Tired of dark days and looking for something fun to do with your children or grandchildren during February vacation? From Monday, February 18th, through Friday, February 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., join us at the Windsor Historical Society’s Hands-On-History Learning Center and make your very own hand-dipped paraffin candle to take home. Different colors for dipping make each candle unique. The Hands-On-History Learning Center, where children can try on reproduction colonial clothing, try out a child-sized rope bed, or “milk” Flavia the cow, can be enjoyed at the same time. Also on view in the Learning Center is Building Bridges, an exhibition of artworks created by Windsor High School students inspired by Windsor’s historic architecture. When you’re finished candle-dipping and are looking for another fun family activity, craft your own model of a house or freeform artwork. Using the examples provided by the Windsor High School Pre-AP Art Students in their exhibition, families can use toothpicks and marshmallows to create their own three-dimensional art. Cost for this program is $10 per family; or $5 per adult, $4 for seniors, $3 for children, and $2 for members. A parent or guardian must accompany their children.
Candles are largely decorative today but have been used as a light source for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians and Romans used candles. In the middle ages, tallow (fat from cows and sheep) was saved and used for candles which were smoky and smelly. Chandlers or candle –makers would go from household to household, trading for tallow to make their candles. Beeswax was also used in the middle ages to make a candle which burned brightly and with a sweet scent, but it was rare and expensive. In the late 18th century, clean-burning whale oil candles began to replace the old-fashioned and smoky tallow candles and in the 1850’s, paraffin, a by-product of petroleum, became the candle-making material of choice. Very soon, the kerosene lamp and the light bulb (invented in 1879) would begin to put candles out of business. By making a candle the old fashioned way, you’ll be participating in a time-honored tradition.
The Windsor Historical Society, founded in 1921, invites visitors to explore the people, places, and events that have shaped Windsor for over 375 years. The Society’s museum includes changing and permanent exhibition galleries; a hands-on-history learning center for families; a research library and manuscript collection housing Windsor photographs, documents, ephemera, and genealogical materials; a museum gift shop and two historic houses open to the public: the 1758 John and Sarah Strong House and the 1767 Dr. Hezekiah Chaffee House.
The Windsor Historical Society is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. General admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free to children under 12 and Society members. Call (860) 688-3813 or visit us on the web at http://windsorhistoricalsociety.org for directions to the Society and more information about programs. To receive e-reminders for public programs, please send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org.