Thursday, March 31, 2011

45th Season At The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Commemorates The Civil War And Celebrates Museum’s 40th Anniversary As National Historic Landmark

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum at 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, reopens for its 45th season on April 8 at noon with docent-guided tours and an exciting calendar of events for children and adults.

The Opening will commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentennial with the unveiling of the exhibition, Mansion Fragments: Innovations in Architecture, Design, and Technology from the Civil War Era, featuring several objects, deemed revolutionary in mid to late 19th century, and drawn from the museum's permanent collection. LMMM programs are made possible in part by a generous contribution from the Xerox Foundation.

The Mansion's 40th Anniversary as a National Historic Landmark will be celebrated on April 8 with an evening reception for members and guests, 7-9 p.m. "To be designated a National Historic Landmark implies exceptional value of the site to the nation," said Sheldon R. Gerarden, LMMM President and Executive Director. "At this time we celebrate this treasure of excellence with 40 years of outstanding stewardship and enthusiastic visitor experience." The cocktail reception will be catered by Bull's Head Market.

Throughout the season, a team of knowledgeable guides will introduce children and adults to the Mansion's grand-scale design and Civil War era technology. Viewed as America's first castle, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion is known around the world as one the finest examples of Gilded Age architecture. Built as a summer residence by railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood, a treasurer of the New York Stock Exchange and renowned art collector, the mansion was later inhabited by the Mathews. This well-to-do New York dynasty took full-time residence in the 30-acre Norwalk estate from the late 19th century through the Great Depression.

"The opening this year will commemorate the Civil War, a pivotal period in American history, as well as celebrate the Mansion's 40th anniversary as a National Historic Landmark," said Patsy Brescia, LMMM Chairman of the Board of Trustees. "We look forward to seeing the entire Fairfield County community take part in this momentous occasion."
During the season, full tours at the mansion are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children and young adults ages 8-18. Children under 8 are admitted free of charge. Tour hours are 12- 4 p.m., Weds-Sun. Tours are on the hour, and the last tour is at 3 pm. For information on educational programs, events and rentals, call 203-838-9799 or e-mail

Spring Events at  The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

Mansion Fragments: Innovations in Architecture, Design, and Technology from the Civil War Era. April 8, 2011, 12-4 p.m.With Tour Admission: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children 8-18. Stacey Danielson, Curatorial Consultant. During the Civil War, the Mansion was being built with the most advanced construction methods and manufacturing techniques of the day including cutting edge technology such as gas lighting, indoor plumbing with running hot and cold water, a ventilation system, and an early burglar alarm system, among others.  Most of the objects and architectural elements that will be part of this exhibit have never been seen by the public and will be shown for the first time when the museum reopens for the season.

Europe vs USA Oil Paintings by Artist Carlos Rios - April 8-May 5. Free admission after opening day. This is the fourth year of rotating art exhibits in the Billiards' Room of the Mansion. Carlos Rios opens the season with Europe vs USA, an exhibition of oil paintings depicting his extensive travels both here and abroad. Born in Colombia, South America, Carlos Rios studied at Academia Superior de Arte and Bellas Artes. Following his immigration to the United States in 1965, he continued his studies at the Paier College of Art in Connecticut. Rios' talent was quickly recognized by members of the United States art community. Since his arrival in the United States nearly thirty years ago, he has won numerous awards, held solo exhibitions throughout the U.S., and his original paintings and prints now hang in galleries and private collections worldwide. Rios works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel; his style and taste is eclectic, ranging from impressionistic to contemporary often with a focus on landscapes and outdoor scenes. He also demonstrates talents as a photographer and is recognized as an expert in frame design. His work was featured in such films as The Terminator, Blind Justice and on television's hit series Growing Pains.

Library Restoration and Herter Brothers Furniture Arrival - The Mansion's Victorian era splendor and the completion of the Library and Music Room furniture restoration will be celebrated on April 8 in conjunction with the Mansion's 40th Anniversary as a National Historic Landmark. Small pieces of the original 1867 embossed, engraved and printed wall covering by Paul Balin, Paris, which was almost entirely destroyed by water damage in the 50s, were used to reproduce the wallpaper. Its creation and installation was made possible by a generous contribution from the Meloy Foundation.

