Events Archive


Remembering Branford’s Doughboys

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
7:00 pm at Branford High School Auditorium

As the First World War ended, American communities hurried to memorialize the great efforts of their sons and daughters. Branford Historical Society presents Richard Franklin Donohue, Town Historian of Cromwell, who visited and studied monuments throughout the state of Connecticut. He will share stories of the design, placement, and the people memorialized on the two monuments in Branford.

2019 Annual Meeting & Dinner

Thursday, May 16th at 5:30pm at the Owenego Inn in Branford

Presenting a talk by Jane Bouley
"The Streets of Branford"

Pine Orchard Looks Back

Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Pine Orchard Country Club,
294 Pine Orchard Rd, Branford, CT

The Branford Historical Society presents an informal illustrated talk on the historic summer colony of Pine Orchard, while also exploring Indian Neck and Montowese Avenues, a distinctive area with roots in Branford’s maritime and industrial past. Rachel Carley, an architectural historian, who recently completed a study of historic buildings and other notable Branford resources will showcase some of her discoveries.

This project was supported by the State Historic Preservation Office with funds from the Community Investment Act of Connecticut.

Branford Streets
Discussion at Lenny’s

Join us for Lunch at Lenny' on Saturday, Nov. 10th at 11:30 am

Jane Bouley, Branford Town Historian will discuss her new book “The Origin and Naming of Branford’s Streets”

With extensive research using maps, town meeting records, city directories, and land records, Jane examines the origin and history of Branford roads and the relevance of the street names.
The scope of Branford’s history as an 18th century farming community, during the industrial revolution bringing an influx of European immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, and finally as a suburban community after World War II can be viewed through the development of its streets. The book includes an alphabetical listing of Branford streets, resources, an appendix, and more than 100 vintage photographs.

$25 per person
(includes three-course luncheon)
Lenny’s will donate $5 to the Branford Historical Society for each paid attendee

Reservations Required
Contact Jeff Horton at Lenny’s 203.488.1500

The History of New Haven Pizza

Wednesday, October 17th
​at Tisko School

Branford Historical Society presents author, historian and pizza guru Colin M. Caplan who will speak about the history of pizza in New Haven and how it became our longest running industry.

Confederate Agent Found Hiding in Branford

Wednesday, August 15 from 6 – 8 pm at Blackstone Memorial Library
Author Joe Goodbody will discuss his new book KENTUCKY BARRACUDA: Parker Hardin French (1826-1878) – The Notorious Scoundrel and Delightful Rogue of Antebellum & Civil War America

The Stone Walls and Structures of England and New England; an Evolution

Andrew Pighills will compare and contrast geology, building styles, and techniques, and follow the development and evolution of stone walls and structures in England and New England from Colonial times to the present day, and explain how they fit into the garden and wider landscape past and present.

Wednesday, July 26th, 7:00 pm
at the Blackstone Library


On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Branford residents were informed and entertained at a presentation sponsored by the Branford Historical Society featuring Andrew Pighills, a local stone artisan. His slideshow followed the development and evolution of stone walls and structures in England and New England from Colonial times to the present day. He compared and contrasted geology, building styles, and techniques and explained how they fit into the garden and wider landscape past and present.
His knowledge of the subject was extensive and his demeanor was charming and delightful. He showed the ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into construction of the stone walls and structures of then and now.
In his words, “the more I can make their history a part of our lives, the better chance there is of preserving this wonderful heritage for future generations.”

If you missed this program, it can be viewed online on the Branford Community Television website.

Branford During World War I

Tuesday April 25, 2017 at the Blackstone Library, local author Ted Braun brought to life what it was like living in Branford during The Great War, from original research of Llewellyn Barker’s Wartime Diaries, 1914-1919.
This presentation is based on ​Braun’s recent publication The Barkers of Branford: Life In America Through A Local Lens.

The Most Famous Private in George Washington's Continental Army

Wednesday, March 28th 7:00 pm at the Branford High School Auditorium

Tim Chaucer will portray Joseph Plumb Martin as a 70-year old man recalling his days as a much younger man during the Revolutionary War.

2017 Annual Meeting & Dinner

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the
Pine Orchard Club

The Facts about Branford Flax!​
A talk and presentation by:
Historian Jane Bouley and Weaver Robert Aiudi

Learn about the role flax played in Colonial Branford, how it influenced and clothed a community, and how ​it is still observed in town today. Flax fibers, a flax spinning wheel, and flax processing tools from the Harrison House will be exhibited.

Strawberry Shortcake at the Bfd. Fest.

Fresh sweet strawberries ​& real whipped cream!
​June 17, 2017 ~ Saturday only 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
​(or until berries run out!)
Next to the Trinity Church

Annual Open House Holiday Party

Sunday Dec. 4, 2016
1pm to 3pm
at the Harrison House Museum

Why is the Trolley Museum important?

