RESCHEDULED | The Lincoln Flag -- Rediscovered | Now Sunday, March 11th at 3pm

posted Mar 4, 2018, 7:51 AM by Julie Johnston   [ updated Mar 4, 2018, 10:52 AM by Darien Historical News ]

Due to a power outage, today's lecture has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 11th at 3pm. 

While rummaging through a cluttered storage area at the Connecticut Historical Society, a Librarian picked up a dusty flag box with a brass label indicating that it was from the year 1864.

Museum curators soon realized that the box contained a flag that decorated Abraham Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre on the night he was assasinated. The flag is believed to be the one that Lincolnclutched after he was shot.

Hear the fascinating tale of the rediscovery and the exhaustive process to piece together the story of this treasured artifact with Ilene Frank, chief curator of the Connecticut Historical Society.

Cost: $5 for members and students, $20 for non-members and $30 for non-members and a guest.

Please register for this program online or call 203.655.9233.

Through the Lens of Patriotism

posted Feb 22, 2018, 1:31 PM by Margaret McIntire   [ updated Mar 4, 2018, 7:41 AM by Julie Johnston ]

Hear the stories behind the award-winning collection of flag art photographs with Darien photographer Robert Carley, who has been on a mission to record expressions of patriotism all over the country. Carley will share the story of his quest on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Society.

The program is free for members and students. The cost is $10 for non-members. Please register for the lecture here, or call 203.655.9233 for information.

Traveling to new regions of the country each year, Carley snaps photos and hears the myriad stories about why people are inspired to express their patriotism by painting the red white and blue on everything from cars and boats to pumpkins and pizza boxes. There’s even a sub-genre of flag homes in the collection, Carley said.  

“After September 11, I dedicated myself to this – and it has paid off in ways I never would have expected,” said Carley, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania who also works as a background actor and has appeared in many shows and films including Madame Secretary, Still Alice and Blue Bloods.

Early American Portraiture -- From Folk Art to Fine Art

posted Feb 12, 2018, 2:44 PM by Darien Historical News   [ updated Feb 23, 2018, 1:43 PM by Margaret McIntire ]

THIS PROGRAM IS CANCELED -- Stay tuned for ArtScapades program coming in May! The evolution of portraiture in early America will be the focus of “American Portraiture: From Folk Art to Fine Art,” on Sunday, February 25 at 3 p.m. The lecture will be presented by ArtScapades, an art lecture series presented by New Canaan residents Robin Hoffman and Jodi Stiffelman.

Starting with Ammi Phillips, an itinerant painter who worked for over five decades in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Hoffman and Stiffelman will discuss the artists who defined early portraiture and on the transition to fine art portraiture with painters like John Singleton Copley and Gilbert Stuart. P

lease call 203.655-9233 to register or click here to register online.

The cost of the program is $5 for members, $20 for non-members and $30 for non-members and a guest.

Hands-On History Fun!

posted Feb 7, 2018, 10:42 AM by Darien Historical News   [ updated Feb 8, 2018, 1:38 PM ]

From Valentine's Day crafts to Candle-Making Workshops, we're offering kids some hands-on fun during the month of February. Check out our event listings and sign up.
Valentine's Day Craft
Friday, February 9 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Decorate a picture frame with lots of pink, red and white paint. Then, we’ll take your picture and put it in the frame. Next, make a “hand” made card for a lovely gift to take home for someone special. 

Call 203.984.1798 to register. 
Cost: $15.

Show Us What You Know -- Presidential Match Game 
Monday, February 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Celebrate this President’s Day and test your knowledge during a match game. We’ll keep score and winners will get a prize! 

Drop in. No registration required.

Show Us What You Know – Town History 
Wednesday, February 21 from 10 a.m to 1 p.m.

What fun facts do you know about Darien? Come play our match game and show us what you know about our town!. We’ll keep score and winners get a prize. 

Drop in. No registration required.

