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Washington's Scandinavian Connection and Annual Sharon Book Signing




Washington's Scandinavian Connection

Did Washington have a big Swedish population?

You’re not likely to find Swedish meatballs on the menu at The Mayflower Inn, but like the rest of Washington it has a Scandinavian connection. By 1910, Washington had one of the highest number of Swedish immigrants in the state making up more than 22 per cent of the population, or close to 400 of the more than 1,700 residents. While most Scandinavians immigrating to the United States headed West, lured by the Homestead Act of 1862, some settled in Washington as well as Roxbury, Bridgewater, and Sherman.

The Gunn Museum’s current exhibit, “Coming to America: Washington’s Swedish Immigrants,” draws from parish records, census information, and oral histories to explain.  The first settlers largely came from Sweden’s rural south, and the first Swedish resident may have been Simon Johnson, a railroad worker. Johnson was one of a million Swedes who immigrated to the United States during the late 1800s. The wave was significant considering the population of Sweden then was about 5.5 million. Immigrants fled due to famine, conscription, dissatisfaction with the Lutheran Church, lack of voting rights, and to seek new opportunities and freedom.

For Simon Johnson, that opportunity came in building The Shepaug Railroad. When the rail opened, more Swedes journeyed to Washington joining relatives and friends and taking jobs as maids, gardeners and drivers at The Gunnery, The Mayflower Inn, and at lavish estates built by New York industrialists.

Two Swedish churches were built, located across the street from each other not far from School Street, referred to as Swede Street. Immigrants assimilated,  and little evidence remains of the influx: gone is William Gustafson’s former grocery store; both churches have become private residences; herring isn’t sold on the corner, and the benefit spaghetti suppers feature Italian meatballs. But many descendants of the original settlers are long-standing members of the community: Quist, Johnson, Peterson, Anderson, Lundberg and Locke, among them. 

—Wendy Carlson

Annual Sharon Book Signing

What’s the Sharon book sale?

Litchfield County’s popular literary event, the Annual Sharon Summer Book Signing (Friday, August 2, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.), hosted by the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, is known for hosting a bevy of talented local and nationally known authors, editors, and illustrators. This year, it’s more family-friendly than ever, featuring an expansive line-up of children’s authors—recording artist Suzzy Roche, New Yorker illustrator Giselle Potter, four-time New York Times Best Book Award winner Barbara McClintock, and artist Wendell Minor. There’s grown-up fun, too: poet Rose Styron, Jane Malcolm, biographer Edmund Morris, Roxana Robinson, James Patterson, and Nava Atlas. It is $30 a ticket, and the authors will be signing books, which are available for purchase. 

—Ryan  Wiltzius

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January 2019

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
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Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

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Gallery 25 and the New Milford Commission on the Arts present four bowl decoration workshops for the Loaves and Fishes Empty Bowl Dinner: January 5, 2019 (Saturday)   2-4:00...

Cost: free Event

Where:
Gallery 25 at New Milford Art Depot
11 Railroad St.
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: Gallery 25
Telephone: 860-355-6009

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Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Members of New Milford Hospital’s Diebold Family Cancer Care Center will lead a Plant Based Cooking Workshop entitled Let’s Get Cooking.   This workshop, including a...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Margaret Ferguson

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Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
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Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

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Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

January Swing Dance w/ Chops, Sauerkraut, Krewtons Friday, January 18, 2018 Dewey Hall, 91 Main Street, Sheffield, MA 01257 Doors open at 7:30, Lesson with Jason Fenton at 8:00, Live music at...

Cost: $10-$20 sliding fee scale

Where:
Dewey Hall
91 Main Street
Sheffield, MA  01257
View map »


Sponsor: Oldtone Productions
Telephone: 413-429-1176
Contact Name: Beth Carlson
Website »

More information

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Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
View map »


Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

More information

Type 2 diabetes is becoming an epidemic. Dr. Shawn Carney, a naturopathic physician at Northeast Natural Medicine, LLC, will address the development of problems with blood sugar control. He will...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

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