Rocky Hill Historical Society
Academy Hall Museum 785 Old Main Street Rocky Hill, CT 06067
History of a River Town and its People
snail mail: P.O. Box 185
phone: (860) 563-6704
Nonprofit 501 (C) (3)
The Crew (L-R): Jane Nash, Nancy Bertwell, Sally Cadmus, Alexis Chiucarello, Maureen Mullen, Leslie Kerz
Earth Day Tree Dedication
April 22nd 2017
A small group of Rocky Hill residents surround the newly planted Gingko tree at Academy Hall to celebrate Earth Day. John Serra, who arranged the event, gave a short history of Earth Day. Ed Chiucarello, with his tenor banjo, played This Land is Your Land and The Earth is our Mother. Pastor Craig Cowing added more background of Earth Day and blessed the tree. Refreshments were served inside the Academy as a friendly social gathering ensued. Come see our new tree.
Bob Herron on the steps of Academy Hall Museum
Guests socialize at the tea social at Acdemy Hall
April 9th 2017
What do you do with all the material that was dug out of the crawlspace under Academy Hall? You sift through it to find treasures. Society Librarian Maureen Mullen contacted State Archaeologist Brian Jones who contacted the FOSA (Friends of the State Archaeology) who went out to the Rocky Hill sandpits with Society members for 5 hours to sift through the material. Come on down and see what we found.
The electronic sign board, Rocky Hill Center
Dr Zariphes looking up at the Lone Pine Site West of the Rocky Hill Quarry
John Serra talks to third graders at the Ferry Landing
Bob Herron and John Serra selling out at Academy Hall
CT Open House Day
June 10th 2017
Society members provided two activities for CT Open House Day this year; rope making at Shipyard Park, the old rope walk, and selling our wares at Academy Hall. Beautiful sunny weather provided the backdrop for a fun filled day of activities in CT. Thanks to Anita Hawkins for leading the rope making. Soon we will have our own rope making machine at Academy Hall. The RHHS is glad to be part of the mix.
A cake to celebrate the Little School with the big heart.
June 4th 2017
Thank you to all the Ladies and Gents that came out and shared Tea and History with us at Academy Hall. The audience participation made the event particularly engaging! Marvelous time - ladies in their finest - tea length dresses, hats of all sizes - made for an enjoyable afternoon - can't wait until next year! Stop into Academy Hall to see our historic clothing that is still on display, or to learn more about Rocky Hill women in the turn of the century. Again, another successful event by the RHHS. Thanks to Leslie Kerz for leading the event.
Two youths with Anita Hawkins at Shipyard Park
Christmas tree set up in the doll house
2017 Events: We Got History
Oral History Project
February 7th & 14th 2017
Our Oral History project is in full swing. This month Bob Herron and Ed Chiucarello hit the road and interviewed Herb Philbrick about his WWII experiences. He had some stories to tell.
Our second interview was with Joan Tennyson. Joan grew up in Rocky Hill on a 52 acre farm. It was amazing to hear her stories of Rocky Hill living. "Quiet," she said. "Rocky Hill was so much more quiet when I was a girl."
Our Oral History project will continue with an interview once a month. We will soon have a separate page dedicated to all these wonderful stories. If you are interested in doing the project as a transcriber or if you know of someone who has a story to tell about Rocky Hill let us know.
Joan Tennyson and Bob Herron
Rocky Hill Center Historic District House Tour
August 26th 2017
Historian Bob Herron, pictured below in the standard historian cowboy hat, led a group of 44 history seekers on a Historic House tour of Rocky Hill's Center Historic District. Did I say history enough in that last sentence? A perfect blue sky and cool temperatures set the scene for a wonderful day of sharing information and story telling. You can see the house tour right here.
1947 doll house
Time Capsule Unveiling: Back to the Future
Sept 8th, 2017
Under a sky featuring a double rainbow, on September 8, 2017, Rocky Hill traveled back in time during an unveiling ceremony of a time capsule that had been installed at Moser School in April, 1949.
The time capsule contents included a copy of the April 14, 1949 Hartford Courant, coin and stamp collections, comic strips, and photos of landmarks (including a World War II-era Academy Hall featuring a lookout tower). Also included were lists of all 1949 school children and teachers, a student essay, "A Day in the Life of West School," illustrations of fashions, food and stock prices, a "Guide to the Development of Rocky Hill," and a list of residents who served in World War II, including the seven men who heroically gave their lives.
The ceremony was attended by local dignitaries, former Moser School staff and students, and the public. Above all was the honored presence of several students who participated in the April, 1949, time capsule burial ceremony. A "mere" sixty-eight years later, the 1949 students present on September 8 were: Lois DePercio Stefano (who presented her beautiful painting of Moser School), Nancy Lane Robbins, David Hawkins, Richard Elmore, Marion Pacholski, Jr., and the family of Charles Tennyson, Sr.
