Annual Appeal

“We walked this quarter mile path in Old Saybrook for several years, twice a day with our Irish Terrier, Sam, and thought we knew it well. When we started to record it, we discovered that we hadn’t really known it at all. There was so much to discover in this tiny part of the earth. We have touched only a small part of it and found it beautiful and full of wonder.”
Lila and Ray DiZefalo formerly at 19 Neptune Drive

To our friends and supporters:

We are blessed with continual inspiring surprises at the Society. On a Monday morning last summer, a 12×12 scrapbook was lying on a table in the Hart House left on a busy tour day over the weekend. There was a letter inside addressed to the members of the Society. There was no date of the year the book was designed but its pages had aged; the inscriptions were typewritten and the photographs were taken before smart phones. Each page contains photographs and descriptions of some of the wonders that Ray and Lila discovered throughout the year, season to season on this dirt path. It is amazing to see what they found, and then learn through their research, the importance of these discoveries going back centuries.

Today the path is replaced by a concrete sidewalk, benches and large flower containers. The cliff is now a large sea wall protecting the embankment. Therefore, Sam’s Walk is historic. We can be sure that Ray and Lila would ask us to leave our smartphones, our earphones, our computers, TVS, etc. and find a path where the beauty of the natural world…the smells of sea breezes, the sounds of the peepers, the extraordinary moon on the water and endless growth of native flowers and plants takes us to another time and they would encourage us to preserve the places, wherever possible, that provide those lessons and beauty. It is a tribute to us and our mission that, when Ray knew he was facing death, he made sure that this precious book was brought to us to preserve and use. He knew that our members would understand what this labor of love meant.

This is one of the thousands of stories that make up the history of a town and its country. In order to continue these efforts, we depend upon your exceptional passion for history, dedication to our mission and generosity. Through your donation we maintain our campus and its buildings and improve them. They are a source of pride and known for their meticulous upkeep. The necessities of electricity, heat, grounds and trees protection, alarm systems, etc. take a great deal of the budget and our educational programs, exhibits, collections are all a necessary part of our work. All are dependent upon our donations and volunteers.

History brings people together, helps us reflect on who we are and who we want to be and every dollar you give enables us to continue this noble work.


Marie McFarlin,
OSHS President