The Society is regularly featured in local newspapers so we encourage our followers to continue to browse the local press. Even in this whirlwind era of social media there is still a vital role for local newspapers (printed and digital) to help our communities stay connected and informed.

We are grateful for the coverage that helps us to:

• Promote upcoming events and exhibitions

• Follow-up events with in-depth articles and interviews

• Inclusion in their “Calendars” and “Community” sections.

In particular, we are most grateful for the ongoing support of the Hartford Courant, Valley Press, Valley Life, Avon Patch, and many more.

Here's our latest news:

Paleo-Indian site found along the river under new bridge on Old Farms Road, Avon, CT

With permission from the CT Department of Transportation, below is a detailed press release and photos, about a recently discovered Paleo-Indian site (~12,500 years ago = 10,000 BC). It was found earlier this year, along the Farmington River, during the construction of the new bridge at Old Farms and Waterville Roads. Be advised, the site is not visible as construction has now covered it.

Contact for more information is provided at the end of the release.

The Avon Historical Society, Town of Avon, and Avon Free Public Library will be working together, with the appropriate state agency, on a public presentation of the discovery in early 2020.

Read the Press Release

Deeds Not Words: 100 Years of Suffrage for Women .launched at the Avon Free Public Library

On November 16, 2019, the year-long series entitled, Deeds Not Words: 100 Years of Suffrage for Women was launched at the Avon Free Public Library. Joining the distinguished lecturer (seated) Susan Ware, author of the recently published book WHY THEY MARCHED...Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote (2019 Harvard Univ. Press) are committee members (left to right) Anne Fitzgerald, Tina Panik, Terri Wilson, Jen Bennett and Gene Macy. Missing from the photo were Deb Key and Nora Howard. The DEEDS series offers a wide variety of events including movies, book talks, first person historical portrayals, roundtable discussions, music, exhibits and much more. Sponsored with a grant by CT Humanities, the DEEDS series is organized and presented now through October 2020 by the Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center. All events are open to the public, free of charge. For more information visit: www.avonlibrary.info or the website or Facebook page of the Avon Historical Society.

Photo courtesy of Deb Key Imagery.

Avon Historical Society creates banners highlighting Avon’s history, on sidewalk light poles along Simsbury Road (Route 10)

The Avon Historical Society has taken their mission to promote local history to the next level by creating twelve 18” wide by 36” tall brightly colored, vinyl double-sided banners recently installed on new sidewalk light poles along the eastern side of Simsbury Road from the entrance to Sperry Park south to Route 44.

These banners provide a bit of history for walkers and bikers who use that sidewalk in the original center of Avon. They depict historic sites, past and present, most of which should be recognizable those familiar with the Town of Avon. For those less familiar, it will be a subtle and inviting way to share with them a bit of the Town’s past.

The banners follow a set of 7’ tall pop up banners that are now circulating around the Town in public places such as lobbies, restaurants, etc., entitled, “Moments in Avon’s History.” Those stand-up banners, with text and images, illustrate various themes such as “Education in Avon,” “Industry in Avon,” etc. They have been very well received by the public and many of the images used on them are also on the pole banners such as the 1865 Pine Grove Schoolhouse, the Ensign Bickford factory and Veterans Memorial. The pole banners are much simpler – the word AVON in a large block font is at the top, one photo in either color or black and white is in the middle, with the title of the object in block lettering underneath the photo. The logo of the Avon Historical Society is along the bottom. They hang 7 feet above the ground on light poles next to the new sidewalk on the eastern side of Simsbury Road. The sidewalk and light poles were installed by the Town of Avon in 2016 and were funded by a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant from the State of Connecticut. “The Town is pleased that the Historical Society decided to once again share its passion for Avon’s local history with the public. These banners will certainly add to the sense of place that the Town seeks to create in the Avon Village Center area,” said Town Manager Brandon Robertson.

Production funding of the banners comes from the proceeds of TABLESCAPES, the annual decorated tabletop event organized by The Avon Historical Society every March. Special thanks to Exhibits and More of Liverpool, New York, for donating the banner designs and layouts and the Avon Department of Public Works for installing them. They are will remain in place from the spring through the fall each year.

The Avon Historical Society is in its 45th year with the mission to preserve Avon's culture, traditions and heritage. Promoting the history of the Town of Avon to walkers and bikers along Simsbury Road is one more step toward honoring its rich heritage. The Society has an open membership and encourages anyone with an interest in local history to join.

Avon Historical Society seeks corporate donations, in exchange for tax credits, to renovate their 1823 one-room schoolhouse for use as a museum once again!

The Avon Historical Society, in partnership with the Town of Avon, owner of Schoolhouse No. 3 located at 8 East Main Street (Route 44) in Avon, has submitted a Neighborhood Assistance Act application to the CT Department of Revenue Services seeking Energy Efficient Improvement funding in the amount of $91,000 from the private sector in exchange for tax credits.

In 1981 the Avon Historical Society signed a lease agreement with the Town of Avon which resulted in the relocation, one year later, of an 1823 one-room schoolhouse from Country Club Road to its current location at 8 East Main Street (Route 44). The building is the oldest structure owned by the Town of Avon and is listed on the State Register of Historic Places. The Society opened it as “The Living Museum” in 1985 welcoming visitors on Sunday afternoons until it was closed in 2012.

