Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Shelton Historical Society

  • SHELTON , CT
  • www.sheltonhistoricalsociety.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Shelton Historical Society is to preserve elements of the community's history in order to create lasting and meaningful connections between Shelton's past, present and future generations through education, maintaining a museum with its collections, and providing a voice in the community regarding matters of historical significance.

Main Programs

  1. Restoration of the Brownson House to the year 1913
  2. Educational programs for students
  3. Collection Inventory/Textile Assessment

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

While the Shelton Historical Society primarily serves as a repository of historic elements from the City of Shelton, visitors from other places are welcome; they have included tourists from Japan, researchers from Qatar, and genealogists from California, among other places. With the addition of more volunteers, students from area and regional schools would be able to take advantage of the curriculum-based educational programs that emphasize national trends through a local lens.

ruling year

1998

Principal Officer since 1997

Self-reported

Mrs. Tracey C. Tate

Keywords

Self-reported

Shelton Historical Society, Inc., Shelton History Center, Huntington Historical Society, Valley

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EIN

06-1442022

 Number

5560844493

Also Known As

Shelton History Center

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

History Museums (A54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Accomplishments 1. The Shelton Historical Society initiated the long term goal of reinterpreting the Brownson House to 1913. This period, rarely documented in Connecticut, was a key point in Shelton's and the country's past. Visitors can explore such topics as immigration, the formation of labor unions and their impact on local and national industrial development, women's suffrage, and technological improvements in agriculture. Three of the rooms have now been completed. Plans for the remaining three areas and accompanying educational components are underway. 2. The Society was one of 25 historical organizations in Connecticut selected through a competitive application process to participate in the STEPS-CT (Standards and Excellence Programs for History Organizations) presented jointly by Connecticut Humanities and Connecticut League of History Organizations. The curriculum, developed by the American Association for State and Local History and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, sets national standards for museums like ours. The two-year program shows organizations and their Boards how to establish or improve policies, procedures and practices for institutional advancement. The Shelton Historical Society has achieved basic National Certification in the Audience, Interpretation, and Mission/Vision/Governance units.3. The Society changed its accounting methodology from a cash based system to an accrual accounting system. The change gave us a clearer picture of our finances. 4. The Society has continued its Capital Campaign to reinterpret the interior of the Brownson House. In one year we raised ¾ of the estimated cost of the project. 5. The Society's revenue generating apartment was refurbished and redesigned to provide the staff with additional work space, reduce outside costs while maintaining the same revenue stream. Goals for 2014 1. Attain national certification in three STEP-CT areas: Historic Structures/Landscape, Collections, and Management. 2. Reinterpretation of one additional room in the Brownson House. 3. Repair office walls and install improved drainage to one side of Brownson House to address moisture issues in basement of Brownson House. This will improve the overall environment for the collections in the main artifact storeroom.4. Upgrading the school educational programs. 5. Establish a youth group for students ages 12-18 to support their interest in history and Shelton History Center.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Restoration of the Brownson House to the year 1913

The Shelton Historical Society emphasizes the pre-World War I year 1913 to take advantage of the bulk of its collection and to fulfill a unique niche among Connecticut's historic house museums. Guided by oral histories, a professionally written Furnishing Plan, and a historic structures report, we are in the process of this exacting reinterpretation. Appropriate wall, window, and floor coverings, furniture and examples of material culture must be obtained to provide an authentic experience for visitors. Hands-on activities and elements will be employed to illustrate a middle-class farm family's position in Shelton, their business and social activities, and their interactions with the surrounding communities. The opportunities to explore national historical trends such as women's suffrage, labor unrest in Northeast factories, and technological developments will mesh with the educational programs and mission of the Shelton Historical Society.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Other Named Groups

