Saturday, July 20, 2024

Who Was Jan Sweet?

By Lisa Malloy, Deb Karpf and Marijean Conrad 

(May 23, 2024) — Jan Sweet was one of Haddam’s greatest volunteers.  She was a fierce history advocate, staunch preservationist  and consummate hostess.  For many years she served as the Haddam Town Historian.  In that capacity she increased awareness of the fascinating history of our community.  She had an area of Haddam listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  She fought to save the Haddam Jail. In addition, Jan pursued her passions by contributing to many local organizations including the Haddam Historical Society, the Haddam Garden Club, the Old Burial Yard at Thirty Mile Plantation Cemetery, the Haddam Land Trust and Brainerd Memorial Library.

As the former Executive Director of the Haddam Historical Society, of which she was a longtime member and supporter, Jan hosted gatherings, donated the Sweet Garden Shed and established the summer camp scholarship program.  She co-authored “Haddam 1870-1930” and was responsible for listing the museum on the Connecticut Women’s History Trail.  She worked tirelessly to promote Haddam’s history and architecture.

Jan gave thirty-six years to the Haddam Garden Club.  She served as president, was on many committees and was dedicated to preserving Field Park.  Jan was generous sharing her gardens with the club and donated the wonderful, whimsical figures for the club’s Butterfly Garden at the library.

As president of the cemetery association that watches over the Old Burial Yard at 30 Mile Island, she invested hours matching forty headstones that had been stolen decades before.  She helped create a map of the historic cemetery and was instrumental in maintaining it for all to appreciate.

The Haddam Land Trust was also a recipient of Jan’s generosity.  She supported the preservation of our land and woods as well as our historic buildings.  Many fundraisers were hosted by Jan in her beautiful home.

Jan was an avid reader and a constant supporter of Brainerd Memorial Library.  She could often be seen walking from her house to the library, even when she required a walker for support.

Jan had a huge heart and will be missed by all who knew her.  Due to health reasons Jan left Haddam a few years ago, but her legacy remains.

Photo provided by Haddam Historical Society: Jan Sweet at Thankful Arnold House, in the 1990’s.

 

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