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Adult Programs


Old Greenwich: Stories from the Archives
back 40 store A "Historical" Shopping Event

Original date: Thursday, October 1, 2015
New date: Thursday, October 8, 2015

Did you know...

  • That Old Greenwich was originally called Sound Beach?
  • That the area was once part of a tug o’ war between England and Holland?
  • That its original settlers were linked with a major scandal that tested religious and social tolerance in the New World?

Learn all about Greenwich?s oldest neighborhood when Historical Society archivist Christopher Shields presents Old Greenwich: Stories from the Archives, a special evening at Back 40 Mercantile. The store will be open for shopping, and 10% of all proceeds will go to support the Greenwich Historical Society.

Enjoy complimentary hors d?oeuvres and wine as we explore Old Greenwich?s colorful past.

Reservations are encouraged. If you signed up for the original date of October 1, your name will be put on the list for October 8. See you then!

Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Back 40 Mercantile, 264 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich

Sponsored by Robin Kencel of the Fieldstone Group and Back 40 Mercantile

fieldstone group logo                      back 40 mercantile

Curator-Led Tours of Greenwich Choices: 50 Objects that Illustrate our History

Thursday, October 8, 2015 and Thursday, February 18, 2016

Greenwich Choices: 50 Objects That Illustrate our History explores defining moments in Greenwich’s growth and development through objects drawn from the Historical Society’s collections. In two separate behind-the-scenes tours with exhibition curator Karen Frederick, visitors will have the opportunity to examine (along with the many other items on display) why an 18th-century, homespun shirt with a bullet hole, a bill of sale for a three-year-old slave boy and a congresswoman’s carefully preserved scrapbooks all represent important turning points in the town’s history.

Visitors will have the chance to ask questions, learn more about the selection process and to share their own responses to these unique objects. The exhibition, created in honor of the town’s 375th anniversary, provides fascinating insights into how choices made by earlier residents still resonate today and why it’s so important to collect and preserve items that document our local story.

Cocktails with the Curator

Thursday, October 8, 2015, 5:30 to 7:00 pm

Storehouse Gallery

Wine and light refreshments will be served

Coffee with the Curator

Thursday, February 18, 2016, 10:30 to 11:30 am

Storehouse Gallery

Coffee will be served

Admission is free for both events

Space is limited. Reservations strongly recommended. Please call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10

Fall Festival: A Revolutionary Concept

french farm images

Sunday, October 11, 2015

In celebration of the town's 375th Anniversary, this year's Fall Festival will focus on early Greenwich history. Re-enactors from the Fifth Connecticut Regiment will demonstrate camp life at the time of the American Revolution and march, fire muskets and display uniforms, flags, crafts and weapons from the period.

Visitors may take a hayride along historic Strickland Road; enjoy a family-friendly tour of Bush-Holley House linked to the Fifth Connecticut Regiment; visit the exhibition Greenwich Choices and try their hands at Colonial-inspired crafts. They may also compete in the annual scarecrow-making competition. Registration fee for the competition (in addition to entrance fee) is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers and includes armature ("the bones"), hay for stuffing, twine and a burlap sack for the head. Bring your own clothing and "accessories" to customize your creation.

generously sponsored by First Bank Greenwich


Sunday, October 11, 2015, 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Bush-Holley Historic Site

$10 for adults; $5 for children; $25 for family admission

Scarecrow Competition: $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. Please sign up in advance.

Purchase tickets below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10

Adult admission: $10

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Child admission: $5

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Family admission: $25

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Scarecrow Competition – Members: $10

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Scarecrow Competition – Non-members: $15

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An Evening with Author Steven Stolman at Jonathan Adler Greenwich

french farm images

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Join us for an exclusive evening of shopping, sips and bites at Jonathan Adler on Greenwich Avenue with special guest, Steven Stolman. Hosted by Historical Society stalwarts Suzanne Frank, Rachel Kelley, Reggie Olmstead and Jordan Rhodes, the event will celebrate Mr. Stolman's book, Confessions of A Serial Entertainer.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Greenwich Historical Society.

generously sponsored by First Bank Greenwich

Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6:00 to 9:00 pm

88 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich

No charge, but advance reservations are required. Call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10. Space is limited.

