December 20, 2022
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Dawson, Director of Communications
860.443.2545 ext. 2112 / [email protected]


NEW LONDON – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum will host Thames River Heritage Park’s winter lecture series, “Stories from the Park.” In the six-part series, Connecticut authors will talk about significant local history and culture.

The talks will focus on local Gilded Age newsmakers, Revolutionary War turncoat and Norwich native Benedict Arnold, the Jackson family, whose members were enslaved in New London during the colonial period, and other subjects topical to Connecticut audiences.

The lectures are scheduled on Wednesday evenings beginning Jan. 4 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. Those attending in-person will have an opportunity to meet the authors, purchase books and have them signed. Light hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served during the reception.

Lecture details are as follows:
Jan. 4 – Gail B. MacDonald, New London resident and author of “Morton F. Plant and the Connecticut Shoreline: Philanthropy in the Gilded Age,” will speak on “Morton Plant: Gilded Age Gossip, Giving and the (income) Gap.”

Jan. 25 – Lisa Hall Brownell, a Ledyard resident, will speak on “Love and Brutality: The Mysterious Saga of Gallows Road.” She is the author of “Gallows Road,” a work of historical fiction inspired by colonial-era events in New London.

Feb. 15 – Allegra DiBonaventura will address her book “For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England.” DiBonaventura is associate dean for graduate academic support at Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her book focuses on powerful colonial New London families such as the Winthrops along with powerless ones such as the Jacksons, who were enslaved.

March 8 – Eric Lehman, an associate professor of English at Bridgeport University, will speak on “Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London.” He is the author of 22 books, two of which were finalists for the Connecticut Book Award. His most recent book is “Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London.”

March 29 – Stephen Olbrys Gencarella, a resident of Lyme, will talk about some of Connecticut’s legends, ghost stories and buried treasures as featured in his book “Spooky Trails and Tall Tales Connecticut: Hiking the State’s Legends, Hauntings and History.”

April 19 – Judy Benson and Roxanne Steed will talk on “Earth and Sky: Finding Inspiration Through Nature Friendship.” They are author and illustrator of “Earth and Sky: Nature Meditations in Word and Watercolor.”

Both in-person and virtual attendance is offered. Seating is limited, so advance registration is required. Interested participants may register at the Thames River Heritage Park website

A discounted cost of $10 for members of the Lyman Allyn or the Heritage Park, or $15 for the general public is offered to those who register by 5 p.m. on the Thursday immediately prior to a lecture. The regular cost is $15 for members of the Lyman Allyn or the Heritage Park, or $20 for the general public. Park or museum memberships are available at the time of registration.

For more information, please contact Cara Brenan [email protected] at Thames River Heritage Park.

About Thames River Heritage Park
Thames River Heritage Park is a collection of heritage sites and institution partners which promote the history and heritage of the Thames.  Thames River Heritage Park Foundation connects, supports, promotes and sustains these sites and partners by operating the water taxi service, offering history-themed narrated boat tours and harbor cruises on the Thames, and private charters during the summer season. In the off-season, Thames River Heritage Park Foundation works with partner sites and institutions to develop collaborative programs, such as, the popular Docent Academy and Stories from the Park lecture series along with marketing campaigns promoting tourism and economic development along the Thames. For more information on the Park, the Foundation, and their programs and services, contact Catherine Foley at [email protected].

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 with a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neoclassical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents several changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present, including art from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The Museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m.; it is closed on Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit

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