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Spring cleaning at the historical society

Dodie Gearing and John Rivard at the Canaan Historical Society. Photo by Peter Flierl

CANAAN – From the complete skeleton of a rat to loads of bat guano, Dodie Gearing and John Rivard have begun a complete cleaning and reorganization of the Canaan Historical Society collection housed in the 1829 Meeting House at 13 Warners Crossing Road.

Visitors will see exhibits reflective of life over the centuries. The Domestic Room contains a sewing machine, looms, ironing boards, dress forms, baby carriage, high chair, and toaster. Victoria House shows a typical array of furniture. A Music Area holds a pump organ and victrola. The front entry has items reflective of railroads and fire services.

Ms. Gearing and Mr. Rivard are creating a digital listing of all items in the collection, a herculean task supported in part by a $500 grant. A recent addition to modern functioning is the placement of four fire extinguishers.

Ms. Gearing is Canaan Town Historian and curator for the Canaan Historical Society. Mr. Rivard, a Canaan resident and new volunteer, provides makeup and hair services for Broadway. We caught them dressed to the nines in period dress.

Watch for news of Canaan Historical Society programs through the warm spring and summer months. For information and to get on the mailing list, email

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