New Milford holding memorial for woman with historic past

Florence Chandler Maybrick

Florence Chandler Maybrick

Ron Suresha

NEW MILFORD — The public is invited to attend two free community memorials in honor of Florence Chandler Maybrick on the 80th anniversary of her historic passing.

The event will be Saturday, Oct. 23, morning observance from 10-10:15 a.m. at the New Milford Historical Society & Museum Plaza.

The event will take place in appreciation of both the community of Gaylordsville in the Town of New Milford and the communities of South Kent and South Kent School in Kent, a press release said.

According to the release, on Oct. 23, 1941, in a ramshackle bungalow on Old Stone Road in the northwest corner of New Milford, a penniless old lady whom the local adults knew as “Old Mrs. Chandler” and the children called “The Cat Lady of Old Stone Road,” died at age 79.

The next day, her obituary ran at the top of page one of the New York Times, revealing this woman as a famous accused murderess and prison reformer, the release said.

In response to a request submitted in August 2021 by local author Ron J. Suresha, who is writing a book about Florence Chandler Maybrick’s nearly quarter century residing in Gaylordsville and South Kent, New Milford Mayor Pete Bass has signed a proclamation acknowledging her significance as a historic resident and declaring that Oct. 23, 2021 be observed as Florence Chandler Maybrick Day.

There will be an afternoon memorial service from 4-5 p.m. conducted by Chaplain Steve Klots at St. Michael’s Chapel & Cemetery, South Kent School.

Masks are required for indoor public events.

For information and event updates, join the Facebook Group “Friends of Florence Elizabeth Chandler Maybrick.

The event is supported by the New Milford Historical Society & Museum, Gaylordsville Historical Society & Museum, Town of New Milford, Kent Historical Society & Museum, South Kent School St. Michael’s Chapel.