Fairfield’s Museum Commons opens to the public
FAIRFIELD — Town residents can physically take a step into Fairfield’s past, walking through buildings more than 100 years old.
The Museum Commons, located behind the Fairfield Museum & History Center, officially opens to the public on June 10 and will be open Fridays through Sundays all summer long.
This occasion — which has been decades in the making — was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception at the Fairfield Museum on May 25. More than 100 members of the community — Fairfield Museum supporters, local officials, Fairfield Rotary members and many friends — were on hand to toast the Museum Commons and get a sneak peek at what is inside each of the three historic buildings.
Victorian Cottage, built in 1888, will focus on early childhood learning with hands-on activities for families. Victorian Barn, also built in 1888, will bring to light Fairfield’s rich agricultural history and inform new generations about highly-relevant themes around sustainability, food systems and food security. Sun Tavern, built around the year 1780, will showcase 18th-century tavern life and also highlight the progress of Fairfield’s justice system.
The ribbon-cutting event included a performance by local duo “Bob & Dave,” remarks by First Selectman Mike Tetreau and Fairfield Museum Executive Director Mike Jehle, and refreshments. Fairfield Museum board member Jen Hinkle, who owns and runs “Hinkles Twinkles,” prepared cookies shaped and painted to resemble Sun Tavern and the Victorian Cottage and Barn.
Jehle thanked the many people who were instrumental in making this project come to fruition including Bill Lee, Jeanne Harrison, Bob Hatch, Jim Miller, Harry Audley, town employees, DPW Director Joe Michelangelo, Buildings Manager James Ryan, Kevin Fox, architects David Scott Parker, the CT Trust for Historic Preservation, CT Humanities, the State of Connecticut’s DECD, the Fairfield Rotary Club, Newman’s Own Foundation, the Southport Area Association, the Museum Board of Directors, the Greens Farms Garden Club, Chris Shay, Domus Construction, Tancreti Construction, Yankee Electric, Forger Kunkel Plumbing, Rick Sastree, and the members of the Grand Lodge of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Connecticut.
After the ribbon was cut, guests toured the exhibitions that are now housed inside the historic properties.
Children enjoyed the reading nooks, dress-up corners and community garden located inside the Victorian Cottage. Adults perused the tavern items and the “Seeking Justice” exhibit that are now found in the Sun Tavern. And guests visited and learned about local agriculture and the history of farming in Fairfield inside the Victorian Barn.
The Museum Commons properties will officially open to the public June 10 with a free community day. After that, the properties will be open Fridays through Sundays through September 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission can be purchased inside the Fairfield Museum. For more information, visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.