Submitted by Elizabeth Malloy, Haddam Historical Society
(July 17, 2023) — On July 12, 2023, Bill Maynard’s Shad Shack was moved for at least the fourth time in the past one hundred years, to its newest location at the former Haddam Elementary School. The small hip-roofed building was originally constructed in 1930 just north of 213 Saybrook Road as a shad processing and retail facility next to Maynard’s filling station. He later moved the building out to Candlewood Hill Road but returned it to Higganum in the late 1950’s to the property at 212 Saybrook Road.
Dr. Joseph Zaientz, who in 1999 founded the Haddam Shad Museum in Maynard’s old Shad Shack, was deeply passionate about shad fishing in the lower Connecticut River and enjoyed sharing the history of “Connecticut’s Fish” with all. Dr. Zaientz deeded the building and its contents to the Haddam Historical Society before his passing and the organization is committed to continuing his legacy and sharing this integral part of local history.
Due to property ownership changes, the building needed to be moved. The Society looked at many sites in town and, at the suggestion of town officials, considered the HES location to be the most advantageous and desirable. In a new location that is both visible and easy to access, the museum will attract a larger audience and benefit the region at large.
There are now possibilities of shad educational programs and events. The building is not in its absolute final location as some additional work needs to be done, but Haddam/Higganum should be proud of its unusual little Shad Museum, which has been touted in Atlas Obscura and Connecticut Museum Quest, to name a few.
Thank you to the team, which included Jack Calhoun, Gilbert Madore, Mark Brencher, Scott Neilson, Kenny Vallera, Tom Berchulski and Ron Annino. Also, thanks to prep team Vinnie Madore, Lenny Kochanowski, Dave Lougee, Dale DeCarli, Chuck Cook, and Rick Todizia.
Moving Team Above, Left to Right, Gilbert Madore, Mark Brencher, Scott Neilson, Tom Berchulski, Kenny Vallera and Jack Calhoun
Photos by Haddam Historical Society