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Newtown Historical Society, Matthew Curtiss House Sponsor Open House

Children participating in a program at The Newtown Historical Society. The Newtown Historical Society is sponsoring an open house on May 15, from noon-4.
Children participating in a program at The Newtown Historical Society. The Newtown Historical Society is sponsoring an open house on May 15, from noon-4. Photo Credit: Newtown Historical Society's Facebook page

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The Newtown Historical Society's Matthew Curtiss House is sponsoring an open house on Sunday, May 15, from noon to 4 p.m.

Costumed docents will be available to lead tours through the Matthew Curtiss House, home of the Newtown Historical Society. Participants are also free to walk through the house on their own.

The Matthew Curtiss is an example of colonial saltbox architecture, and is one of the oldest buildings on Main Street. It was constructed about 1750 and purchased by Matthew Curtiss in 1781; Curtiss continued to live there with his family until his death in 1824.

Curtiss is sometimes called Junior, in deference to his father, the first of the family to live in Newtown, though the elder apparently lived in the Berkshire section of town. The Junior and Senior titles were never used officially by either father or son.

But the Curtiss House is not just an old building. Maintained by the Historical Society as a house museum, the Society’s collections on display are intended to represent the House throughout its life, not just the period of Curtiss ownership.

The house was used as a residence until the early 1970s, and the artifacts on display range from a tall case clock made in Newtown in the 1780s by Ebenezer Smith, to a nineteenth century weathervane that swung round the barn of Scrabble inventor James Brunot in the twentieth century to twentieth century graphics and needlework.

All the items in the House reflect either a direct Newtown connection or are examples of things that might well have been used in the town, whether for work, play or to celebrate an occasion.

The Newtown Historical Society is an entirely volunteer organization with no paid staff, and volunteer availability limits the society to one open house per month during the spring and fall, with the final spring session scheduled for June 12.

The Matthew Curtiss House is open one Sunday per month in spring and fall.

Click here or call 203-426-5937 for further information.

The Newtown Historical Society is at 44 Main St.

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