STAMFORD, Conn. -- Did you know that Stamford has a wonderful place located in North Stamford that holds all of its history? If you have not been to the Stamford Historical Society located at 1508 High Ridge Road, it’s worth the visit.
Whether you were born and raised in the city or not, it’s history is enriched with numerous stories and legacies that you will find interesting and at times amazing.
My mother, Rosemarie Marrucco Blosio told me about a man named Dan Burke. She said he had a wealth of knowledge about the history of Stamford and how he spends countless hours volunteering his time at the historical society. After meeting Dan, I confirmed this all to be true.
“It’s a shame to me that people don’t know this place is here, especially long time Stamford people. There’s so much history here that nobody knows about,'' Burke said.
Burke was born in Stamford and has lived in town for more than 40 years. He is married and has two children. He has been an unpaid volunteer for the society for three years and works there 20-plus hours every week. He worked for 30 years at HBO in a high stress job as a production manager. Now retired, it became important for him to stay active.
His favorite part of volunteering are the “eureka moments” and he has many of them. These are the times when he finds people he knows in photos or when he can piece together information. He was responsible for a large sports exhibit which highlighted Stamford’s greatest athletes. It is his favorite project so far and it was the second most successful exhibit at the historical society to date.
Burke attributes many of his facts to Ron Marcus, who is the head librarian at the Historical Society. Marcus, also an unpaid volunteer, was a scientific glassblower for Machlett Labs in Springdale at one time. “He’s not a professional historian or genealogist. He’s just a guy, who comes from Stamford and loves this town. He has incredible knowledge, “ Burke said.
The number of Burke’s stories about the history of Stamford are endless and educational.
He told me a story of Hait Scofield who is buried in a little cemetery on the corner of Club Road and Newfield Avenue. Scofield was a local farmer who went off to fight in the American revolution. He was in the battle of Long Island, crossed the Delaware with Washington and ended up being the witness to the hanging of Major John Andre, who was a spy and assisted Benedict Arnold in the Revolutionary War. When the war was over, Scofield came back to Stamford to finish out his life as a farmer.
“For me, it’s fascinating, it’s like bringing them back to life,'' Burke said.
Robyn Blosio Bova is a Realtor with Higgins Group in Stamford and a volunteer with Backyard Humanitarian.