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Gunn Historical Museum

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Gunn Historical Museum
5 Wykeham Road
P.O. Box 1419
Washington, CT 06793
Telephone: 860-868-7756

info@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org Questions about program registration, ticket sales, gift shop purchases, and general information should be sent to this address.

Louise Van Tartwijk, Museum Director
Questions about membership, fundraisers, monetary donations, bequests, grants, publicity, and the Wash Conn Chronicles should be sent to Louise.
Stephen Bartkus, Curator

Questions about artifact donations, research requests, the museum's collection, volunteering, educational programs, exhibits, and lectures should be sent to Stephen.
Marj Vitz, Curatorial Assistant

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Gunn Historical Museum Receives Important Grant
Gunn Historical Museum Honored with Another Award

Exhibits & Programs

The museum is currently closed as we work on the collection, pop-up exhibits, and our new permanent Washington history exhibit. Research can be conducted and artifact donations can be made by appointment. Please call 860-868-7756.


History Bites

"The Boudinot Family: The Transition from Politicians to Soldiers"
Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 12:00 noon

Colin Riley, a 2015-2016 Gunn Scholar at The Gunnery, will give this PowerPoint presentation in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library as part of the History Bites lecture series. The Gunnery was founded by the prominent Washington abolitionist, Frederick Gunn, who welcomed his wife's cousins from the Cherokee Nation into his school and the community. Many people in Litchfield County know the story of the Cherokee Leader, Elias Boudinot, who came from Georgia to be educated at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. Not nearly as many people know that after Boudinot's assassination in Oklahoma in 1839, his second wife brought his six children back to Connecticut to be raised and educated by the Brinsmade Family in Washington. Several of those children went on to attend The Gunnery.

History Bites is an annual ten-week lunchtime lecture series, from April through June, on topics of local history at different heritage sites throughout Northwestern Connecticut. All lectures, which are free to the public, will be held at noon on Thursdays. Attendees are invited to bring lunch. Beverage and dessert will be provided by the hosting organization. The theme for this year's lecture series is Behind the Scenes: Hidden Stories. Each presenter will look into hidden stories and lesser known facts pertaining to each of the organizations and/or their collections. The 2016 History Bites series is sponsored in part by the Connecticut Community Foundation.


The Gunnery and Feminism

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Evan Johnson, a 2015-2016 Gunn Scholar at The Gunnery, will present his original research on the meaning and implications of gender differentiation in boarding schools and The Gunnery's travels through the three stages of the growth of feminism in the United States in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library. Evan has performed groundbreaking work in the Gunn Scholar program by researching a part of The Gunnery's history where the participants are still living, the eras of coordination with Wykeham Rise, and the transition to coeducation in 1977. He has consulted alumni, teachers, and administrators of that era and researched in the archives of Taft and Andover as well as those at The Gunnery.

Museum's Recurring Program Schedule for 2016

Our three popular recurring programs will now rotate monthly. All are welcome to attend and learn about the history of our town at these fun informal gatherings!


Washington History Club

Meets the third Monday of the months of September, December, March and June at 10:00 a.m. at the Washington Senior Center to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your stories with the group or just listen to the fascinating conversation about our town's past. Bring your photos and objects for show and tell!

Next Meeting: Monday, June 20, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. The very popular topic of farming in Washington continues! Everyone is invited to attend and share memories, photographs and objects related to farming in Washington. This will be the final discussion about farming and last program of the season before the summer break.

Readings from the Archives of the Gunn Historical Museum

Meets the first Monday of the months of October, January and April at 10:00 a.m. at the Washington Senior Center. Staff present a paper about the history of Washington from the museum's archive, related photos and artifacts from the museum are displayed and a discussion follows.

Next Meeting: Fall 2016 - Topic to be Announced

"Brownley" at 11 Kirby Road, circa 1900.
Demolished in the 1940s.

Washington History Club at Night

The Washington History Club at Night is a program of the Gunn Historical Museum and Meets the third Tuesday of the months of November, February and May at 6:30 pm in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library to discuss the history of Washington, Washington Depot, Marbledale, New Preston and Woodville. Share your stories with the group or just come and listen to the fascinating conversation about our town's past. Bring your photos and objects for show and tell!

Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. The topic of discussion at will be Washington houses. Every house has a story, who built it, who lived there, what happened to it, does it have a name, and why do we name houses anyway...? Bring your stories to share about the interesting Washington houses and the memorable people who have lived in them over the years! This will be the final meeting of the season.

Save the Date! 9th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour

Friday, October 28, 2016


The Gunn Historical Museum's 9th Annual Washington Green Cemetery Tour will take place on Friday, October 28, 2016 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Costumed tour guides will lead groups of visitors from the Gunn Museum to the Washington Green Cemetery where the town's departed citizens will be stationed at their graves to tell their tales of tragedy and triumph. Tour groups will follow a magical path of 1,000 luminarias spanning a quarter-mile through the shadowy cemetery and hear the lively and dramatic stories of Washington's past residents.

Meet at the Gunn Historical Museum and form a line. Numbered tickets for the tours will be handed out at the Gunn Museum first come first serve starting at 6:15 p.m. and continue through the night until the tickets run out. Tours of the cemetery depart from the Gunn Museum in groups of eighteen people every eight minutes between 6:30-8:30 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. The last tour group departs from the Museum at 8:30 p.m. A Halloween themed movie will be shown in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library where attendees can wait inside for their tour group to depart.

The cemetery is dark and everyone is encouraged to bring a flashlight. While this event is free, donations are appreciated. The rain date is Sunday, October 30, 2016. The Gunn Museum is located at 5 Wykeham Road, at the intersection of Wykeham Road and Route 47, in Washington, Connecticut. Parking at the Gunn is limited, please carpool and use nearby lots and side streets.

Calling All History Detectives!

The Gunn Museum needs your help:to find any additional information that you may have in your homes, closets, shoe boxes, barns, secret rooms, basements, attics, shoved under chairs, hidden behind old paintings, or forgotten in old steamer trunks that can help us uncover more about the life and times of: Please send us an email: curator@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org, or call us at 860-868-7756, if you have anything to share.

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