In 1976 my mother, Marie C. Krumeich, made a gift to the children of Greenwich to celebrate the bicentennial of our nation, her historic bus tour of Greenwich. Since 1958 she had taken her third-grade students on a historic bus tour of Greenwich. Her bus tour became so popular that all Greenwich public school third grades made her bus tour part of the curriculum. They also adopted her book "A Child's History of Greenwich", illustrated by my late uncle Tad Krumeich and the students of her then class, which is still sold by Diane's Books.
In 1976, Mrs. Krumeich allowed the Greenwich Women's Club to publish her bus tour as a bicentennial project. When she retired from teaching in 1989 she became the director of the annual Women's Club tour.
She also recruited a loyal cast of Greenwich matrons who portray an array of historical figures from General Putnam, lathered up for a late morning shave at the Putnam Tavern when he is surprised by rampaging British Dragoons before his fateful escape down Put's Hill, to the Siwanoys who sold Old Greenwich to the early English settlers from the New Haven colony for 25 "coates" in a ceremony re-enacted at Founders Rock at Greenwich Point. Among the cast members who have been with the troupe over 25 years are Kath Burgweger, the gallant Captain Daniel Patrick, and the Sachems Keofferam (Kate Loh), Amergerone (Valerie Anderson) and Owenoke (Ellen Lueders). "The Winthrop Woman", Elizabeth Feakes, is such a choice role that Mrs. Krumeich cast herself as the prototype desperate housewife, popularized in Greenwich author Anya Seaton's best selling novel. The western tour recently added a stop at the newly-restored Lyons House at the Byram border.
When I was a third-grade parent tour guide many years ago I went on the orientation tour for guides given by my mother and through astute questioning had her elaborate on some of the murders and scandals and seamier figures in our rum-running past that are not included in the PG tour. Perhaps someday she will write a historic bus tour for adults.
In the meantime, generations of Greenwich school children and their parents have been treated to the most uplifting parts of our town history taught by dedicated volunteers. May the bus tour continue to delight the next generations of third graders and impress upon them our Town's unique heritage and history.