Annual Meeting Will Feature Talk About Colonial Clothing

Deacon John Grave Foundation’s Annual Meeting will feature board member Maureen Kuehler as the speaker

Spend an evening learning about Colonial clothing, what was worn, how they wore it and how it was made.

Having made costumes for film, television & theatre, board member Maureen Kuehler will share her in-depth knowledge about men’s and women’s fashion of the 18th century. Using the reproduction clothing created for our docents, she will illustrate, from the inside out, what the Grave family might have worn in their every day lives.

There will be a short business meeting prior to our guest speaker presentation.

Join us for this special event on Tuesday, May 16th at 7pm.

This Year’s Garden Club of Madison Plant Sale

The Garden Club of Madison will have its annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 20th from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event takes place rain or Shine on the grounds of the Deacon John Grave House. Cash or check. All plants are grown by members so they will do very well in Madison soil. Proceeds help with the maintenance of the town’s civic gardens at Veteran’s Memorial on the green, East Wharf Beach, Allison-Bushnell House Garden and Herb Garden and Deacon John Grave Perrenial and Wildflower Garden.

An Interesting Seniors Program

On April 10th a group of Madison Seniors from the Madison Senior Center, the Strong House, and the Hearth visited the Deacon John Grave house.

In the main parlor they listened to a brief history of the house and the Grave family. Afterward a board member and expert on tools described and explained the antique tools which were displayed on three tables.The guests enjoyed guessing the uses of each tool.

Some of the seniors toured the second floor for a demonstration on flax and wool and spinning and weaving. They also discovered the Secret Room.

The group convened at the the hearth cooking area downstairs where the Board members were making a tradition chowder that they could taste.

Madison Second Grade Classes Visit the Grave House

Over 250 Madison students joined teachers and parents at the Deacon John Grave House
for a special joint education program with the Madison Historical Society on April 3rd and 4th.

The program consisted of four stations: an early Madison school room; Dolly Madison talking about the history of Madison; children at work in the Grave House and their chores; colonial toys and having fun playing with them.

The programs lasted from nine until noon each day.

The Grove School’s Visit

Our Foundation was pleased to welcome a Grove School class and teachers to an afternoon session at the house.

The Grove School is a co-educational college preparatory therapeutic boarding school located on 90 acres in Madison.

The group is studying non-profit institutions. Our Foundation was used in the presentation to illustrate the development and operation of such an entity. Specifically they learned the role of the Secretary of State in Hartford, the development of By-Laws and the election and role of officers.

Afterward they toured the House which demonstrated the purpose of restoring and maintaining the Deacon John Grave property.


A Festive Evening at the Grave Tavern

The Grave House has a rich history. Besides a residence, it was used for many things, including an infirmary, courtroom and school room. In early 1700 it served as a popular Tavern on the Boston Post Road.

On Saturday evening March 25th, 2017, the Board hosted the annual Tavern Night party and what a terrific time it was. A great crowd of supporters was treated to live music, hors d’oeuvres and chili. A roaring fire warmed the parlor where guests sat at tables and enjoyed the the evening’s music.

Our own Deacon John Grave Band of six musicians plus a wonderful female vocalist performed hits from the past. At the evening’s end the Band was given a long standing ovation.

Grave House Interior Project Completed

In early February 2017, the Martinez Painting Company finished the three week intensive job of repair, restoring, and painting the inside of our treasured house.

A select group from the Foundation reviewed the original restoration records to insure the job conformed in all details including paint colors. This group daily monitored the work product with Rob G, the foreman who was outstanding in his attention to detail.

First all surfaces were cleaned and all furniture moved and protected. Plastic barriers, HEPA vacuum and other means were used to insure all work areas remained clean and dust free.  All painted surfaces were scanned for lead. Those that tested positive were covered with a lead encapsulating primer.

All plaster walls, ceilings and painted areas were repaired, primed and covered with two coats of paint. Note that the Benjamin-Moore Williamsburg Collection was used with terrific results.  Natural surfaces were stained and some coated with linseed oil to match.

At the conclusion of the work, our group inspected the house and report that the project was very well done and we are extremely pleased.






Holiday Cheer Finale

January 8 of the New Year the directors of the Foundation held a festive party for members of the Deacon John Grave Foundation in appreciation for their support.

_DSC2079 _DSC2088_DSC2081The House was decorated for the holidays and a glowing fire welcomed all. Food, music, and good cheer made a very pleasant evening.  As usual Rick and Jim entertained everyone with ballads and good old folk tunes. Throughout the two hour party members got to meet or renew friendships with the Directors and other members.

A Child’s Colonial Holiday

IMG_0212bilde bilde-9 bilde-3 bilde-1 bilde-2 bilde-16On a December afternoon, the Grave House came alive with a host of your children, parents, and even grandparents celebrating an 18th century holiday.

But best of all, the children decorated gingerbread cookies and cooked them in the hearth beehive oven. They also made old fashioned tree ornaments to take home and sipped hot cocoa and enjoyed cookies.

Afterward the Deacon read holiday stories in front of a  roaring fire.  Later everyone joined together to sing  the tunes of the season, accompanied by guitar music.

Photos by Kelley Fryer Zip 06

2016 Holiday Faire

FullSizeRenderIMG_0195The Grave House was decorated for the holiday season and for four days visitors shopped for gifts. Vendors provided a wide arrangement of items including baked goods, holiday trimmings, jewelry, and special apparel.  Thursday evening was special with cookies, hot cocoa, and wine.