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Simsbury Free Library
749 Hopmeadow Street
P.O.Box 484
Simsbury, CT 06070
Tuesdays and Thursdays
11:00 to 5:00
2nd and 4th Saturdays
10:00 to 2:00

Chick Austin House Tour


William Phelps Talk

Farmington Canal Tour

History Lectures

William Phelps Talk, Part 2

Saturday, November 8th, 2014, 12:00 p.m.

This special presentation will explore the fascinating and curious adventures of William Phelps, an English Puritan who sailed to American in 1630 and eventually became one of the founding fathers of Windsor, Connecticut.  Larry Phelps, a Windsor resident, genealogical enthusiast, and 10th-generation descendant of William Phelps, will guide event attendees through an historic journey of colonial life in Connecticut as he details the adventures of a trailblazer who was instrumental in shaping Windsor and state government.  


William Phelps was one of the founders of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and Windsor, Connecticut, and was one of eight individuals selected to lead the first democratic town government in the American colonies in 1637.  He was foreman of the first grand jury in New England and served most of his life in early colonial government.  The discussion is part of a planned series of talks about the life and times of the extended Phelps family, and the contributions the clan made within New England.  The event is free and open to the public.  It will conclude with a question and answer session.


Chick Austin House Tour
Thursday, November 13 at 3:00 p.m.
Back by popular demand!.  If you have ever wondered about that strange flat "Cardboard House" on Scarborough Avenue, here is your chance to tour the house of Chick Austin, the former director of the Wadsworth Atheneum.  Chick set out to introduce modern art to America and transform Hartford, the conservative insurance capital, into a cultural mecca that would become the talk of the art world during the years between the two world wars.  (See the photo album above.)  The tour costs $25 for members and $30 for non-members, and includes a docent-led tour of the house and same-day admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum. Space is limited.

Genealogy Programs

Saturday, November 22nd and December 13th and 27th from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Genealogy Road Show with Diane LeMay:  Diane LeMay will try to solve any genealogy research problems patrons bring to her.  Free to members.  $5 for non-members.



Thursday, November 20th at 1 p.m.:  The Broken Circle Breakdown

An Academy Award Nominee of Best Foreign Language Film.  Elise (Veerle Baetens) and Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) fall in love at first sight. She has her own tattoo shop and he plays the banjo in a bluegrass band. They bond over their shared enthusiasm for American music and culture, and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage--but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass, THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN is a romantic drama of the highest order. From Tribeca Film. From Roger Ebert:  “It's a rich, raw, heartache of a film, a beautifully composed, soul-stirring dramaabout love, family, sex, sorrow, faith, and music.”  Free.


Thursday, December 18th ,1:00 p.m. -  1940s Holiday Classic: It Happened on Fifth Avenue


Join us and take a break from the holiday chaos as we show the classic 1940s holiday film,  It Happened on Fifth Avenue,  a humorous film about a homeless man who winters at a 5th Avenue penthouse while its owner heads South.  –In The New York Times review, the film “sings of the generosity of the human spirit, and the feeling of renewal that was in the air in the immediate post-World War II era, a funny, gentle, warm look at people making their way in a time when, for the first time since the Great Depression and the outbreak of the Second World War, cautious optimism seemed an appropriate approach to life. And not for nothing was this reportedly lead actor Don Defore's personal favorite of all of his movies.”  This is a true feel good holiday movie!  Free movie and popcorn.


Drop In Book Club

No need to join this book club.  Just drop in when you are in town or when the book is of interest.

Tuesday, November 11th at 11:15 a.m.:  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Tuesday, December 9th at 11:15 a.m.:  The Boys on the Boat by Daniel James Brown


 Add Row


Tuesday, May 20th, 1 p.m.
Connecticut History Talk with Tom Ratliff:  "Hartford from 1820-1920"
In this fifth and final lecture in his series exploring Connecticut's rich historical past, Tom Ratliff will talk about the period of rapid industrial growth and large-scale i
Tuesday, May 20th, 1 p.m.
Connecticut History Talk with Tom Ratliff:  "Hartford from 1820-1920"
In this fifth and final lecture in his series exploring Connecticut's rich historical past, Tom Ratliff will talk about the period of rapid industrial growth and large-scale i

History Day Competitors:  Kevin Gyurco, Sammi Dowd, Montana McMahon, Emilee Buytkins,  adviser Grantland Rogers, and Rachel Baumann (Igor Banaszuk not pictured).
The Simsbury Free Library was happy to support the 6 hardworking high school students who participated in this year's History Day in Connecticut competition.  
Congratulations to the two projects that placed in the District Competition at Torrington High School on March 15th:  Seniors Emilee Buytkins, Sammi Dowd and Igor Banaszuk won first place in the Group Documentary division and Freshman Montana McMahon won second place in the Individual Exhibit division!  These students will advance to the March 26th State Competition at Central Connecticut State University. 
Click Hartford Courant Article to read more about it!! 
Many thanks to history teacher Grantland Rogers, Simsbury Historical Society and the Simsbury Public Schools for their help in furthering an interest in history in Simsbury.