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Fall 2022 Activities In Vernon

September was a busy month in town, but with a lot of rain. October has even more events available to enjoy - inside and out - and we've had some great fall days that remind us why we love this time of year.

There is enough variety for you to explore many things - a hike at Valley Falls, a rare opportunity to visit Rockville's Maxwell Court, several programs on history including one with music, a chance to explore and learn about our streams or about autumn plants. And capping it off is our annual Strong Family Farm Harvest Festival and Scarecrow contest.

You might also try something new as there is a play at Arts Center East and Vernon's own Poet Laureate at the Rockville Public Library. Vernon is more of an arts center than most people realize.

Many of the organizations sponsoring events are members of the Vernon Volunteers' Collaborative. Learn more about VVC on their website. If you would like advanced notice by email of this type of event please join their MeetUp Group. You will also find upcoming events listed on the VVC website under the 'Events' tab. Some of the 'Learn more' links below take you to MeetUp pages.

You can also visit our Tankerhoosen website and 'Like' our Facebook page.

Click on images for a larger view.

Jon Roe   

History of the Swiss Immigration to Ellington

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 6:30 p.m.: The Ellington Historical Society's DIANNE TRUEB will discuss the history of the Swiss-German immigration to Ellington between 1868 and 1905. First arriving as weavers, then farmers, and now local business owners, this group has had a visible and meaningful impact on the Ellington community.

Well over 1000 individuals can trace their lineage back to 16 common ancestors who immigrated to Ellington between 1868 and 1905.

This one hour presentation will be held at Hall Memorial Library, 93 Main St., Ellington, CT.

» Learn more.

Valley Falls Fall Foliage Hike

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 9 a.m.: The Northern Connecticut Land Trust (NCLT) leads this Fall foliage hike along Railroad Brook gorge in Vernon.

Hike thru NCLT's Andrew Webster Knapp property to the Hop River Rail-Trail, then up to the ridge overlooking Valley Falls Park and Railroad Brook for some beautiful Autumn scenery.

This free hike is fairly challenging with steep slopes. Meet at the Valley Falls parking lot off Valley Falls Road. Call KARL at (860) 649-4949 for further information.

» Learn more.

What Makes Connecticut, Connecticut?

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2-3:30 p.m.: The Vernon Historical Society will host WALT WOODWARD, Connecticut State Historian Emeritus, and the Band of Steady Habits. The band will take us on a musical tour of our state focusing on the iconic places and cultural treasures that tell the story of "What Makes Connecticut, Connecticut?"

Our trip through the state will be enhanced by photographs taken by documentary photographer CAROL M. HIGHSMITH who was commissioned by the Library of Congress between 2012 and 2015 to take pictures of Connecticut’s historic buildings and places as they appeared at the beginning of the 21st century.

The Band of Steady Habits combines the photos and beautiful music from the past and present to describe the look, feel, and unique character of one of America’s first – and most original – states.

The program is free and open to the public. The Vernon Historical Society is located at 734 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon.

» Learn more.

Edible Wild Plants & Fungi of Autumn

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 7-8:30 p.m.: The Vernon Garden Club is hosting KAREN MONGER, of The Three Foragers for their October program. She will present a program on “Edible Wild Plants and Fungi of Autumn”. Recent rain may yield interesting autumn edibles.

Karen is the author the 3 Foragers blog, which she runs with her husband, Robert and their daughter, Gillian. As a family, Karen, Robert, and Gillian enjoy traveling, discovering new edible plants, and harvesting them together. Their mission is to impart their knowledge of wild edible plants to others. Karen lives in southeast Connecticut with her family.

The program will be held at the First Congregational Church of Vernon, 695 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon. For details call (860) 926-4332. Guests are always welcome.

» Learn more.

Riffle Bioassessment By Volunteers

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: The Vernon Conservation Commission will sponsor the Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV). Volunteers are needed to help with this investigation of water quality in the Tankerhoosen River watershed.

Participants will search for insects, worms and other small animals that live in riffles, or areas of fast moving water, along the brooks that feed the Tankerhoosen River. The variety and numbers of animals found will indicate the relative cleanliness and health of the river system.

Meet at the Red Barn at Valley Falls Farm, 345 Valley Falls Road in Vernon. An overview of the RBV program will be provided, followed by group field training. We will then split into teams to investigate predetermined survey sites. The project will be completed by 2:00 PM. Wear knee high boots or hip boots, and may bring waterproof gloves. Bring a water bottle – snacks will be provided.

No experience is necessary, but volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Please pre-register by calling TOM OUELLETTE, Vernon RBV Coordinator, at (860) 965-6180. Rain date is Sunday, October 23 – registrants will be notified of any schedule changes.

» Learn more.

