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Gunn Historical Museum

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Gunn Historical Museum
5 Wykeham Road
P.O. Box 1273
Washington, CT 06793
Telephone: 860-868-7756
Louise Van Tartwijk, Museum Director
Stephen Bartkus, Curator gunnmuseum@sbcglobal.net
Marj Vitz, Curatorial Assistant

            Please support us!

Gunn Historical Museum Receives Important Grant

Exhibits & Programs

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

Turkish Kilim Rug Fundraiser Lunch and Sale

Sunday, November 22, 2015, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Minor Memorial Library, 23 South Street, Roxbury

Take home a piece of history! The Gunn Historical Museum of Washington, The Roxbury Museum, and the Hodge Memorial Library of Roxbury will host a collaborative fundraiser on November 22. The event features Hamza Yildiz of Istanbul, who will discuss the history, artists, techniques, dyes, motifs, and types of Turkish rugs and flatweave kilims. Mr. Yildiz will also have hundreds of rugs and kilims for sale, of which a percentage will benefit the three organizations.

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. — $10: Rug Preview & Luncheon with Turkish and Mediterranean food and first chance to purchase a beautiful one-of-a kind, handmade kilim.

RSVP here, if possible, for the luncheon: minormemoriallibrary.rsvpify.com. But you can also come the day of the event, however, we'd love to know ahead of time how many people plan to attend.

Menu may include home cooked food such as:

  • Fried zucchini fritters with yogurt;
  • Lamb, lentil, rice, cinnamon, dill, parsley dolmas cooked in olive oil and lemon;
  • Bulgur with roasted pepper sauce and walnuts;
  • Manti (Turkish ravioli);
  • Roasted beetroot with pistachios and orange blossom;
  • Chicken Kebabs with paprika;
  • Simit (Turkish sesame bread rings);
  • Lentils with labneh and carmelized onions;
  • Gozelme (thin fried bread stuffed with feta, spinach, and allspice) and more...!

    3:00 - 5:00 p.m. — Free: Lecture & Sale. Mr. Yildiz will discuss the processes and history of kilim weaving. Hamza grew up in Central Turkey, in Cappadocia in a semi-nomadic family where his grandmother, mother, and sister wove rugs. He moved to Istanbul when he was 12 years old, selling bagels on the street for a year until he got a job in a rug repair shop. When he was 13 he started working at Noah's Ark Rug Shop, learning everything he could from the owner and important collectors, until the age of 20 when he served in the army. After his stint in the army, he returned to Istanbul and became a partner at Noah's Ark. Hamza spends his summers in Turkey where he travels throughout the country to find unique rugs and kilims from tribal people. He spends the rest of his time in New Haven, CT with his nine year-old daughter and his wife, who is working on her Ph.D. in archaeology at Yale.

    If you are interested in a private rug consultation, we may be able to arrange that for a small fee. Please email hodgelibrary@gmail.com.

    Museum's Recurring Program Schedule for 2015-2016

    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!

    Elmer Gunnarson and his dog on the Washington Fire Department engine circa 1940. Photograph from the collection of the Gunn Historical Museum.

    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.

    Washington History Club at Night

    The Gunn Museum's Washington History Club at Night will meet in the Wykeham Room of the Gunn Library on Tuesday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m. The topic of discussion at this meeting will be town characters. Bring your stories to share about the interesting and memorable people who have lived in Washington over the years.

    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!

    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: gunnmuseum@sbcglobal.net, or call us at 860-868-7756, if you have anything to share.

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