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Oxford Historical Society

Post Office Box 582,   Oxford, Connecticut, 06478


Twitchell-Rowland Homestead
60 Towner Lane, Oxford 

Oxford Historical Society's 

History Education 

Center & Museum

150th Anniversary of the

Close of the Civil War to Be Celebrated

Tickets are now available for “The Observance of the 150th Anniversary of the Cessation of the Civil War” on Saturday, April 11, from 1-3 p.m.  Sponsored by the Oxford Historical Society and funded by the Connecticut Community Foundation, the program will be held at the Oxford Congregational Church at 3 Academy Road.

Admission is free, but due to limited seating, tickets are required.  They are available from the Oxford Town Clerk’s Office in the S. B. Church Memorial Town Hall, at the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum on Sunday, March 15 from 2-4 p.m. or by calling 203 888-0230.  Tickets are limited to two per person.

Planned as a tribute to the 107 men who enlisted in the Union Army from Oxford, the program features reenactors playing the roles of Abraham Lincoln and Major Philo Buckingham.  An ecumenical choir will present a selection of patriotic songs, some of which would have been sung by local soldiers as they went off to battlefields in the South.  A bell ringing ceremony will accompany the reading of the names of those who served, and descendants of those men will be honored.  Following the program, refreshments made from Civil War period recipes will be served. 

Students from Mrs. Sue Gibbons Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade Enrichment Classes are participating in an essay contest, modelling their writing on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.    Mr. Lewis Dube, Abraham Lincoln reenactor, will read the best essay and award its author with a $50 prize from the Oxford Historical Society.

The names of the 107 Oxford soldiers who donned the Union uniform will be announced and a moment of silence will be observed in their honor. A flower will be presented to family representatives present as each soldier’s name is called.

Oxford Historical  Society earns Gold Seal from  GuideStar Exchange
The Oxford Historical Society, Inc. has received the GuideStar Exchange Gold participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. This level demonstrates the Society's deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.
     The Society has worked diligently to fulfill our mission.  We have a commitment in being transparent about our efforts to encourage historic preservation and appreciation in Oxford.  As a GuideStar Exchange participant, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and GuideStar's immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors, and the media.

Museum Hours:
First and Third Sundays of each month
2 - 4 p.m.

Adeline Gray, Oxford's famous parachutist makes history. See her story here

"Oxford History Remembered"
New Book Available
The Society's newest book, Oxford History Remembered, is now available. The book includes tales from Oxford's early history, the contributions of Oxford residents in times of war, as well as more recent stories, such as the establishment of the Oxford Land Trust.  The book includes a history of the 6-year effort of the Oxford Historical Society to preserve the Homestead.

Area History Links:
            (search the 1798 Oxford CT Tax roll.)

Oxford Honored by
Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation 

The people of Oxford and the Oxford Historical Society were honored for our work in preserving the Homestead, and designated with a Connecticut Trust Preservation Award. The award was presented in Hartford at the State Capitol on April 4, 2012.  The following is from their Connecticut Trust website:

"Built in 1755, this house has a long connection with prominent local families and is listed on the State Register of Historic Places. When development threatened the house, the developer was convinced to donate it to the Town. Moved to a new, town-owned site, the house received a new foundation and chimney base, and was restored by the Oxford Historical Society.  A multitude of workers donated their labor to the project, including members of building trades, Boy and Girl Scouts, area foundations, and many local volunteers. The people of Oxford succeeded where many towns and small nonprofits fail by involving a wide range of people throughout the community. The task of managing so many different groups and individuals alone is a remarkable achievement. "
Source: http://www.cttrust.org/12635

Harriet's Quilt
An Oxford signature quilt from before the Civil War.
See information on the quilt and on the people who made and signed it:
Download a free Kindle copy of the book "Chauncey Judd,
or a Boy Stolen,"
by Israel P. Warren.
Story of burglary and kidnapping during the American Revolution, with parts of the story taking place in Oxford.

To download, RIGHT CLICK HERE and choose SAVE AS. 
The exhibit can be seen during museum open hours from 2-4 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of each month or by appointment.  For further information call 203 888-0230.

To Drive the Dark Away:

An Exhibit of Early Lighting Devices

“To Drive the Dark Away: An Exhibit of Early Lighting Devices” is currently featured at the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum.  Located at 60 Towner Lane in Oxford, the museum is open on the first and third Sunday of each month.  Admission is free.

During the first 225 years of Oxford’s history, lighting to extend the sunlight was unsatisfactory, particularly in winter when days were short.  Burning sticks of wood, firelight, reed and tallow lamps, candles, and kerosene lamps all were used by farmers and other workers and their families to work after dark.  Each of these inventions had its drawbacks: smoke, insufficient light, foul odors, and the danger of setting the house on fire.  Surely when electricity came to Oxford in 1918, it must have seemed like a miracle.

