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Saturday, November 17 News

Donations sought about Washington’s history

WASHINGTON — Residents can capture the essence and history of their town with a new permanent exhibit at the Gunn Historical Museum.

The museum is seeking donations of artifacts that pertain to the town’s people, places, events and stories that make up Washington’s history. Staff hope to get donations from all parts of town, including Washington Depot, Washington Green, Marbledale, New Preston, Lake Waramaug, Woodville and Romford.

“I hope the exhibit creates a better understanding of Washington’s unique history, and generates an excitement among a new generation of people from near and far about preserving and sharing it,” said Stephen Bartkus, the museum’s curator.

Museum officials have created temporary exhibits that focus on different themes or parts of history and areas of the town, but have long wanted a permanent exhibit that would capture Washington as a whole, he said.

“One of the long-term goals of our trustees is to create a permanent Washington history exhibit at the museum that would share the entire history of Washington with visitors and enhance and add context to the more focused and specialized temporary exhibits,” Bartkus said.

The museum received a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development to create the exhibit, which is expected to open in early 2019.

Museum officials hope to collect donations that fit the variety of themes they plan to address in the exhibit.

These themes include Native Americans, colonists, religion, the American Revolution, slavery and abolition, farming, industry, schools and education, the railroad, immigrants, vacation resorts, the arts, environmentalism, the flood, businesses, organizations and 1956 through present day. The exhibit will look at the Civil War, as well as military service in general for other wars, such as world wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Ideally we prefer donations, but we will also consider long-term loans which would eventually be returned,” Bartkus said.

Examples of artifacts include memorabilia for Washington or Connecticut, photographs, documents, letters, diaries, film, videos, scrapbooks, albums, signs, art, samplers, uniforms and items made or used by Washington residents. Photographs and documents will be scanned and returned.

To donate items, email Bartkus

with photos to curator@gunn

historicalmuseum.org or call 860-868-7756 to schedule an appointment by Oct. 1.

Katrina Koerting|Reporter

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