Fifth Graders Tour the House

On April 28th, in collaboration with Madison Historical Society, approximately two hundred Madison fifth graders toured the Grave House in small groups. With board members leading each group with live demonstrations, they learned about hearth cooking, old tools and their uses, what was the likely the sleeping arrangements at the house (and also the rope bed and chamber pot, too) and spinning and weaving. With all the activity going on, two adult couples stopped by to also tour the house.

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.