Frederick Lee Lectures

Now in their twelfth year, the Frederick Lee Lectures are a three-part series of history presentations that attract hundreds of lifetime learners each year. Recent themes have focused on the summer community in Madison, our historic homes and farms, and local stories of war, crime, and punishment. This year the lectures will focus on stories of important Madison women from the twentieth century.

The Society is humbled by the support the Lectures receive from the community. The Madison Foundation and Connecticut Humanities have provided generous financial support. We also thank the Town of Madison for its longtime provision of Memorial Town Hall and the First Congregational Church for Hubley Hall, the new home of the lectures. The MHS remains grateful to be part of a town that values history and supports local civic organizations.

2019 Lecture Series

Madison's Connection to the Sea: Ship Building and the Coastal Schooner Trade

Profile image of speaker of Richard Wines

January 13 (snow date January 20) 
4 pm
Shipping, Sloops, and Schooners: The Coastal Trade on Long Island Sound
Presenter: Richard Wines, Jamesport, Long Island, and the Hallockville Museum of Riverhead, NY
Using the vivid backdrop of Captain Frederick Lee's experience on the Eagle during the War of 1812, this presentation about coastal shipping and trade within Long Island Sound will highlight the collaboration between Long Island and Connecticut farming interests and the movement of produce and goods in the colonial and post-colonial era. Farm produce, timber, livestock, and general commodities, along with stone from Connecticut quarries, were shipped both nearby and to ports far beyond Madison. This presentation will explore the work necessary to bring goods to the waterfront for distribution.

Lane Vose Bishop Frigate oil on canvas

February 10 (snow date February 17)
4 pm
Shipbuilding: A Storied Industry in East Guilford and Madison
Presenter: Bob Kach
Shipbuilding activity within the area of present-day Madison is the subject of the second presentation.  Attendees will enjoy an overview of local shipbuilding activity and a technical segment on shipbuilding during the nineteenth century, with a focus on West Wharf (Hoyt’s Yard) and East Wharf (C. M. Miner & Sons). This presentation will highlight resources from the Madison Historical Society with supporting materials from the Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives (CLEMA) and other sources.

March 10 (snow date March 17) 
4 pm
Faulker Island Lightkeeper: Oliver N. Brooks
Presenter: Joel Helander
Historian and author Joel Helander of Guilford will present the biography of Captain Oliver N. Brooks, a distinguished captain during the heyday of the Long Island Sound coastal trade, as well as the Faulkner Island lightkeeper from 1851 to 1882. Captain Brooks, along with his family members, tended the beloved Faulkner Island Light, known to many from Guildford and Madison, during the peak years of the coastal trade. His records of shipping across Long Island Sound, the comings and goings from the mainland to the island, and the daily lifeways of island lighthouse keepers, provide a wonderful window into this hardy life and its necessary engagement with maritime traders.

Important Visitor Information

Admission Fee: $5 adults; $4 MHS members; $2 students and children ages 10 and older
Location: Hubley Hall at the Franklin A. Bower Church House  
The First Congregational Church of Madison
On the historic Madison Green (26 Meetinghouse Lane)

All programs are recommended for adults and children 10 and older.

Note: In the event of inclement weather, each program will be delayed until the immediately following Sunday. 

For more information, call 203.245.4567


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