Help Bring the Children back to Mr. Munn's Schoolhouse through Restoration and Preservation

Oxford Historical Society, Oxford, CT 06478

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March/April Newsletter (PDF)

Resources on Oxford History

Oxford Historical Society

Munn Schoolhouse
Munn Schoolhouse

Electrification Project for the Munn Schoolhouse

The Oxford Historical Society has plans to install electricity in the 1850's one-room Mr. Munn Schoolhouse. This is required before a certificate of occupancy will be issued and we can open the schoolhouse to visitors.

Originally located at 561 Oxford Road, since being moved in 2019, the Society has repaired, restored and preserved the building as a living history center. The school was first used as a private boy's school. The basement of the schoolhouse still has carved names and initials of those early students on the beams that support the floor of the schoolroom.

After a few years as a private boy's school, the building became the first high school in town, with the First School District hiring Marcus S. Munn as the teacher of a group of select advanced students.

The Society has added steps and accessible entry in preparation for opening the school for student activities as well as adult visitors. The Society is raising funds for the installation of electricity. Fund-raising will continue throughout the spring and summer. Online fund-raising through the Connecticut Community Foundation's GiveLocal event (April 24-25) and the Valley Community Foundation's program on dates (May 1-2) will kick off the efforts. Profits from the Fiber Festival to be held at the Homestead (Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 21, from noon to 4 p.m.) will also help provide necessary funds. In addition, the Society will apply for grants in order to complete the project.

Community support is the key to success. Donations may be made at the Homestead during Open Houses held the first and third Sundays of each month from 2 to 4 p.m., or mailed to the Oxford Historical Society at P.O. Box 582, Oxford, CT 06478. All donations are tax-deductible.

Fiber Fest
Fiber Fest

Oxford Historical Society's Fiber Fest

Take a peek into Oxford's agricultural past at the annual Oxford Historical Society Fiber Fest on Saturday, April 20, from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, April 21, from noon to 4 pm. This unique free program will take place on the grounds of the Twitchell-Rowland Homestead, located at 60 Towner Lane off Route 67 across from St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church. Look for the OHS sheep signs around town!

Weavers, spinners, live animals, and artisan vendors will return to the museum grounds for this annual event for all ages. While the event is held rain or shine, weather permitting there will be shearing of goats or sheep for the spring.

Local folk will demonstrate using fibers for knitting, crocheting, weaving, crafting and more. The New England Lace Makers Guild members will be showing their timeless skills, keeping this craft alive after centuries. Cobweb-like threads are knotted and twisted into astonishing products with the help of colorful bobbins.

Join the Spin-In from 1-3 pm on Saturday under the big tent, or just come and watch the rapidly moving hands and feet as the raw fibers are twisted into threads and yarn. If your spinning wheel is mobile, come join the fun.

On Sunday, from 1-3 pm, the Knit-In offers anyone with needles and fibers the opportunity to pull up a chair and knit or crochet and chat with other creative people.

Fibers of all kinds as well as finished goods may be purchased from nearly a dozen crafters and tradespeople who share their work and ideas. The museum will be open for free tours.

Homemade treats will be on offer. Also available are books and notecards produced by the Oxford Historical Society members. These titles feature the old houses and buildings in the town, the history of local railroads, and the veterans of various wars and conflicts. The society's notecards offer both photo -based selections of the Stevenson Dam construction a century ago as well as historic shots from the Society's collections, and the newest designs, Claudia Farkas's architectural prints of five local historic homes.

All sales and donations from this event benefit the Oxford Historical Society and are focused on bringing electricity to the Munn Schoolhouse. This will allow the building to open to the public at last.

Our Town's History is Our Country's History

Letters from relatives, a grandmother's diary, photos and videos, and other material collected over the years provide vital and unique information about a life or the history of a family. These can be important to individuals. But they may also be important to our Oxford. Whether or not members of a local family attained a degree of fame, they have contributed to the heritage of a certain place and time.

The Oxford Historical Society collects archives of Oxford residents and organizations. The Society may agree to receive the actual documents and photos or the Society may borrow them to be copied and returned to the owners. When you donate or loan personal, family or organization papers to the Oxford Historical Society, they become a part of Oxford's - and America's - collective memory.

Persons with old photos or documents relating to the people of Oxford, are invited to call Historical Society historian Nancy Farnum (203-888-0230) to arrange a review of the material and determine how to preserve them for future generations.