Society moves into temporary home

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Naugatuck Historical Society President Ken Hanks shows off the busts of Howard Whittemore, left, and Charles Goodyear Sept. 3 at the society’s temporary home at 171 Church St. The society will mark the grand opening of the storefront with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday at 1 p.m. –LUKE MARSHALL
Naugatuck Historical Society President Ken Hanks shows off the busts of Howard Whittemore, left, and Charles Goodyear Sept. 3 at the society’s temporary home at 171 Church St. The society will mark the grand opening of the storefront with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday at 1 p.m. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Historical Society is ready to christen its temporary home.

The society is temporarily calling a storefront at 171 Church St. home as it awaits the Board of Education to move its offices out of the Tuttle House, and renovations to be done to the building.

The society will mark the grand opening of the storefront with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday at 1 p.m.

Naugatuck Historical Society President Ken Hanks said, although the society is in a smaller temporary office, it will still be able to provide assistance to the community.

“We’re still going to be able to answer questions about town history. We do get questions about genealogy, people looking for family members, we get requests from people trying to locate graves in some cemeteries,” Hanks said.

Hanks added the society will also conduct school visits and lead walking tours of the borough’s downtown. The storefront will also host small exhibit spaces, the society’s store and historic photographs.

“Our goal as a museum, even though we are in a smaller officer, is still to be involved in the community,” Hanks said. “We still want to be a presence in the community during this transition period.”

The society’s museum used to be located in the former train station on Water Street. The borough is currently in the process of selling the building.

Ultimately, the plan is for the society’s headquarters to end up at the Tuttle House at 380 Church St. The building currently houses the Board of Education offices, which will move to Naugatuck High School once renovations at the school are completed.

Hanks said the Tuttle Building needs some major renovations, including repairs to the roof and the sprinkler system, before the society can call it home. He said the goal is to move into the Tuttle House by January 2017.

“It all depends on funding. That’s our target date right now,” Hanks said.

Currently, the society is storing the majority of its collection at the borough-owned General DataComm Building, 6 Rubber Ave. Once the society moves into the Tuttle House, it will be able to store its entire collection there, Hanks said.

While the society waits for its permanent home to be ready, it is making the most of its temporary location.

“It is better than what we had four months ago, which is nothing,” Hanks said.

The ceremony on Saturday will feature a presentation of a model Peter Paul Flea Fleet ship, which was built by Ken Kraushaar. AnnaLisa Russell-Smith will also present her short film on the Peter Paul Flea Fleet ship.

For more information, contact Hanks at Kennfd@gmail.com or (203) 490 8091, or Wendy Murphy at (203) 218 5349 or wendy.murphy@snet.net.