By Devin Leith-Yessian
PLAINVILLE — Hosting artifacts from the days of the Tunxis tribe through its development into a home for industry and into today, the Plainville Historical Society is celebrating its own history with its 50th anniversary.
“People can really use it as an (opportunity) to help us celebrate, but also see all of the different rooms,” said Rosemary Morante, the society’s secretary. “It’s also going to be a nice opportunity for us to show members of the community what’s here… and also really highlighting what the society has accomplished over the past 50 years.”
A ceremony will be held on Sept. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m., featuring speakers from local government and the community, as well as music, a door prize and an open house with society members. Housed in the former Town Hall on Pierce Street, exhibits detail the town’s Victorian period, the first schoolhouse, a model kitchen from roughly a century ago, and the town’s portion of the ill-fated canal and efforts to salvage it during the subsequent expansion of the railroads.
“I think one of the gems of our community is this historical society and what they've done at the old Town Hall,” said Town Manager Robert Lee, who is one of the five speakers who will share their perspective on the importance of the society. The other speakers will be Town Council Chairman Katherine Pugliese, state Rep. William A. Petit Jr. and state Sen. Henri Martin, and society founding member William Petit Sr.
Of all the lives represented in the exhibits, Lee said the story of Ruth Hummel sticks out to him. Hummel, who passed away in 2015, was the town historian and the society’s president for many years.
“Whenever anyone wanted to know about the community, she was always there to talk about it,” Lee said. “She certainly gave it most of what is there today and the volunteers that have continued to do this work are a valuable part of the work.”
He also said he’d like “more people would not only go in and view what they have there, but actually provide some support. They’re dedicated volunteers that have a love for the community and a love for history.”