Three Avon historical institutions got holiday gifts a little early this year, thanks to Glastonbury resident Mary Gavin. The native of Avon donated historic family artifacts to the Avon Congregational Church, the Avon Free Public Library and the Avon Historical Society.
A descendant of the Wheeler and Case families of Avon, Gavin gave careful consideration of each item before she decided to make her bequests, according to Nora Howard of the Avon Congregational Church.
Gavin has personal ties to the Avon Congregational Church. In 1819, her ancestor Joel Wheeler donated the land upon which it was built. To the church she donated:
- The certificate from a $30 gift that Miss Mary Caroline (Carrie) Case made through the church in 1870 to the American Missionary Society
- The wedding certificate of Carrie Case and Ralph Wheeler, who were married there in 1872
To the Avon Free Public Library, Gavin gave:
- The 1871 diary of the same Carrie Case Wheeler
- Pages from the family Bible (with genealogical entries)
- Copies of photographs, including one of Carrie's husband, Ralph Wheeler
- An assortment of genealogical notes
To the Avon Historical Society, Gavin donated:
- A sampler made by Sara Demings in 1813
- White kid gloves in a large cardboard box from G. Fox & Company
- Carrie Case Wheeler's slate blue silk wedding dress and a bolt of fabric from the dress
Gavin said she agreed to allow her gifts to be publicly acknowledged in the hopes that doing so would encourage others to donate their historically significant family artifacts to institutions that would preserve, share and study them.
For more details about the artifacts, including diary excerpts, read this announcement in Avon Patch.