Fall News and otes West Haven Historical Society October, 2004
50TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER
MEMBERS AND GUESTS PROMISED A MOST PLEASANT EVENING
Members of the Historical Society have been busy finalizing details for the golden anniversary celebration dinner
to be held at the Savin Rock Conference Center, the 301 of October. The gala evening will begin with a Social
Hour beginning at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6. Highlights of the evening include entertainment by CT's Official
State Troubadour Tom Callahan, and "West Haven Remembered", a program by historians Dr. Jon Purmont and Jason Stacoffe.
In addition, Trustees Bernice Kaercher and Bill Barr have put together the early history of our organization. What
better way to spend an evening while savoring a fine meal by the fabulous Alfredo in a room accented by flowers from
four local florists!
SOCIETY MEMBERS TOUR HISTORIC GROVE ST CEMETERY
We hope to make another trip to GSC in the Spring, and to invite a member of the group to speak at one of our meetings.
We are pleased to support this Colonial-era property in any way possible.
Several members enjoyed a tour of historic Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven on October 18. The invitation by
Patricia Illingsworth, Board Member of the GSC Association, was initiated by our recent Work on our own central
burial grounds. Our group was hosted by two docents who shared their expertise, answered our many questions.
CITY PLANNING INVOLVES SOCIETY INPUT
In an unprecedented move, the City of West Haven has included the Society in its Plan of Conservation and Development
as a "Lead Implementing Agency". We will take the lead in coordinating all community efforts to recognize, preserve
and promote the historical and cultural resources in the City of West Haven, as Well as having responsibility for
the documentation and preservation of our historic resources.
This is a most important program from a historic, cultural and/or educational perspective. We shall certainly make
every effort to fulfill our responsibility.
McELRATH TO RECEIVE NATIONAL DAR AWARD
Just prior to getting this newsletter to the printer we learned that Historical Society President Carole McElrath has
been selected to receive the Daughters of tile American Revolution National Conservation Medal. The award, given
for achievement and accomplishment in preservation work and community service will be presented at the Anniversary
Dinner by the CT State _DAR leadership and Mary Larachiuta, Regent, Eve Lear Chapter of West Haven, sponsors of
SOCIETY MAKES BID FOR WEST HAVEN BUCKLE SHOP
A Letter of Intent to purchase the West Haven Buckle Shop was presented to Mayor H. Richard Borer on Wednesday.
September 15. This action was precipitated by the interest (and consensus) of the membership at the September 10
meeting. The purchase of the historic, Civil War period structure would preserve and restore an endangered building
while providing (our own) permanent housing for the Society. The letter states that a feasibility survey would be
conducted within six months of the acceptance of the Letter of Intent. That time frame would allow the opportunity
to survey and analyze the structure, evaluate the potential for private and public funding, seek venture partners,
and so on, in order to make good decisions and to move forward. Since that time we have been in direct contact with
the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, and its regional office in Boston and are even more encouraged
to move forward.
We are aware that private parties have investigated the opportunity to purchase, rehab or demolish the structure
which is now in some disrepair. However, we believe that with the guidance of the national and state Trusts, we
can investigate financial and physical resources in various forms which would be available to the Society for this work.
We would expect that the current thrust to historic (building) preservation, the essential manufacturing role of the
Buckle Shop and the loss of so many other historic buildings in West Haven will be key to the issue.
WEST HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO ENJOY HISTORIC WEST HAVEN
History students at West Haven High School will retrace the route of the British Invasion of 1779 with visits to
actual sites in the area where British and Hessian troops disembarked, marched, rested and occasionally skirmished
with local militia and farmers. The trip is being planned by their teacher, Historical Society member Jason Stacoffe.
Event overviews and lectures will be conducted by Dr. Jon Purmont of SCSU. Central city site tours will be conducted
by Carole McElrath with docents at each site.
TRUSTEES & OFFICERS 2003-2004
Bernice Kaercher, Wm.Welch Bennett W. Dorman Elaine Willman Wm. K. Barr
Carole McElrath, President
Vaughn Grant, Vice President
Betty Roy, Recording Sect.
Alice Butler, Treasurer
Mary Lee Neale, Corr. Sect.
WEST HAVEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY 2004 FALL AND WINTER CALENDAR
Friday, September 11 7:00 P.M CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH HALL We had a very productive "Members Only" meeting. Using the
loosest form of Mini-Max Workshops, we were able to recall more than 65 businesses which lined Campbell Avenue before
the lure of shopping malls.
OCTOBER MEETING CANCELLED - TRIP & DINNER PREVAIL!!
Saturday, October 18 10:30 a.m. TOUR, GROVE STREET CEMETERY What better way to spend a Fall day than to take a
walking tour, learning the history of New Haven Colony and the men and women who were instrumental in guiding the
growth of our region. This important visit to one of the New World's earliest burial grounds in the Colonies was
guided by two of the most knowledgeable docents in the area! We may make this trip in the Spring for those of you who
were unable to make the October visit.
Saturday, October 30 5:00 P.M. SAVIN ROCK CONFERENCE CENTER 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Friday, November 12 7:00 P.M. CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH HALL The SCHAGDICOKES ARE COMING and they are our own!
Beth Stackpole Kelly of West Haven is a member of one of the first Native American tribes met by the earliest settlers
of our West Farms. Beth, accompanied by several other members of the CT tribe, will share stories of then and now.
Saturday, December 18 NOON BIAGETTI'S
ANNUAL HOLIDAY LUNCHEON Details by mail, as usual.
NO MEETINGS IN JANUARY & FEBRUARY.