Museum slates exhibits, fireside chat
“The Lost Exhibit,” Gunn Historical Museum in Washington’s traveling exhibit,” is on display at Marty’s Café in town.
Comprised of over 25 black-and-white photographs from the museum’s collection, “The Lost Depot” offers a nostalgic glimpse of a Washington Depot comprised of quaint street scenes and eclectic buildings, all of which vanished after the Flood of 1955.
The exhibit, which runs through the end of the month at the 4 Green Hill Road café, gives the museum an opportunity to share Washington’s history outside of the museum walls, and to give the general public a glimpse into both Washington’s past, and the treasures housed at the museum.
“The Lost Depot” is one of a series of special events that the museum will be holding in town this year.
Museum staff recently began the task of further cataloguing, inventorying and digitizing the museum’s 10,000-plus item collection, a result of having been awarded the Good to Great Grant through the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
“During this time for the protection of the collection, the museum cannot be open to the general public in the way we have been in the past,” said museum director Louise Van Tartwijk.
Visits and research will have to be done by appointment.
“But being ‘closed’ has offered us the opportunity to bring the museum into town by way of traveling exhibits,” she said.
“I actually believe that more people in our community will be learning more about Washington’s special history than ever before, because we will be bringing town history to them, rather than they coming to us,” she said.
The next special museum event will be a “fireside chat” at the Mayflower Grace Hotel Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Museum curator Stephen Bartkus and Van Tartwijk will tell the story of Henry Van Sinderen, a man once known as “Mr. Washington,” who founded the Mayflower Inn, and was a major (often controversial) force for town renewal after The Flood.
In conjunction with this talk, the museum will open a small traveling exhibit at the Mayflower Grace Hotel displaying memorabilia from the early days of the Mayflower Inn.
The exhibit will include guest books from the 1920s illustrated by local artist Herbert Waldron Faulkner.
While the “fireside chat” is free and open to the public, seating is limited and reservations are required by calling 860-868-9466.
In February, continuing with the flood theme, the museum will open a monthlong exhibit at the Bryan Memorial Town Hall that will focus specifically on The Flood of 1955 using photographs and documentation from the museum.