Tom Laurenson will talk about the story of the trolley and related forms of mass transit in their historical, social, economic, experiential and skills aspects. October 25th at 7pm at the Blackstone Library. The Shore Line Trolley Museum maintains and operates a number of trolley and rapid transit cars, and is the custodian of photographs, documents and artifacts which preserve the history & heritage of the Trolley Era.

History & Geology of Lake Saltonstall

Sunday, November 19th at 1:00 p.m.
The Regional Water Authority and the Branford Historical Society will lead a joint trip at Lake Saltonstall to talk about the area’s history during the colonial period, as a recreational playground in the 1890’s and regional reservoir.

Strawberry Shortcake at the Branford Festival

Fresh sweet strawberries ​& real whipped cream!​

June 16, 2018 ~ Saturday only
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
(or until berries run out!)
Next to the Trinity Church

A Discussion and Book Signing

At Lenny’s
Wed. Dec. 3, 2014 at 12:00 noon
with Jane Bouley

“The Civil War Through the Eyes of
John Towner of Branford”

‘Branford’s Civil War Soldiers’

a talk by Jane Bouley
Wednesday Oct 29th 7pm
at the Blackstone Library
Suggested donation $5.00

Jane has done extensive research and will introduce your to Branford’s Civil War Soldiers of the 15th and 27th Regiment who fought in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Find out where they lived, worked, loved, fought and died. True local Civil War history, not to be missed!

Cemetery Walk at Center Cemetery

with Al Russell
Saturday Sept 27th 1pm

Suggested donation $5.
See and learn the history of the cemetery, the stones, crosses, epitaphs and more. One of the oldest cemeteries in town.

Strawberry Shortcake

at the Branford Festival

Traditional Strawberry Shortcake with real whipped cream!!

'Stony Creek Summer Hotels'

An informative talk by Jane Bouley
Willoughby Wallace Library
Friday, Jan. 24, 7 pm

Annual Christmas Open House

December 8, 1pm to 3:30pm

Indian Neck talk at Lenny's

December 4, 11:00am

Indian Neck talk at Lenny's

Replay – Stories from Indian Neck
January 22, 6:30pm

Armory Open House

The Branford Armory will be open to the public
for the first time in almost 20 years.

Saturday, June 29th from 11 am - 5 pm

The Branford Arts & Cultural Alliance (BACA), partnering with the Branford Historical Society, and the Second Company Governor's Foot Guard will present a day long series of activities in celebration of Branford's 375th birthday.

There will be a performances by the Foot Guard Band, the Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corps, and a presentation by Legacy Theatre. A special art exhibit featuring scenes of Branford as interpreted by local artists, together with some vintage paintings, will celebrate the beauty of our community.
There will be professionals on hand to appraise your family heirloom and exhibits that will highlight the special features of each of Branford's neighborhoods.

A strawberry market will be a reference to the time when Branford supplied strawberries to much of the northeast, and, of course, tours of the iconic Armory will take place throughout the day.

Strawberry Shortcake at the Branford Festival

Fresh sweet strawberries ​& real whipped cream!​​

June 15, 2019 ~ Saturday only
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
(or until berries run out!)

Near the Souvenir Tent
​Next to the Trinity Church

Annual Holiday ​Open House

December 9, 2018 1:00pm to 3:30pm
at the Harrison House Museum

Join us for an afternoon to get in the holiday spirit, meet other members, and enjoy holiday decorations, the tasty refreshments, including warm mulled apple cider, and lovely music by classical guitarist, Bob Wood. Guides will welcome you as you tour the House, the Barn, and our current Exhibits. There will be raffles, including our decorated Christmas tree, center pieces and wreaths.

The Life and Times of Morton F. Plant

7:00 p.m. on July 11, 2018
​at the Branford High School Auditorium

Gail B. MacDonald brings to life this important figure in CT history and demonstrates his long-reaching impact in her book,

Morton F. Plant and the Connecticut Shoreline.

It Happened in Connecticut

a talk by Diana Ross McCain
​Wednesday October 26, 7pm
​at the Blackstone Library

​Diana Ross McCain will present and speak on “Genius, Grit, and Sacrifice: Connecticut’s role in the American Revolution”.

‘The Barkers of Branford, Life in America through a Local Lens’

Wednesday July 13, 7pm
at the Blackstone Library
Ted Braun will present and speak on his new book

Ted’s book is based on the Diaries of Llewellyn Barker (1850-1937) who started his diary at the age of 14, and continued for 72 years. It gives a revealing perspective of local Branford life, as well as national and world events during this time frame from Lincoln to Roosevelt.

Annual Meeting & Dinner

 Friday, May 20, 2015
The Owenego Inn, 40 Linden Ave.

History of The Atlantic Wire Company

A talk by Historian Jane Bouley
​Tuesday, April 26 at 7:00 pm
Blackstone Memorial Library

Jane Bouley will give a talk and slide presentation on the History of The Atlantic Wire Company. Beginning with early Branford settler John Wilford who owned the land on Meadow Street, to William Hitchcock, his family and the wire company he started in 1906. Jane will discuss the building, the process of wire drawing, and the many products that were produced by using the wire from
The Atlantic Wire Company.

