Our Traditional Members Party

In early January the Foundation held our annual members holiday party at the house.

Guest members joined board members for a festive evening of food, drink and music.

A buffet of gorgeous food

The house was decorated and a cozy fire set the tone for a relaxed time. The board was able to interact directly with our members and thank them for their terrific support in 2018.

A New Holiday Tradition

A Journey Through Time – The Lantern Tour

On a mild evening, December 14th the Deacon John Grave Foundation together with the Madison Historical Society and students from Daniel Hand High School offered special house tours in the Madison Historical District.

Over 100 people participated. Groups of 10 visitors with guides visited 10 historic structures including the Deacon John Grave House.

Roaring fires greeted the visitors to the Grave House who relaxed with warm cider and snacks to include popcorn popped on the hearth. Eight board members attired in period dress provided personal tours and history about Madison. A great time was had by all.

Chamber Opera Returns to the Grave House

Max Lorenz singingOur Deacon John Grave Foundation continued the partnership with the Madison Lyric Stage with two productions of “ A Servant for Hitler: Max Lorenz and the Third Reich”

Mixed media presentation

This monodrama with music presented Marc Deaton in his original piece, portraying tenor Max Lorenz through his operatic career and his struggles to protect himself and his family during the third Reich.

They played to a packed house and received rave reviews from the audience.

Children’s Holiday & Open House

Cookie making and baking at the hearthNovember 30th brought the month to a close and opened the winter holidays. To celebrate the start of the festivities, the Deacon’s family had decorated their homestead. Guests were welcomed into the kitchen for cookie baking at the “Children’s Holiday”. With cookies in the oven, families retired to the main room, where the fireplace was all aglow and guests could listen to stories and enjoy seasonal music.

The Deacon holding court with the children

After songs were sung, tales told, and cookies baked, visitors headed for the town green and the annual tree-lighting. Although the weather proved balmier than most for a late November evening, crowds gladly returned to the Deacon’s house after enjoying the traditional tree-lighting on the Green.

Discussing our book, Making Ends MeetThe many visitors found not only the warmth of cider and cocoa and the cheery hearths, but more important they found the warmth of community and the fellowship of an old-fashioned neighborhood gathering.

Children’s Colonial Holiday & The Madison Tree Lighting

The Deacon John Grave house is celebrating the season. Join us before the Madison Tree lighting for our Colonial Children’s Holiday. We will be decorating ginger bread, making ornaments, singing carols, and listening to holiday stories told by the Deacon.

It all starts at 4:30 until 6:00pm, Friday, November 30th. Admission is free.

Can’t Make It Before?

Warmth of the hearth

You can join us after the tree lighting for our open house where hot cocoa, apple cider and a warm fire will be waiting.

Ghost Returns to the Grave House

The Madison Lyric Stage performed 6 productions of the English suspense opera “The Turn of the Screw” in October inside our historic Grave House. The event was sold out. The opera is a chamber piece in english composed by Benjamin Britten.

Each productions was delightful and featured ghosts. It marked the final 2018 collaboration between the Madison Lyric Stage and the Deacon John Grave Foundation after the earlier show “Company” performed in a tented venue on the Grave House grounds

Country Day School Second Grade Visit

In mid October the Country Day School Second grade class and teachers enjoyed a morning field trip to the Grave House and grounds. This annual even remains a highlight of the Education Program. The class toured the house and learned it’s history.

Antque tools were explained as well as hearth cooking and linen making. The program concluded with playing colonial games on the property.


Shoreline Arts Alliance Meeting

SAA held its monthly meeting at the Grave HouseSAA held its monthly meeting at the Grave HouseIn early October the Shoreline Arts Alliance (SAA) held its monthly meeting at the Grave House. The Madison Lyric Stage was recently accepted as a member. A representative of the Deacon John Grave Foundation board served as co host and gave tours of the house. A representative of the Connecticut Arts Commission attended and encouraged the various state organizations to work together and support all artistic projects in the state.

Garden Club of Madison Hypertufa Event

Garden Club members constructing hypertufa troughsGarden Club of Madison held a workshop on the grounds of the Deacon John Grave House on Tuesday October 2nd. A nice crowd attended the workshop and learned how to construct hypertufa troughs. They present a new way of gardening which allows alpine, succulents and aquatic uses of the containers. Hands on fun was had by all.

Annual Meeting Featured Board Member and Town Historian in a Talk and Display of Old Maps

Henry Griggs, Past President of the Deacon John Grave House gave an interesting presentation of his collection of very old maps. Of note was a 1827 very colorful large map which illustrated Madison as an independent town in 1826. During social time members were able to view the maps on display more closely.