Music Room- A suite of newly restored rosewood seating furniture by the Herter Brothers, c.1868, will be exhibited in the Music Room. The restoration was made possible by a generous contribution from the Valle Weber Fay Memorial Fund. Tom Frank, of the Baggot-Frank-Lockwood Conservation Studios, Narragansett, RI donated his time and expertise in the rehabilitation of the inlaid and carved rosewood chair frames while Paul Hazlett III Upholstery, restored the original tufting and re-covered them in muslin and lavender satin fabric.

Lecture Series - Wednesday, April 13, 11 a.m.
The Greatest Crisis in United States History: The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the Civil War. A lecture by Steven S. Berizzi. Admission: $20 for members - $25 non-members. Lunch and a tour of the first floor of the Mansion is included.This talk will provide a brief and highly selective overview of the Civil War era from the "causation sequence" of the 1850s to the controversial post-war period known as Reconstruction, when the nation struggled to transform Lincoln's promise of a "new birth of freedom" into reality.  He will examine Abraham Lincoln's election to the presidency in 1860, the secession winter of 1860-1861, the outbreak of the Civil War on April 12, 1861, and the Union's triumph, which was marred by the assassination of President Lincoln on April 14, 1865.

Annual Victorian Tea - May 1, 2011 -  2 p.m. The Duchess of Bedford's teatime tradition continues at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum where guests will enjoy a quintessentially English tea fare featuring three types of sandwiches and delectable desserts including chocolate toffee trifle, as featured in Bon Appetit Magazine, assorted cookies, carrot and coconut tea cakes, and more. Music, a raffle, a hat contest, and additional entertainment will be part of this festive fundraiser catered by tea ceremony expert to the stars, Carol Timpanelli.


Lake Compounce, America’s oldest continuously operating amusement park, will be featured on the
Travel Channel series ‘Bert the Conqueror’ as he conquers one of the world’s most popular wooden roller coasters, Boulder Dash. Boulder Dash is the only roller coaster built on a mountain and it has been voted the #1 wooden roller coaster in the world by Amusement Today Magazine. The episode will be the first of the show’s new season, and will air on Sunday, April 3rd at 8:00 P.M. on the Travel Channel. The episode will air again on Monday April 4th at 3:00 P.M., Sunday April 10th at 8:30
P.M. and Monday April 11th at 3:30 P.M.

“We were excited, but not surprised to hear that Bert wanted to come to Lake Compounce to ride our signature ride” said Jerry Brick, General Manager for the park. “You have not lived until you’ve ridden Boulder Dash!”

About Lake Compounce

Lake Compounce, part of the Palace Entertainment family of parks, is New England’s Family Theme Park and the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America and is preparing for its 166th season. Season passes are now on sale for the 2011 season, and can be purchased
for $69.99 for a limited time (Regularly $79.99). Unlimited parking passes are available to all season pass holders for $33.00. Regular admission price for the 2011 season will be $35.99. Junior admission, which is for guests under 52 inches tall, is $25.99. Senior admission, for ages 61 and up, will be $17.99. Children 3 years of age and younger are admitted free. All tickets and season passes may be purchased by visiting

About Palace Entertainment

Palace Entertainment hosts over 13 million visitors annually at 40 locations with eight theme parks, eleven water parks and 21 family entertainment centers and is the largest operator of water parks and
family entertainment centers in the nation. For more information, visit

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CoCo Key Water Resort Hotel & Convention Center – Waterbury Under New Ownership

The CoCo Key Water Resort - Hotel & Convention Center, formally the Holiday Inn Waterbury, announces that it is under new ownership and management. A private investor out of New York purchased Waterbury’s 282-room hotel, 40,000 sq. ft. convention center and attached 55,000 sq. ft. indoor water park during the February sale listed on

The transition took place on March 24, 2011.  The Denver based Sage Hospitality Resources will not be retained as the resorts management company.  Waterbury Inn, Water Park and Convention Center, Inc. will take over as the new management company.  The change in management will not affect current employees and has the potential to increase staffing levels throughout the property. A great sign after the state’s recent years of low employment rates.

