Museum to kick off Candlewood exhibit
The New Milford Historical Society & Museum will open its sixth of seven exhibits planned for the Lower Gallery Sunday.
The exhibit, “Candlewood Lake and Its Impact on New Milford, is part of the museum’s permanent collection.
The first part of the exhibit covers the demolition of the landscape and construction and engineering of the lake and the eventual flooding of the area.
The second section of the exhibit offers visitors an overview of the leisure activities that were afforded the residents of the five town surrounding the newly constructed lake after its completion in 1928.
The third and final segment of the exhibit focuses on the environmental issues which have evolved since the lake’s construction and which are of serious concern today to all users and lovers of Lake Candlewood.
The exhibit joins the other “mini” exhibits or vignettes in the museum’s lower gallery.
Prior to 2012, that space was used for storage. However, since 2012, the lower gallery space has been divided into seven sectors for mini exhibits intended to be encircling, close and more intimate for the viewer.
These exhibits are also intended to illuminate aspects of New Milford’s history not covered by the permanent collections on display in the Main Gallery and the Knapp House.
The Candlewood Lake exhibit joins these exhibits: “The Life & Times of Roger Sherman: New Milford’s Founding Father,” “New Milford (Wannopee) Pottery (1887-1903),” “Tobacco Farming in New Milford,” “New Milford’s Pre-Colonial Peoples (the Weantinock Indians)” and Black Life in New Milford: A Perspective of 150 Years after the Emancipation Proclamation.”
The new exhibit is sponsored in part by First Light Power, the owner of Candlewood Lake.
Kelly Carter of Carter’s Trading Post donated vintage tools to the museum for the exhibit’s demolition and construction section. The tools are of same types and vintage that would have been used by the workers/woodsmen brought in from Canada and Maine to clear the hill in the Rocky River Glen for the penstock and to clear the land to be flooded and build the dikes/dams that created the lake.
Vintage leisure and sports equipment from Justin Krul of Just-In Antiques and local residents Ted and Pat Hammer, Fred and Carolyn Critelli, Brendan Omaña, Luz Burns and Nettie McKenna are included in the exhibit.
The Candlewood Lake Authority, Larry Marsicano and Mark Howath, contributed water testing equipment, zebra mussel samples, impressed watermilfoil and photographs of birds and other wildlife found at the lake for the show.
The final exhibit will be “Business and Commerce in New Milford since 1915,” and is set to open next spring.
Photographs and artifacts of New Milford and the area’s small and not-so-small businesses are welcome.
The exhibit may be seen at the 6 Aspetuck Ave. museum Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.