Patron Saint - Dennis Delaney
The Sprague Historical Society Museum is located on the third floor of the completely renovated and historic 155-year old Grist Mill. For more than 75-years the third floor was wasted space used only for storage and clutter. The bright woodwork of the beams and the floor were just waiting for attention to bring them back to life. The gears used to move the grinding stones rested under a blanket of rust. Just shy of the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Town during the summer of 2011 the mill was nearing completion.
The funds for the $1 million project came from various grants such as the Connecticut Historical Society, the state Department of Economic and Community Development, and others. The Town added $50,000 in matching funds. All of this effort resulted in major improvements to the entire building which included: An elevator for easy access to the museum to help make the building more ADA compliant; energy-efficient lighting and windows; cleaning of the beams, floor, and gears; several built-in and lighted displays; new paint; and a bathroom. This was a welcome and much needed change for the Historical Society which previously resided in a small room on the first floor.
Boxes were unpacked; pictures were hung on the wall; and the treasures that had been so painstakingly collected and stored by Dennis Delaney, the former Town Historian, were cleaned, dusted, and put on display. In addition to Mr. Delaney's collection, the third floor itself, with its brightly polished floors, beams, and gears, serves as an exhibit. According to Pamela Matthews, Historical Society President, regarding the newly renovated space, "It's amazing to me that our dream finally came true. You take the elevator up to the third floor now, and it's just a "wow" factor. The whole building is gorgeous," (Norwich Bulletin, Sept. 27, 2011). The Sprague Historical Society Museum welcomes residents and out-of-town visitors to stop by and spend time perusing the displays, pictures, and books available for viewing.
The Sprague Historical Society consists of several residents dedicated to preserving Sprague history. The Society meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the museum located on the third floor of the Grist Mill, 76 Main Street, Baltic, CT. (No meetings in July, August and December.) The public is invited and new members are always welcome.
- To explore, preserve, celebrate, and share the historical heritage of the Town of Sprague and its three villages: Baltic, Hanover, and Versailles.
- To preserve artifacts and information of ongoing history for future use.
- To serve the community as a center of reliable information.
- To provide opportunity and encouragement for children, youth, and adults to know and appreciate the history of Sprague.
- To inventory, catalog, and otherwise preserve in an organized fashion artifacts and information of historical interest.
- To secure and ensure financial resources for the pursuit of Society mission and objectives.
- To serve as a resource for people and organizations that would like to know about the history of Sprague.
Sprague Historical Society