‘A Real Treasure’: Jim & Dede Bartlett Center for New Canaan History Opens at NCM&HS

The New Canaanite 2024 Summer Internship Program is sponsored by Karp Associates. New Canaan has long been an epicenter of rich history and culture. It’s apparent in the buildings downtown, library, schools, parks and local organizations. It’s also apparent in the people, some of whom have left indelible marks on the town. 

Recently, the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society opened a permanent exhibit to highlight just that: the people and ideas that have left a profound legacy on New Canaan. The “Jim and Dede Bartlett Center for New Canaan History” is “the cornerstone of a $2 million dollar ‘Campus Reimagined’ project,” said Nancy Geary, executive director of the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society.

Letter to the Editor

NewCanaanite.com recently received the following letter to the editor. Please email your letters to editor@newcanaanite.com to publish them here. ***
On June 2, the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society hosted its Ice Cream Social.  The weather was perfect, and the atmosphere was celebratory as more than 1000 attendees, ranging in age from 8 weeks to 94 years, enjoyed ice cream, cake, the Town Band, vintage cars, and games while exploring the campus and the historic house museums.
The day could not have been the wonderful success it was without the generosity of businesses in Town and the work of dozens of dedicated volunteers. Phil Luongo, owner of Gofer Ice Cream of New Canaan, made – and saved – the day.  He donated delicious flavors, plus toppings, sprinkles, and cups.  But only 35 minutes into the event, with a line snaking its way out into parking lot, we realized we would run out.  With a huge smile, Phil arrived with more so that nobody left disappointed.  Phil is a relatively recent owner of the store on Main Street, but he jumped right in to help the Museum & Historical Society and put a smile on hundreds of young faces. All my thanks to the members of the Exchange Club who scooped the ice cream and Nick Williams who performed clean-up duty for two hours straight; the National Charity League – Canaan Parish and New Canaan Chapters, Elizabeth DeMuth, who organized them, and all who baked cakes, helped serve, and ran games; Christopher DeMuth and the other S.L.O.B.s who lugged and hauled everything that was too heavy for the rest of us; the Town Band for another year of its fabulous music; Frances Wilson, Patricia Oxman, and Karen Ferguson, who educated visitors to the Rock School and the Hanford-Silliman House; Board Governors Janice Luddy and Ellen Cummings for welcoming everyone at the check-in desk; Russ Jones for gathering prizes for the People’s Choice awards, and the car owners for letting us admire their vintage cars; Scott Ready and Old Faithful for the classic fire trucks; and Board Governor Mark Markiewicz, who has designed our Special Collections Museum and was there to answer questions about the construction.

Who Knew: New Canaan’s DNA

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. Is it too on-the-nose to start a column about historical exploration in New Canaan with a Back to the Future reference? Because I’m about to. 

I’ve stood at the corner of Main and Elm streets and wished for a backpack full of Doc’s plutonium rods and a DeLorean whose dials I could fiddle with endlessly. It would provide the perfect front-row seat to the past nature of this place. What kinds of dinosaurs roamed these fair fields during the Mesozoic era?

New Canaan Library To Launch ‘Changemakers’ Installation at 1913 Building

As New Canaan Library prepares to take on the final phase of its remade campus—identifying a function for the 1913 building—it is also using the historic structure for a new art installation. 

And it’s partnering with one of the town’s most important local nonprofit organizations to do it: The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society. 

NCM&HS this month is launching the new Jim and Dede Bartlett Center for New Canaan History. It’s built around a theme of “Making a Difference”—the people, businesses, and events that have shaped  the community. As part of the permanent exhibition, the Museum has an interactive console of 50 New Canaan residents who had a significant impact on the town. Officials from the library looked at the images and biographies and selected six to feature in the windows of the legacy building. “The New Canaan Museum was happy to be the library’s partner in celebrating the lives of transformative New Canaan residents,” said Nancy Geary, executive director of NCM&HS.

Podcast: Vin Farrell’s Architectural Photography at Gores Pavilion

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Vin Farrell, whose architectural photography goes on display this week at Gores Pavilion in Irwin Park. The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society is hosting an opening reception 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 at the Gores Pavilion. The show will run through October, and after the reception visitors can book an appointment with NCM&HS to view the exhibition. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0: