Unearthing the Mysteries at the Hoyt-Barnum House

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(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.

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‘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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Kettles

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!

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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

Brian O’Neill

Eileen Rosen

Phil Peluso

Richard Varadian

Lauren Kruse

Tom Brassil

Mike Fedeli

Nikki Michelle & Sophie

Nancy Jameson

Jessica Jameson

Andrew Schwartz

Christine Shaw

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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

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Be on the lookout for more writings on Stamford history here on WOTM. #LearnWhereYouLive

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#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamfordct #stamfordhistoricalsociety #archaeology #hoytbarnumhouse #dig #stamford375

THE ULTIMATE SANDWICH TAKE- DOWN

Digging Up a Bit of Stamford History!

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(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.

Why dig?

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!!

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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 info@stamfordhistory.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.

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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

Greenwich Wine + Food 2016 Announces Celeb Chefs and Music Acts!

So you’re here on WOTM who prides themselves on Keeping it Local STAMFORD and you’re wondering why we’re here posting about the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival…right?  Well, besides being a great event for a great cause, every year, Stamford is VERY well represented! Many Stamford restaurants and businesses participate and share their creations with those who attend. Here is the latest on this fabulous event:

THE GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY CHEFS AND MUSICAL TALENT

Ziggy Marley and Old Crow Medicine Show to Co-Headline

at the Saturday Festival

The Bacon Brothers to Perform at Master Chef Dinner with Adam Richman

Celebrity Chefs Featured Throughout the Festival Include Michel Nischan and Marcus Samuelsson

Greenwich, CT – The sixth annual GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL, presented by Serendipity magazine (www.serendipitysocial.com) and benefitting Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Wholesome Wave and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation, has announced the headlining musical talent and celebrity chefs who will appear at this year’s festival.

“We wanted to give our guests an extra special night of music to cap off Saturday’s festival this year, so are featuring two co-headlining acts that are sure to get the crowd on their feet,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Serendipity magazine and the GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL. “The combination of Ziggy Marley’s reggae with the American string band Old Crow Medicine Show will entertain everyone in attendance.”

“We are also excited to once again welcome back Connecticut’s own Kevin Bacon, along with his brother Michael, to join in our celebration and offer their unique blend of folk, country and rock music to an intimate group of attendees at the Master Chef Dinner on Friday night,” added Unger.

In addition to the musical acts, celebrity chefs Michel Nischan, Adam Richman and Marcus Samuelsson will participate in this year’s festivities, conducting cooking demos, mingling with guests and signing cookbooks.

At the Master Chef Dinner on Friday evening, Adam Richman will award Serendipity’s Most Innovative Chefs from across Fairfield and Westchester Counties (honorees TBA) who will serve their signature dishes. Festival Ambassador Chefs will also be in attendance, preparing their best cuisine. The special evening is rounded out with renowned wine selections, creative cocktails and an auction.

The celebration of local and national talent continues on Saturday, the signature day of the GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL. The lineup features tastings and demonstrations from more than two hundred of the area’s finest food, wine, spirits and product vendors in the Grand Tasting Tent, as well as the Burger & Brew Tent, Grill Master Tent and Taco Party! There will also be a number of lively competitions, including the first annual Ultimate Sandwich Take-Down, the fifth annual Burger Battle and the third annual Top Bartender’s Showdown. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy sommelier presentations, celebrity book signings, and Q&A sessions with top culinary experts.  

Saturday VIP ticket holders ($375 per ticket) are invited to the Sustainable Dinner with three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner Michel Nischan, highlighting exquisite, locally-sourced ingredients, served under a private tent with premium liquor, wine and beer. Ticket holders also have access to exclusive lounge areas (open throughout the day), private restrooms and a premium viewing area for the evening’s musical performance. 

The Saturday VIP Pass with Intimate Dinner, featuring Marcus Samuelsson and Red Rooster Harlem, will give attendees the opportunity to sample the best of Harlem in a stunning waterfront setting. Award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson will prepare a meal inspired by the roots of American cuisine at a seated dinner with table service (6:30-8:30pm). Attendees can take in the evening’s musical performance from private tables on an elevated stage ($525 per ticket) or from reserved, lawn table seating ($450 per ticket). Table packages will be available as well.

Visit www.serendipitysocial.com for more information and updates about the event schedule, participating celebrity and local chefs, musical talent and more. 

Tickets will be available in the coming weeks via http://serendipitysocial.com/or by calling 203.588.1363. The event’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GreenwichwinefoodFestival will announce restaurant participants and schedule updates.

The festival will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted. Pets are also not permitted.country influences. 

GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL

The GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL is a multi-day event that benefits The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses, as well asWholesome Wave and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation. The festival is sponsored by Serendipity magazine in partnership with Pepsi.

Here are 5 Things Going on This Weekend in Stamford:

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Before we get to the list, just a reminder that Saturday the 30th is the FINAL day you can head to the beaches and parks that require the beach stickers for free! Make sure to get your stickers for the 2016 season: http://www.stamfordct.gov/cashiering-permitting/pages/beach-sticker For most folks, you can do it right online.

Now, onto the 5 things happening this weekend:

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Curtain Call: Only three shows left to catch some amazing local talent perform in the one and only Little Shop of Horrors! This comedy has awesome music by Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, etc) and has a giant, singing, talking plant. What else could you ask for in a musical?! Final show dates are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For tickets and info: http://www.curtaincallinc.com/shows/little-shop-of-horrors-3/

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Curtain Call Inc.

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Sheraton Stamford Hotel: 18th Annual Pez Convention hits this weekend! From the trip to the Pez Visitors Center on Thursday, to the children’s costume contest on Friday to the convention floor opening on Saturday…if you like Pez this is where you need to be! Times, ticket prices, agenda and more: http://pezconvention.org/

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Avon Theatre & Film Center: To honor a music legend we lost just last week, the Avon will be showing Purple Rain on the big screen! Prince won an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score and if you’ve ever heard the soundtrack for this movie, you’ll understand why. It will be shown on both Friday and Saturday night at 9pm. http://www.avontheatre.org/films/345/purple-rain-(1984)

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Avon Theatre & Film Center

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Ferguson Library:  On Saturday, meet the raptors of the Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education Center.  This is a drop-in program for everyone 5 yrs of age and up and is FREE! 2-3pm on Saturday.  http://fergusonlibrary.org/event/horizon-wings/

On Sunday at the library, they will be having a documentary screening at 2pm called: Healing Voices.  “HEALING VOICES challenges us to rethink our cultural understanding of “mental illness” by bringing a message of recovery, and charting a course for effective alternative treatments that enable people to live productive and meaningful lives.”  http://fergusonlibrary.org/event/healing-voices-documentary-screening/

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Stamford Historical Society:  Cozy Sundays are back at the Historical Society and what a great opportunity to learn more about where you live! Starting at 2pm, come and see the “Spare these Stones” presentation on Cemetery Inscription in Stamford.  Learn about the preservation efforts of Stamford’s older cemeteries and how these folks meticulously documented the graves of local veterans and inscriptions of stones that are no longer legible. For more information: http://stamfordhistory.org/event/cozy-sunday-2/

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There you go guys! Have fun, be safe and as always…KEEP IT LOCAL STAMFORD!!!

 

#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #learnwhereyoulive #saveourhistory #littleshopofhorrors #curtaincall #pez #candy #convention #sheratonstamford #fergusonlibrary #beachseason2016 #purplerain #prince #legend #paisleypark

 

Stamford375 Has Begun!

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Stamford is Celebrating!

This past Sunday, myself and over 200 Stamford-ites went down to the Old Town Hall steps and helped to celebrate the opening ceremony of Stamford375! This year the City of Stamford turns 375 years young and the Stamford375.org committee have months of events scheduled to mark the occasion.

In 1641, 29 Puritan settlers and their families came to Rippowam (Stamford’s former name) from Weathersfield after a rift within the congregation of the Church of Christ. These intrepid folks decided to come to Southwestern Connecticut to farm, raise their families and start their own sect of The First Congregational Church.  Its first meeting house was built in the area of what is now known as Veteran’s Park and this is what brings us to Sunday’s ceremony!

While this ceremony was billed as a ‘multi-faith’ event in honor of our founding fathers, you needn’t be of a particular faith to go and enjoy a wonderful few hours in the Spring sunshine learning about our history and hearing some inspirational speeches. The tagline of: Many Faiths, One Community: Stamford Proud was quite apropos for such an event.

It began with Sandy Goldstein of DSSD taking the mic to welcome everyone there and with her usual enthusiasm introduced to us all committee members and participants of the day’s event. She served as emcee and with Stamford’s first meeting house established just yards away from the Old Town Hall steps, it was truly fitting to have Downtown Special Service District open the months-long celebrations.

Mayor David Martin took to the podium next to fill us in more on the vision of Stamford375. This was the first time I had seen Mayor Martin speak in person and you could truly see how excited he is about this city-wide project.

From the Stamford Historical Society, Ron Marcus gave us insight on the Religious Faith in Stamford from 1641 to the present. The Historical Society is such a great resource for all of us who live here and it was an honor for me to hear Ron speak.

We had inspiring talks given by both Rabbi Daniel Cohen and Monsignor Stephen Giovanni that I personally took a lot from. While I am not of any religion, inspiration and learning come from everyone around you. This day had many voices to be heard. The message of paying it forward or as Rabbi Cohen referred to, “Finding your Elijah” was definitely something that everyone could get behind no matter who you are.

Speaker Mark Levine got up and surprised many of us with a short list of names of celebrities, sports icons, writers and more who have/had lived in Stamford over the years. From Jackie Robinson to J.D. Salinger to Joseph Lieberman…the list goes on and on. While he limited the list for speaking purposes to but a few, if you’d like to see a longer list of those who both called and presently call Stamford their home: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_from_Stamford,_Connecticut

The Union Baptist Church Choir graced us with their voices and gave us beautiful renditions of The Star Spangled Banner, My Country Tis of Thee and God Bless America. They were truly wonderful and later, led everyone in the ‘faith walk’ over to Veteran’s Park for the wreath laying ceremony.

After everyone gathered around in the park area, Mayor Martin and Reverend Dr. Todd Grant-Yonkman, Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stamford laid a wreath commemorating the spot where the first meeting house was assembled 375 years ago. With the choir singing in the background, it made for a moving moment that I was proud to be a part of.

If you’ve followed WOTM for any time, you know what a passion I have for local history. It was inspiration for my post (around Halloween time) called The Stranger Side of Stamford. After I posted it, I had a number of folks thank me for posting it as they didn’t know a lot about the history of the city. That’s what is so exciting to me about the Stamford375 project! It’s getting residents interested in learning more about where they live!!

I often say in posts and in hashtags: learn where you live and stop and look around. I think it’s important, I really do. This was a great day to do both!

While at Veteran’s Park the other day, I took the time to really look at the monuments and memorials that reside there. Many of us walk through that park on a daily basis or run through it to get to the mall or maybe to catch a bus. How often do you stop and look at what has been placed there?

One that I’ve never seen before was the most fitting for the day we had just had. It was a tablet set in a large stone commemorating the spot where the 29 Puritan settlers made their home 375 years ago. And THAT is what we are going to be celebrating for the rest of the year. Whether it was the celebration downtown, or future events in North Stamford at the Historical Society, down at Mill river Park, Fort Stamford, Cumming Park, etc, the rest of this year will be packed with fun activities that everyone can attend, enjoy and maybe learn a thing or two!

Our tagline here on WOTM is KEEP IT LOCAL. You can’t get much more local than this!!!

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For the pics I took during the event, please see our album on WOTM’s FB page: http://bit.ly/1S9QsP1

For more information, schedule of events and more: Stamford375.org

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1641 Monument at Veteran’s Park

#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #stamford375 #stamforddowntown #dssd #learnwhereyoulive #stopandlookaround #saveourhistory

Historical address, delivered in the First Congregational Church in Stamford, Ct.

Historical address, delivered in the First Congregational Church in Stamford, Ct.

Fairfield County Women’s Expo 2016

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This past weekend saw the annual Fairfield County Women’s Expo at the newly renovated Crowne Plaza hotel. Having been to quite a few of these events, I was excited to share this event with a friend and have a ‘girl’s day out’. The Women’s Expo is a fun time out with tons of exhibitors that are both local (as from here in Stamford) to outside our area. While mostly from the CT area, I have to say, today was the first time I saw a few from as far away as Lake George, NY.

As you walk through the maze of booths, you never what each one will be showcasing. From jewelry to gutters to skin care and yummy samples, there is something for everyone…including any guys who tagged along! They offer lots of fun happenings to participate in at the Expo itself. This year’s offerings included: free yoga, pilates,  Zumba and ‘stroller pump’ classes, makeovers, talks and book signings with some special guests, raffles, giveaways and more.

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Welcome to the Expo!

As I’ve said earlier, I have been to a number of these and have seen them both packed and somewhat busy, but with room to explore. This time around, the Expo is competing with some spectacular weather that Stamford has been lacking on weekends. So when we arrived, shortly after the doors opened, it was still waiting to get into the groove of the day. Have to admit, I liked it like this. We really got to meet some wonderful vendors and they had the opportunity to take their time with us as we asked a ton of questions and tried samples of everything from gluten-free vegan chocolate to some wonderful skin care items that I’ve already searched online for!

With Mother’s Day coming up soon, the folks that put this event together each year have the timing set up perfectly. You can do some serious shopping at this place! Get mom a bottle of her favorite perfume, cozy slipper socks to veg out in, buy a lovely handcrafted scarf or hell, get an estimate on new windows for her house! (I am not joking about that last one.)

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One of the many jewelry vendor’s displays.

If you’re into a healthy lifestyle or even looking for inspiration to get you jump-started to a better way of eating or exercising…you’ll definitely get it here. Free health screenings, juice and healthy treat samples and even lifestyle coaches are waiting for you!  I’ll admit, I tried a few of the snacks and while the aforementioned special chocolate didn’t do it for me (but that’s because I’m not a dark chocolate person, sorry), the special juices I tried were fantastic!  Honestly, you just never know what you are going to find at this thing.

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Himalayan Salt Lamps

Whether you go on Sunday or are already looking forward to the 2017 Fairfield County Women’s Expo, here are my (personal) suggestions:

  • Take a friend or two. It’s great to have someone to tag along with so you can cover more ground, fill out more raffle entries (hey, you never know right?) and bounce help you decide if that scarf you just picked out looks better on you or should be given as a gift.
  • If you are like me and have trouble with large crowds, go early. Not only will it not be as crowded but you’ll also have the full attention of the vendors. You’ll be able to take your time at each table you hit instead of feeling rushed by others waiting their turn.
  • If you bring small children, definitely bring a friend with you. This is what we did. We spent a good amount of time at some of the tables and if you are the only adult with a little one, they are going to get bored quickly. They don’t want to hear about investments or what botanicals are good for helping your sleep pattern! So if you have another adult with you, they can keep the tiny person occupied and happy. Then at the next table, switch roles! Everyone wins!! (and if you’re lucky, you’ll stop at one of the tables with the free lollipops)
  • If you’re looking to take one of the free classes, remember to bring your gear. Don’t get caught wanting to take an exercise class and not having proper attire and footwear. BE SAFE!
  • It’s held right on Summer St. so why not plan about 2hrs at the Expo (to start) and then head to a great restaurant for lunch or an early dinner?! OR, go have a nice brunch with the girls and then hit the Expo after? Either way, you’ll have a fun day!!
  • While the opportunity to shop is certainly there, you can get away without spending a dime other than the entry fee. Oh and the parking is free for the weekend as well!

All in all, this is a fun time. We walked out with our free gift bags filled with free goodies, catalogs and lots of business cards so we can look up some places to shop online. I do that a lot. This way I can take my time browsing the websites and still support some great small businesses as well!!

One more thing…there are wonderful non-profit organizations represented here as well. From animal care to  Stamford-based soup kitchen New Covenant House, there are groups who could use your help and you can learn more about them and ways you can help at the Expo!

The Fairfield County Women’s Expo runs one more day, Sunday April 17th from 11-5 and for all the info on exhibitors, guest speakers, ticket discounts and classes for the day: http://fcwomenshow.com/

Keep it Local Stamford!!

shoppers

Time to shop and explore!!

#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #womensexpo #fairfieldcounty #girlsdayout #supportlocalbusinesses #supportsmallbusinesses #stamfordct #crowneplazahotel #summerstreet