Monday, December 11, 2006

Rowayton Historical Society Wants To Let More People See Its Colllection

One of my stops when I was searching for photographs for my book was the Rowayton Historical Society’s collection at the Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney House, on the Five Mile River. I met an older man and woman there on a Saturday morning in spring and together we looked through old photos stored in boxes and hanging on the wall. When I found four pictures of oyster boats that I thought I could use, they pried them from their frames, put them In an envelope, and handed them to me, extracting a promise that I bring them back in a week after I had gotten them copied. I did, of course, and the pictures are in the oystering chapter of my book.

The Rowayton Historical Society is making an effort now to get that stuff and lots of other photos, diaries and artifacts out of storage and on display. Here are some excerpts from a Stamford Advocate story:

The hope is to put the vestiges from Rowayton's history on display downstairs in the house, with themed exhibits of photographs and other items. Upstairs, the storage area will be more spread out, and there will be research rooms for people to look at the items more closely.

The paper documents will complement the other tools the historical society has on display in a barn on the property, and oystering paraphernalia at the Barclay Boathouse just behind it.

Before the museum opens, the historical society plans to renovate parts of the Pinkney House, including opening up a walls to create more free-flowing spaces and removing the modern kitchen upstairs to create more storage….

The house is a prominent piece of Rowayton history. Built by Alfred Seeley, a package ship operator, in 1820, it remained in the same family until it was purchased by the Sixth Taxing District. Alphonso Dibble, who married a Seeley daughter and lived at the house, operated a meat and grocery store at what is now Rowayton Market.

Historical society members see the museum as a central part of the proposed Five Mile River Landing National Historic District.

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