Logo   Old Wethersfield, Connecticut
For more historic houses in a pretty town not far from Hartford, drive south on I-91 for about 10 miles to Exit 26 and follow the signs to Old Wethersfield.



You arrive in the center of Old Wethersfield (map) with its flagpole and the soaring brick tower and white steeple of First Church of Christ Congregational, the first building of which was constructed in 1764.

Across the street from the church, the Village Inn serves lunch and dinner in period surroundings. Across Main Street from the Village Inn are several other restaurants, cafes and shops good for a drink, a snack, a light meal, or something more substantial.

Drive along Main Street to find the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museums, three historic houses side by side:

The Joseph Webb House (tel 203-529-0612), 211 Main Street, was the site of a strategy conference (1781) between the American commander-in-chief, General George Washington, and his French ally, the Comte de Rochambeau. At the conference, Rochambeau outlined his plan to engage the British at Yorktown. It worked, and the battle ended the Revolutionary War.

The house was built in 1752, and now contains period furniture, fabrics, porcelain, and silver.

The Silas Deane House (tel 203-529-0612), 203 Main Street, next door to the Webb House, was built in 1766 by a member of the First Continental Congress (1774-76) and commissioner (ambassador) to France (1776). The Silas Deane House is an elegant place for an elegant gentleman, with interesting architectural details.

Although he was a patriot, Deane was ill-used by some of his American diplomatic colleagues, and he found himself condemned for profiteering by Congress. He lived the rest of his life in exile, but in 1842 Congress made amends to his family and restored his good name and fortune.

The Isaac Stevens House (tel 203-529-0612), 215 Main Street, was a craftsman's home built in 1788, and it still has many of the family's original furnishings. Of particular interest are the collections of toys and ladies' bonnets.

If you've now become intrigued by Wethersfield's deep history, drop in at the Wethersfield Historical Society (tel 203-529-7656), 150 Main Street, located in the Old Academy, a fine Federal-style brick building dating from 1804 that's just across the street from the Silas Deane and Joseph Webb houses.

The society is in charge of the Wethersfield Museum in the nearby Keeney Memorial Cultural Center at 200 Main St., with visitor orientation, a museum shop, and exhibits on Wethersfield, and also the Captain James Francis House, 120 Hartford Ave. This house, dating from 1793, has exhibits which trace a single Wethersfield family through a history of 170 years.

Near the Keeney Memorial is the historic Chester Bulkley House Bed & Breakfast, charming lodgings within walking distance of most everything in Old Wethersfield.

The Buttolph-Williams House (tel 203-529-0460 or 203-247-8996), on Broad Street, dates from the 1600s and has excellent authentic period furnishings. The kitchen is especially good, and may be the most real-to-life of any extant in New England.

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Silas Deane House, Old Wethersfield CT

Above, Silas Deane House (1766),
Old Wethersfield CT.

Below, Keeney Memorial Cultural Center.

Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, Old Wethersfield CT

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