Now that the dust is settling around the Waterbury destination, Coco Key Water Resort Hotel & Convention Center continues to reassure business and leisure guests that their doors will not close. Throughout this transition it has been business as usual, and it will continue to stay that way. The management and staff are eager for this new phase and are looking forward to the bright and exciting future the property holds.

CoCo Key Water Resort Hotel & Convention Center – Waterbury offers 40,000 square feet of convention space as well as 282 guest rooms and a fun filled 50,000 square foot Water Park. They offer everything from birthday parties to large galas. The property is centrally located at 3580 East Main Street, Waterbury, Connecticut on the Cheshire line. To learn more about the Water Park and to book a stay  visit:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Western CT Blog: Ride a Vintage Train to Visit the Easter Bunny !

Western CT Blog: Ride a Vintage Train to Visit the Easter Bunny !: "Western CT Blog"

The Danbury Railway Museum is planning to greet the Easter Bunny once again this spring.  The Easter Bunny will make his home in a authentically restored train car where he will greet young and old alike on special weekends this April!

To reach the Easter  Bunny you will first enter the historic Danbury Railroad Station where you will board a vintage train that will take you on a fun filled ride through the historic railyard to the Easter Bunny.   The short train ride in a fully-restored 1953 New Haven RR Rail Diesel Car (Budd RDC), will take visitors past the fully operational turntable, over 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives, and many unique pieces of railroad history, including a Boston & Maine steam locomotive built in 1907. Of special note is the museum's beautifully restored circa-1910 Railway Post Office (RPO) car that will also be open.

The train ride will stop at the Easter Bunny's special railroad car.  Each child will receive a small gift from the Bunny making this a great time for memorable photos that will be cherished thoughout the years.

An extra treat for those visiting the Easter Bunny are the exhibits inside the restored 1903 Danbury Station that include  a coloring station, temporary tattoos, Thomas® play table, and  operating model train layouts.  A fully-stocked gift shop will also be open.
This popular annual family event will take place on Sunday, April 10; Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17; and Friday & Saturday, April 22 & 23.  Event hours are 10:00-4:30 on Friday and Saturday; noon-4:30 on Sunday;  trains leave every 30 minutes from 12:30 to 3:30.  Admission is $9.00 (age 2 and up). Reservations are suggested and may be made by visiting the museum's Web site at

The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history.  The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT.  For further information, visit the Web site at, email, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trade Secrets Is Set for a Sharon Return - Entertainment - The Litchfield County Times

Trade Secrets Is Set for a Sharon Return - Entertainment - The Litchfield County Times

daffodil hunt on in Litchfield Hills #iPhone #iPodtouch #perf... on Twitpic

daffodil hunt on in Litchfield Hills #iPhone #iPodtouch #perf... on Twitpic

Looking for the first signs of Spring in Litchfield Hills CT. Spring is a blooming bonanza in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut! Thousands of daffodils will bloom in the next three to four weeks over ten acres of woodlands and fields at Laurel Ridge Foundation in Northfield throughout April.

A walk among the daffodils at Laurel Ridge Foundation is a rare early spring outing in an unspoiled oasis. The wild natural landscape of gently sloping woodland, fields and aged stonewalls overlooks a small lake dotted with two tiny islands. The park land and one of the islands is completely carpeted with gold and white blossoms, a glorious sight that is nirvana for photographers.

We are also keeping tabs on Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton CT. Most daffodils here are found on the historic property surrounding the Visitor Center. You will also find them in open fields and growing alongside the site's many stone walls.

Once the home and workplace of J. Alden Weir (1852-1919), Weir Farm is now considered to be the best preserved landscape associated with American Impressionism

Friday, March 18, 2011

MapleFest Coming Up at Auduon Sharon March 19

This Saturday  take a tour of the  Sharon Audubon Center's Sugarhouse to see how maple syrup is produced fresh at the Audubon Center.  In the sugarhouse, a favorite stop along the tour, the sweet aroma of boiling sap and syrup will fill the air as samples of fresh syrup are handed out to guests to taste. Tours go out continuously throughout the day so there is no need to pre-register.  Tours  are scheduled between 10:00am and 4:00pm $5.00 adults, $3.00 children.

