential ministers, and sister Catherine Beecher wrote pivotal works on women's rights and educational reform. And then there was Isabella Beecher Hooker—"a curiously modern nineteenth-century figure." She was a leader in the suffrage movement, and a mover and shaker in Hartford's storied Nook Farm neighborhood and salon. But there is more to the story—to Isabella's character—than that.

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Archaeological finds within the Farmington Valley

Monday, March i6, 2020, at 6:30 PM
Snow date: Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 6:30 PM
Avon Free Public Library Community Room, 281 Country Club Road

This is a companion program to the Paleoindian Site presentation that will be held at the Avon Senior Center on Saturday, February 15, 2020. Ken Feder, Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University, and Founder and Director of Farmington River Valley Archaeology Project, will share stories of the ancient people of the Farmington Valley, as discovered through various archeological projects.

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Suffrage Film Series

Dates below, all films begin at 1:30 pm
Avon Free Public Library, Library Community Room, 281 Country Club Road

February 5, 2020
Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Two women, one allegiance (2004; NR; 3 hrs.).

March 4, 2020
One Woman, One Vote
PBS documentary chronicles the 70 year struggle leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment (2005; NR; 1 hr.).
Shown with: Equality
Contemporary women introduce women of the past (2007; NR; 30 min.).

April 1, 2020
Susan B. Anthony
Archival photographs and dramatic recreations of Anthony’s fight for women’s rights (1999; NR; 50 min.).

May 6, 2020
America’s Victoria: Remembering Victoria Woodhull
Chronicles the life of one of the most important and unrecognized women in US history (2007; Rated G; 2 hrs.).

June 3, 2020
Mary Poppins
Walt Disney’s classic film provided the first exposure to the suffrage movement for many children (1964; Rated G; 2 hrs. 19 min.).

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All events in the DEEDS series are free and open to the public. A full listing will be posted on the Library’s website, and throughout social media of all three organizations. In addition, all Avon events will be posted on the Connecticut Commission on Women’s Suffrage ( & CT Humanities ( websites.

Call for original suffrage items! If anyone has any original suffrage items they are willing to share for our exhibits, please let us know. We are looking for personal items such as sashes, signs, letters, photos, etc. In 2020 there will be space available in locked exhibit cases in the Library for two suffrage exhibits. Please let the Avon Free Public Library (860-673-9712) or Avon Historical Society (860-678-7621) know if you are willing to loan items for display.