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AN AUGUST MEMO from THE PRESIDENT of THE WEST HAVEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2002 - 2003: A YEAR FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH!

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Fellow Members,
Many thanks for your vote of confidence in electing our very competent slate of officers as your leaders for the next year. We look forward to a very exciting year in which we will focus on special community events, in learning more about accomplishments of our members and by introducing a number of activities from other organizations.

In 2004, the West Haven Historical Society will celebrate a fiftieth anniversary. It is our goal to increase our membership by 50% by that time, and we have many ideas about how to reach that number.

Lastly, we will make every effort to continue our role to preserve and promote the history and historic integrity of West Haven.

MEETING DATES CHANGED TO THURSDAYS
All meetings begin at 7:00 P.M.!
SEPTEMBER 13 Ginny Soderman "Memorabilia from the Dedication of the New USN SODERMAN"

OCTOBER 11 Bob Shultz "The Fascination of Old Time Radio"
OCTOBER 19 Antiques Appraisal Day
NOVEMBER 3 Bethlehem Cong Church Ho;iday Bell Concert at Christ Church
NOVEMBER 14 TBA
DECEMBER 14 Christmas Luncheon
MARCH 13 TBA
APRIL 10 Theater Performance: "The Belle ofAmherst", the Story of Emily Dickinson
MAY 8 TBA
JUNE 13 ANNUAL DINNER

OFFICERS 2001-2002
President Carole A. Laydon McElrath
Vice President Vaughn Grant
Recording Sect. Betty Roy
Correspond.Sect. Mary Lee Neale
Treasurer Alice S. Butler

HAVE YOU PAID YOUR 2001-2002 DUES?

OUR RETURN TO THE WEST HAVEN LIBRARY: Our membership has voted to hold meetings at the newly renovated West Haven Library on Elm Street, as in the past. According to Head Librarian Bradley Green, the second Thursday of the month has been reserved for our Stated Meetings. When the Library is not available, we expect to meet at the Congregational Church on the Green. We are most grateful to the Board of Directors of the Ward-Heitmann House Museum for their hospitality during our "homeless" period. {BE SURE TO CHECK CALENDAR)

REPORT FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING, JULY 16, 2002
While most of you were already beginning to enjoy your summer, your officers were busy with details of reviewing the past year, planning the new year, and sharing all sorts of pertinent information! We discussed at least 20 topics which impact our existence, including: officers' duties, membership, communications, professional memberships, by-laws, incorporation papers, policies and procedures, standing and ad-hoc committees, programs and calendar, monthly meetings, locations, community outreach opportunities, correspondence, budget, mailings, collection development and other topics. I believe it is fair to say we are well on our way to a good year!

IN APPRECIATION
I am sure that we would have all enjoyed having Bill Barr as President for another year or two, but we do understand that there is just so far a body can be stretched! Bill has been, and continues to be, especially helpful throughout the transition.

HISTORIC BUS TOURS AGAIN!
Hop on George Richard's Historic West Haven bus tours during the September 21 "Old Town Fair on the Green. The tours have been a great addition to our city's special events! We shall use the new trolley.

WHY A YEAR FOR OUTREACH???????
The West Haven Historical Society has been firmly entrenched in the city since 1954. Our leadership made its mark through membership in the Landmark and Antiquarian Society, The Colonial Dames, as antiques gurus, school and organization lecturers, and tour guides. We have participated in state-wide planning meetings, conferences and programs for almost as many years. We are particularly proud our those members who have been designated City Historians, and those who have authored historic works.

Ten years ago, one of the dreams of many members was fulfilled when Dr. Milano's home was purchased from The National Trust for Historic Preservation with a significant donation from the Historical Society. (dur members have actively been involved in many fund-raising projects of the museum house.) Following tradition, the house was named The Ward-Heitmann House. The entire community supported our joint efforts through interest and involvement.

Many people have viewed this as the impetus for the current pride in the history of West Haven, and for the National Registry designation of our center Green and for making the Savin Rock Museum and the-Learning Center for Local History realities.

LET'S CONTINUE STEPPING OUT FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR COMMUNITY!!