While you are at the center, don't miss the Raptor Aviaries.  Here you will find 22 Birds of Prey (16 different species) that have been determined non-releasable, meaning that they would not be able to survive on their own in the wild. The majority of these beautiful birds are housed in large outside, predator-proof aviaries that are filled with natural vegetation and various perching options.  Birds that you will see at the Audubon include: bald eagle, merlin, several types of owls, hawks  and vultures, a peregrine falcon, an American Kestrel, dove and raven.

Audubon Sharon, consists of the Sharon Audubon Center and Emily Winthrop MilesWildlife Sanctuary, and is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. The Sharon Audubon Center has over eleven miles of scenic hiking trails, and includes 1,147 acres of mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, ponds and streams.The mission of the National Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of the Earth's biological diversity and humanity.

The Sharon Audubon Center strives to meet this mission through education, conservation and environmental research to encourage the responsible usage and stewardship of natural lands.The Sharon Audubon Center offers educational programs for all ages, a seasonal newsletter, nature programs, wildlife rehabilitation, research, live animal exhibits, a children's adventure center, a nature store, and a natural history library.


The Silvermine School of Art located in New Canaan in partnership with the Aldrich Museum, will be participating in the annual community event, Draw On! On Saturday, March 26th from 9am until 6pm, the School of Art will conduct DRAW UNTIL YOU DROP!

This one day event is open to the public and provides an opportunity for continuous, intensive figure drawing with a model, or models, in sustained poses.  Participants of all skill levels, ages 16 and up, will be able to work alongside Silvermine faculty, Guild Artists members and students to develop their artistic vision, sharpen skills and energize studio experience through drawing.

Using all the studios in the School of Art, participants will have the opportunity to work with female and male models in a range of different poses, from short and athletic, to extended poses, as well as portrait study.  Participants who would like to work with still life set ups will also have a variety to choose from.

The fee for the day is $30 and half day is $15.  Registration can be made in advance or you can register the day of the event.  Tables, easels, drawing horses, drawing boards and basic drawing supplies will be available.    For more information call 203-966-6668 ext. 2 or visit our website at

The Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1pm to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-9700

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Maple Sugaring and the First Americans at The Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies will present its Annual Maple Sugaring Festival on Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.  What makes this Festival unique is Jim Dina who will present a full Native American Sugar-making demonstration in the Institute's outdoor Algonkian Village. 

Inside the Museum and Institute, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, staff members will serve pancakes with delicious local maple syrup.  Fun activities for the children will run from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. 

The Native American lore of sweet maple syrup is fascinating. The Mohegans believed that the melting snow caused the spring sap to run in the maples.  They considered the sap to be the dripping oil of the Great Celestial Bear, who had been wounded by the winter sky hunters – according to their own Pleiades story.  The bear, sometimes becoming the celestial bear and embodying the Big Dipper, repeats itself through many Indian origin stories.

Native People discovered in their woodlands the sources of seasoning and sweetening medicines and foods.  Long before recorded history, their investigations unlocked the secrets of extracting many dietary substances from their natural environments.  Lost in pre-history are the earliest experiences that led to “sugaring”.

It was usual for whole families to participate in the labor of sugaring, although in some tribes the women went first to the maple forests to make any necessary repairs to the camp and sugaring utensils.  Among the Iroquois and the Ojibwa Indians, the women owned the maple groves, which they inherited through their maternal line.  Seensibaukwut is the Ojibwa word for maple sugar, which means, “drawn from the wood.”

Tree sap is essentially water absorbed by the roots and mixed with some of the stored tree sugars.  Sap will begin to run upwards from the roots on warm late-winter days followed by freezing nights.  These conditions usually begin in late February in southern New England.

Once the sap had been collected, it needed to be boiled down (reduced).  The sap was then put into a hollowed out log where fiery hot stones were placed into it.  The purpose of the hot stones was to cause the sap to boil.  This may have needed to be done several times to obtain the correct consistency.
This was the traditional “Native” way.

Please call for tickets 860-868-0518. Advance tickets $8 Adults/ $6 Children; Tickets at the door $10 Adults/ $8 Children.