Greenwich Students: Write/Draw Something for a Time Capsule!

Town Students Invited to Share Hopes, Dreams, and Predictions for Greenwich in Historical Society Time Capsule to Dedicate New Campus

Greenwich Students to Join Boys and Girls Club in Creating Essays and Artwork to be Sealed for 50 Years

The Greenwich Historical Society invites students to contribute to the cultural legacy of the Town by submitting creative content for a time capsule that will become part of the cornerstone of its newly constructed museum and archive building.  Affectionately named Elizabeth for Greenwich’s founding mother Elizabeth Feake, the capsule will be installed at a public event on November 4.

To enter the competition, students prepare a short essay or artwork on 8.5” x 11” paper that describes their hopes, dreams, and predictions for what Greenwich will be like in 50 years when Elizabeth will be opened. The top three submissions will be published in Greenwich Magazine, which is polling residents on what other items should be included in the time capsule. To submit ideas visit greenwichmag.com/timecapsule. Two runners up will receive a family membership to the Greenwich Historical Society.

How to Participate:

  1. Students in Greenwich elementary, middle, and high schools enter by preparing a brief essay (1 – 2 paragraphs) or artwork on 8.5 x 11” paper that reflects their hopes, dreams, and predictions for the Town in the year 2067. Submissions should include the student’s full name, age, and school. By submitting an essay or drawing, students and parents acknowledge that the Greenwich Historical Society has rights to use it in social media, public relations, and for other promotional purposes, and that those rights can be transferred to third party media.
  2. Submissions should be emailed to: admin@greenwichhistory.org or sent via mail to: Time Capsule, Greenwich Historical Society, 39 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807.
  3. All entries must be received by October 30 for consideration to be inserted into the capsule along with other items that will offer a glimpse into what life was like in Greenwich in 2017.
  4. The top three submissions will be published in Greenwich Magazine.

Dedication Ceremony on November 4, 2017

Elizabeth will be installed on Saturday, November 4 at 11 a.m. in a public ceremony at the newly constructed museum and archive building at 47 Strickland Road, Cos Cob. All participating students and their families, Historical Society members and supporters, and all Greenwich residents are invited to attend.

More information on the November 4 Open House, Cornerstone Dedication, and Time Capsule Installation

About Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake and the Founding of the Town of Greenwich

Elizabeth Fones of Suffolk, England in 1629 married Henry Winthrop, who died shortly after arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Elizabeth traveled to the Colony with her infant daughter and married Robert Feake in a union that was approved by her uncle, John Winthrop, Governor of the Colony. On July 18,1640, Robert Feake and Daniel Patrick purchased what became a part of Greenwich for “25 Coates.” The 1640 deed also states that “Elizabeth Neck” – now known as Greenwich Point — was Elizabeth Feake’s “Perticaler purchase.”

Art & History Camp 2017

Another great session of camp is coming to a close. We had four weeks of camp — two weeks for campers entering grades 4-7  and two weeks for children entering grades 2-4. Sessions for each age group featured one week of a history focus and one week of art immersion.

Here are campers in Week 1 working together in a barn raising: 

They went on a field trip to the New Haven Museum and learned about the Amistad.

They also took a field trip to the PepsiCo sculpture park and created art en plein air on our campus just like the Cos Cob American Impressionist art colony did one hundred years ago. We are so lucky to have master painter Dmitri Wright instruct the budding artists so skillfully.

The campers loved learning how to weave and do embroidery work.

Younger campers also made butter, kites, molasses cookies, and horn books. Each week’s performance at the end of camp for family and friends is something the kids really enjoy.

Follow us on social media to keep up to date on our children’s programming, learn fun facts about Greenwich history and see old photos, and much more!

Instagram: @greenwichhistory

Facebook: @GreenwichHistoricalSociety

Twitter: @GrnHistCT

This Place Matters! Photo Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone for submitting photos and sharing what makes Greenwich special to you. The judges had a hard time picking winners but here they are:

1st Place Tod's Point, Old Greenwich - Submitted by Joseph Weed
1st Place
Tod’s Point, Old Greenwich
Submitted by Joseph Weed
2nd Place Mason and Teddy Maloney at the September 11 Memorial in Cos Cob Park, Cos Cob: Submitted by Sally Maloney
2nd Place
Mason and Teddy Maloney at the September 11 Memorial in Cos Cob Park, Cos Cob
Submitted by Sally Maloney
3rd Place Ada's, Riverside: Submitted by Finley Marshall and Lucinda McCall; photo by Carrie Wallack
3rd Place
Ada’s, Riverside
Finley Marshall and Lucinda McCall
Photo by Carrie Wallack
4th Place Byram clambake pavillion
4th Place
Byram clambake pavilion, Byram
Submitted by Alexandra Bogdanovic
5th Place Neighbors on Park Avenue, Central Greenwich
5th Place
Neighbors on Park Avenue, Central Greenwich
Submitted by Catherine Tompkins

Prizes

  • 1st Prize: Tickets for two adults to the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show Preview Party December 1, 2017
  • 2nd Prize: Tickets for two adults to the Antiquarius Holiday House Tour December 6, 2017
  • 3rd Prize: One annual family membership to the Greenwich Historical Society
  • 4th Prize: One family pass to the Greenwich Historical Society Fall Festival October 8, 2017
  • 5th Prize: A collection of Greenwich-themed books for children and adults

This Place Matters! Photo Contest

This Place Matters logoThis Place Matters! Photo Contest

Do you love Greenwich, CT? What place in this town inspires you the most? We want to know!