The time capsule and its contents will become a permanent display at the Rocky Hill Historical Society, along with Lois Stefano's painting.
May 25th 2017
Great food, great guests and a great speaker. The Society celebrated its 55th year in existence with our annual dinner that featured a presentation by Reverend Craig Cowing of How to Research an Historic House. A business meeting took place where Sandee Brown was elected Vice President and Leslie Kerz elected Membership Chairperson. Jane Nash was awarded a certificate of appreciation for her service to the Society. We thank all for coming and all the volunteers who made it happen. It's all history now.
Angela Piccarelli shares info about her house on Riverview Rd.
Reverend Craig seated , Ed Chiucarello (Left) on guitar, Keith Burns on Bass
Native Americans in Rocky Hill
January 21st 2017
The Lone Pine Site in the Rocky Hill Quarry was uncovered by Dr Zariphes and his childhood friend David Cooke back in 1964. Dr Z came down to Academy Hall on this day to teach us about the 4,000 year old artifacts from the Lone Pine Site that we have displayed. Come down and see for yourself. We are indebted to Dr Z, a great friend of the Society. His guidance has been invaluable to us for holding on to the great tradition of Rocky Hill archaeology.
WWI Book Signing
April 8th 2017
After clean up from the construction, Society members were extremely happy to get back to Academy Hall with a program on Rocky Hill in WWI. A nice gathering attended a presentation by author Bob Herron followed by a question and answer session and book signing. The Society and the Cora J. Belden Library jointly published the book Rocky Hill in WWI which can be bought online or at Academy Hall.
Shoring Up Academy Hall
Academy Hall got its much needed shoring up this month. The Society was closed the entire month as workers, hired by the town, dug out the crawl space, jacked up the floor, and installed metal beams to make our historic 1803 building nice and sturdy. Thanks to our fantastic town staff and all who helped with this project. Academy Hall is ready to move on now through the next 200 years.
One of the ten tables at the tea social at Acdemy Hall
A crowd of Rocky Hillians some from the class of 1949.
Walking past the Community Center to our first stop
Author Bob Herron presents Rocky Hill in WWI
L-R Two mannequins, Sally Cadmus, Maureen Mullen, Alexis Chiucarello, Sandee Brown, Leslie Kerz, Nancy Bertwell, another mannequin and Lisa
Food glorious food
John Serra (holding paper) leading the ceremony
The Moser Program Celebration - November 18th, 2017 Click Here to download the slideshow
Nov 18th, we held a Celebration of Moser School. Attendees were welcomed with a Pictorial Slideshow history of Moser School, as well as given a Moser School Bookmark, plus a ticket to win a Moser School, Historic Sweatshirt.
The interactive program was introduced by Ed Chiucarello and Program Director Maureen Mullen. Everyone sang the Moser School Song written by Sally Rosetti, Town Historian, Bob Herron, gave a detailed and interactive history of the Mosers, Dr. Oran A, and his son David. Many shared heartfelt, and sometimes amusing stories of their memories at the “Little School with the Big Heart" and the Mosers.
The program concluded with a parting song, "It's Time to Say Goodbye” written by Moser teachers, Ms. Gagne and Ms. Stevens, the drawing of the door prize and all partaking in a cake decorated with a picture of Moser School.
All enjoyed the Moser historic display including the contents of the 1949 Time Capsule, a quilt made by students, Lois Stefano's painting of the Moser School as well as bricks from the school building. "Pass the happy news along, at Moser School you can’t go wrong."
Town Historian Bob Herron talks about the Mosers.
Brian Jones oversees FOSA and RHHS members
Reverend Cowing presentation
Bob Herron interviews Herb Philbrick
Stevens Third Graders Tour Rocky Hill
May 16th 2017
Students sit at the Ferry entrance listening to John Serra on their first stop of a tour of historic Rocky Hill. They went on to visit Academy Hall Museum, the Congregational Church, the Firefighter Museum and the Cora J Belden Library. They all took notes, drew pictures, asked questions and learned about our great town of Rocky Hill. Shape the Future!
Bob shares about the Button House on the corner of Washington St.
Mayor Baio, President Ed Chiucarello, BOE Chair Frank Morse, Superintendent Zito (Right to left)
Holiday Celebration - December 16th, 2017
Thanks to all for coming down to enjoy our Holiday party. Special thanks to Reverend Craig who educated us with the history of famous carols like Little Town of Bethel, and all who sang a long. Thanks to Councilors Ed Charamut, Allan Greenspan and Mayor Baio for joining us. Thanks to the volunteers for running the show... Program Director Maureen Mullen, Leslie Kerz, Sandee Brown, John Serra and Nancy Bertwell. Also Mr Burns who join me with his stand up bass in accompanying the congregation. Peace to all. Hope to sing with you again.
A rainbow appeared after a brief light rain.
Academy Hall under construction