Strong Family Farm Harvest Festival

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: The Strong Family Farm's annual festival will include children’s activities, petting zoo, crafters, food trucks, live music, canning demonstration, announcement of results of the farm’s annual Scarecrow Contest, and a farewell to the farm’s chickens (from its successful, summer Adopt-a-chicken program). The chickens will become laying hens at another farm.

Food will be offered for sale, including snacks, donuts and apple cider with a special Apple Pie Baking Contest!

This year's Harvest Festival is on track to be our best attended yet. We anticipate over 1,000 visitors over the course of the day. We may be small, but we’re BIG on contributing to our communities!

Strong Family Farm is located at 274 West Street in Vernon. Limited parking is available in the farm field from the entrance on Peterson Road for a donation of $2. Parking is also available on side streets and at Center Road School with an opening in the corner fence by the training station.

» Learn more.


OCTOBER 28 TO NOVEMBER 6: The Dionysus Theatre Company presents Monica Wood's play "Papermaker" at Arts Center East. The play tells the story of a paper mill strike in the fictional Maine community of Abbott Falls in the late 1980s, and explores its effect on two local families.

"It's really a family play," Wood says. "It's a play about family dynamics, which is all I ever really write about, honestly. But the backdrop is so huge: It's about labor politics and small-town culture, and clashes of culture, so there's a lot going on in the play. It's very layered."

And if there's a central theme to "Papermaker," says Wood. "It's the fact that we always have more in common than not, no matter now divided we may seem on the surface. We're all parents or children or neighbors or friends, and that's what survives."

Tickets: $18 General Admission, $15 for ACE Members/Students/Seniors.

The play begins Friday, October 28 and runs two weekends through Sunday, November 6. Times vary. ACE is located at 709 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon.

» Learn more & register.

Tour Of Maxwell Court

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 1 p.m.: The Vernon Historical Society will host a program on architect CHARLES A. PLATT with a tour of Rockville's Maxwell Court.

SUSAN BARLOW, Manchester’s Town Historian, will introduce Platt, a renowned architect and one of America’s most influential landscape designers. Commissioned by the Maxwell family of Rockville, Platt developed plans for the home and surrounding landscape at 9 North Park Street.

The program will be followed by a tour of the mansion, now home to the Rockville Elks Club. Interested people are invited to join Susan Barlow and Museum Director JEAN LUDDY for a walk to see two other examples of Platt buildings: Kellogg Lawn, now Rockville Hospital, and the Rockville Public Library.

Park and meet at 9 North Park Street, Rockville. Rain or shine. This collaborative meeting is free and open for everyone.

» Learn more.

Poetry Reading - Pegi Deitz Shea

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Rockville Public Library welcomes PEGI DEITZ SHEA, Vernon's Inaugural Poet Laureate, who will debut her first book of poetry for adult readers, "The Weight of Kindling." A reading will be followed by a reception and book signing. The "Weight of Kindling" examines Shea's sources of inspiration from her grandmother in New Jersey, her world travels, and her family's life here in Vernon.

Shea, a two-time winner of the CT Book Award for Children's Literature, will also have copies of her books for young readers available for sale.

Registration for the event may be required. For more info, please go to their website or call (860) 875-5892. Rockville Public Library is located at 52 Union Street in Vernon.

» Learn more.

Civil War Tour of Arlington Cemetery

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 7:30 P.M.: The New England Civil War Museum (NECWM) presents a virtual tour of Arlington National Cemetery led by CAROLYN IVANOFF who will guide you through Arlington National Cemetery. The Arlington National Cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds that had been the estate of confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary Anna Lee. Carolyn will highlight a virtual tour of the most prestigious burial place in the world, and introduce the men and women who rest in Arlington who gave their lives so this nation would live.

Carolyn is a retired high school administrator and educator. She writes and speaks frequently on American history at local, state, and national venues. In 2003 Carolyn was named Civil War Trust's Teacher of the Year. She is currently working on a manuscript of unpublished first hand experiences by members of the 17th Connecticut Regiment at Gettysburg. She is a living historian with Company F 14th Connecticut, Blue and Gray Hospital Association, Confederation of Union Generals, a board member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons.

The program is free and will take place at the NECWM, 14 Park Place in Rockville.

» Learn more.

Coming Up Later This Fall

  • November 10-20 - Arts Center East's Holiday Artisan Craft Fair
  • November 17-28 - Vernon Historical Society's Holiday Craft Fair
  • December 3 - Arctic Splash At Valley Falls
  • December 3 - The Vernon Chorale's Christmas Concert
  • December 4 - Poetry Rocks at Arts Center East
  • December 19 - "The 17th Connecticut At Gettysburg" at the New England Civil War Museum

You can also visit our Tankerhoosen website and 'Like' our Facebook page.

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