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A New Segway to Local History

By Pam Johnson

Publication: Shore Publishing

Published January 23. 2013 4:00AM
Photo courtesy of the Henry Whitfield State Museum
A donation from the Guilford Garden Club helped install this Segway Curb for parking outside the Henry Whitfield State Museum last summer. The curb received instant support from the Segway Tour riders who travel to the historic spot, and may be the first of its kind on a historic site in the nation.

In what may be a nationwide first, Guilford's Henry Whitfield State Museum, home to Connecticut's oldest house and New England's oldest stone house, may be the first historic site to sport super-modern Segway parking spaces.

"It may be the first of its kind at a historic site in the country," curator Michael McBride told the Courier. "We could not find anything like it online."

McBride said the Segway parking curb was installed this past summer thanks to contributions from the Guilford Garden Club.

"The Guilford Garden Club generously donates funds and materials to the Henry Whitfield State Museum [and] has helped make numerous projects and enhancements like the Segway curb be realized. They've also assisted in providing us with basic landscaping needs such as grass seed, annual flowers, fence repair materials," and more, said McBride.

But of all the projects, the Segway Curb seems to have created one of the more notable visitor service upgrades.

"Our Segway visitors love the curb and many of them-and many non-riding visitors, too-take photos of the curb due to the novelty of it," said McBride.

Guilford Segway tours have been offered here for the past several years through Shoreline Segway Tours, based at 260 River Street. Come the warmer months, a steady stream of Segway riders find their way to the museum grounds. The Segway curb has a brochure rack and a sign notifying Segway tour riders they can visit the museum at a special discount.

The curb serves another purpose beyond a nifty space for the space-aged people movers.

"It provides a safe and attractive place for the Segways to park when they stop at the museum, and it helps protect the property by assuring no stone walls or trees are damaged by leaning the Segways against them," said McBride.

He noted a bike rack on the premise also helps with preserving the landmark landscape.

Information about Henry Whitfield State Museum, 248 Old Whitfield Street, is available by emailing whitfieldmuseum@ct.gov or by calling 203-453-2457.

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