Candle-Making Workshop 
Friday, February 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will show you some colonial candle-making pieces, then you’ll create your own candle to decorate with beads, glitter and flowers! 

Call to register:  203.984.1798. Cost: $ 15.

A JOURNEY: A Musical One-Woman Show

posted Feb 2, 2018, 2:15 PM by Darien Historical News

Kimberly Wilson, an award-winning actress, stars in this captivating performance that brings seven African-American women to life on Sunday, February 11 at 3 p.m. 

Through words, movement and song, Wilson transforms into famous women from our past, including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks. Hear the stories of the women who helped shape the America we know today. 

“These are historical figures I'm portraying, but anybody who comes to see the show can find something in their own history," she said. "Everyone has a unique journey."

For ages 10 to adult. A reception follows. Cost: $10 for members and $30 for non-members. Seating is limited. Register here.

Cupid Goes to War -- The Love Letters of Cate Raymond

posted Jan 30, 2018, 3:45 AM by Margaret McIntire   [ updated Jan 30, 2018, 5:31 PM by Darien Historical News ]

Celebrate the season of love by browsing through a display of Revolutionary War-era love letters collected by Cate Raymond, a young woman who lived near Five Mile River when this area was known as Middlesex Parish. 

The letters, on display through March, date from 1779 to 1780 and include notes from suitors on both sides of the conflict. Society Historian Ken Reiss will lead informal “drop-in” talks on the exhibit on Sunday, February 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. 

“These letters are fun to read because they give us insight into the personal lives of people who lived here during the war,” said Reiss, who curated the exhibit. All the letters are matched with a modern, typewritten version to make them easier to read. 

The collection includes letters from suitors throughout the region, and both Loyalists and Patriots wrote them. Eli Curtiss professed his love from a Continental Army camp in Garrison, New York, while John Lamson penned his passions in another from a Loyalist base across Long Island Sound at Lloyd’s Neck.

One portion of the exhibit exposes the tortured longings of Joel Reed, whose family had moved from Middlesex to upstate Connecticut in search of good farmland. Along with Reed’s letter, there are two other notes written by Reed’s friends, attesting to his fine and upstanding character.

“From our vantage point, and likely Cate’s as well, what’s happening here is quite transparent,” Reiss said, adding: “One of the friends even mentions that Mr. Reed gave her the paper to write the letter.”

Reiss said, however, all of these many passionate pleas and professions of love seemed to have been written in vain.

“Cate remained single her whole life,” he said.

Our Winter 2018 Newsletter is here!

posted Jan 25, 2018, 8:01 AM by Darien Historical News   [ updated Jan 25, 2018, 8:20 AM ]

Learn more about upcoming programs, what's been going on, and ways to become involved. 

Support Our Flag Exhibit

posted Jan 12, 2018, 4:56 AM by Darien Historical News   [ updated Jan 16, 2018, 3:40 PM ]

About the Exhibit:

The history of the American flag is as varied and fascinating as the Republic it represents. It has led us in battles, inspired songs and symbolized democracy’s most cherished notion - freedom.

This exhibit invites visitors to take a walk through time to see how the flag has changed through the years. The design may have changed, and the number of stars may have increased, yet some things have remained constant: In good times and bad, the flag inspires us, represents us and unites us.

Photo: The Darien Times

Underwriter Benefits:
  • Demonstrate your community leadership by partnering with the only museum in Darien
  • Emphasize your commitment to culture, creativity, education and the arts
  • Support programs that you and your colleagues/family/friends would like to see
  • Receive promotional acknowledgement in materials distributed to thousands of visitors and newsletter recipients

Primary Exhibit:

Become a primary exhibit sponsor and you’ll be recognized in promotional materials for exhibit and affiliated events throughout the program’s run.

