Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making History Relevant - A visit to Mattatuck Museum

This week Christine and I spent a few hours at the Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center.  The quality and diversity of the exhibits at this regional cultural center are excellent.  One that stood out was an exhibit of one of our "locals" - Clara Leighton - a leading wood engraver of the 20th century:
Clara was born in England but left in 1939 for North Carolina.  She moved to Woodbury, CT in 1952 to a house designed by the students of Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus master architect.  The exhibit at the Mattatuck included many of her fine wood engravings.  The details are astounding.  Her work illustrated books by Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Hardy and the Bronte's. 

To learn more about Clara you can visit the Mattatuck Museum.  To experience the world of Old Woodbury (currently the towns of Southbury, Woodbury, Bethlehem and Washington) that inspired her, stay with us at Cornucopia at Oldfield Bed and Breakfast.  WE will be glad to tell you about so many other fascinating locals who have contributed to our culture - from Wallace Nutting and Samuel Goodrich ("Peter Parley") to more recent writers like Gladys Taber (columnist for Lady's Home Journal) and Ann Vileises (environmetnal historian).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Helping Our Bat Population - It is in our own self-interest

This weekend's Maple Celebration at Flanders Nature Center in nearby Woodbury, CT featured Suburban Bat Boxes.  In conjunction with White Memorial FOundation, they are encouraging home owners to install bat boxes to give bats more location to nest.  There is a general concern that bat population is declining (some might be due to a disease known as "white nose" which appears to have the bats exit hibernation before their main food source, bugs, start to appear).  Although many of us do not like the look of bats, they play an important role in keeping the insect population down.  So to make sure our guests continue to find our private decks "bug free", we have installed our first bat box:

To learn more about Suburban Bat Boxes, here is a short video interview I did with Mike at Flanders last weekend:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Civil War Re-enactment Scheduled for August 13-14, 2011 - Free Tickets

"On To Richmond"

This year marks the 150 anniversary of the start of the American Civil War.  Although no battles took place in New England, the war had a severe impact on the region.  Many Civil War re-enactors bring the events of the war to life here in New England as they recreate what men from this area experienced in critical battles. 

This summer there will be two special re-enactment events in Connecticut.  On special one will be in our neighboring town of Woodbury at picturesque Three Rivers Park.  This reenactment will have features not usually found at many re-enacement events like trenches and several unique and elaborate battle scenarios.  Seeing this is a real eye-opener to the personal nature of war.  There will also be the Union and Confederate military camps and the civilian village Unity.

Make it a weekend (2 night stay) at Cornucopia at Oldfield Bed and Breakfast and we will include 2 tickets to the re-enactment.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fireboard from Cornucopia auctioned for $100,000

Extraordinary Fireboard from John Moseley's Bedroom Auctioned in New York
When Mrs. Aston left the John Moseley house in Southbury during the 1950's, she took with her the original Fireboard that was in front of the fireplace in the master bedroom (now known as the John Moseley Sleeping Quarters). This fireboard was recently at the New York Antique show and was reportedly sold for over $100,000.  See the photo below.

A stay in the John Moseley room will give you that authentic feel of American History. See our rooms at Cornucopia Guest Rooms .  For more information on the fireboard, click here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Maple Syrup Bottle Celebration at Flander's

On the evening of March 2nd a brave group of hearty souls gathered at the Sugar House at Flander's Nature Center for the first bottle of Maple Syrup and a Maple Mist toast. 

The evaporator had a full head of steam when we arrived to take a few video clips that are shown below. As to the full story of why a toast to "Morning Dove and Thunder Cloud" - well you better get over to Flander's Nature Center to hear the story. 

Demonstrations are on the afternoon of March 5th and March 6th. Or attend the Maple Celebration on March 19th. See the FLanders Nature Center web site for more information.

It's Maple Syrup Time!

3 Minute Video from the Event including description of the process