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05/16/2023 07:57 AM

Marcy Fuller: Keeping an Eye on History

Marcy Fuller is in the second year of her term as president of the Westbrook Historical Society, a position she says she wanted so she could help make the organization as good as it can be. Photo by Marcy Fuller

“I just really like learning the history of things,” Marcy Fuller says. It’s a quality that has served her well as the president of the Westbrook Historical Society.

Marcy says she’s been a historical society member for many years.

“I joined when I was about 30,” she recalls. She realized she enjoys looking at old postcards “that show the way things used to look and used to be like,” which helped spark an interest in history. “I certainly don’t remember liking studying it back in high school.”

Marcy also found a local connection to Westbrook in her personal life.

“My husband’s family has been in Westbrook for over a hundred years. So that was a personal historical connection,” she explains.

Currently, Marcy is in the second year of a term as president of the society, a position she says she wanted so she could help make the organization as good as it can be.

“I think I could contribute more. The society seemed kind of stagnant,” Marcy says of her decision to become president of the group.

As president, Marcy says she and the society have focused on actions such as finding grants through the Westbrook Foundation and Connecticut Humanities, restoring properties around town, updating the museum located at 1196 Boston Post Road, and updating the technology used by the society.

“Believe me, I could not have done this all by myself,” she says, pointing out the amount of help she gets from other historical society members.

Marcy says that throughout the year, the society helps people researching their genealogy, hosts lectures, and offers tours of the museum. One upcoming event she is excited about is the historical society’s participation in Connecticut Open House Day on June 10.

As part of the event, the museum will be open, and all books sold in the museum will be half-price. The day will also serve as the launch date for a new book called I Live in Westbrook.

“It’s beautifully illustrated and beautifully written by people in town. It tells the story of the town from when the Native Americans lived here about 1840 when we incorporated as a town,” Marcy says.

Asked her favorite part of working with the society, Marcy says it’s “the response I get from the people. People are starting to notice us more, which I think is great.”

Anecdotally, Marcy says that during a recent tour of a cemetery conducted by the historical society, she was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who showed up.

“I think we’ve really gotten our name out there; we’ve had people coming into the museum saying, ‘I’ve lived in town my whole life and never been in here before,’” she says.

Of course, Marcy adds it can be hard trying to get new members. “The hardest part is getting people to be active members and help with different events. We’re always looking for new members,” she says.