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Simsbury Free Library
749 Hopmeadow Street
P.O.Box 484
Simsbury, CT 06070
Hours:
Tuesdays and Thursdays
11:00 to 5:00
2nd and 4th Saturdays
10:00 to 2:00
860/408-1336

Email: simsburyfreelibrary@gmail.com
 
 
UPCOMING EVENTS   
 

 

To make a reservation or for more info,

call 860-408-1336

or email simsburyfreelibrary@gmail.com.


 
SAVE THE DATE:  May 18th at 6:30 p.m.
Author Deb Child talks about her book (see below).
 
 
 
Genealogy Programs
 
 
Genealogy Road Show with Diane LeMay

 

April 23rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you are researching your family's past, but don't know where else to look to find missing ancestors, bring in your family tree.  Genealogy librarian Diane LeMay and genealogist Marilyn Giese can help with deciphering handwriting, online research, Massachusetts and French-Canadian research, and much more.  RSVPs recommended.

 
Free to members, $5 for non-members.  
 

Ask a Genealogist 

Thursdays, 2-4 p.m.

Stop in and meet the latest addition to our genealogy team, Marilyn Giese.  She has been doing genealogy research for over 30 years and her specialties include New England, Scotland, England and Ireland.  Welcome Marilyn!  Free for members, $5 for non-members.


Drop In Book Club 
 

Euphoria  by Lily King

Tuesday, May 10th, 11:15 a.m.

New members in search of great book discussions and even better company are always welcome at the SFL’s Drop In Book Club.  Past book discussions have included The boys in the Boat, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, and One Thousand White Women.  Free. For more info, call (860) 408-1336 or email simsburyfreelibrary@gmail.com.


Deb Child lecture, "Soldier, Engraver, Forger: Richard Brunton's Life on the Fringe in America's New Republic"
 
Wednesday May 18th, 6:30 p.m.
When one mentions Brunton's name in the state of Connecticut, the following comes to mind:  his engraving of New Gate prison and his flamboyant portraits of New Gate's prison keeper Reuben Humprey and his wife and child.  These all date from the time he was serving a 2-year sentence there for counterfeiting silver coins in 1799.
 
Join author, lecturer and independent curator Deb Child for an illustrated lecture which will introduce many previously unknown works by his hand.  These works will include those done for local Simsbury families and will provide an authentic glimpse into his life from the time of his arrival in Boston with the British army in 1774, until his death in Groton, MA in 1832.  Copies of her book will be available for purchase.
 
Reservations are required.  To reserve a seat, call 860/408-1336 or email simsburyfreelibrary@gmail.com.
 
 
 
 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

DROP IN BOOK CLUB

 

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
Tuesday, May 12th at 11:15 a.m.:  

 

From Booklist: What goes on behind closed doors, especially when those doors are of the gilded variety, has fascinated novelists and journalists for centuries. The private lives of the rich and famous are so tantalizing that Robin Leach made a career out of showcasing them. One of the biggest eccentric, rich fishes out there was Huguette Clark. Deceased for more than two years, Clark, brought to life by investigator Dedman and Clark’s descendant, Newell, owned nouveau riche palaces in New York, Connecticut, and California. An heiress, Clark disappeared from public view in the 1920s. What happened to her and her vast wealth? Answering this question is the book’s mission. Based on records and the hearsay of relations and former employees, the book pieces together Clarks life, that of a woman rumored to be institutionalized while her mansions stood empty, though immaculately maintained throughout her life. Clark left few clues about herself, but she willed vast sums to her caretakers and numerous charitable endeavors. Still, her absence acts as a shade to seeing her fully, hinting at possible financial malfeasance, all the while conspiring to produce a spellbinding mystery.


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


DROP IN BOOK CLUB

 

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
Tuesday, May 12th at 11:15 a.m.:  

 

From Booklist: What goes on behind closed doors, especially when those doors are of the gilded variety, has fascinated novelists and journalists for centuries. The private lives of the rich and famous are so tantalizing that Robin Leach made a career out of showcasing them. One of the biggest eccentric, rich fishes out there was Huguette Clark. Deceased for more than two years, Clark, brought to life by investigator Dedman and Clark’s descendant, Newell, owned nouveau riche palaces in New York, Connecticut, and California. An heiress, Clark disappeared from public view in the 1920s. What happened to her and her vast wealth? Answering this question is the book’s mission. Based on records and the hearsay of relations and former employees, the book pieces together Clarks life, that of a woman rumored to be institutionalized while her mansions stood empty, though immaculately maintained throughout her life. Clark left few clues about herself, but she willed vast sums to her caretakers and numerous charitable endeavors. Still, her absence acts as a shade to seeing her fully, hinting at possible financial malfeasance, all the while conspiring to produce a spellbinding mystery.


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


 

BOOK OF WORLD WAR I LETTERS

WRITTEN BY SIMSBURY NATIVE

 

 

 

Thank you so much to Joe Hall (of Hall's Farm on Terry's Plain) for sharing his great uncle's World War I letters and allowing us to scan them.  If you are a Simsbury or WWI history buff, stop in and have a look at our book of 44 letters that George L. Hall sent home between August 11, 1917 and October 21, 1918. Sadly, George was killed in action on October 28th, 1918, just 2 weeks before the Germans surrendered.  

The letters are a great look at the life of a 20-21 year old soldier in World War I and there a number of Simsbury tidbits as well.  George mentions the other Simsbury boys he sees in France, asks his mother to send fruit cake, hard candies and American cigarettes and tobacco, mentions the Hartford Courant and the "Farmington Valley", talks about how he can't tell them much because of the censors (most of the letters have the censor's signature, and at least one letter has a word or phrase cut out), he asks his brother how the Simsbury football team is doing, and the Home Guard. 

We hope to have the letters available to view on our website in the near future. 

 
An Oral History with Thelma Hall
Thelma Hall

Interested in Simsbury's history? Our interview with Thelma Hall is now up on SCTV's website (simsburytv.org). Her daughter, Joanne Vanty, asked her questions about her nearly 90 years in Simsbury. Mrs. Hall has great memories of growing up in Simsbury: her father, the station master, walking to school in the snow and so much more. Check it out!  

Click here to see the interview.


 



 

PAST PROGRAMS

    

Did you know you can see some of our past programs on SCTV's website at simsburytv.org?  Click on any program on the right to view.