Friday, November 30, 2018

Meet Capt. Daniel Merritt (died 1849) and Sarah Lyon Merritt (died 1846)


Meet Captain Daniel Merritt (died April 30, 1849) and Sarah Lyon Merritt (died July 8, 1846) 



As seems to be the case with me these days, it all started with an email I received in Hawaii. 

A museum collections professional contacted me with news of an unexpected discovery. No, not wayward, lost or misplaced gravestones -but two 19th century portraits of a Greenwich couple found in of all places Orrington, Maine. 

Originally thought to be Mead family ancestral portraits, we discovered that the above-pictured portraits were of Captain Daniel Merritt of Greenwich, who died April 30, 1849, aged 64 years, and his wife Sarah Lyon Merritt also of Greenwich, who died July 8, 1846, aged 62 years. 

The portraits were slightly damaged. The Collections Committee met and decided it was unable to accept the repatriation of Mr. and Mrs. Merritt's likenesses to Greenwich -a decision that I concurred with and still do.

Yet what was to be done? It was clear to me that the portraits of Captain Daniel Merritt and Sarah Lyon Merritt needed to come home to Greenwich. Generally, museums do not give away items like these to individuals, but to other organizations. Even after locating descendants it was by some evasive consensus that I, the host of the Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons Show on 1490 WGCH Greenwich, Connecticut and WGCH.com anywhere, would be the one to make the calls and facilitate their return. 

Among those I contacted was Jo Conboy, the head of the Greenwich Preservation Trust (GPT). A GPT board meeting was held with the decision made to bring them back. But then what? Who would ascertain the restoration of the portraits -some damage was identified. 

Enter Andrew Melillo, head of the Acacia Lodge No. 85, otherwise known as the Greenwich Free Masons. 

It turns out that Captain Daniel Merritt was a Greenwich Free Mason. Furthermore, if you think you've heard his name before you're probably right. He is the uncle of Captain Daniel Merritt Mead of Greenwich, author of the town's first compiled and published history. 

It turns out that Captain Daniel Merritt and his wife Sarah Lyon Merritt are the maternal grandparents of Capt. Daniel Merritt Mead, who wrote the first published history of Greenwich. All of them are interred in the cemetery next to Second Congregational Church. Both men were members of the Acacia Lodge Free Masons. 

Around the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday the Merritt portraits were returned and sent to a restoration expert in the Town of Darien, just up the coast from Greenwich. 

More mysteries were resolved. From Andrew Melillo I and others on the email-chain received the following news dated November 19, 2018: 


I met with Blaikie Hines (art restorer) this past Friday and we sat down and viewed and discussed the portraits.

It was a really interesting conversation. We spent about an hour and a half  in front of the portraits figuring them out.

The frames are clearly plaster molds from the 1870's-1880's.
Upon first inspection/glance it was determined that they were probably pastels, and not oil paintings. However, upon a closer inspection they were actually manipulated or blown up photos of original Daugerrotype glass slides. This is likely the type of photo that was used as Captain Daniel Merritt died in 1849, which was ten years after the first daugerrotypes were being taken all over the world. Sarah Lyon Merritt died in 1846, so these glass dauggerotype slides were taken before 1849, and sat with the family for some time until by the 1880's the technology existed to enlarge them (as Dauggerotype glass slides are small). It is presumed this was done by their children or grandchildren...difficult to know for sure. I will have to dig up some files at the Greenwich Historical Society to see if we can get a clearer historical picture. 

Therefore, the belief is that the daugerrotypes were taken at an earlier date and then in the 1870's or 1880's (based on the framing) the family took them and blew them up to make them larger and then hired an artist or some person to go over them with pastel's to add color and accents, etc. You can see how the artist/person used the pastels to add accents to Sarah's bonnet and her clothes, etc and pastels were used to add in accents and features to Daniel Merritt's hair and clothes as well.

There are areas in the background of the portraits that need to be cleaned up which are "patchy" and there is a small tear in the bottom left corner of Daniel's portrait which is going to be fixed. Other than that there are a few dings and nicks here and there on the portraits that are easy to clean up.

With frame repair and portrait cleaning and restoration, the cost is quite manageable and they should be finished before Christmas. 


Stay tuned. 




Acacia Lodge No. 85 Donating Christmas Trees to Families in Need Via Neighbor-to-Neighbor Until December 10



What could be better than spreading hope, joy and good cheer? Out of the darkness comes light, and in Greenwich's tradition of giving it is possible to light the world with smiles. 

