FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Zoubek, 203-246-6941
EXPERIENCE COLONIAL STAMFORD AT THE HOYT-BARNUM HOUSE
The Stamford History Center invites everyone to come and visit Stamford’s oldest dwelling, the Hoyt-Barnum House. Recently restored in its new location, the siding on the house now brings us back in time to how it originally looked when it was built in 1699.
While many may be familiar with the red paint that graced the house after a 1960s restoration, the History Center did tremendous research and work in making sure the house would look very much as it did when it was originally constructed. Of course, any home that survives for more than 300 years will experience cosmetic and structural changes influenced by fashion and maintenance needs.
When you take a tour of the house, you will get to view rarely seen artifacts plus 18th and 19th century pieces of furniture from the Center’s vast collection. You’ll see your old favorites as well as items that can now be touched and handled. An advantage of taking the self-guided audio tour is that you can control just how much or how little detail you’d like to learn about the property. And don’t miss out on the introductory video which was produced by Stamford’s own David Klein of DEK Creative (with help from CT Humanities Council funding). Such a proud collective of Stamford folks helping to preserve Stamford’s history!
Tour days and times for the Hoyt-Barnum House, now located at the Stamford History Center at 1508 High Ridge Road, are Thursdays and Fridays at 12:30pm, 1:30pm & 2:30pm and Saturdays at 11am, 12pm, 1:30pm & 2:30pm. Be sure to visit: http://stamfordhistory.org for more details.
SHC is also happy to announce the return of “Tales of Horror and Death” just in time for Halloween! Taking place on October 26th and 27th, there will be 3 tours each evening at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Come and hear interpreters tell the tales of what horrors our City’s founders faced in the 17th & 18th centuries in their day to day lives. You will also hear about the story of Stamford “witch” Elizabeth Clawson, who was the subject of Stamford’s own Witch Trials in 1692!
Space is limited so get your tickets early and please note, this graphic program is intended for ages 12 and up. Tickets are $15 a person and $10 for members. Please see the SHC website’s event calendar to reserve your place for this awesome spooky event.
About the Stamford History Center
The Stamford History Center, the municipal historian of Stamford, is an educational and research institution whose primary functions are to collect, conserve, interpret, and share artifacts and information relating to greater Stamford, to engage citizens in the telling of their stories. The organization, located at 1508 High Ridge Road, is dedicated to preserving regional history and our varied cultural heritage. We provide opportunities for our community to understand and experience the past through our library, the presentation of exhibits and displays, lectures, demonstrations, special events, participatory programs, and tours of the unique Hoyt-Barnum House, built in 1699.
#wotm #keepitlocal #stamfordhistorycenter #stamfordct #stamfordhistoricalsociety
#hoytbarnumhouse #halloween #colonialstamford #keepitspooky #learnwhereyoulive
Get ready folks because the annual Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by Serendipity is coming up soon! This spectacular event held every year in at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich is not only filled with the best food and drinks from local area restaurants, but also has activities with celebrity chefs and top notch entertainment as well.
What is even better about this yearly happening is that it is all done in the name of charity:
The main beneficiary of this year’s Festival is the Mario Batali Foundation. Founded in 2008, MBF raises funds to provide literacy programs, as well as nutrition information and access to emergency food organizations to underprivileged children and their families. MBF also funds pediatric disease research. Other Festival beneficiaries include The Friends of James Beard Benefits and the Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation. (credit: GWFF)
And here is some more info on the two day event: (again, credit: GWFF)
The Master Chef Wine Dinner at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park by the water’s edge on Friday, September 22 will honor famed restaurateur and author Scott Conant (“Chopped”, “Top Chef”), with special guest Adam Richman. The event will also recognize the Serendipity 2017 Most Innovative Chefs: Carlos Baez (The Spread), Stavros Karipides (Famous Greek Kitchen), Lisa & Steve Maronian (Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes), Mike Pietrafeso (Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee), Brad Spence (Amis Trattoria), Ian Vest (Back 40 Kitchen) and Marc Weber (On the Marc Events). In addition, Festival Ambassador Chefs including Mogan Anthony (Village Social), Rui Correia (Douro/Gaia), Constantine Kalandranis (273 Kitchen), Brian Lewis (The Cottage), Christian Petroni (Fortina), Debra Ponzek (Aux Délices), Nadia Ramsey (Méli-Mélo Catering), Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning) and David Snyder (Char Restaurant), will serve innovative dishes alongside carefully selected wines and creative cocktails. The evening will be capped off by a live musical performance by platinum-selling southern rock band Big Head Todd and the Monsters (“Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior”).
Celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli and Adam Richman will be conducting cooking demos, book signings and mingling with festival attendees during the signature day of the festival on Saturday, September 23.
On Saturday, there is an incredibly full day of scheduled happenings that include: the Grand Tasting Tent with samplings from over 150 vendors, the Market Place showing off latest trends and technology for the culinary world, lawn games, demos with the celeb chefs, book signings, Empire Casino tent to try your luck at a table or two, Tailgate Party with brews, bbq, food trucks and more and of course the 6th Annual Burger Battle to see who has the area’s bestest burger around! There is just so much going on this day, you wouldn’t believe the schedule if you saw it!
To finish off your Saturday…the one and only Train will be performing on the main stage!
So why is a site dedicated to Stamford posting about this? Because many of the bars/restaurants and competitors of the festival are Stamford businesses. This event is not only a lot of fun and helps worthwhile charities, but it is also a great way to show your support for our city’s great eateries. Such an amazing way to Keep it Local!
For more information on GWFF2017 and to get your tickets:
The event will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted. Animals are also not permitted. Please note this schedule is subject to change.
#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #GWFF2017 #serendipitymagazine
(Photo courtesy of the Stamford History Center)
David Klein is best known locally for his Stamford Downtown videos, such as his Heights & Leightspromotions. His projects range from large-scale public events such as concerts, art installations, festivals, trade shows and branded product launches to theatrical, film or video productions. For more information, please visit http://www.DEKCreative.com.
#wotm #keepitlocal #stamfordhistoricalsociety #hoytbarnumhouse #learnwhereyoulive #stamfordhistory
(photos credits: myself unless otherwise noted)
When you think about an archaeological dig, your mind may turn to digging up a long lost tomb in the desert somewhere or Indiana Jones running away from the giant boulder. What you may not picture is jumping in a car, going just about 2 miles from your home and having the chance to dig near the heart of downtown Stamford.
Last Sunday, several local volunteers and myself had the opportunity to get our hands (feet, legs, face…really every part of us) dirty and act like kids as we dug into the soil around the grounds of the historic Hoyt-Barnum House (HBH). The oldest house in the city of Stamford has been in the same spot since Samual Hait built it in 1699, just 58 years after the founding of Stamford. As I have written before, the land was originally owned by Munsee Indians and with the land around the house having only been used by it’s residents and not marred by construction, digging on the property could lead to findings from many different time periods and people.
‘E’ Square–my home for the day!
Just before the dig, I wrote some of why we were going to be there last weekend. (see: Digging Up a Bit of Stamford History ) The Hoyt-Barnum House is getting ready to take a journey up the road a ways to sit on the Stamford Historical Society property to make way for the construction of the new Stamford Police Station.
I would like to address this issue before I go further. Leading our teams for the digs was none other than the President and Executive Director of the Stamford Historical Society Dr. Thomas Zoubek. Having Tom there was like having a living, breathing Stamford version of Google. What an honor it was to work with him and how patient he was as I asked question after question. Of course one of my biggest questions was about the police station and the HBH grounds. Knowing only what I had read about as far as local news reports and talking with some folks over the last two years, I was personally against the moving of the house. I as well as MANY I’ve talked to always came out with the following: How dare they? What happens to its historical status if they move it? Why can’t the police station go someplace else? Will the house be ok? On and on. Dr. Zoubek let me ask it all and filled me in on many aspects of the move putting my mind to rest. Now let me share some of what I found out…
We all know that Stamford is in dire need of a new station. After working with the historical society, the grounds of the HBH as well as the neighboring smaller house on the corner there will be the future home of the station. The Hoyt-Barnum House is in very bad shape sad to say. There has not been a tour inside of it (much to my dismay) for quite some time as it is no longer up to code. There is much deterioration in the wood and as we were discussing this, we noticed a piece of a windowsill down and the wood rotted out…so if someone ever needed proof, there it was. The house, while once in a wonderful spot in Stamford, now is on an extremely busy street. The vibrations of the many cars and trucks that go by it day in and day out are taking a severe toll on its structure. Also, when it was structurally sound enough for tours, there was really no parking for it. All these things and more add up to the fact that moving it is very much the right thing to do. It will be taken care of properly in terms of getting it up to its new home and it will be fully restored and made safe so that tours can once again resume in this beautiful house.
I hope this puts minds to rest as much as it did mine. Part of why I wanted to go on the dig was so I could go with gusto and say, “no you can’t move this house!” But the more I was there and the more information I got, I realized, this poor house needs to be moved in order to save it and its history.
From this angle, you can see that the house isn’t in great shape right now.
The dig itself was a whirlwind. A day sitting side by side with folks who are just as passionate about local history as I am and it was awesome. Made up of mostly Stamford residents who, like myself, are just as upset by the tearing down of everything in our city only to put up more and more apartment complexes that we frankly do not need. We talked about how other Gold Coast towns preserve their historic homes, buildings, etc but Stamford continues to ‘pave paradise and put up a parking lot’. The anger and intensity was there and great discussions were held…at the same time? So much fun!
The dig took place both Saturday and Sunday and I was involved in Sunday’s dig. I was among an intrepid group of volunteers who braved the intense sun and heat to get dirty like kids and get excited every time we would hear those incredible words: I FOUND SOMETHING!
We were paired up and each pair given a square to begin digging into. My partner Richard and I seemed to have a great little plot of land as over the hours we uncovered shards of pottery, glass, shells from oysters and clams, hand forged nails and yes, even bones.
I found a bone!!
I’m not going to lie…the bones freaked me out! I at one point stood up and said, “if the next thing I uncover is staring back at me, I’m out of here!” But Tom came over and checked out the large, in tact bone that I had found and said, “no worries, that’s from a pig.” We found out later that we were digging in the area that was thought to be the former tenants Summer kitchen! So many of the items we were finding were from dinners cooked long ago in a century far, far away.
The findings were so fantastic the day I was there. Besides former dinner items and nails from various centuries, the pair digging right at the back door unearthed a tiny ‘china doll’ type of head (again, the whole eyes staring back at you never gets easy) as well as what we think were some of the doll house toys that went with it. Pipe stems were unearthed in various locations…the gentleman with the metal detector was finding pieces of iron work just all over the place! And the pair next to myself? They came up with some GREAT items! A buckle still in tact as well as something that looked like a small grate for cooking with. (although what it actually is still being determined) There was one large piece of metal in their square that unfortunately we were unable to get up that day. It was buried a bit deeper than the rest of the items and roots had grown all around/through it so to get it up, other equipment would have to be brought in.
Phil Peluso of Stamford holding up two of his amazing finds!
There was the large grinder’s wheel and iron kettle drum cooking pots and then…there was one piece that no one that day could identify. Thinking back on it now, I wonder if it could have been where they cooked with those kettle drums, but really, they were a mystery.
I could write pages upon pages of my experiences that day and one day I hope they will be part of a collection of stories I’m writing about Historic Stamford that is getting so lost now. What I would like to finish this story with is this…This dig was the chance of a lifetime…a bucket list type of an opportunity. And to be with a group of people who were just as excited, as enthusiastic and who braved the harsh elements that day just to be a part of history was truly an honor. It is also something I hope I can be involved with again.
The Stamford Historical Society and their members, staff and volunteers do such amazing work and with the deterioration of our city’s history, they face the challenge of trying to preserve, document and restore all that they can for the future generations of its citizens. Please, consider joining the Society as a member and/or as a volunteer! Help as they maintain the historic cemeteries around the city, as they lead tours to various neighborhoods that you may have driven through a million times but never really looked around. As they hold incredible lectures in their building and as they keep up their resources for tracing back family trees, deeds and more. Donate your time (or money) or check out one of the many events they hold throughout the year—you’ll be surprised what you may learn!
Thank you to Dr. Tom Zoubek, the Stamford Historical Society and a special thank you to Lizzy Zawy for keeping myself and by extention our WOTM followers in the loop on what is happening at the Society. I am providing links below on how you can get involved and help preserve Stamford’s History.
Here is the list of incredible folks I had the honor of working with—forgive me if I’ve left anyone out:
Dr. Thomas Zoubek
Nikki Michelle & Sophie
For more information on the Stamford Historical Society: http://stamfordhistory.org/
For more pics from the dig–please head to WOTM’s Flickr album: Hoyt-Barnum Dig July 2016
Read more history on WOTM: The Stranger Side of Stamford
Be on the lookout for more writings on Stamford history here on WOTM. #LearnWhereYouLive
#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamfordct #stamfordhistoricalsociety #archaeology #hoytbarnumhouse #dig #stamford375
The Greenwich Wine & Food Festival is getting closer and closer and personally, I can’t wait. So why is WOTM reporting about something happening in Greenwich? Because Stamford restaurants are WELL represented there and just like last year, I’ll be there to report on how great our local places do!
This year, the festival has added something new to the mix and we wanted to share it here. If you are a Stamford restaurant/chef please take note of the following and hope to see you there in September!!
~ ~ ~
Greenwich WINE + FOOD Festival presented by Serendipity
SIGN UP TODAY: THE ULTIMATE SANDWICH TAKE- DOWN
This fierce sandwich-making competition will name the Ultimate Sandwich winner! Show the 5,500 foodies you are the sandwich king!
Local favorite restaurants, delicatessens, and cafes will create the most over-the-top sandwiches! Participants will work with ingredients like: cheese steak, meatballs, chicken cutlets, grilled veggies, French fries, eggs, cheese, marinara sauce, BBQ sauce, lettuce, ketchup and mayo — sometimes all in the same sandwich!
