Americans at Play

This new exhibit salutes the way people spent their leisure time in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  It is our first exhibit featuring the new lighting designed by Susan Leaming Pollish with funding provided by the New Canaan Community Foundation, the New Canaan Rotary and the Jeniam Foundation.

People of all ages, especially young women, freed from the confines of the hoop skirt, embraced outdoor activities such as cycling.  Riding was also popular.  A sight not now seen in New Canaan was the fall fox hunt.  Many residents joined the Ox Ridge Hunt Club and the hunts would run through New Canaan.  Other favorite sports included croquet, golf, tennis and swimming.  The exhibit features wool bathing suits which were quite the fashion in the 1920s.

It was also a time when New Canaanites traveled to resort hotels, the seashore and the mountains.  The most affluent individuals traveled to Europe packing in large trunks filled with clothes for every occasion.

The arrival of the automobile made excursions possible.  Locally residents traveled to Roton Point, Rowayton and New Canaan lakes and ponds.  Driving goggles were a must!

Spend some of your leisure time at the Historical Society and see how people spent theirs back in the day.