I just received word that Acacia Lodge No. 85 -the Greenwich Free Masons- is donating Christmas trees to families in need through Neighbor-To-Neighbor. 

Any qualified family in need of a tree is eligible to request one. The deadline is Monday, December 10. Call (203) 622-9208. 

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Acacia Lodge No. 85 and Neighbor-To-Neighbor. What they say is true: For it is in giving that we receive. 

This announcement will be featured on my upcoming broadcast of Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons on Wednesday, December 5 at 9:00 a.m. on 1490 WGCH Greenwich, Connecticut and WGCH.com anywhere.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Coming Up in December 2018: Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons 1490 WGCH & WGCH.com Anywhere





You're invited to tune in to Greenwich, A Town for All Seasons on 1490 WGCH Greenwich, Connecticut and WGCH.com anywhere. 


On Wednesday, the 5th of December I will be welcoming Rabbi Mitchell Hurvitz of Temple Sholom. As Senior Rabbi since 2001, Hurvitz is a scholar, teacher, community activist and preacher who is recognized as one of Greenwich's prominent religious leaders and guest speakers. His teachings have been published in Greenwich Time, Greenwich Sentinel and Greenwich Jewish News. 

It was in 1916 that ten Jewish families gathered to establish a Jewish house of worship in Greenwich. One year later they formally established the Greenwich Hebrew Institute. We'll hear about the history of Temple Sholom and reflect on the upcoming Chanukah holiday season. 



On Wednesday, the 19th of December I invite you to tune in as I welcome Stephen Bishop, chair of the Greenwich Historic District Commission. The sustained preservation of Greenwich's physical heritage, streetscapes and concerns over demolitions have been a prominent source of conversation by town residents and expats for years. I asked Stephen Bishop to talk to us about the Historic District Commission, its origins, mission, activities and more. 


*We do not receive funding from the Greenwich Historical Society, other historical organizations of from government sources. All funding and in-kind services come exclusively from private sources. 

For the month of December 2018 we have reduced the rate for Basic Supporters from $40 per show to $30 per show -or $60 for the entire month. Your name will be featured on the show. 

For the month of December 2018 I will send those who contribute $100 a bag of authentic Hawaiian coffee -a bit of aloha-inspired warmth as Winter approaches. 

*If you wish to pledge support for the entire month of December at $60 send us an email with the word PLEDGE DECEMBER in the subject box. Payment is due on or before the close of business on Monday, December 3. We accept 

*I am accepting pledges of $30 for the Wednesday, December 5 show until 5:00 p.m. Monday, December 3. Send us an email with the word PLEDGE DEC. 5 in the subject box. Payment is due on or before the close of business on Monday, December 3.

*I am accepting pledges for the Wednesday, December 19 show for $30 until 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 17. Send us an email with the word PLEDGE DEC. 19 in the subject box. Payment is due on or before the close of business on Monday, December 17.

Make your check out to Jeffrey Bingham Mead and send it to:

Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons
The Pacific Learning Consortium
P.O. Box 184
Greenwich CT 06836

*Electronic payment transfer is available upon request.


Questions? Comments? Anyone can contact me at anytime by email at GreenwichATownForAllSeasons@gmail.com



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Coming Up Next: Missy Wolfe, Author of Hidden History of Colonial Greenwich on November 21




We're delighted to announce that Missy Wolfe, author of Hidden History of Colonial Greenwich will be our guest on the Wednesday, November 21 broadcast of Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons

Greenwich in the seventeenth century was a lost world of tythingmen and meeting warners, wild horse hunters, herdsmen, townsmen, pounders and planters. Faced with an ever-changing environment, citizens set many new-world boundaries. 

Farmers created common fields along the coast and redesigned wilderness. They balanced religious and civic authority, private and common interests and financial inequities across communities. The first comers found it more challenging to please their own than it was to please their God. 

Their departure from the past fashioned an idealized, yet still imperfect, new society the Puritans proudly called the Greenwich Plantation. 

Author Missy Wolfe details the strategies and setbacks of creating community in colonial America's First Period.

Missy Wolfe has always loved nonfiction, and she read history throughout college at Columbia Business School, during her marketing career, while raising a family, while pursuing fine arts studies at New York University and during her time serving on the board of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. 

Her own research reveals the romantic, lost world of Connecticut in the 1600s. 

Her study of the life of Greenwich founder Elizabeth Winthrop Feake Hallett, Insubordinate Spirit: A True Story of Life and Loss in Earliest America, won the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence. 

