It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Harry Apicelli, who passed away on April 26 at the age of 92. Harry was born in 1926, the youngest son in a large Italian family. His parents, Nicholas and Antonia Apicelli, came to America from Naples in the early years of the twentieth century. Nicholas Apicelli owned a landscaping business, and was employed by Joe Copp to take care of the grounds here at the Avery-Copp House early in the 1930’s. Harry first came to work on the Avery-Copp property as a twelve year old boy in 1938, and later took over responsibility when his father passed away in 1954. Harry devoted 80 years to this land; there was not a blade of grass, a tree, a stone wall, or a shrub that did not benefit from his care. He knew our landscape intimately, loved it all, and took great pride in a job well done. His passing truly marks the end of an era, but the beauty he created here will serve as a lasting memorial to him.
The Avery Copp House was built c. 1800 on the banks of the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut. The house passed from generation to generation of the same family, and is a wonderful time capsule of local history.
The objects and artifacts within tell the story of life in this lovely Groton neighborhood from just after the Revolutionary, through the Victorian Era, the age of industrialization, mass immigration, the Great Depression, and the years of both World Wars. The museum is located on three acres of terraced grounds overlooking the river with beautiful gazebos and a Carriage House that now contains our archive storage facility.