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$40,000.00

Program 2

Educational programs for students

The Shelton Historical Society has professionally written curriculum-based programs for several grade levels that take advantage of its buildings and collections to demonstrate historical concepts. All second and eighth grade students attend these programs which provide hands-on learning opportunities. We have worked closely with teachers and administrators to ensure appropriate content. A summer enrichment program is also offered for ages 7-12.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$4,000.00

Program 3

Collection Inventory/Textile Assessment

With an artifact collection of approximately 5,000 pieces, the majority of which are textiles such as linens, quilts, clothing and other apparel, it is a challenge to properly store and care for everything in the possession of Shelton Historical Society. It is necessary to gain a better understanding of the artifacts that have been collected in the 45 years of the organization's existence. Improving intellectual control will enable us to interpret the objects that are on display at various times. Two projects that will result in a better understanding are being done simultaneously: a room-by-room inventory and a textile assessment. The former is a detailed list done by the curator with volunteer assistance while the latter is a painstaking examination of such qualities as provenance, condition, and interpretive value of each item that is accomplished by the curator alone, taking full advantage of her expertise.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Connecticut

While the Shelton Historical Society primarily serves as a repository of historic elements from the City of Shelton, visitors from other places are welcome; they have included tourists from Japan, researchers from Qatar, and genealogists from California, among other places. With the addition of more volunteers, students from area and regional schools would be able to take advantage of the curriculum-based educational programs that emphasize national trends through a local lens.

Funding Needs

The Shelton Historical Society's most pressing needs are: 1. Funds to increase staff hours to achieve national certification for additional STEPS-CT areas: Historic Structures/Landscape, Management, Collections. 2. Continue to inventory and catalog all artifacts and documents in the Society's collection. 3. Recruitment and training of volunteer docents in order to expand our educational and adult programs. 4. Upgrade of educational programs for 2nd and 8th grade classes. 5. Complete the reinterpretation of three additional rooms in the Brownson House.

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Shelton Historical Society

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mrs. Tracey C. Tate

BIO

Ms. Tate has directed all aspects of the Shelton Historical Society since 1997 including the installation of its permanent exhibit in the Wilson Barn and coordinated aspects of the restoration of the Brownson House. Managing volunteer staff, designing and conducting educational programs, fund-raisers, and marketing initiatives are all in a day's work. Ms. Tate holds a Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and has a background in design/illustration and retail management.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The Shelton Historical Society is fortunate to have its attractive Shelton History Center campus with its six buildings and dedicated people who bring enthusiasm and professionalism to the organization. It has built respected curriculum-based educational programs and brought them to a school community that joins its nationwide counterparts in stressing science, technology and math to the detriment of Social Studies. To be relevant to today's students and their schools' needs, we emphasize science and technology themes within the context of local and national historical trends. After all, modern technology once consisted of the typewriter and telephone instead of the computer and the ubiquitous smart phone. One of our board members, a school administrator, has begun a grass roots movement to demand that state standards require more in the Social Studies curriculum. The Shelton Historical Society agrees and the movement has gained the attention of key scholars and legislators. A 14' long toboggan, a patched and repaired 1800's work dress, a yellow silk ball gown worn to President Cleveland's inauguration, a series of letters from an informant hired by a factory owner to determine union activity, and a restored horse-drawn carry-all that transported 1920's children to school are some of the truly special items in our collection that speak to specific moments in local history but reflect the broader national views. These artifacts teach and inspire us all; they should be collected, protected, and interpreted to enrich and enlighten our community's citizens. Providing a safe environment is a fundamental responsibility of all heritage institutions and those who care about them. Caring for the collections and the historic structures that house them is a monumental task for the part-time staff, the Board of Directors, and the volunteers who support them. Maintenance of the 19th century buildings is inherently difficult and expensive if we are to respect their architectural integrity. It is a challenge to create programs and exhibits to appeal to visitors while respecting the structures and their contents at the same time. If we are to continue to save and share our heritage, all of this must be continued during difficult and uncertain economic times. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Martin E. Coughlin

Retired

Term: Jan 2015 - Dec 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?