Permanent Exhibits

Black Life in the History of New Milford: A Perspective of 150 Years since the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 - 2013

Black Life in the History of New Milford: A Perspective of 150 Years since the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 - 2013

This exhibit has been updated, and incorporated into our current, featured exhibit, Juneteenth + The Black Experience in New Milford

2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of crucial turning points in the American Civil War, including the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863; the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863; and the Gettysburg Address in November 1863. It was also the 50th Anniversary of events that defined the American Civil Rights Movement, including the March on Washington in August 1963 and Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech on August 28, 1963. In recognition of these historic events, the New Milford Historical Society & Museum (NMHSM) created an exhibit entitled "Black Life in the History of New Milford: A Perspective of 150 Years since the Emancipation Proclamation."

The exhibit contains the pulpit, piano and bell from the Advent Christian Church of New Milford, founded by the Reverend Stephen Heacock and 22 black families of New Milford. The church building today houses New Milford's Theaterworks. Early photographs of the Heacock Family are prominently displayed. Also featured are maps and explanations of the Underground Railroad, which is known to have run through CT (and New Milford). We have also mounted copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and a photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King giving his "I Have A Dream" speech with a transcript of this famous speech.

In addition, there is a montage of the emancipation papers granting freedom to the slaves in early New Milford. Connecticut was an early proponent of Emancipation due to the strong influence of the Abolitionist movement in the state and included gradual emancipation of all black residents of the state in 1784, resulting in all slaves in New Milford being freed by 1810 (a full 50 years before the Emancipation Proclamation). The 1810 census of New Milford lists 147 freed blacks as residents of the Town of New Milford.

New Milford's Pre-Colonial Peoples

New Milford's Pre-Colonial Peoples

Currently on display in the Richard Booth Hall in the Boardman Store

Indian Basket by Henry Harris which describes the Native American groups living in the New Milford area at the time of the town's first settlement in the early 1700s. On view are Native American artifacts from the museum's collection which are mostly authentic projectile points and pottery found on Fort Hill in New Milford. Other items included in this exhibit are early baskets, clothing, masks and descriptions of the different tribes and how they lived.

The Life and Times of Roger Sherman

The Life and Times of Roger Sherman

Permanently on display as part of the Main Gallery exhibit

Roger ShermanOne of New Milford's most famous resident, Sherman was the only man to sign all of the "Founding Documents" creating the United States of America. He signed; The Articles of Association of the First Continental Congress, The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States. In addition to copies of these four documents, the exhibit includes a copy of a portrait of Roger Sherman, a timeline of his life in New Milford, reflecting his work as a Shoemaker, Surveyor and Lawyer.

Roger ShermanCoincidently, Roger Sherman was also recently inducted into Connecticut's Hall of Fame in Hartford, Connecticut. Sherman's name is now on proudly on display in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, joining the likes of Mark Twain, Igor Sikorsky and Katharine Hepburn. The museum now proudly displays a crystal trophy to honor our own Roger Sherman.

New Milford Pottery AKA Wannopee Pottery Co

New Milford Pottery AKA Wannopee Pottery Co

Currently on display in the Richard Booth Hall in the Boardman Store

Founded in New Milford in 1887. During the company's 16 years of production, their designers created many different and unusual patterns. Most of these are included in the exhibit. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a collector of the Green Lettuce Leaf Pattern, (which is still very sought after by collectors today) is also in the display. Also included are early photographs of the factory and it's workers, an historical perspective of the company and it's founders, and an enlarged display of the company's many trademarks.

Coming Soon!

We have been updating Humeston Hall, home to our permanent exhibits, which is downstairs in our main building, and will be reopening it soon with new exhibits about the Creation of Candlewood Lake and an overview of Farming in the New Milford Area!
We'll keep you posted

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New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum
New Milford Historical Society and Museum