The Salisbury Association is a community based organization providing an organizational “umbrella” for the Land Trust, Historical Society, and Community Event committees of the Association. The Association is unique in New England where many towns have separate dedicated organizations to provide these services. By providing shared office space, staff, and an exchange of ideas, the group becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Founded in 1902 by James Harrison, Robert Scoville and Malcolm Rudd to preserve and improve Salisbury, the Association was an immediate success, gaining more than 400 members in its first year. In 1903 it initiated a tree-planting program in town, planting 257 trees in addition to aiding the Town in the fight against Dutch Elm disease. During its first decades the Association sponsored such town-wide events as a summer “Old Home Week” celebration and the annual September Fair, first initiated in 1913. The Association purchased books for Salisbury Central, for Scoville Library as well as sponsoring the Town’s 175th anniversary and its Bicentennial.
Today, the Salisbury Association is supported by enthusiastic, energetic volunteers and Board members. To learn more about the organization’s activities and volunteer opportunities email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drop by the Academy Building, next to the Post Office, to say hello. Laura, our Executive Assistant, is always glad to see you.
- Salisbury Association Timeline
1902-Incorporation of the Association; Sept. 6, First meeting at the Scoville Library. Robert Scoville is elected first president. Annual dues set at $1
1903—Joseph Parsons reports 25 trees planted at 25 cents each, plus freight of $1.70; Old Home Week celebration held; fire destroys much of downtown.
1904—First gas lights in Salisbury; Lakeville Hose Company established in response to fire of 1903; Salisbury Public Health Nursing Services opens.
1905—190 trees planted, adding to total of 502 by end of 1904; telephone service comes to Salisbury.
1907—Association allocates $200 for repair of railroad grounds and station in Lakeville.
1909—Salisbury Savings merges with Burrall Trust to become Salisbury Bank & Trust.
1911-First Salisbury Fair
1912—Salisbury Association has a membership of 92 with $584 in savings.
1913—Membership has grown to 285, Association’s archival Historical Collection begins with the collection of the Town’s birth, marriage, death and cemetery records, and the publication of a “Military History of Salisbury.”
1914—Membership continues to grow, with 637 residents and non-residents joining; 5,000 people attend Salisbury Fair; Taconic School closes and later becomes the Wake Robin Inn.
1915—Riggs School, the predecessor of Indian Mountain School, is founded; Bissell Fund established in honor of Dr. William Bissell to assist residents in need of medical care.
1916—Salisbury’s 175th anniversary. Volume II of Town’s Historical Collection published.
1917-18—Salisbury Association’s Fair cancelled because of World War I; 164 local men serving in the military; Boys and Girls Garden Club formed and holds exhibition; Hubert C. Williams American Legion Post organized.
1919—The Association begins cemetery maintenance; 750 trees sprayed.
1923—Mount Riga, Inc. established summer colony.
1927—Last CNE passenger train to Salisbury.
1928—Salisbury Band formed.
1929—New high school on Lincoln City Road opens; Salisbury Outing Club, which later becomes Salisbury Winter Sports Association, organized.
1930—Salisbury Welfare Society founded, which becomes Salisbury Family Services.
1939—Malcolm Rudd, one of the three founding members, is president of the Association; Housatonic Valley Regional High School opens, first regional high school in Connecticut; former high school becomes an elementary school; Institute of World Affairs moves from Geneva, Switzerland to Taconic, summer home of its founders, Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Hadden.
1941—Lakeville Post Office opens in a new building on the site of an old school building. Volumes III and IV of the Historical Collection published in the town’s bicentennial year.
1942—Association’s new president is W.B. Rand; Last Association fair is held Labor Day at George Miner farm; Salisbury Association meetings suspended because of World War II.
1941-1945—469 Salisbury men and women serve in the armed forces during World War II.
1946—Association meetings begin again; Joseph R. Swan is the new president.
1947—Major issues in Salisbury are Town planning and traffic; Street lights come to Salisbury.
1948—Association elects John McChesney as president.
1950—W.D. Brown is Association president; Holley Grove acquired by the Town and becomes the Town Grove; Salisbury Rotary chartered.
1951—Maurice Firuski elected Association president.
1952—Housatonic Mental Health Center Founded.
1953—New upper building at Salisbury Central School opens.
1954—Association elects its first woman president, Mrs. D. J. Warner.
1955—Town of Salisbury adopts planning and zoning.
1956—Arnold Whitridge elected president; Abbott Hamilton is vice president; Hamilton proposes the Association restore the Academy Building.
1957-Financed the publication of “Rev. Jonathan Lee and the 18th Century Township of Salisbury, Connecticut” by Julia Pettee.
1959-Maurice Firuski returns as Association president.
1960—Dedication of the restored Academy Building. Abbott Hamilton elected president.
1961—Association begins Operation Flowerbox.
1963—Association opposes abandonment of Canaan/Lakeville rail connection. Frederic H. Leubuscher elected president.
1965—Rail connection to Salisbury ends. Frank E. Smith, Jr. becomes president.
1968— Holley Block razed, and site eventually becomes Bicentennial Park. Need seen for Town history museum and conservation committee. Association has 581 members.
