Due to winter weather, The Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society delayed the opening reception for its newest venture, an exhibit of photographs and items of historical significance at the Town Library. It is now scheduled for Friday, February 11, 4-7 p.m.
On view in the Library meeting room are photographs of rare, unusual and never-seen items from the Society’s collections, including, but not limited to, fabrics and clothes from bygone eras. Because some of these items — especially the fabrics — are frayed or may deteriorate when handled, they will be introduced through photographs. Photographer and Woodbridge resident Kenneth Mull, in conjunction with his wife, the textiles specialist Nancy Mull, made the exhibit possible.
“The Historical Society had wanted to share some of the things that are in the Thomas Darling House, and that people don’t always see,” said Nancy Mull in a telephone conversation. “The photographs are little works of art,” she added.
For the reception, they will also haul some display cases into the meeting room to display some of the historic artifacts. For example, a picture shows an embroidery sampler done by Mary Darling, daughter of Thomas Darling III, and in a display case people will be able to admire the handstitched corset of the same Mary, from 1840.
The Whitlock Family donated the wedding gown of their grandmother, as well as her Christening gown, showing the handiwork that was done to celebrate major milestones in one girl’s life.
In the middle of the room will be tables with artifacts from Simon Donato’s collection of Native American arrowheads he found in this area. It includes a stone-grooved ax head. “I have no idea how old it is, but it must be prior to the year 1600,” she said.
One photograph shows the leather fire bucket that was owned by John Marshall Lines. Before the town had a fire brigade, people would keep a dedicated fire bucket at hand to grab and help their neighbors when needed. We know who owned it, because the initials are marked in the leather. Although Lines’ fire bucket survived, his mansion did not. It burnt down in 1929, but the carriage house still exists on Pease Road.
“There is a lot of history here,” Mull said, and each item talks about the lives of those who lived here before. A dedicated group of volunteers worked to research and write accompanying historical details for each item.
“This is one way we can show many things, she said. “You will be swept away with what’s there.”
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent