“The Deacon” Hosts Open House After Madison’s Tree-Lighting

On the first of December, “Deacon John Grave” welcomed attendees of the town tree-lighting to his home for an open house. After the tree-lighting ceremony on the Madison Green, the Deacon’s house offered a friendly gathering place. Visitors found the Deacon John Grave House decked for the holidays with festive trees and greenery.

One hundred plus guests enjoyed hot cider and the warmth of a hearth fire at the Grave family home. Neighbors chatted with neighbors and newcomers to the house were introduced to each other. A few guests shared childhood memories of visiting the Deacon’s house, as school children in the Madison schools.

Downstairs, Deacon John Grave House board members kept the cider flowing, as they hosted incoming visitors. Some folks ventured upstairs, where another House member was on hand to provide some house history for the curious. Holiday music softly playing in the background and completed the evening’s experience of stepping back into the past, while enjoying traditions of the present.


Monster March Huge!

On Saturday October 28th hundreds of Madison residents and their children paraded in downtown Madison in Halloween costumes to trick or treat at the local businesses.

The procession ended at the Deacon John Grave House where snacks were provided. The large crowd enjoyed pizza, bagels, fruits, cookies and candies.

This has become a signature community event sponsored by the Madison Newcomers Club with the crowd increasing every year.

Our Foundation is delighted to participate.

Country Day School Returns to the House

The Deacon Oversees the Hearth

The second grade class of the Country Day School continued the tradition of studying Colonial America in a program featuring docents in period dress explaining life in early Madison.

As usual the class came prepared, even watching a video from the Grave Foundation depicting hearth cooking, weaving and chores.

The Deacon Holds Court

One of the highlights was when the group was shown the chart reflecting over 300 years of the Grave family. The question was asked “Who inherits the house?” One lad spoke right up and correctly repsonded, “the oldest son”.

After the House programs, all enjoyed colonial games outside on a beautiful day and ending with a robust game of tag.

At the Harvest Festival in 2017

Careful of the Buzzsaw

Drizzly weather did not deter the attendees at the 20th Annual Harvest Festival at Bauer Park on Saturday, October 14th. Board members from the Deacon John Grave House showed up in costume to share an array of colonial games with both children and adults.

Cat’s Craddled Up

Festival goers tried herding hoops, spinning a stringed “buzz saw” and passing a “cat’s cradle” along with other vintage activities. The event brought together a community of sponsors, as well as the large gathering of attendees. All were able to enjoy the event accompanied by the country fair music of ShoreGrass.

Grave Relatives Visit the House

Grave relative, Robin Satterfield, with husband (Jim Beckmann), arrived at the Grave House on October 8th for a pre-arranged tour of the homestead. The Friday afternoon tour was part of their extensive journey to find Robin’s ancestral roots. The shirts worn by Robin and Jim stated their mission for heading eastward from their home state of Missouri, “Looking for Dead Relatives Tour – October 2017”. The shirts’ reverse provided the family names included in their quest: Graves and Redfield, both listed on the framed family tree displayed at the Grave House. Board members, Tom and Jenny Lee, greeted the Missouri couple and Terry Roberts stopped by to add historical information about the Grave family and the building’s history.

In the video below, Robin Satterfield talks about her relatives while looking through the book “Deacon John Graves of Hartford, CT, Volume #7” during a visit to the Deacon John Grave House October 9th, 2017 as part of she and her husband’s “Looking for Dead Relatives Tour”.

The New Barn Roof Is Finished

A new cedar roof was installed on the Deacon John Grave property barn located in the Historical District in Madison. The barn is used for education programs, community events, and storage. It houses a collection of colonial tools and the original 1685 floor from the second story of the house.

Connecticut Roofcrafters, Inc., owned by Micheal Young, did a professional and outstanding job on the roof.  Their attention to detail was superb.

This capital improvement was accomplished because of a generous grant from the Summerhill Foundation in Madison, CT.

A Storybook Evening

The weather, music and the company were absolutely perfect at the annual Big Band Summer Mixer with the George Manston Band performing.

Members of the Deacon John Grave House, Garden Club of Madison, Madison Historical Society and Clemma listened to sounds of the great American songbook while picnicking with complementary beverages.

It was a late summer’s evening in a New England town a la Yankee magazine.

On July 4th, The House Hosted One of The Deacon’s Relations!

Vicky Logee shared the information that Deacon John Graves was her 8th great grandfather. She and her husband highlighted a visit to the Deacon John Grave House, during their recent trek from their home state of Arizona. By timing the visit to Madison on July 4th, they were able to enjoy the town parade also. In fact, with the Deacon John Graves’ house open following the parade, more than fifty visitors joined Vicky Logee in touring the house on July 4th.

The Exchange Club honored 100 years of the Madison Historical Society at this year’s 4th of July Parade and the Deacon John Graves House Foundation joined with the community in helping the Historical Society celebrate its landmark anniversary.

Deacon John Grave House Participates Again in Connecticut Open House Day

On June 10th from 11AM to 4PM, the Grave house was open to visitors from throughout Connecticut.

Some visitors came from as far as New jersey and Rhode Island. Board members in period dress offered tours of the house and grounds.

The highlight was hearth cooking demonstrations, including making and stuffing sausages. A new display section on the 2nd floor was used for a collection of antique tools.