New Milford Historical Society and Museum paintings now grace the mayor’s office.

In November 2015, the New Milford Historical Society’s board of trustees voted to start a new tradition.

It was decided to take artwork out of storage and offer to loan them to any new mayor for temporary exhibition in their office.

This new outreach program will help promote New Milford’s rich history through cultural awareness.

Lisa Roush, museum curator, selected several paintings and etchings for Mayor Gronbach to review.

“My goal was to provide the Mayor with artwork that best represents New Milford,” Roush said.

The selected artwork was installed Dec. 30, and a brief ceremony was held April 6 at the mayor’s office.

Of the items that were selected, there were some very notable members of the founding families of New Milford.

Portraits of Solomon Edgar Bostwick (1806-1883) and his wife Adaline Booth Bostwick (1813-1872) painted by H.W. Snyder in 1840 hang together side by side once again.

Solomon was one of the first directors of the First National Bank of New Milford. He was the New Milford Postmaster for eight years and a merchant in the village for 20 years manufacturing vegetable ivory buttons.

Solomon and his family lived on the west side of the Village Green and were responsible for planting the first elm trees on the Green.

He was a distant relative of Colonel Elisha Bostwick, who fought in the Revolutionary War under George Washington.

Charlotte Bostwick, her daughter Carol Barnhart and niece Sarah Straub, all direct descendants of Solomon, attended the April 6 ceremony.

The portrait of Abel Silas Hine (1779-1856), painted by an unknown artist, also now hangs in the mayor’s office.

He was born in New Milford, married Patience Hubble and had five children.

Abel was a farmer by trade. His father, Capt. Noble Hine, fought in the Revolutionary War.

The Hine Family settled in New Milford in the early 1700s from Milford.

Abel’s great-grandfather, Samuel Hine, bought land in New Milford in 1730 and made a living as a blacksmith and farmer.

“Community outreach is a critical component of the society’s mission,” said museum president Ted Hine, who attended the ceremony, along with Virginia Trabold and Ethel Anderson-Krenkel, cousins of Hine, who were also there to represent the Hine family.

During former Mayor Pat Murphy’s time in office, under Mr. Hine’s direction, the society helped to develop the initial route for the Barn Quilt Project and gathered history on the different barns.

Since Mayor Murphy’s departure from office, the society has been working with the Farmland Preservation Committee, which is now spearheading this initiative.

The historical society has been involved in a number of other community outreach programs during the past few years.

These include hosting the Garden Club of New Milford’s juried flower shows, organizing the garden club’s 75th anniversary exhibit and the Water Witch Hose Co. No. 2’s 150th anniversary exhibit, and collaborating with the New Milford Youth Agency with oral history interviews and videos.

Currently, Roush is working with the First Congregational Church of New Milford’s 300th anniversary committee and is planning a commemorative exhibit that will open in October.

The historical society and museum is located at 6 Aspetuck Ave., near the top of the Green.

The organization owns and maintains a campus of historic buildings that includes The Knapp House, Elijah Boardman Store and the First New Milford Bank Building.

In addition, it owns the Hill and Plain One Room Schoolhouse on Sullivan Road.

The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., or by appointment.

For more information, call 860-354-3069 or email nmhistorical@gmail.com.