Fort Trumbull State Park-Conference Center, 90 Walbach St., New London, CT
On April 26, 2018, Sally Whipple, the Executive Director of the Old State House, will kick-off the 2018 series of the Friends of Fort Trumbull State Park, called Musings on Museums- The Memory Keepers, with a discussion of why cultures have the need to create museums. There are few people more qualified to speak on this subject, since Sally successfully made the case to legislators not to close the Old State House when they were attempting to deal with difficult decisions on budget issues.
Sally pointed out the important historic events which had occurred at Connecticut’s Old State House, an architectural gem designed by American architect Charles Bulfinch. During its early history, the Old State House served as the location of the Senate, the House, the Governor, the Courts, the State Library, and a museum of curiosities from around the world. The important Connecticut and national events that occurred there included the Amistad Trials and legislative events related to Prudence Crandall, the State Heroine. In addition, famous legislatures who served there included Noah Webster and P.T. Barnum. With a history likes this, the Old State House was saved from closing because its administrators successfully made the case for its importance for our State and Nation.
In 2015, Ms. Whipple received an Award of Excellence from the New England Museum Association. The award mentioned that she was noted for having “turned an institution that many believed was closed into a vibrant, engaging, creative, and partnership-oriented museum.” The museum now focuses on bringing to students, residents, and tourists a mixture of history and civics lessons.
Sally holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania and a Master’s Degree in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in New York. She is the past president of the Connecticut League of History Organizations, a member of the editorial board of “Connecticut Explored” magazine, and a former Director of Education for the Mark Twain House. She and her husband live in Colchester.
The public is welcome to attend this free presentation at 7 p.m. at the Fort Trumbull State Park Conference Center. New members are always welcome. Come early as seating is limited. More information about the Fort and the Friends of Fort Trumbull is available at www.fortfriends.org and on Facebook at Friends of Fort Trumbull State Park.