WEST HAVEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2002 - 2003 FALL & WINTER CALENDAR

Friday SEPTEMBER 13 MEETING HALL, CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH Ginny Soderman will share memories and memorabilia from the dedication of the USN Soderman, named in honor of West Haven's only Medal of Honor recipient, her husband Bill. Meet at 7:00 with Beth Sabo to learn about our role in the research of important information for the plaques on the Green. Meeting immediately after.

Saturday SEPTEMBER 21 9:30 - 4:30 OLD TIME FAIR ON THE GREEN Sponsored by First Church Congregational and the City of West Haven. We shall have a WHHS Membership Enrollment Table, sell tickets to the November Bell Choir Concert and assist George Richards with his "Historic West Haven Bus Tours"

Friday OCTOBER 11 7:00 MEETING HALL, CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH We are sure you will be entertained by Bob Shultz, well known personality from radio station WELI as he brings his "THE FASCINATION OF OLD TIME RADIO" program to life. Don't miss this special evening which promises a bit of nostalgia, humor and a few special treats!

Saturday OCTOBER 19 9:00 - 4:00 ANTIQUES APPRAISAL DAY
A joint effort to benefit the Ward-Heitmann House, the Savin Rock Museum and the West Haven Historical Society at the Conference Center. Start digging in your family's treasure chests! The day will soon be here. Rotary Club members will assist with larger, heavier items such as furniture. Professional appraisals at $5.00 per item. Plan to have breakfast, lunch or dessert. All proceeds equally divided among the three organizations.

Sunday NOVEMBER 3 2:00 CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH BELL CHOIR CONCERT
By the Bell Ringers of the Congregational Church of Bethlehem You will hear More bells than you imagined, performing more works than you've heard before! Reception immediately following in the Church Hall. This concert is the Kick-off of the BELL TOWER FUND for CHRIST CHURCH.

Thursday NOVEMBER 14 7:00 WEST HAVEN (MAIN) LIBRARY (TBA)

Saturday DECEMBER 14 NOON HOLIDAY LUNCHEON (to be announced)

NATIONAL REGISTRYLANDMARK NEEDS OUR SUPPORT CHRIST CHURCH TO REFURBISH HISTORIC TOWER
Did you know that our local Christ Episcopal Church is listed on the National Registry? The church has a history dating back to the early 1700's, and many of us have enjoyed attending services there at some time.

It has been brought to our attention that the bell tower is in urgent need of reconstruction and the congregation is about to kick off a campaign to raise community dollars In response to that need, our Historical Society will sponsor a performance by the very well-know Bell Choir of the Congregational Church of Bethlehem, CT on Sunday afternoon, November 3. A reception will follow immediately after the program. Tickets will be available beginning September 21 at the Fair on the Green.

The Office of the State Historian of the State of Connecticut had notified Christ Church that they are eligible for a $34,000.00 matched-grant. It is nice to know that we will initiate the "Bell Tower Fund" project!

CAMPBELL"S GRAVE SITE
Thanks to the efforts of Ramona Cotese's Beautification Committee from Allingtown and University of New Haven grounds keepers, the Campbell grave site is a beautiful park for all to enjoy and admire. As owners of the property, we encourage everyone to visit this very important piece of local Revolutionary War history.

LOCAL LEARNING CENTER
Thanks to the efforts of several members of the WHBS Research Team, hundreds of local elementary school students enjoyed discovering the unique history of their city at the Learning Center for Local History. Several of our members also serve as docents at the Center and at The Savin Rock Museum.

  • How was Queen Victoria involved in the dedication of Campbell's Grave Site?
  • What role did Robert Todd Linclon have in the preparation of the dedication?
  • Who sponsored the dedication ceremony?

SPECIAL REQUEST: HISTORIC RESEARCH FOR PLAQUES ON THE GREEN Beth A. Sabo, Commissioner of Human Resources has asked our help in researching information to be inscribed on historic stone plaques on the Green. ALL MEMBERS AND GUESTS are asked to GATHER AT THE FLAG POLE ON THE GREEN (in the church in case of rain) at 7:00 P.M. on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 when Beth will explain her program. We will then hold our regular meeting in the Congregational Church Meeting Hall.



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