Saturday, September 24th at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park
For more information contact Brookeknetzger@ungerpublishing.com or call (203) 588-1363
(Thanks to the Stamford Historical Society’s website for the photos.)
During the weekend of July 16th and 17th 2016, the Stamford Historical Society as well as volunteers from the public (including myself) will be descending upon the Hoyt Barnum House to take part in an archaeological dig. With it being Stamford’s 375th birthday this year and the house getting ready for its move up to the Society’s grounds, the dig is the perfect opportunity to take place in a piece of genuine Stamford history. This will be the 4th dig taking place at the house in 50 years…one having taken place in the 1960’s, one in 2002 and one done this past Spring by the Public Archaeology Lab. Having written about Stamford’s oldest house before and being a lover of local history, I’m personally very excited and honored to be taking part in this dig.
As I previously wrote in my post The Stranger Side of Stamford: “Built in 1699 on land once owned by Munsee Indians, the Hoyt-Barnum house is the oldest home in Stamford. A true testament to the city’s founders, this wooden structure has held up through the roughest of New England weather for over 300 years. While the house itself is wood, the chimney was created of stone and (as per Stamford Historical Society) held together with such materials as mortar with clay, straw and animal hair.” This house, being only 58 years younger than the founding of Stamford, it has survived though hurricanes, floods, harsh Winters, wars and even the over development of the city itself.
Past digs on the property turned up such things as hand forged nails, shards of pottery and glass and even bones and shells. According to the Historical Society’s website, any larger items unearthed are preserved and housed at their location.
Stamford has an amazing history to it. This city was founded only 21 years after the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Think about that! It really puts it into perspective doesn’t it?
So the question should be, why NOT dig?
With so much development going on around our fair city, there are few places left where we can unearth the secrets of our past. To find traces of how our founders lived their lives here. For example, I mentioned that shells were found in a previous dig on the grounds. Why is this significant when we live in a coastal city? Because even though the waterfront extended further inland in those days, the house itself was not located right on it and seafood such as clams and oysters were considered a ‘poor mans’ meal in those days. While you may go to your favorite restaurant now and freely order oysters as a mere appetizer for your dinner, back in the 1600’s, this was how they survived. And because they did, we have this city to call home now.
With the house moving to another location, this is the perfect time to explore, to learn and as is often said here at WOTM, to LEARN WHERE YOU LIVE! Learn how Stamford came to be. Learn who lived here before. Learn about who we have to thank for settling here and creating this place that is such an important part of our lives.
I’m including the information below from the Stamford Historical Society with the details on the dig and how you too can sign up to participate. There are limited spots, so please get your RSVPs in as soon as you can and come and get dirty with us as we dig deep into the past!
Hope to see you there!!
WHAT LIES BENEATH?
(July 2016) Stamford, CT- Here’s your chance to experience hands-on archaeology in lower Fairfield County. The Stamford Historical Society will be carrying out an archaeological dig at the Hoyt Barnum House property, 713 Bedford Street in Stamford, on Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th from 9AM- 3PM each day. The Historical Society will provide trowels for digging, buckets, and basic instructions on how to dig. You will be using 1/4″ mesh to screen all dirt. This dig will be held by Executive Director Thomas Zoubek, who has a PhD from Yale University and has led multiple archaeological explorations. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and should bring work gloves to keep their hands clean. Call 203-329-1183 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place in this historic dig.
A professional dig by the Public Archaeology Lab (PAL) this spring located a number of interesting artifacts including 18th century pottery and an Indian Head Penny. Who knows what you might uncover? All finds will belong to the Stamford Historical Society and will contribute to the record and understanding of the Hoyt Barnum House (built 1699) and its inhabitants over the years. Please bring your own refreshments/snack/lunch. Sunscreen and a hat are recommended. The dig will not take place if there is a thunderstorm and there will be no raindate. Get ready to dig into history and get your hands dirty!
The Stamford Historical Society, located at 1508 High Ridge Road, is an educational and research institution whose primary functions are to collect, preserve, conserve, interpret, and exhibit materials relating to Stamford, Connecticut and the surrounding area. As the City of Stamford’s history center, the Society is dedicated to providing opportunities for the community to understand and experience the past through the presentation of exhibits and displays, lectures, demonstrations, special events and participatory programs. For more information, call us at 203-329-1183 or visit our website at www.stamfordhistory.org.
Info on the 2002 dig: http://www.stamfordhistory.org/adv_arch1.htm
#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamfordct #stamford375 #stamfordhistory #stamfordhistoricalsociety #hoytbarnumhouse #history #dig #archaeology #learnwhereyoulive #stopandlookaround