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.

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), The Avon Historical Society is postponing all live, in-person attended events, until further notice.


Below, are the final programs in the DEEDS NOT WORDS series. They are provided and funded by the Avon Free Public Library, Avon Historical Society, and Avon Senior Center, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of suffrage in America.

ZOOM Lecture: Votes for Women

Wednesday, August 26 at 3:00 pm
Your computer, tablet, or phone!

Join us to learn about the Connecticut women who fought on a local, state, and national level and on whose shoulders we stand. Be inspired by their stories to use your vote to give a voice to women! August 26th is the date of certification of the 19th amendment by the U.S. Secretary of the State.

Presented by The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. This program is jointly sponsored by The Friends of the Avon Public Library and The Friends of The Farmington Public Library.

Register here.

ZOOM Lecture: A Conversation with Meredith Bergmann

Sculptor of the “Women’s Rights Pioneers” Statue in New York’s Central Park featuring Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Monday, September 14 at 6:30 pm
Your computer, tablet, or phone!

For over 40 years, Meredith Bergmann has been making sculpture that deals with complex themes in an accessible, beautiful, and provocative way. Working within the tradition of narrative sculpture, she draws on her love of the history of art, literature, and mythology to make the past speak to the present. Blending the sensuality and power of representational sculpture with her own subtle sense of mischief, her work evokes multilayered responses. She works both on public monuments and on a private scale, exploring issues of history, social justice, race, human rights, disabilities, and the power of poetry and music. Her work has been shown in more than two dozen exhibitions and appears in 10 institutional collections. Her largest public commission, unveiled in 2003, was for the Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay. Her FDR Hope Memorial for New York City’s Roosevelt Island will be unveiled this year and she is currently sculpting the first statues of historic women for New York City’s Central Park. Meredith lives in Connecticut with her husband Michael Bergmann, a writer and director, and their son.

Register here.

ZOOM Lecture: From the Hidden Women Series: The Black Suffragists

Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 6:30 pm
Your computer, tablet, or phone!

From the Hidden Women Series: The Black Suffragists, presented by Tammy Denease, The very definition of Women’s suffrage is the right for women to vote. One could conclude that the Suffrage Movement should have included women from all walks of life--But did it? This is a pre-recorded lecture; live Q & A will follow.

Register here.

Virtual Dramatic Event by Sheryl Faye: Meet Susan B Anthony, Failure is Impossible

Wednesday, October 14, 7:00 pm
Your computer, tablet, or phone!

This is the series finale of DEEDS NOT WORDS.

Susan B. Anthony was a women’s rights activist, and she devoted her life to racial, gender, and educational equality. She is one of the most famous women in American history, playing a prominent role in the women’s suffrage movement; the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and she also was in support of women’s labor organizations and for a woman’s right to own property. In 2020 we celebrate not only 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, we’re also celebrating Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday!

Sheryl Faye is a full-time actress, a goal she has worked her whole live to achieve. Besides performing a variety of historical women for schools, libraries, historical societies, senior centers, and others, she also writes and performs with StageCoach Improv. She has been the voice of several characters for Sony Play Station games and for a variety of medical CD ROMS. She recently shot a national print ad for Vicks cold/flu and continues to keep busy working on films, television and theater throughout Boston and New York.

Please register and a link to view the performance will be sent to you on the day of the event. The program is 45 minutes; all ages are welcome.

Register here.


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.