Our Mission: To preserve, protect and promote the history of Old Saybrook.
The Old Saybrook Historical Society welcomes you to its home page and invites you to navigate through to discover what we have to offer! The rich history of Old Saybrook found in historical homes, artifacts, documents, letters, etc. was in danger of disappearing or being destroyed if an organization to implement the preservation of these items was not formed. A group of twenty concerned citizens decided to address this serious problem by creating the Old Saybrook Historical Society in 1958. Under the able direction of the first president, Frank Tinsley, a noted historian, author and scientific illustrator a formal Constitution incorporating the Society was established in 1966.
Upcoming Happenings and Events
Old Saybrook Historical Society Ornaments!
Yes, its that time of year! This year's ornament depicts the grave of Lady Fenwick, who died in 1645 shortly after giving birth to the second daughter of Colonel and Lady Fenwick. She was buried on "Tomb Hill" down near the Connecticut River on Saybrook Point in the area of what is now the railroad turntable park. In 1870, when construction level the entire riverfront to make way for the railroad, Lady Fenwick's remains were removed, cleaned and placed in a new casket and reinterred in the Old Burial Ground section of Cypress Cemetery. Through an agreement between Colonel Fenwick and Matthew Griswold I, the Griswold family has been responsible for the upkeep of the grave "in perpetuity". As recently as 2013, the Griswolds provided funds to restore the historic marker of Lady Fenwick. The gravesite is truly an historic landmark!
The Lady Fenwick ornaments are $12 and can be purchased at the Saybrook Hardware Store or at the Frank Stevenson Archives at 350 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Past ornaments are $10. The full set of pewter ornaments, which dates back to 2005, can be purchased for $75 at the Archives. Call (860 395-1635 for more information.
Cypress Cemetery Tour, October 30, 2016, 4pm
Thanks to all who joined us for the cemetery tour! As those who attended well know, it poured about halfway through the tour, leading one observer to comment about the tour guide (me) being a contestant in a "wet t-shirt" contest! We had to have some humor about the situation!
In the photo at left, student volu
nteer Serena Eldredge (left) portrays "Lady Fenwick" while Olivia Gaidry (right) waits to portray Ms. Anna James a little later in the tour. We thank Serena and Olivia, and the numerous other studend volunteers that assist the Society in its work every year!
On to Thanksgiving!
First Annual Old Saybrook Historical Society Preservation Award
On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, the Historical Society was pleased to present the first annual Preservation Award to Herb and Sherry Clark at their historic Bushnell Farm located in Old Saybrook on Route 1. Many notable people were considered for the award, but the committee felt that the Clarks, with all that they've done for historic preservation in the lower river valley, were the perfect first recipients. OSHS President Marie McFarlin presented the award with proclamations read by Bob Fish of the Town of Old Saybrook and State Representative Devin Carney.