September 30, 2014

Essex Historical Society Receives $12,500 Grant from 1772 Foundation

The Pratt House

The Pratt House

ESSEX — The Essex Historical Society (EHS) has been awarded a $12,500 grant from the 1772 Foundation, in partnership with CT Trust for Historic Preservation, to support restoration work on the Pratt House Museum. The award is part of the 1772 Foundation’s highly competitive matching grant program for historic preservation projects.

The funding will support repair on the Pratt House that was recommended by Building Conservation Associates, Inc. of Dedham, Mass., in its 2012 Architectural Conservation Assessment. These recommendations include: repair of the Pratt House’s exterior foundation, painting the exterior and glazing its windows, repairing gutter work, cleaning the interior of the chimney and replacing a missing door in the cellar.

“We are grateful to the 1772 Foundation for their support,” said Sherry Clark, president of the Essex Historical Society. “With the grant and the matched funding by the Essex Historical Society, nearly all of the necessary repairs and maintenance recommended in the Architectural Conservation Assessment of the Pratt House will be completed.”

The restoration work is scheduled to begin October 2014 and to be complete by May 2015.

The historic Pratt House was built in 1701 and was home to the descendants of Lt. William Pratt, one of the three first settlers of Essex for two centuries. Its barn, traditional herb garden and meadow complete the pastoral setting of a New England farmhouse. The house remained in the Pratt family ownership until 1952, when it was deeded to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now known as Historic New England). In 1985 Historic New England transferred the property and much of its contents to EHS, and EHS has been caring for the property ever since. Visitors are invited to tour the home Fridays through Sundays, from June through September.

About the 1772 Foundation —The 1772 Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, NJ, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the original benefactor of the 1772 Foundation. The Foundation seeks to continue his legacy throughout the country by helping preserve architectural and cultural history and agricultural landscapes for generations to come. For more information, visit

About the Essex Historical Society — The Essex Historical Society seeks to promote awareness and understanding of the people, places and events that have shaped the history of Essex, Connecticut. The Society collects and interprets artifacts and archival material, and provides educational programs and exhibits to bring those interpretations to the community. To house this collection and to provide a window into earlier Essex life, the Society maintains two historic structures: Pratt House (1701) and Hills Academy (1832). Recognizing the importance of the past to our understanding of the present and our planning for the future, the Essex Historical Society advocates the preservation of significant structures and sites that reveal the history of Essex. To learn more, visit the EHS website and follow EHS on Facebook.

Letter: Change is Good


To the Editor:

Change is good when you complete four or more years of college at a prestigious Connecticut College and you have to move out of state to find a job.

Change is good when you drive down any street in any town and all you see is a line of Real Estate signs advertising homes for sale because of lost jobs or property taxes being too high.

Change is good when you arrive at work only to find that your employer is closing down and moving out of state because they can no longer afford to do business in Connecticut.

Now you might be thinking how can any of this change be good? Well this is what it has taken to wake us up to the fact that we need a big change in Connecticut politics. Let’s not forget all those
promises of better paying jobs and a recovering economy. If you can’t follow through on your promises when your party is in charge of the legislature and governor’s office then you can’t get it
done and we need to change that.

I’ve been a registered Democrat for forty seven years and last year I switched and am now a Republican. Change is good.

Please join me in making a positive change by voting for Republican Bob Siegrist in the 36 District House Seat. We can’t afford not to

Respectfully yours.

Peter Arseneault Sr.
Former Democratic Selectman – Town of Haddam

Country School Welcomes Families to Register for Minds in Motion

The Country School in Madison is delighted to serve as host to Minds in Motion, a student enrichment program featuring interactive, fast-paced, hands-on workshops for children in Kindergarten-8th Grade. Being held on Saturday, October 25, 2014, on the school’s 23-acre campus in Madison, Minds in Motion will also feature programming for parents and teachers.

Minds in Motion, the Connecticut Association for the Gifted’s signature student enrichment program, provides children opportunities to explore areas of interest that are rarely part of the everyday classroom. While students participate in workshops, parents are invited to attend a thought-provoking keynote address and their own special-interest workshop. This is the second year Minds in Motion has been held at The Country School. Last year, more than 175 students joined us to engage in hands-on learning.

Student workshops will range from ecology and genetics to construction and computer programming; art and music to writing and performing. Workshop faculty include Country School teachers as well as educators from the Eli Whitney Museum, Talcott Mountain, the Connecticut Experiential Learning Center, Yale Medical School, Oddfellows Playhouse, and more. To see the full list of offerings and to register, visit the Connecticut Association for the Gifted’s website, The deadline for registering is October 20. Space will be allotted on a first come, first served basis.

For the adult portion of the day, Claudia Califano, M.D., will deliver the keynote address, The Advanced Basics of Parenting: The critical roles of exercise, sleep, screens, sustenance, socializing, solitude and spontaneity in the healthy, happy development of our children. Dr. Califano is a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is an attending physician at Yale New Haven Hospital and at the Smilow Cancer Center, where she sees patients and supervises child and adolescent psychiatry trainees.

Workshops for parents and teachers include Improve Cognitive Functioning Through the Arts with Heather Delaurentis, secondary school science teacher and Presidential Math and Science Award Nominee; Twice Exceptional Children – developing a deeper understanding of children who are both gifted and have other learning or developmental challenges with Michele Spencer-Manzon, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Yale Medical School; and Reading—It’s Not a Race with Jennifer Hornyak, Reading Specialist at The Country School.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8. At The Country School, a rigorous academic program is accompanied by a commitment to hands-on learning and a focus on the whole child. The Country School prepares students to meet the future with confidence, encouraging them to reach their highest, both in school and in life. Learn more at The Country School is located at 341 Opening Hill Road, Madison.

Letter: Linares Truly Cares

To the Editor:

It is an honor and privilege for me to wholeheartedly endorse the re-election of our 33rd State Senator Art Linares.   During his two year tenure as State Senator, Art has worked tirelessly to serve you, his constituents.  He has been visible, available and listens to all, regardless of party affiliation.

Art Linares has taken the “high road” in this campaign.  Instead of criticizing his opponents, he has emphasized his many accomplishments as your State Senator.  As a business owner, growing jobs and improving the economy has been a priority.  Whether it’s supporting legislation that allows manufacturers to hire apprentices or fighting for a tax structure that will help businesses and working families, Art Linares has been there for us.  He has held town meetings throughout the 12 towns in the district welcoming your input and ideas.

Art truly cares about you and improving the State of Connecticut.  Art Linares is a breath of fresh air.  As the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  On Tuesday, November 4th, re-elect a caring, pro-active public servant.  Thank you Senator Linares for your compassion, devotion and commitment to all of us.


Tom Lindner
Deep River