Education is what the Deacon John Grave House does best

Photo Credit: Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

From the article:
Each Witness Stones project centers on one enslaved person and culminates with the installation of a small bronze plaque at a site where the person lived, worked or worshiped.

Henrik Sharpe, 14, a student at the Country School in Madison, recently spent time studying the account book of the family of Deacon John Grave.

Grave’s historic home, known today as the “Deacon John Grave House,” still stands in the coastal Connecticut town.

Several people were enslaved here, records show.

Unforgotten is a cross-platform series chronicling Connecticut’s ties to slavery.

Watch or listen to the CTPublic episode featuring The Deacon John Grave House HERE

Madison Lyric Stage Announces New Season

“Madison Lyric Stage is thrilled to announce their twelfth season of live professional theater on the shoreline” said Marc Deaton, artistic director of Madison Lyric Stage. “From musical theater to opera to concerts, we plan to give audiences an eclectic mix of popular arts and entertainment.”

  • Freedom – The Music of George Michael and Elton John – May 4-5
  • Elektra by Richard Strauss’ – June 7-9
  • The Fantasticks – July 12-28
  • All That Jazz – The Music of Kander & Ebb – September 20-22
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors – December 14-15


Story in PATCH

Third Witness Stone Ceremony Held for a Grave Family Slave

The Witness Stone Project, aided by the Country School’s eighth grade class of 2024, held a presentation ceremony to commemorate a slave named Tome.

Each student in the class participated in research, establishing a biographical sketch of Tome’s life. As an early Grave family slave (c. 1682), Tome participated in the building of the Deacon John Grave house. He later appeared in the Grave family logbook (1707), which noted some of Tome’s work projects for the family.

At this third presentation ceremony at the historic home, Tome’s stone was placed along the front of the Grave House. Tome’s witness stone will reside next to the stones that honor Stepney and Cate, two other Grave family slaves.

A highlight of this third ceremony was the keynote speaker, a poet from Pace Gallery in New York City.

The day’s event was filmed by Connecticut Public Television (PBS) and will be broadcast in March.

Children’s Holiday Festivities Return to the Grave House

To celebrate the winter holidays, adults and children stepped into the colonial setting for festive activities from times past.

The stormy afternoon did not interfere with the cheerful spirit in the Grave house.
The Deacon’s guests decorated cookies baked at the hearth, created beeswax candles, and added fragrant cloves to orange ornaments.

Storytelling and live Christmas music enhanced the joyful atmosphere and docents in colonial costumes provided tours of the upstairs.

Join us for A Colonial Holiday 2023 on December 10th from 2 to 4 pm

Join us on for our sixth annual Children’s Holiday Open House. Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday afternoon full of cookie decorating, holiday crafts, roasting chestnuts, live music, storytelling and refreshments. Create winter memories with the whole family! Admission is free.

Click here, here, here and here to see all the fun of previous Children’s Colonial Holidays.

2023 Theater Season’s Grand Finale on the Grave House Grounds!

Madison Lyric Stage concluded their season under the tent at the Grave House with The Women of Opera. Mid-October’s weekend event featured seven amazing divas performing renown arias.

The guest artists sang work from The Marriage of Figaro, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Walküre, among others. Audience members at the two soldout performances now look forward to the 2024 season.

Production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Greatest Hits on the Deacon’s Grounds!

An impressive and large cast from Madison Lyric Stage presented many of the beloved works by Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Greatest hits from this stellar creative team included favorites from Carousel, Cinderella, Oklahoma, South Pacific, Sound of Music…among others.

Sold out performances took place under the Madison Lyric Stage tent, as MLS celebrated its affiliation with the historic Deacon John Grave House.

Annual George Manstan Band Concert

On August 27th, the George Manstan Band performed music from the great American Songbook on the beautiful Grave House grounds. The appreciative audience consisted of members from the Deacon John Grave Foundation, Madison Historical Society, The Garden Club of Madison, CLEMA (Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archive), and Madison Lyric Stage.

Madison Historical Society Summer Festival

DJGH Board members in colonial dress served as docents and participated in the return of the Historical Society’s Summer Festival on the Madison Green on August 26th. The festival featured antiques, arts and crafts, games, music, and food.

The Grave House display offered a collection of 18th century toys and games, where festival attendees of all ages left electronic devices in their pockets and stepped back in time for vintage fun.