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.

An Early Distillery and Temperance in Avon

Monday, November 13th

Lecture at 7:00 p.m. co-presented by Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, retired State Archaeologist and Janet M. Conner, Avon Historical Society.

Avon and Farmington were agricultural communities with many taverns and cider houses. From the Colonial days people believed that drinking cider was safer than water to prevent diseases such as dysentery so cider was served at every meal, including to children. In addition to growing food for themselves and their livestock, many farmers grew crops specificically for distilling and food preservation. Apple orchards yielded fruit for cider, which became alcoholic after only 12 hours of fermentation, while grains such as wheat, rye and buckwheat could be distilled into spirits.

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Industrial Revolution in Avon, Unionville and Collinsville

Friday, December 1st

Lecture at 7:00 p.m. presented by Gene Macy, Social Studies teacher from Avon Middle School.

In 1830, when the Farmington Canal was completed through Avon, a decision was made by Town leaders to break away from the ‘mother town’ of Farmington and to become incorporated as a separate town. The canal literally put Avon on the map, passing through the center of town, under Albany Turnpike, and continuing up to Simsbury. Avon became known as “the crossroads of commerce” and the town prospered, even though it was never really known as a manufacturing town.

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Historic Church and School Bells of Avon

Monday, December 18th

Lecture at 7:00 p.m. presented by Janet M. Conner, Avon Historical Society. Special feature: A hand bell choir playing winter-themed music.

Avon residents may not see them, or even hear them, but they are there - historic church and school bells with quite interesting historical connections! Our presentation will discuss how the school bell, formerly located in the cupola of the Huckleberry Hill School, was saved and installed in Pine Grove Elementary School’s courtyard.

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