Drawing from the collection of Rob Buck and the Oxford Historical Society’s holdings, “To Drive the Dark Away” chronicles the instruments our New England ancestors used to light their ways through long winter nights.  It begins with antique iron and tin betty lamps and closes with one of the first electric light fixtures from c19Oxford Historical Society President Louise Burr holds an antique whale oil lamp used by early Oxford physician Dr. Hosea Dutton.  The lamp is featured in the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum’s current exhibit of early lighting devices.10.

 Oxford Historical Society President Louise Burr holds an antique whale oil lamp used by early Oxford physician Dr. Hosea Dutton.  The lamp is featured in the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum’s current exhibit of early lighting devices.Oxford Historical Society President Louise Burr holds an antique whale oil lamp used by early Oxford physician Dr. Hosea Dutton.  The lamp is featured in the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum’s current exhibit of early lighting devices.

The display will be on view through the end of March. 

For further information call 203 888-0230.

Louise Burr & Dutton Lam

Homestead decorated for the Holidays.
Thanks to the Oxford Garden Club! 

Vintage Sewing Accessories
Exhibited at The Homestead

Sewing exhibit- Phil & Loretta RowlandThe Twitchell Rowland Homestead Museum at 60 Towner Lane, Oxford recently featured the display "The Work Basket: Vintage Sewing Accessories, 1900 - 1950".

At left, Phil & Loretta Rowland view antique material samples. 

Below, Jane Hulbert examines the collection of antique darning eggs,needle cases, pin cushions, patterns and other items women used to make and mend family clothing. 

Jane Hulbert = sewing exhibit

Thanks to all who helped make the
Second Annual Old Homested Flea Market a Success!

T2014_06-21-14_OHS_Flea-markethe Oxford Historical Society sponsored its second annual Old Homestead Flea Market on June 21 at the Twitchell-Rowland Museum.  Thanks to all those who assisted the day of the sale, to our vendors, and to those who attended and helped make the day a financial success.  Special thanks go to Marcia Wrogg and Jane Hulbert, co-chairmen.

(Photo by Cindy Joy)

mystery house

Can you identify this mystery house in Oxford?  

The Historical Society is trying to identify the house depicted in this painting by  H. Reinhardt Lewis,  Some of his work was featured in an October 2013 exhibition at the Homestead.  Lewis moved to Petticoat Farm (now 55 Barry Road) in Oxford to fulfill his lifelong dream of being an independent, self-supporting artist. While living in the 18th Century farmhouse with his wife, Ella, and young son, William, he drew and painted the Depression era landscape of the dairy and chicken farms that made up this small New England town and the surrounding area. Given the economy, there was no market for his works, and he was forced to move on to employment as a draftsman for Vought-Sikorsky during World War II and as a package designer.

His daughter Peggy, Mrs. Robert Hillton, who arranged for the exhibit of his works, recently sent a photo of another painting, labeled, "Connecticut, 1936" on the back.  Persons who have suggestions of the location of the house are asked to contact Nancy Farnum at  203 888-0230

PEOPLE'S FAVORITES at the 2013 Peach Festival

Voted "Personal Favorite": Young Daniel Bonnett in early Ford
Click Here to see all the photos voted "People's Favorites"

John Clio book talk
Women's Work
in World War II 
Book talk with
author John Cilio.
May 5, 2013

Carolyn Ivanoff as Dolley MadisonCarolyn Ivanoff
Dolly Madison, left, chats with visitor at
March 17th program at the Homestead.  

Barnum, Tom Thumb and the TornadoMarion O'Keefe   Cindy Joy Photo
Barnum, Tom Thumb and the Tornado” were the topics of an illustrated talk by Marion O’Keefe on Sunday, February 3.  Mrs. O’Keefe is Director Emeritus and former curator of the Derby Historical Society.  She is currently a Board of Directors member and curator of the Seymour Historical Society.  A pink satin covered pillow used by Tom Thumb is on display at the Homestead Museum.

Photos of Lake Zoar, Zoar Bridge, Zoar Village and Stevenson Station added from 2012 Peach Festival
The Society continues to make appointments to meet with individuals at the Library to scan their photos of old time Oxford.  while they wait.  If you have photos to share, please call Dottie DeBisschop 203-910-4574 to schedule an appointment.

Oxford Center School Photos

The Oxford Historical Society has received  many class photographs from Oxford Center School.  The photographs are being scanned and filed for preservation in our archives.

Residents are asked to help identify the students and teachers in the photographs.  You may see our growing collection here:

Oxford Centralized School:

1969-70 -MISSING!

More coming!

See how many
you can identify!
Please email your answers to: Photos@oxford-historical-society.org