Greenwich Reads Together Event, Cosponsored with the Greenwich Library
An Evening with Princess Omaa Adaobi Ume-Ezeoke:
Women's Roles in Traditional Nigerian Folklore and their Contemporary Impact

Princess Omaa Adaobi Ume-Ezeoke

Thursday, October 22, 2015

This year's Greenwich Reads Together book selection is Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a story of race and identity that unfolds against three continents chronicling a Nigerian woman?s immigrant experience in America.

As part of the town-wide program, guest speaker Nigerian Princess Omaa Adaobi Ume-Ezeoke will share stories that reflect traditional Igbo worldviews on the roles of women in the contexts of family, marriage and work. The program will include a discussion that moves understanding of these roles into the contemporary environment of Adichie's Americanah.

The speaker is a visual and performing artist, as well as a storyteller of Igbo folktales. Her experiences from the 1967-70 Nigeria-Biafra civil war constitute an important influence on her work. She contributed to the reader Pearls of Wisdom and co-curated the exhibition Producing Histories: African Art at the Housatonic Museum of Art. Ume-Ezeoke is the founding president of the Igbo Women's Association of Bridgeport.Greenwich Reads Together logo

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Free and open to all; no registration required.

Vanderbilt Education Center


Life leads us down many roads—some by chance and some by choice. Based on that theme, a very talented group of local raconteurs will present short, unscripted, live stories based on the premise that careful planning, blind luck—and sometimes both—can take us to completely unexpected destinations. In fact, sometimes, unlikely detours make for the most memorable events and the best stories. Sit back, let these tales draw you in, and soon you’ll find yourself pondering whether it was free will or a quirk of fate that landed you where you stand today!

This night of personal story-telling magic is being held in conjunction with the Greenwich Historical Society’s current exhibition 50 Objects That Illustrate the Story of Our Town, which examines objects from the Historical Society’s collection that represent turning points in the town’s history. Story Barn is hosted by the incomparable Bonnie Levison, comedienne, storytelling coach for and cofounder of the Nantucket Comedy Festival. The program takes place in a relaxed cabaret-like setting, and wine, beer and light snacks are included in the price of admission.

If you would like to participate as a storyteller in By Chance or By Choice? please email Anna Greco or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 31. Pre-show coaching is available.

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Doors open at 7:00 pm; show starts at 7:30 pm.

Vanderbilt Education Center

$15 for members; $20 for nonmembers. Reservations suggested. Space is limited. Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Members: $15

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Non-members: $20

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Wolf by the Ears book cover

Book Talk by Dr. John Van Atta
Wolf by the Ears: The Missouri Crisis, 1819-1821

Thursday, November 19, 2015

From the early days of the republic, American leaders knew that a ticking time-bomb–the question of slavery—lay at the heart of national politics. For a time, an implicit understanding between North and South had helped to keep the issue at bay: Northern states tacitly agreed to respect the property rights of southern slaveholders, and in return, southerners essentially promised to view slaveholding as a practical evil to be dealt with farther down the road. By 1819–1820, westward expansion had brought the matter to a head. As Thomas Jefferson noted, a nation dealing with the politically implacable issue of slavery essentially held a "wolf by the ears.” It could neither let go nor hang on without consequences.

Van Atta deftly explains how the Missouri crisis revealed the impact that slavery had on American nation building. He explores the external social, cultural, and economic forces that gave the confrontation such urgency and examines the beliefs, assumptions, and fears that characterized both sides of the argument. Wolf by the Ears provides students in American history with an ideal introduction to the Missouri crisis while at the same time offering fresh insights for scholars of the early republic.*

Dr. John Van Atta is the Oaklawn Chair in American History at Brunswick School and a recognized master teacher since 1996. He has published a number of articles on Middle American History (1776–1861), and two earlier books, Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old Republic, 1785-1850 and A Place For Boys: Brunswick School and the Building of Young Men.

A short Q&A session and book signing will follow the lecture, and Wolf by the Ears will be available for purchase.

* Book description adapted from

Thursday, November 19, 2015, 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Vanderbilt Education Center

$10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. Reserve below or call 203-869-6899, Ext. 10.

Members: $10

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Non-members: $15

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Cancellation, Refund and Nonsufficient Funds Policy

A full refund for program and special events payments will be made up to 10 days before the program or event. Within 10 days of the program or event, no refund can be granted, but payments may be changed to tax-deductible contributions at payer's request. A fee of $25 will be charged for checks returned to us for nonsufficient funds.