“Over There: The World War I Diaries of Dr. Jessie Weston Fisher”

03/13/2020 - 7:00 pm
Community Room of the Canterbury, CT Town Hall
1 Municipal Drive - Canterbury, CT 06331

There will be a brief business session at 7:00 pm, followed by the program & refreshments.
Free and open to the public. Bring a friend.

Join us for this performance presentation by Beverly York, Sarah Fisher Spencer, and Rick Spencer, which features historic background along with images from the “War to End All Wars.” Rick will narrate, with Bev and Sarah delivering dramatic readings from the journals of Dr.  Fisher.

A graduate of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1893, Dr. Jessie Meyers Weston worked at the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane in Middletown where she met her future husband Dr. William Edwin Fisher in 1897. Although she was a doting mother to her son William, born in 1904, she declared “housework not her forte” and maintained focus on her medical career. In 1918, at the age of 45 and without the approval of her family, she traveled to France to do her part in the First World War, working with the American Red Cross in a hospital at Beauvais in the Picardy region of France. During that time, Dr. Fisher kept two journals that that her great-granddaughter, Sarah Fisher Spencer, transcribed in 1996 , forming the basis for this entertaining and enlightening program.

The Performers

  • Sarah Fisher Spencer acquired her love of history at Mystic Seaport, where she worked for 26 years.  During that time she worked as a museum educator, interpreter, and demonstrator of historical maritime skills.  She also worked with the museum’s oral history project, and more recently as the museum’s group sales and locations manager.
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  • Bev York has been active in the Connecticut history industry for many years. She presents programs on topics of regional, state, and American history. Bev served as the director of the Windham Textile & History Museum in Willimantic. She continues to work at “The Mill Museum,” coordinating educational programs. Bev has been an adjunct history instructor at Quinebaug Valley Community College for a number of years. She has also worked as the site administrator at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut.
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  • Rick Spenser’s resume includes 20 years as a staff musician, researcher, and program developer at Mystic Seaport Museum.  He toured widely in America and Europe as a member of the sea chantey quartet “Forebitter.”  Rick worked at two historic house museums in eastern Connecticut. He was site administrator of the Hempsted Houses in New London, as well as curator and director of the Dr. Ashbel Woodward Museum in Franklin. He served on the board of directors of the New London County Historical Society.

You’re Invited!
The welcome mat is out. Canterbury Historical Society monthly meetings, which always feature a history-themed program, are free and the public is warmly invited. Bring a friend, stay for complimentary refreshments, mingle, and get to know us a little. We will do our best to make you feel welcome. The business session, which begins at 7:00, rarely lasts more than half an hour. If you want to skip it and just come for the program, plan to arrive about 7:30.

The Canterbury Historical Society’s regular monthly meetings are on the second Friday evening of the month, except for July and August, when we take a summer break. We are happy to send email announcements of regular meetings and special events to nonmembers. If you’d like to be added to our list, please send a note, including your full name and the email address where you want to receive notices,  using the email form on the Contact page on this website.

Even better, please consider becoming a member of the Canterbury Historical Society. Membership is open to any person interested in the objectives of the society and willing to uphold its policies and subscribe to its bylaws, without regard to race, color, creed, sex, sexual preference or orientation, disability, or national origin. To remain or become a member, please click here for membership information.

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Canterbury Historical Society