The Monroe Historical Society hosts a variety of events during the course of the year.
Below is a listing of our upcoming events.
Worker on the Railroad: Peter McLachlan, a railway historian and engineer who ran trains into Stepney Depot on the old Berkshire Line, looks back at life as a railway man Jan. 7 when the book “Monroe Through Time II” is launched with a lunch in the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library in Monroe. The line between Bridgeport and Stepney was abandoned in 1963 although gravel trains ran through the Derby extension before service stopped a few years ago. Tickets for the book launch are $35 and cover a copy of the book and lunch—or $45 for a couple with one book and lunch for both. The tickets are available at the library and at the office of the town clerk at Town Hall. They are also available through Marven Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org and 203.268.2961.Proceeds go to the Monroe Historical Society to preserve Monroe’s heritage. The luncheon (noon to 2 p.m.) also premieres a documentary video: “The Lost Cave of Monroe,” produced by Mike Sandone, described in the book as “Monroe’s Indiana Jones.” A trove of Colonial-era artifacts uncovered with metal detectors by Monroe native son George Lattanzi also goes on display at the luncheon.
Monroe Historical Society collecting Christmas items
The Monroe Historical Society is collecting Christmas items as donations for next year’s (2018) Christmas Fair, a fundraising tradition at the One-Room Schoolhouse (circa 1790) on Wheeler Road.
Christmas tree ornaments, festive decorations, costumes, linens, toys, sleds, ice skates and other items associated with the holiday are needed—no Christmas tree stands, plants that require watering, nothing broken or damaged and only lights that are new in the box.
A spokesman for the society said: “Your generous donations help fund the society’s year-around activities. We couldn’t do it without you. While you are putting up your decorations or taking them down, think of us and share our mission to preserve Monroe’s historic legacy.”
Donations may be brought to the Beardsley Homestead (31 Great Ring Rd.) Tuesdays between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. or arrangements for pickups made by calling 203.261.1383.
The society (est. 1959) is a volunteer-driven 501c3 nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Printed receipts, listing items, are distributed to donors.
Monroe through Time II to be launched with Jan. 7 luncheon
A luncheon Jan. 7 at the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library introduces a new illustrated paperback called Monroe through Time II that chronicles:
A Ku Klux Klan rally in 1924 that drew 1,100 America-Firsters to a site where a Goodwill Store stands today
A neighborhood popularly called Punkups that disappeared when Lake Zoar was created in 1919
And the unsolved mystery of Capt. Nathan Seeley who was found dead in his barn in 1890 with a noose around his neck.
Tickets for the launch at the library (733 Monroe Turnpike, Route 111) are $35 and cover a copy of the book and lunch. The tickets are available at the library and at the office of the town clerk at Town Hall. They are also available through Marven Moss at email@example.com and 203.268.2961.
Proceeds go to the Monroe Historical Society to preserve Monroe’s heritage.
The luncheon (noon to 2 p.m.) also premieres a documentary video: “The Lost Cave of Monroe,” produced by Mike Sandone, described in the book as “Monroe’s Indiana Jones.”
Monroe Through Time II (Fonthill Media/Arcadia Publishing, 112 pages, illustrated) is a reprise, the second collaboration by Kevin Daly, John Babina and Marven Moss, availing themselves of the resources of the Monroe Historical Society and the World Wide Web. Daly provided the essential research, Babina, the contemporary photography, and Moss, the authorship. But they also worked individually and collectively across the full matrix of the manuscript.
Daly is a senior engineering manager in computer aided design and the incoming historian of the Monroe Historical Society. Babina is the founder of Monroe-based Radio Station WMNR and a retired engineer who worked on helicopter avionics, missile controls and surveillance satellites. Moss is a former New York Timesman and a past president of the Monroe Historical Society.
Their book is the fourth pictorial account of Monroe’s transformation from a Colonial farming village into a charming New England community offering a bucolic lifestyle with proximity to the upbeat rhythms of today’s bigger cities and their spheres of commerce and global culture.
The publication follows Monroe Through Time (also Fonthill Media, 96 pages, $22.99) and Images of America: Monroe (Arcadia Publishing, 1998, 126 pages, $19.99), also A Glimpse of Old Monroe (Monroe Sesquicentennial Commission, 1974, 118 pages, out-of-print).
In a new collection tapping Monroe’s rich historical fabric, Monroe Through Time II presents a number of previously-unpublished photographs, the legacy of the marvelous vitality of Frederick P. Sherman, and traces the hardscrabble life of the homesteaders, the tradesmen in their shops, the entrepreneurs of bygone days, the talented figures in arts and sports and even the fumes of scandal.
Also incorporated is the first comprehensive listing of virtually all of Monroe’s civic leadership since incorporation in 1823 and the presidents of the Monroe Historical Society since it was established in 1959.
Like its predecessor, the cover reproduces a segment of a David Merrill acrylic, this one depicting the Town Green and the old Town Hall erected in 1892 and the old library, both demolished in 1972. The artwork was made available courtesy of Merrill who used to play touch football on the Town Green in the 1950s and impishly inserted a football into the foreground of his rendering. The original hangs in the Town Hall.
In addition to the Jan 7 luncheon, the book has been designated for preferred placement in Barnes & Noble stores.