Photos must be of Greenwich, CT and include a caption that identifies the location. Caption must also explain why the place in the photo matters to the person who submitted it and/or to the person/people in the photo. All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them. By submitting a photo you acknowledge that the Greenwich Historical Society has rights to use it in social media, public relations, and for other promotional purposes.

How to Participate

Snap a photo of a place in Greenwich that matters to you — be in the photo if you want or pose your friends, family, and/or pets!

Please include your first and last name, the photo’s location, and identify the people in the photo. Please write a sentence or more about why the place is special to you.

How to Submit a Photo

The photo contest is live on our Facebook page. You can submit a photo, see all the photos, and vote for your favorite one.

Or you can email the photo to admin@greenwichhistory.org.

And/or you can post on social media: Use hashtags #thisplacematters #thisplacemattersgreenwich; Instagram: @greenwichhistory @SavingPlaces; Twitter: @GrnHistCT @SavingPlaces; and Facebook: @GreenwichHistoricalSociety

Contest entries will be narrowed down by criteria including popular vote and then submitted to a panel of judges who will pick five winners.

Last day for submitting photos: July 12, 2017 at noon. Winners will be announced at the Greenwich Founders’ Day event at Tod’s Point on July 18, 2017. Prizes will be awarded to the top five entries judged by an independent panel of Greenwich residents with an interest in preservation.

5 Valuable Prizes

  • Tickets for two adults to the Greenwich Winter Antiques Show Preview Party December 1, 2017
  • Tickets for two adults to the Antiquarius Holiday House Tour December 6, 2017
  • One annual family membership to the Greenwich Historical Society
  • One family pass to the Greenwich Historical Society Fall Festival October 8, 2017
  • A collection of Greenwich-themed books for children and adults

We invite all residents − children, students, adults and seniors − to participate in this modern documentary project by taking a photograph of a cherished place or structure in their community and sharing their story, however brief or long, about why it is important to preserve.

About Greenwich Preservation Month

First Selectman Peter Tesei  issued a proclamation recognizing May as Preservation Month. Timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Landmarks Recognition Program  on May 7, Greenwich Preservation Month and the This Place Matters! campaign encourage residents to focus on the importance of preservation for maintaining Greenwich’s rich cultural heritage by sharing the places and stories that make Greenwich such a cherished place worth preserving.

This Place Matters! is inspired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s initiative to encourage preservation.

 

How the Digital Revolution
Began in the 1800s

Ada LovelaceWhat do Lord Byron and his daughter Ada Lovelace have to do with coining the term “Luddite” and the development of computers?

In 1812 at age 24, Lord Byron gave a speech in the House of Lords agreeing with Ned Ludd that mechanical weaving machines were going to be the downfall of humane society. Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s only legitimate child, was, however, fascinated by the punch cards used in creating mechanical weaving machines. As a teenager she studied these automated weaving looms on a trip through the British Midlands. Later Ada worked with Charles Babbage, creator of the “Difference Engine,” a robust calculator that computed polynomial figures; and the “Analytical Engine,” the precursor to the computer, which he started building in 1834.

Jacquard cards
Jacquard punch cards. Berlin Technological Museum (Gessler Photo)
Portrait of Joseph-Marie Jacquard
This woven silk portrait of Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), inventor of the mechanism that made it possible for such detailed automated work, got Babbage’s and Lovelace’s minds working about how to use punch cards for other purposes.

In 1843 Ada published an article in a scientific journal discussing four points that earned her a place at the forefront of the digital revolution.

  1. She envisioned a machine that could be programmed and reprogrammed
  2. She thought Babbage’s Analytical Engine could be used not just for numbers but for anything that could be notated symbolically, such as music and words
  3. She published the world’s first computer program by creating detailed instructions about a sequence of operations to give the computer
  4. She opined that computers cannot think
Babbage's Analytical Engine
Babbage’s Analytical Engine

In 1979, the U.S. Department of Defense named its new common high-order computer programming language Ada. Since 2009 the second Tuesday in October has been known as Ada Lovelace Day, when women in STEM celebrate their achievements.

Ada’s contributions are discussed in “The Innovators,” Walter Isaacson’s book, which he will be discussing April 20 in a fundraising event for the Greenwich Historical Society.

 

Isaacson event info

Valentine’s Day Letter 1898

Valentine's Day card Below is a transcription of the letter in the photographs published here from artist Elmer MacRae to Constant Holley, dated February 14, 1898. MacRae was an artist, and boarder at the Holley House, which Constant helped run with her parents. Elmer and Constant fell in love, married in 1900, had twin girls in 1904, and ran the boarding house together.

