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New Shoreline Holiday Traditions

Old New England history is so evident in Madison’s many remaining antique buildings. This quaint Connecticut community has everyone falling in love with its New England charm. So much, the Madison Historical Society, together with members of the Deacon John Grave Foundation and students from Daniel Hand High School, will offer lantern light tours in the Madison Green National Historic District on Friday, December 14, from 6 to 9 pm.

A new holiday tradition in Madison, the Journey Through Time Lantern Light Tour is a 90-minute walk through three hundred years of Madison’s history. Visitors will peek into glowing historic structures and discover the personal and cultural stories at the heart of Madison history. The visits of General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette will be covered as well as little-known facts about the historic properties. Did you know that a home on the Boston Post Road was nicknamed “the honeymoon house” because newlyweds lived in part of the house while their own homes were under construction? Did you know that young Ted Roosevelt, the president’s son, is reputed to have slid down a banister in one of Madison’s most handsome homes?

Locals mostly know Madison as a quintessential laid-back beach town with a best-kept-secret feel. Madison was first settled in 1641. Throughout the 18th century, Madison was known as East Guilford until it was incorporated as a town in 1826. The present name is after James Madison 4th President of the United States.

Guides will lead groups of eight to ten people every fifteen minutes, beginning at 6 pm. Visitors will cover roughly a half-mile, traveling on foot over various terrains for the duration of the tour. For this event, visitors are strongly encouraged to dress appropriately, whether we have rain or clear skies. There is no rain date.

Beginning at Lee’s Academy, the tour makes six to eight brief stops and concludes with a warm fire and refreshments at the Deacon John Grave House. “Our hope is that the tour experience will broaden visitors’ understanding of Madison’s distinctiveness as a New England town and deepen their commitment to supporting and protecting the town’s cultural heritage,” said Jennifer Simpson the Director of Madison’s Historical Society.

Tickets are $12 for adults ($10 for MHS members) and $5 for children ages 5-17. They can be purchased online at www.madisonhistory.org or by calling 203.245.4567. The tour is recommended for children aged 5 and older.

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