1969—Association receives tax exempt status. Railroad right-of-way acquired to create a walking path.
1970—Historic District Commission formed. Housatonic Day Care Center opens.
1971—Holley-Williams House left to the Association. Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance formed.
1972—Noble Horizon begins construction after gift from Mr. & Mrs. John Noble. A. Mitchell Finlay elected president.
1973—Association accepts its first conservation easement (Scoville/Turnip Top).
1974—Dues increased to $2 per person. Benjamin Belcher elected president.
1975—Study of Lake deterioration. Association and Selectmen join to preserve lake.
1976—Transfer Station established. Land Trust formally organized as an Association committee.
1977—Committee on Aging established.
1979—First weed harvesting on Lake. Geer Adult Day Care founded. George D. Kellogg elected president.
1981—Virginia Belcher Toulmin bequest to the Association for the improvement of facilities at the Town Grove. Oral History project initiated.
1982-G. Graham Davidson elected president.
1983—Women’s Support Services founded.
1984-Benjamin Belcher returns as Association president.
1985—Dues increase to $5. Town Hall burns as result of arson.
1986—Photo archive begun.
1987—Association receives Powell Fund to support tree planting and maintenance throughout Town.
1988—Sarum Village dedicated on land acquired through the Association. New Town Hall dedicated. EXTRAS established. William Olsen, Jr. elected president.
1989—Associations funds exceeds $1 million for the first time. Association publishes its first newsletter and moves to the Academy Building. Lake Wononscopomuc Association founded along with Older Women’s League.
1990—Indexing of The Lakeville Journal begins. Long Range Planning Advisory Council created. Association spearheads a campaign to save lower Sages’ Ravine from development.
1991—Housatonic Youth Services Bureau begins. Karl Stoecker elected president.
1992—Association membership at 645. Cannon Museum proposed. Academy Park reborn. Farm Fair reinitiated.
1993—Renovated Academy Building provides Association office space. On the death of President Stoecker, Jack Rogers becomes the Association’s Acting President.
1994—Cannon Museum opens. Bequest from Stewart Hoskins estate supports Lakeville Journal indexing project. Route 41 and 44 designated scenic by CT DOT. Nancy Bushnell elected president.
1995—Moore Brook biomonitoring project initiated.
1996—Tri-Corners History Council formed. First full time professional director hired for Holley-Williams House. Hewat and Thomas easements protect south side of Selleck Hill. Two-volume “Historic and Architectural Resource Survey of Salisbury, CT” published. Mary Alice White elected president.
1997—Association offers to pay independent consultant to study traffic flow at Salisbury Central School intersection.
1998—Association Land Trust joins Sharon Land Trust to buy land to protect joint viewshed. Toulmin Fund tapped for new dock and sewer connection at Town Grove. Association urges new initiative for affordable housing.
1999—Mary E. Schlesinger grants 19 Undermountain Road acres to the Association’s Land Trust.
2000—Membership tops 900. Salisbury Forum initiated. Task forces formed and public meetings held. $200,000 in restoration monies approved for Holley-Williams House. Tri-Corners History Council joins with Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area to seek National Heritage area designation.
2001—Salisbury Forum Task force pursues issues identified in public meetings. Bird sanctuary planned for Schlesinger property. Town grants Association 20-year lease on the Academy Building. William Morrill elected president.
2002—Salisbury Forum’s subcommittee becomes independent entity: the Salisbury Housing Trust. Association publishes “Salisbury: Historic Impressions” with photographs from the archive. Association celebrates its centennial with hikes, lectures, music, and history programs.
2003- 123-acre Dark Hollow property purchased from the Cannon family to provide public wooded hiking trails.
2007-For financial reasons, the Association closes the Holley-Williams House and Salisbury Cannon Museums. Established partnership with Historic new England to protect historic character of the property after sale. Documentary is produced to tell the Holley family story and visually preserve the interior of the Holley-Williams House. David Heck elected president. The Land Trust and Sharon land Trust worked together to protect the Mudge Pond/Twin Oaks viewshed. Initiated by local interests, including the Association’s, the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area is approved by Congress. To address activities that were once coordinated through the museum, two new Association committees are formed, the Historical Society and Civic Activities.
2009-Association plays lead role in organizing and preparing a Natural Resource Inventory for the Town.
2010-Holley-Williams House property is sold.
2012- Except for occasional Town needs, the Association gains exclusive use of the Academy Building, renovating the second floor to create work and meeting space.
2013-Renovation of the Academy Building is completed with a redesign of the first floor and expansion of exhibit space.
2014-Chris Brennan elected president. After a 5-year search, the Association acquires an iron cannon from the era of the American Revolution to highlight the significant role Salisbury played.
2015-Land Trust purchases 39 acres along the Housatonic River to provide public recreational trails and protect the watershed area, including a grove of sycamore trees. The property is now known as Sycamore Field. In collaboration with The Hotchkiss School, the Historical Society produce a documentary on 19th century life in Salisbury.
2017-Association receives accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance. Total conserved land exceeds 3,000 acres.