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In this episode we learn about the New Canaan Historical Society, one of Connecticut’s oldest historical societies. Executive Director Nancy Geary walks us through the Society’s history from its founding in 1889 to the present day.

Nancy Geary Executive directorThe Historical Society’s main grounds include five vintage buildings which contain seven museums and a library. The main buildings include: the 1825 Town House, 1845 pharmacy, Hanford-Silliman House (c.1764), Rock Schoolhouse (1799), John Rogers Sculpture Studio (1878), Tool Museum and Print Shop. At nearby Irwin Park, the Society also oversees the Gores Pavilion which is used to house various events and exhibitions during the year.

During the year, The Historical Society holds a number of fun and interesting events, including their annual Ice Cream Social pictured here and held early each summer. Each monthly event features its own set of speakers, programs and things to do, many for the young generation and their parents.

Originally established “to bring together and arrange the historical events of the town of New Canaan, the genealogies of the families who have lived in the town, to form a library and to collect relics and curiosities, to form a museum,” the Historical Society today is a central link between the town’s past, present and future.

For example, every other year, the Historical Society hosts the world famous
modern house image

The Historical Society also has an annotated collection of information about all the mid-century homes that were built in New Canaan, including some that sadly were torn down over the years to make way for more traditional structures.

Visitors are always welcome to come by and explore the buildings and grounds, although if you want to enter the outer buildings, please call in advance to arrange a tour. Visitors, whether they live in New Canaan or not, can support the Society by making a donation or they can also become members to help make their own mark on history.

Other amenities include bus parking; meeting/event facilities, and special rentals. Groups are welcome; guided group tours can be arranged.