“The decision to close the Living Museum was timely,” said Historical Society President, Terri Wilson, “because the exhibit installed inside needed to be updated and the Museum’s collection had grown beyond its limited storage capacity.” In 2018 the Society’s Board of Trustees decided to return it to a fully functioning museum, with climate controlled archival storage, proper security system and other upgrades, in time for its 200th anniversary in 2023.

The Town of Avon and the Avon Historical Society have created a multi-year capital improvement plan for this one room schoolhouse, including both exterior projects that will seal the envelope of the building to make the structure more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable, and interior projects that will encourage the preservation of critical historic artifacts that define Avon’s character. The Town has budgeted some funds in its Capital Improvement Budget and the Society has committed similar matching funds, but it is not enough to do everything needed. Funds obtained from the Neighborhood Assistance Act will allow the Historical Society to complete the much needed energy efficiency improvements to the structure including the installation of new energy efficient windows, new siding, new roof, new doors, a chimney cap, as well as renovations to the restroom, and an LED lighting upgrade.

“The Town is very pleased to partner with the Historical Society to implement the Schoolhouse No. 3 Capital Improvement Plan in time for the structure’s 200th anniversary in 2023. The adaptive reuse of this structure will preserve this important property for future generations of Avon residents, while making it more appealing and appropriate for the Historical Society’s current programming,” said Town Manager Brandon Robertson.

The Neighborhood Assistance Act permits businesses that donate to these sorts of projects to apply for a tax credit matching their donation. Funding can come from one business or several. To make a donation, interested businesses should submit a complete NAA-2 form (available at https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/Credit-Programs/Neighborhood-Assistance/Neighborhood-Assistance-Act-Tax-Credit-Program) and submit the NAA-2 form to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services either via email or USPS to the addresses indicated at the top of the form. NAA-2 forms may be submitted on or after September 15, 2019 but no later than October 1, 2019.

Please contact the Historical Society at (860) 678-7621 to ask questions, to obtain the NAA-2 form, or to schedule an appointment to tour the schoolhouse.

Avon Historical Society receives a $2,000 Donation!

American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Connecticut’s largest community-focused credit union, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 24th at its new Avon office, located at 427 West Avon Road. As part of the ribbon-cutting festivities, American Eagle announced $2,000 donations to six Avon nonprofit agencies. The Avon Historical Society was one of the recipients! Presenting the big check donation was American Eagle President and Chief Executive Officer Dean Marchessault to Terri Wilson, president of the Society and Mary Harrop, Board Trustee.

Avon Historical Society and Avon Free Public Library honor local organizations for support of “Moments in Avon’s History”

Funded through a grant by CT Humanities

Attending a recent ceremony of appreciation for displaying the “Moments in Avon’s History” banners are (L-R): Norm Sondheimer, manager of the banner project for the Society; Nora Howard, Town Historian; Glenn Grube, Director, Avon Free Public Library; Jeffrey Hoess-Brooks, General Manager, Avon Old Farms Hotel; Andrius Plankis, owner Dom’s Coffee; Nicholas Chabot, owner The North House; Dr. Bridget Heston Carnemolla, Superintendent of Avon Schools; Brandon Robertson, Town Manager; and Terri Wilson, President, Avon Historical Society. (Click on image to enlarge.)
The Avon Historical Society, in partnership with the Avon Free Public Library, recently honored local businesses and public offices for displaying “Moments in Avon’s History” over the last year. The displays featured 12 colorful and educational portable banners, seven feet in height, each telling a different aspect of Avon’s history, with historic and current photos, covering topics such as early education, agriculture, religion, and transportation. These portable banners were rotated through seven sites in Avon during the past 18 months. They brought history “on the road” to town offices, businesses and schools to pique the interest of the general public about the town’s rich heritage and history.

Businesses who displayed the banners were the Avon Old Farms Hotel, the North House Restaurant, Dom’s Coffee, the Avon Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center and Rushford | Avon. The banners were also rotated through the town offices, the Avon schools, the Avon Congregational Church and the West Avon Congregational Church.

“We are very proud of our local history here in Avon,” reports Town Manager, Brandon Robertson. “By displaying banners from the ‘Moments in Avon History’ project, the Town, and many local businesses, help to bring snapshots of our community’s unique historical narrative directly to residents and visitors in the midst of their daily activities.”

"We strive to cultivate a passion for learning that is connected to real-world experiences: the study of our history provides the ideal basis for this goal,” comments Dr. Bridget Heston Carnemolla, Avon’s Superintendent of Schools. “I am proud of our partnership with the Avon Historical Society and our shared commitment to educating our next generation of civic-minded citizens."

“The banners are a great way to showcase the history of Avon to our guests. They immediately attracted guests’ attention when walking by them,” observed Nicholas Chabot, the owner of Avon’s The North House. “We were very proud to be a part of this project.”

Other organizations displaying banners included the Avon Old Farms Hotel, Dom’s Coffee, Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, and Rushford, part of Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network.

The banners creation was funded by the CT Humanities. Exhibits and More of Liverpool, NY, a professional graphic arts firm, donated the design of each banner using specifications from the National Park Service.

Please visit our Banners Page for more information.

Images from Tablescapes 2019, the Annual Fundraiser held every March, for the Avon Historical Society