Sponsored by the Branford Historical Society, donations will be accepted and appreciated in support of the Harrison House. Refreshments will be served.

Annual Open House Christmas Party

December 6, 1pm to 3pm
at the Harrison House Museum

An enjoyable afternoon of merriment, with refreshments, entertainment, and decorations, in the historic Harrison House Museum. This traditional annual event is intended to get everyone into the Holiday Spirit! Guides will welcome you as you tour the House, the Barn, and our current Exhibits. There will be raffles, including the decorated Christmas tree. Sing along with classical guitarist Bob Wood as he plays traditional holiday favorites.

West End String Trio

Friday, November 20, 7:30 p.m.
Baptist Church, Branford Green
to benefit the Branford Historical Society

click here to visit
Musical Art Society of Branford

Malleable Iron Fittings Company (MIF) Dedication & Open House

​Dedication of MIF Monument
Thurs. Oct. 29th 3:30 p.m.
at the Stony Creek Brewery
5 Indian Neck Ave.
A monument dedicated to the employees and contribution of the MIF made to the Town of Branford will be unveiled.
The public is invited to attend.

MIF Open House
A reception will be held
Sunday, November 15th
at the Stony Creek Brewery
from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
MIF workers, their families and descendants are invited to attend. Guests are encouraged to bring photographs
​and share their stories.

Historical Walking Tour of the Branford Green

with Al Russell
​October 17th at 1p.m. at the Branford Town Hall.

‘Branford Firefighting, Saving Lives and Property’

a talk by Dorrance Johnson

Dorrance Johnson will be speaking about the history of Branford’s Fire Department, highlighting Branford’s major historic fires and the brave and dedicated firefighters who protect us.

Strawberry Shortcake

At the Branford Festival
June 20th 2015

Serving our traditional Strawberry Shortcakes of fresh hand hulled sweet strawberries and real whipped cream

Annual Dinner

at the Owenego Inn
40 Linden Ave. Branford
Thurs. May 7, 2015

A Guided Tour- A History of the Harrison House
​by Jane Bouley

Wicked New Haven

Wednesday ~ March 25th ~ 7pm
The Blackstone Library
A talk by Michael J. Bielawa

Michael presented his latest book, ‘Wicked New Haven’, which journeys into New England’s realm of legend and superstition.

Annual Christmas Open House

December 7, 1pm to 3:30pm
at the Harrison House Museum

Join us for an afternoon to get in the holiday spirit, meet other members, and enjoy …the holiday decorations, …the tasty refreshments including a warm mulled apple cider, …the lovely classical guitar music. You will have a chance to win a raffle prize of our decorated Christmas tree, or a wreath/center pieces made by our members, and also a great opportunity to tour the Harrison House and Barn.

“Vampires of New England”

a Movie Documentary
by Historical Haunts
Tuesday Sept. 23rd 7pm at
The Blackstone Library
$5.00 suggested donation

This award winning documentary, created by filmmaker Alec Asten, tells of the Tillinghast tale, exploring the fact and folklore of vampirism in Rhode Island. The findings may surprise you, as sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

A Presentation by NPIS Revealing evidence of Paranormal Activity at the Harrison House

Thursday July 10, 7pm at
The Blackstone Library
$5.00 suggested donation

Annual Dinner

At the Owenego Inn
40 Linden Ave. Branford
Thurs. May 8, 2014

Dan Sineti
A recap of our past year, a look at the year to come, door prizes, desert, and entertainment by Dan Sineti. Dan is apart-time sea shanteyman at historic Mystic Seaport.


The Story of Tom Thumb

at The Blackstone Library
Wednesday April 2, 2014 7pm

1938 - The Great New England Hurricane

75 years ago
Recalling the impact on Branford

~ A talk by Jane Bouley ~
The Blackstone Library
September 12, 2013
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

$5.00 donation suggested
DVD of this talk $15.00

Earl Colter's 100th Birthday

Members of the Branford Historical Society are invited by the Colter family to attend a party in honor of Earl Colter’s birthday Saturday, May 18th from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Blackstone Library. Tickets for the event are $10.00 or $5.00 for Seniors and can be obtained at the Library, Caron’s Corner and by contacting Doug Colter, 67 Stony Creek Road, Refreshments will be served and historic photos taken by Earl during World War II and around Branford will be on view. Proceeds benefit the Branford Historical Society and Blackstone Library. ​

Strawberry Shortcake Festival

Our 34th Annual
at The Academy on the Green
Saturday, June 15th 2013 ~ 10:30-3:30
or until the berries run out!

Presale Tickets @ $6.00 –$7.00 Day of Event
Checks payable to Branford Historical Society
P. O. Box 504, Branford 06405

Additional tickets call
Jane Bouley 203-488-6531

To volunteer for hulling Friday June 14th
Contact Winnifred Judge 203-488-8755

To volunteer on Saturday contact Mike Russo 203-488-8096

CORRECTION: 7pm, October 17, 2013