The Annual Late Summer Mixer

The weather broke clear on August 19 and the George Mansion Band played music from the Great American Songbook for our members and those from the Madison Historical society, The Garden Club of Madison and CLEMA.

It was an evening of great music and camaraderie. Members brought lawn chairs and picnics. Refreshments were provided.

The Event marks another joint venture between the Madison historical Society and the Deacon John Grave Foundation.

Photographs by Bob Gundersen

The Grave House Had Some Great “Company”

The Madison Lyric Stage produced the great Tony Award winning musical “Company” by Stephen Sondheim.

The musical was the initial offering to bring cultural events to downtown Madison.

Around 600 visitors watched 10 performances under the big top tent. The barn was converted to a theater front and housed the men and women’s dressing rooms and the band.

The production received outstanding reviews and attracted theater goers from throughout Connecticut and even New York.

Fourth of July Open House

Madison marked Independence Day, starting it with a bang…and an evening of fireworks! The celebration continued the following morning with a Fourth of July parade down the main street. Many of the parade entries lingered in front of the Deacon’s house for an extra drum beat or photo shoot, where an “Open House” sign welcomed visitors. Old-fashioned lemonade in the kitchen awaited the visitors to refresh them, after an unusually warm parade day.

The Deacon’s guests could connect with both past and future happenings at his house, finding out about the generations of the Grave family and the upcoming theater production of Company, opening on the 18th!

Lessons on the Lawn

Area history buffs met on the lawn at the Deacon’s House on a warm Friday evening recently to hear about the life and times of Daniel Hand, a native son and progressive philanthropist. While the audience gathered, people shared food and conversation in anticipation of the informal lecture to come.

As a member of the Madison Historical society, Don Rankin shared his enthusiasm for talking about the inspirational life of one of Madison’s own. Daniel Hand lived for almost a century (1801-1891), including many years in the South, but he returned North to his roots. For his legacy, Hand gave generously to his home town in support of education.

How better to honor the work and gifts of Daniel Hand than to listen and discuss his life at the home of another notable local family, Deacon John Grave?

Madison Lyric Stage at Home at Our House

Company is here and
we can’t wait for you to see it!

Come join Madison Lyric Stage for our first production under the big top tent at the Deacon John Grave House, 581 Boston Post Road in Madison.

Madison Lyric Stage will present the multiple Tony Award-winning musical comedy Company July 18-29 at 8:00 pm.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, Company is set in the swinging 1970s and follows Bobby, a single man unable to commit fully to a steady relationship, let alone marriage, the five married couples who are his best friends and his three girlfriends.  A wildly funny romp through the pre-disco era, Company includes the popular songs Being Alive, Another Hundred People, Barcelona and The Ladies Who Lunch.

Company will star John Johmann (Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Che in Evita with MLS) as Bobby and Neva Small as Joanne.  Ms. Small is a veteran of  five Broadway shows, many Off-Broadway and concert appearances, and is perhaps best known for her signature role of Chava in the classic film version of Fiddler on the Roof.  Ms. Small is appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association.  Marc Deaton directs.

We will be looking for you under the tent! Get your tickets very soon as they will go very fast and seating is limited.

Tickets may be purchased on our website at or by calling 203-215-6329.   Tickets for Company are $35.00.

Our new home at the Deacon John Grave House in Madison




Madison Lyric Stage is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts collective for the Shoreline of Connecticut.  Its mission is to present professional-quality entertainment from the worlds of opera, musical theater and drama.  Past productions include:  Blithe Spirit, Otello, JC Superstar, A Little Night Music, Evita, Macbeth, Peter Grimes, Salome, The Glass Menagerie, and many others.

Connecticut Open House Day at the Grave House & Gardens

Connecticut started the event 14 years ago and on Saturday, June 9th and over 230 houses participated.

A large crowd toured the Grave House observing and tasting a hearth cooking demo. The cooking included potato chowder, strawberry fritters, strawberry cornbread and a hanging chicken.

Farm tools, linen making, including growing of flax, spinning and weaving were on display with docents explaining the procedures as well as the furnishings of this 1685 house.

Visitors also toured the beautiful perennial and native plant garden maintained by the Garden Club of Madison.

Second Graders Step Into the Past

On Thursday, May 10th, Madison’s second graders stepped out of their usual classrooms and ventured down to the Congregational Church and the Green to get a sense of past Madison times.

In vintage garb, members of the Deacon John Grave House (DJGH) joined with members from the Madison Historical Society to facilitate this time travel. Some 200 students participated and moved from station to station to hear stories of the past, to experience a classroom from yesteryear, and to play with toys from long ago.

The DJGH members hosted at the toy station on the Green, giving some historical background for the toys and providing instruction about play in earlier times.

The toys prompted children to step easily into this aspect of life from the past.

Seniors From Strong House Have a Tasty Visit

On April 13th seniors from the Strong House in Madison were treated to a visit at the Grave House.

The houseguests tasted chowder and popcorn, fresh from the hearth.
They listened to the tales of daily life in yesteryear, the use of vintage tools and the importance of the weaver’s trade.

The guests lingered a final few minutes to enjoy the warmth of the fire and the hosts’ hospitality.

The Madison Lyric Stage Fundraiser A Success

The Madison Lyric Stage, an award winning professional theater company held it’s season fundraiser on Saturday evening, April 7, 2018 at their new home, the Deacon John Grave House and grounds In Madison”s “Historic District”.

The festive evening featured food, wine and beer. And a highlight of the evening was a silent auction featuring apartment stays, private dinners, original watercolor paintings, theater tickets and merchandise from the area.

Tours of the Grave House were provided throughout the evening.

Cast members from the MLS provided a musical preview of the 2018 season with numbers from ”Company”, “Turn Of The Screw” and “Godspell”. The entire audience joined in with a hand clapping version of “Day By Day”.

The Madison Lyric Stage will be staging two productions on the grounds with the barn as a backdrop and only a large tent separating the audience from the night sky.

The DJGF welcomes the MLS as we bring a new cultural venue to downtown Madison.

A Terrific Spring Tavern Night

On Saturday evening March 24th, the old house was packed with revelers who stomped and clapped to the rocking sounds of the five-man Deacon Grave Band.

The crowd enjoyed numerous appetizers, five different chilis, popcorn popped on the hearth and dessert along with beer and wine. It was also a successful fundraiser event for the Grave Foundation.