The Amity and Woodbridge Historical Society (AWHS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1936 that is committed to preserving local history and sharing it with town residents and all visitors.
In 1974 the Society was transformed by the bequest of Bernice Baldwin, the last living descendant of the Darling Family. She bequeathed the entire contents of all of the buildings that now constitute the museum to AWHS. The property itself was purchased with Federal, State and Town funds for open space. Shortly after, the Town and Society entered into a renewing 10-year lease agreement of the buildings and surrounding acres allowing the AWHS to establish the Darling House museum. Through this arrangement the Society was able to keep the vast collection it now owned in the buildings where those items were used and saved by the Darling Family for over 200 years. With the lease agreement, the Society also manages the maintenance and preservation of the buildings for the Town.
Today, the Society continues its important preservation work of both its archives and collections and the buildings themselves which belong to the Town. AWHS creates programs hosted at the museum and other sites in town and is always working to expand its preservation and education goals to meet the needs of local residents and all visitors and supporters of the Society.
The organization was by a small group of citizens concerned with preserving the history of Woodbridge and Bethany. This has been accomplished through the acquisition of significant artifacts and by documenting many of the oral histories of earlier residents.
From Lucy Finney’s living room (our first headquarters) to the 18th-century showcase of the Darling House (our current headquarters), the Society has become more than a vehicle to gather and preserve. Its role has expanded to include the dissemination of information to all who are interested and to promote a spirit of community in a rapidly changing world.