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History Happy Hour

The Madison Historical Society is pleased to announce a new series called History Happy Hours. Each month, history tidbits will be offered at the historic Allis-Bushnell House or at the newly restored Madison Center for History and Culture located in Lee’s Academy on the green. These monthly programs will feature rotating beverage partners and unique explorations of local lore.

On Friday, March 24 we will feature a presentation on Madison native Cornelius Scranton Bushnell, financier of the Civil War ironclad warship, the USS Monitor. Bushnell left home as a teen to join the merchant marine service and then went on to become president of the Union Pacific Railroad.  A persuasive speaker, he changed the course of naval history when he lobbied Congress for funding for a fleet of ironclad ships. Artifacts, artwork, and antiquities related to the Bushnell family will be on display at the Society’s Allis-Bushnell House, which was Cornelius Bushnell’s birthplace.

All adults of legal drinking age are invited to partake in a wine tasting offered by the Wine Thief of Madison. Meet fellow history buffs and discover intriguing history tidbits while enjoying unique wines with a group of like-minded companions. 

Each month, the MHS History Happy Hours will feature new beverage partners who will offer unique libations, an engaging speaker who will explore timely topics, and a charming pair of parlors that offer a place to mingle in an elegantly fun atmosphere. 

Admission at the door is $10 ($5 for MHS members). 

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The Allis-Bushnell House

The Allis-Bushnell House was once home to Madison’s prominent Bushnell and Scranton families. Built in 1785, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Visitors to the Allis-Bushnell House can experience five historic days that unfolded within its rooms or in homes nearby.

The home’s lower-level rooms, each with distinct period architectural features, are decorated with period furniture, domestic implements, decorative arts, and paintings that illustrate how life was lived in Madison in five time periods from colonial days through the 1920s.

Each of these scenic “sets” is complemented by stories, shared by our guides, of life in the house as it was during colonial days, the Revolutionary War period, the Civil War period, and the Colonial Revival era.

The House is opened on occasion throughout the year for special events, talks, and exhibits. Public tours are given on CT Open House Day in early June and on the fourth Saturday in November, following Thanksgiving. Be sure to check our calendar for details.

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