NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The Matthew Curtiss House, home of the Newtown Historical Society, opens this season with an open house on April 24 from noon to 4 p.m.
Costumed docents will be available to lead tours, or participants can walk through the house on their own.
The Matthew Curtiss House 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 until his death in 1824.
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 artifacts range from a tall case clock made in Newtown in the 1780s by Ebenezer Smith, to a 19th century weathervane that swung round the barn of Scrabble inventor James Brunot in the 20th century, to 20th 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.
In conjunction with the open house, town historian Dan Cruson will be leading a 45-minute tour of picturesque Main Street that focuses on the architecture and history of the buildings.
Cruson will share interesting stories of long ago inhabitants and discuss the various incarnations of the area's buildings. The 45-minute tour will begin in front of the Matthew Curtiss House at 1 p.m. At its conclusion, Cruson will bring everyone back the Matthew Curtiss House to tour the house. Wear comfortable shoes, and refreshments will be served.
At the open house, Rebecca Starkins will demonstrate how to create and sew a colonial costume inside the house, and if weather permits, the lawn will be devoted to demonstrating and playing colonial games such as hoop rolling and graces, which is a ring toss game that uses two sticks to accomplish the toss rather than just the hand.
The Newtown Historical Society is an entirely volunteer organization with no paid staff, and volunteer staffing limits the Society to one open house per month during the spring and fall.
For more information about the Newtown Historical Society and the Matthew Curtiss House, click here or call 203-426-5937.
The Newtown Historical Society is at 44 Main St.
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