  • Title wall at the entrance of the exhibition 
  • Branding and narrative within the exhibition catalogue and exhibit posters placed throughout town 
  • Invitation to the opening event and all other events associated with the exhibition, such as receptions and guest speakers 
  • Feature presence in the Society’s Bimonthly Newsletter, sent to more than 2,000 Members and Friends 
  • A private VIP Curator’s Tour (up to 10) for sponsored exhibit 
  • Website listing and social media postings 
  • Press release affiliated with the exhibit/program 
  • Free admission for associated guests 

$3,000 | 1 Available

Artifact Conservation:

The exhibit will feature antique flags from our collection and on-loan from other premier institutions. The flags from our collection range from sixty years to more than 150 years old and each flag will require care and attention from our curators and exhibition team to ensure they can be properly displayed. 

  • Sponsor recognition on all promotional materials dedicated to the specific program 
  • Acknowledgment at each event within the program and on object description card 
  • Tickets for 4 to all sponsored associated events 

$500-$1,000 | 5 Available

Speaker Series:

Please help us by supporting our guest lecture series.

Star Spangled Banner | Jan 18

Flags: Folklore & Fact | Jan 28 

Lincoln’s Flag Rediscovered | Mar 4

  • Sponsor recognition on all promotional materials dedicated to the specific talk
  • Acknowledgment at each event within the program 
  • Tickets for 4 to sponsored speaker 

$250 | 4 Available


For more information, please contact:

Maggie McIntire, Executive Director 

T: 203.655.9233


Long May She Wave -- The Evolution of Our Flag

posted Jan 2, 2018, 10:56 AM by Darien Historical News   [ updated Jan 2, 2018, 11:35 AM ]

The history of the American flag is as varied and fascinating as the Republic it represents. This stunning exhibit, which runs from January 18 to March 13, will include several antique flags and photographs from the Society's collection. It will also feature a timeline that traces the evolution of our nation's banner through local and national events.

Spanning from pre-colonial days to the year 1960, when the 50th star was officially added to the flag, the exhibit will include a soundtrack with music and voices from our past, and a lecture series focusing on subjects relating to the flag's history.

Bring the whole family to this special exhibit and see how Darien's history is reflected in the nation's past -- and gain a deeper appreciation for what Old Glory has represented over the years. Be sure to create your own 51-star flag and leave your impression of what the Stars and Stripes has meant to you. 

Registration is open for the following programs:

Thursday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Ed Hynes, local history expert and financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Westport, discusses our nation's most famous flag and the inspiration behind our national anthem. A champagne opening reception follows.

Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m.
Did Betsy Ross make the first flag? Get the real story about our flag's history with Susan Jerome, collections manager for the Historic Textile and Costume Collection at the University of Rhode Island.

Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m.
After 76 years in a cluttered storage area, the flag that decorated Lincoln's box at Ford's Theater was rediscovered. Hear the fascinating story with Ilene Frank, chief curator of the Connecticut Historical Society.

Cost for each program will be $5 for members, $20 for non-members, $30 for non-members and a guest. Students attend free.

Cost for the exhibit will be free for members, $5 for non-members. Darien's First Responders, Teachers and Students attend free.

Holiday Programs for Children

posted Nov 15, 2017, 10:41 AM by Darien Historical News   [ updated Nov 16, 2017, 6:38 PM ]


Wednesday, December 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Decorate a wreath or craft an ornament during an afternoon event held during the school’s early dismissal day. Cost: $15. Ages 4 – 12. 

Drop in anytime throughout the session, but please register by calling 203.984.1798.

Shadows and Light -- Silhouette Artist

Friday, December 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (by appointment)

Capture a precious moment with a renowned Silhouette Artist. 

These special works of art are created for all ages, and pets, too! Cost: $30 (frame and mats available at extra cost.) 

Call 203.984.1798 for appointments.

A Visit With Santa

Friday, December 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. 

Santa will sit by the colonial hearth, and children will tell him their special Christmas wishes. 

Parents -- take unique photos to treasure! Free, but donations gratefully accepted.

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