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Docent Training Videos With Scripts

Family Room
(Video 4)

(stand in front of the maps)

  • In this room you will see how Seymour grew and how families lived, worked, prayed and played. 

Look at the Signature Quilt in front of maps.

  • This 1860 Signature Quilt represents many quilts that were made to raise money for a cause such as the Civil War etc.

Let’s look at the maps of Seymour for a bird’s eye view of the way we were.

  • Focus on the map that clearly shows the Naugatuck River (with factories along its bank) and the great hills used for planting and grazing. 

    • What kinds of buildings do you see on this map? (houses, factories and churches). 


  • Where are most of the houses located (near river, factories) 


  • Why? People lived close to where they worked and shopped because for the most part, they walked to their destinations.


  • ** Point to the outskirts**

    • What is located in these areas? (farms) 


  • The town grew into many farms because of the rich grazing fields in the hills. The area along the river and in the hills provided the people of Seymour with jobs and goods they needed to live.


  • One thing to keep in mind is that over 100 years ago, most homes did not have electricity.


Move to “things that were delivered” case. 

  • Many dairies were established in the Great Hill and Skokorat areas of town (read names on milk bottles).

    • Dairy products were delivered door to door and kept cold in an “ice box”. An ice man delivered ice to your home so you could keep food from spoiling. Blocks of ice would be cut from frozen lakes and rivers and stored in an ice house. Ice would be delivered all year long. 


  • **Point out objects and pictures that were used for this purpose.**


  • **Point out the glass water bottle.** 

    • Bottled water is not new. We had bottled water that was delivered by the Arethusa Spring Water Company. It was located on Pearl Street . This spring water from Seymour was believed to be some of the purest water in the country with many health benefits.


Move to “Items used for everyday life” case. 

  • “Does anyone know or have seen any of these items?” 

    • As you can see, life was not easy. Families did not have modern conveniences we have today. They worked hard and everyone in the family helped out, from the youngest to the oldest.


  • Pass around an iron and describe how it was used


  • Point out items on the right side of the case. Does anyone know what this is? It is a wooden barrel butter churn. It was used to convert milk or cream into butter. When the handle, attached to a wooden paddle inside, was turned ,it would agitate the milk or cream and churn it into butter. 


  • Does anyone know what this is? It is an antique carpet sweeper made in the early 1900’s by the Reeves Vacuum Company in Milford, Ct. It could pick up dust by pumping the handle up and down. It was very useful because it did not need electricity or batteries.


Move to the left corner shelves 

  • **Point out the commemorative church plates of the six earliest churches built.**

    • There were 6 churches built in Seymour between 1789 -1893.

    • What do you think that means about the importance of religion in Seymour during that time?

      • Seymour Congregational Church -is the oldest church in Seymour. It was organized in 1789 with 26 members. It is now located at 5 Broad Street.

      • Seymour United Methodist Church- it was dedicated in 1848, two years before we became Seymour. It is located at 90 Pearl Street.

      • Great Hill Methodist Church – it was built in 1854. It is located at 225 Great Hill Road.

      • Trinity Episcopal Church- it was built in 1857. It is located at 91 Church Street.

      • St Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church was built in 1856. It is located at 35 Washington Avenue. It was the 1st and only Catholic Church in Seymour until the Church of the Good Shepherd was built in 1970.

      • Immanuel Lutheran Church -it was built in 1893. It was located at 56 West Street. Due to the membership growth, the church later moved to Great Hill Road in Oxford and the building on West Street was sold to the Boy Scouts.


Tea Time Exhibit 

  • This exhibit represents a table set for tea time during the Victorian era served by the housekeeper on the left to the mistress of the house on the right. 

  • The beautiful bone china belonged to Miss Matthies.

Move to the right corner shelves. 

  • The 1910 punch set and silver tea/coffee set are examples of the many artifacts that have been donated to the museum in the past.

**Point out the Victorian Era convertible high chair /toddler seat and porcelain doll were donated to the SHS from the James and Violet Brennan Estate.

**Point out the framed picture above the toy display. It is of Helen and Muriel Hamel, sisters of Henry Hamel. 

  • Helen was a teacher and Muriel worked for many years at the Seymour Trust Company bank. When Henry died, he left his home on Wooster Street to the Seymour Land Trust. When the house was sold, the Land Trust used the money to build the Henry Hamel Environmental Center at Chatfield Park. 

Move to the vintage toy display. 

  • In this case are some of the toys that children and families played together. 

  • Do you notice anything missing that children play with today?  (Electronic /video games)

  • Why?  (There was no electricity.) 

  • After a hard day's work and chores were done, families had time to spend together to play games, sing and listen to music. 

Move to the Victrola-  

  • Does anyone know what this is? 

  • Hint- it was something that adults and children listened to before there was television and radio. 

  • It’s like a record player but does not need electricity or batteries. It is played by a spring mechanism. 

  • Play the Victrola.


Allow time for questions and to look around the room. 

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