Our curator Karen Frederick described the letters as such in a recent article in The New York Times: “Their letters are so lovey-dovey I can only stand reading them for a little while.”  🙂

Valentine's Day letter 1898 page 1

February 14, 1898 letter page 2Holley-MacRae Family Papers Box 6/96

Monday before dinner

[New York, February 14, 1898]

My darling Constant—

Monday and Tuesday have come and gone!—Saturday will soon come, my precious, then will we see each other again, and have each other for some time; until Saturday darling we must try to be patient and make the best of our time, so that by doing this each week, it will shorten the time when we can see each other and have each other for good and all time!

Sweet girl, you pass the time doing good to everybody when the opportunity offers, by making something pretty or whatever you might choose to improve your timing (Ed. ?), anything shall; keep occupied darling, and in this way the days, between our being together, won’t seem so long. There is hardly much use of me telling you this, sweetheart, I know you are always busy, always useful, always putting your time to some good account, but in this way I find the time isn’t quite so hard to bear.

In doing this both together, we are building the foundation stones of our union upon something solid. By that time we will be able, if necessity calls, to stand separation or any trial that might possibly come to us.

It will make us better men and better women.

Our beautiful and all powerful love, my darling, will carry us through everything and crown us with success and happiness to the end.

You sweet, loving girl, I worship and adore you—you’re my own true love!

Elmer sends his love to enrich her and stay by her all the time during his absence, and loves her constant companion wherever she goes or where she is.

Let me kiss you darling and put my arms around you—

[6 circles of kisses]

Greenwich Historical Society. Holley/MacRae Family Papers, Box 25, Folder 245. Elmer and Constant MacRae, Anniversary 1950
Elmer and Constant MacRae, fiftieth wedding anniversary, 1950

Construction Progress

We’re doubling parking capacity as part of our exciting campus transformation. Amazing progress so far! We’ll update this page as time goes on to share photos of the many changes happening at the Greenwich Historical Society.

Construction progress parking lot Nov-Dec 2016The below photos show the impressive progress digging, excavating, drilling, blasting, and otherwise readying the site for the parking lot expansion and new building. Lots of rock to remove!

Looking north November 10, 2016
Looking north November 10, 2016
Looking north February 28, 2017
Looking north February 28, 2017

 

 

 

Treasures Found During Excavation

Items found during excavationThe Greenwich Historical Society has begun its campus transformation ! First steps include removing rock, excavating, and preparing our parking area under the Mianus River Bridge of I-95 to double parking capacity and create a single, accessibe entrance.

Tea kettle found during excavationOur parking lot excavation has turned up quite a few interesting items, from a tea kettle to a (full and unopened!) laxative bottle with dosage directions etched in the glass. Here are some photos of what we’ve found so far. They all have been buried for  approximately 100 years.

Items found during excavationconstruction vehicles

 

 

Bush-Holley House by Candlelight 2016

Some photos from our wonderful annual event, held December 11. Kids got quality time with Santa and made holiday crafts, guests took tours of Bush-Holley House decorated for the holidays, and all enjoyed great music, tasty treats, and good cheer. And it was all free!

Bush-Holley House at Christmastime

‘Tis the season! Photos of the Greenwich Historical Society campus decorated for the holidays:

bhhxmasdusk

Christmas garland on the porch of Bush-Holley House

 

Cardinal decorationBush-Holley House Interior Decorated for the Holidays

Every December, Bush-Holley House is decorated in a historically accurate way with an ornamented tree, fir garlands, and stockings by the fireplace.

Christmas was not widely celebrated during the Bush family years as Puritans considered Christmas traditions derived from pagan rituals. By the time the Holleys occupied the house though, Christmas traditions included a tree, visiting friends and family, presents, and special meals. 

 

What is now called Bush-Holley House was built in stages starting ca.1730. Beginning in 1738 the house was owned by the Bush (Dutch, originally Bosch; no relation to the political Bushes) family.

Its life as a boardinghouse began in 1848 when the now much-expanded home passed out of the Bush family. Josephine and Edward Holley operated it as a boardinghouse for artists and writers beginning in 1882 and passed it to their daughter Constant Holley following her marriage to the artist Elmer MacRae in 1900.

Christmas was popularized starting with the publication of Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” in 1822 and later with a photo of Queen Victoria and her family around a table-top Christmas tree in 1847. As the 19th century came to a close, it was becoming more common for trees to be full size with all the trimmings rather than small table-top displays.

Christmas 1910 at Bush-Holley House, with MacRae twins Clarissa and Constant, daughters of Constant Holley and artist Elmer MacRae

Living at the Holley house in 1910 were Constant (age 39) and Elmer (age 35); their twin daughters, Clarissa and Constant (age 6); Constant’s parents, Edward P. Holley (age 72) and Josephine (age 61); Sally Hudson (age 26), an African-American servant; and, according to the 1910 census, two roomers—Isabel Fowler (age 44) and Carolyn Mase (age 42).

Antique Christmas card in the collections of the Greenwich Historical Society’s William E. Finch, Jr., Archives