She lives in Greenwich with her husband, Scott Wolfe, and three children.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 21, 2018. Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons with host Jeffrey Bingham Mead starts 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Radio 1490 WGCH and WGCH.com Greenwich, Connecticut anywhere via live audio-streaming on the Internet. 

Can't listen in real-time? We have you covered. Go to our archival site where all shows are posted and freely available at your convenience, anytime and anywhere. 




Thank you for listening to Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons with Host Jeffrey Bingham Mead. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Join the Fun! Support Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons Show with Jeffrey Bingham Mead 1490 WGCH/WGCH.com



Greetings!

My name is Jeffrey Bingham Mead, a descendant of one of the founding families of Greenwich, Connecticut. I am the creator, producer and host of the Greenwich, A Town for All Seasons Show on 1490 WGCH and WGCH.com anywhere via live audio-streaming. 

This is the first time in Greenwich's history that a radio show dedicated to the town's history and culture has ever been broadcasted before. 

The show broadcasts every-other Wednesday morning 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. The first show aired on Wednesday, September 26.  

We are off to a good start. We see audience interest and listenership increasing as the word spreads of this first-of-its-kind show.



You are invited to join the fun as both listeners and supporters of Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons. Here's how:


BASIC SUPPORTERS (Limited to 15 per show)

*We do not receive funding from the Greenwich Historical Society, other historical organizations of from government sources. All funding and in-kind services come exclusively from private sources. 

For the month of December 2018 we have reduced the rate for Basic Supporters from $40 per show to $30 per show -or $60 for the entire month. Your name will be featured on the show. 

For the month of December 2018 I will send those who contribute $100 a bag of authentic Hawaiian coffee -a bit of aloha-inspired warmth as Winter approaches. 

*If you wish to pledge support for the entire month of December at $60 send us an email with the word PLEDGE DECEMBER in the subject box. Payment is due on or before the close of business on Monday, December 3. We accept 

*I am accepting pledges of $30 for the Wednesday, December 5 show until 5:00 p.m. Monday, December 3. Send us an email with the word PLEDGE DEC. 5 in the subject box. Payment is due on or before the close of business on Monday, December 3.

*I am accepting pledges for the Wednesday, December 19 show for $30 until 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 17. Send us an email with the word PLEDGE DEC. 19 in the subject box. Payment is due on or before the close of business on Monday, December 17.

Make your check out to Jeffrey Bingham Mead and send it to:

Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons
The Pacific Learning Consortium
P.O. Box 184
Greenwich CT 06836

*Electronic payment transfer is available upon request.


Questions? Comments? Anyone can contact me at anytime by email at GreenwichATownForAllSeasons@gmail.com


TITLE-SPONSOR
-We are presently looking for a title-sponsor or sponsors of the show. 
-$1,200/month; this can be divided among several sponsors ($600/month each with two title-sponsors; $400/month each with three title-sponsors; $300/month with four title-sponsors).
-The title sponsor(s) is given an exclusive on the Talk of the Town 15-minute interview segment as well as the Calendar/Events segment. 
-Talk of the Town airs during the first-half of the show. 
-The title sponsor(s) is given two (2) minutes of commercial advertising time. 
-I work with the title-sponsor(s) on writing and producing the commercials. You are also welcomed to submit your own. 
-The title sponsor(s) is acknowledged ("Talk of the Town" is brought to you by NAME of Sponsor(s), for example). 
-The title sponsor(s) is also promoted through social media platforms, email notifications to the show's audience. 

*I have two copies of Victorian Summer: The Historic Houses of Belle Haven Park by Matt Bernard. These will be given to the first two committed title-sponsor(s).

STAND-ALONE 30-SECOND COMMERCIAL
-A customized commercial spot that runs once per show (2-3 shows monthly every-other Wednesday morning 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.). 
-It features the name and nature of the business, benefits, customer references (if any available), contact information. 
-I write the text of the spot and record it, usually with background music. 
-The rate for this option is $200/month with a six-month commitment. Payment: month-to-month or in full upfront. 

SEGMENT SPONSORSHIP 
-A customized segment spot that runs once per show (2-3 shows monthly every-other Wednesday morning 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.). 
-Features a brief "Brought to you by" with name and contact information. I write the text of the spot and record it, usually with background music. The rate for this option is $150/month with a six-month commitment. Payment can be made month-to-month or in full upfront. 


Please make your checks out to 
Jeffrey Bingham Mead 
and send them to:
Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Greenwich, A Town For All Seasons
P.O. Box 184, 
Greenwich CT 06836


2018 BROADCAST SCHEDULE
December 5, 19 Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Eastern

Questions? Please contact me here at
or
Phone: (808) 721-0306