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About Lisa Flaherty

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So far Lisa Flaherty has created 20 entries.

Tavern Night ~ Spring 2016

The Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society is planning their spring Tavern Night for June 12, 5 to 8 PM at the Historic Thomas Darling House. Guests can enjoy the atmosphere, live music, food and drink as the members of the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society turn the Darling House into an old fashion tavern. Prices are $45 for members and $60 for non members of the historical society. The event is by reservation only and can be made at

Membership Annual Meeting ~ 2016

What Goes Up Must Come Down! Upland Archaeology of West Rock Ridge in South-Central Connecticut

By Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata

 Please join us on Sunday May 15th from for our annual meeting at The First Church Parish House, 5 Meetinghouse Lane Woodbridge. 2 to 4 PM. Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata, an archaeology professor at Western Connecticut State University will be giving a presentation based on his research of the West Rock Ridge right here in Woodbridge, and how archaeological studies of the ridge can fill in important details about the ways of life of ancient people living in south central Connecticut. Refreshments will be served. 

Please join us to learn more about the history of our town.

2016 Great Give

Dear Friend of the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society;

This year the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society is participating in the The Great Give 2016, an online giving event for non profits in the Greater New Haven region. For 36 hours starting May 3rd at 8 AM and going until 8 PM May 4th, your charitable donation will make us eligible for thousands of dollars in grant prizes when you give to us through

Please visit anytime during the 36 hour giving drive, search for our nonprofit and click “Donate Now.” AWHS will be competing for various matching prizes, including most money raised, greatest number of individual donors and greatest number of new donors. Your donation will go a long way in helping us.

Please tell your friends and mark your calendars for May 3 – 4, and thank you for your support!


Alexia Belperron
AWHS President

Spring Open House ~ 2016

Sunday March 20, 2016 2 to 4 PM ~ 1907 Litchfield Turnpike, Woodbridge CT

Please Join us for Hearth Cooking and Tours of the Darling House

Free and Open to the public. 

Hosted by the board members of the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society. For more info please e-mail

Holiday Open House ~ 2015

We hope that you can join us this year for our annual holiday open house on

Sunday, December 6th, 2015 from 2-4 PM.
We will have music, and mulled cider, and many holiday treats. We are looking for volunteers to help us decorate the house. If you are interested in volunteering, please come to the Darling house any time from  9 am-1 pm on Saturday, December 6th. We are also seeking donations of baked goods and wreath’s to sell and raffle at the open house.
If you would like to make a donation you can drop it off on Saturday while we are decorating or on Sunday before the event. Thank you for your generous support!

Open House ~ October 2015

Open House at the Darling House – Sunday October 18, from 2 to 4 PM
Stop by and get a tour of this beautiful old home.
We’ll have something cooking in our open hearth
and a portion of our quilt collection will be on display.

Annual Meeting ~ 2015

The Life and Work of Donald Grant Mitchell ~ Sunday May 3rd, 2015 2-4 PM

The life and work of Westville resident, Donald Grant Mitchell (1822-1908), the original designer of the New Haven Parks System, will be the topic for the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on May 3rd, 2015. At a time when many cities were asking the Olmsted firm to design their parks, Donald Grant Mitchell was asked to design the parks of New Haven. Beginning with East Rock Park, Mitchell designed parks for many areas of New Haven. His impact as an author, lecturer and designer allowed him to create the aesthetics of the day, from house design, farm layout, landscape design, and cityscape.  Our guest speaker Leslie Martino, a local landscape designer and historian who has conducted extensive research into the origins of the New Haven Park System, will present her research into the life and impact of Mr. Mitchell as well as his Woodbridge connections.  The Woodbridge Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday May 3rd, 2015 at the First Church Parish House, 5 Meeting House Lane in Woodbridge from 2 to 4 PM. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

Spring Open House ~ 2015

Hearth Cooking at the Darling House Sunday April 19th, 2015 ~ 2 to 4 PM

Those of you who came to our open houses last year or attended a tavern night may have noticed that we are trying to incorporate more hearth cooking at the museum these days. Last year, we had our chimneys lined with a new product that makes the chimneys safe to use but also preserves the dimensions of the flue. The size of the flue is directly correlated to the size of the fireplace, and modern flue liners are often way too small for the larger fireplaces that we have in our historic houses (that’s why old fireplaces with small liners are often smoky). Now with our newly lined chimneys we can safely have fires that allow us to demonstrate more hearth cooking techniques.The Darling house was built with somewhat of an “old fashioned” design to its cooking hearth. The hearth was designed to have lug poles which were initially green pieces of wood that were hung from ledges just above the fireplace from which trammels could be hung to hold the cookware. Trammels are iron devices that hang from the log pole and have a hook at the bottom from which to hang a pot. Trammels are designed to be raised or lowered above the fire depending on whether you wanted to cook using a “high, medium, or low” setting.

The Darling house has two period trammels: a hole trammel and a saw tooth trammel. By 1772 when the house was built however, lug poles were often being replaced by cranes, which are horizontal metal arms that swing on hinges attached to the sidewall of a fireplace. Cranes were safer than lug poles, which could eventually burn and fall into the fire along with whatever meal was cooking at the time. Cranes were also easier to use as they could swing out away from the fire. We do have safe lug poles now, so not to worry, our pots won’t end up in the fire. Perhaps the Darling’s didn’t think having a crane was worth the extra cost, since most cooking at the hearth in fact actually occurred in the coals and not directly over the fire.Generating red-hot coals for cooking is an art (as opposed to generating ash which most of us do in our fireplaces). Hard dry woods are of course essential, but the stacking of the wood in the fireplace as well as creating a slow burn are equally important.

We are still perfecting this art at the Darling House hearth. Cooking over coals is usually done in posnets, various forms of cooking vessels all with short legs to sit in the coals. Pans with long legs are often called “spider” pans, a whimsical name that originated in New England in the 17th century. Most of us however, are probably most familiar with Dutch ovens (also called bake ovens). Contrary to how they are often used today for soups and stews, the Darlings might have more often used them for baking.

At our next open house, Sunday April 19th from 2-4 PM, stop by and visit us as we attempt some baking in a bake oven, some frying in a spider pan, and some soup making over the fire. As we explore more hearth cooking at the Darling House, we will continue to share our new findings with you, and in future news letters we will also share some fireplace recipes.

Tavern Night ~ 2014

This years event is known simply as Tavern Night. The members of the Board of Directors of the Amity & Woodbridge Historical Society, all pitch in and turn the 1772 Thomas Darling House (owned by the Town, maintained by the Society) into an 18th century tavern for the evening. We have been doing this for over 10 years. The event came to be, in large part because certain keys factors came together all at once. We had a caretaker living in an attached apartment, who happened to be the head chef at the Maritime Center in Norwalk. That was also the year that New England Brewing Company came to Woodbridge. As soon as chef Darren Zaldo, and brewmaster Rob Leonard were on board with the idea, We knew we could pull it off. Folks from the Orange Historical Society participate as well, and Jim and Willow Sirch from Hamden join us with their array of flutes, fiddles, and Irish drum.

 We remove most of the early furniture from the downstairs rooms and bring in reproduction chairs and tables, which allows us to host about 55 people in the Fall. In Spring we can spill outside and serve around 70. One room is full of period appetizers and desserts, and our 18th century kitchen is laden with main course items, and guest get up and get what they would like throughout the evening. Mr. and Mrs. Darling (portrayed by Don and Dana Menzies) are on hand all evening to make sure their guests are comfortable and happy. So for 3 hours folks can immerse themselves in an 18th century atmosphere! Please check back for future dates of this wonderful event!

When We Were the Parish of Amity

When We Were the Parish of Amity – As told by Benjamin Woodbridge

Come hear our own Don Menzies – President of the Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society-  perform a dramatic reading as Benjamin Woodbridge, for the 275th anniversary of the First Church of Christ. This play, written by Thelma Lumpkin of Bethany, is on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 7 PM at the Parish House on Meetinghouse Lane in Woodbridge CT, and  is free and open to the public.