Newtown Historical Society will host an open house at its headquarters, The Matthew Curtiss House, on Sunday June 23.
The house/museum, a fine example of Connecticut saltbox architecture, was constructed circa 1750 and purchased by Matthew Curtiss Jr. in 1781. In 1970 the historical society purchased and restored the house to its original condition.
On Sunday, former Hook & Ladder Fire Chief Lee Glover and former Hook & Ladder Engineer Ed Forbell will be at the society’s headquarters along with a vintage ladder wagon, hose wagon, and pumper. Newtown Hook & Ladder Fire Company #1 was incorporated in 1883 and was the first fire company in Newtown.
In the beginning, the company had no apparatus and used bucket brigades to fight fires. That continued until the ladder wagon was purchased, followed by the hose wagon and then the pumper truck, each of them needing to be hand drawn or dragged behind a horse and wagon.
Even after additional fire companies started to form in other districts in town, Hook & Ladder served the entire town of Newtown until each company got its own trucks. Today, Hook & Ladder offers mutual aid to other companies in town when they are called upon to do so.
Mr Glover and Mr Forbell will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about the antique firefighting apparatus.
The public is also invited to visit and tour the building at 44 Main Street any time between noon and 4 pm. Admission is free; however, donations are welcomed and appreciated. Junior and senior docents will be available to answer questions about the house and its history, as well as provide guided tours by request.
For additional information call 203-426-5937.
Town Historian’s Walking Tour
In conjunction Sunday’s Open House, Town Historian Dan Cruson will be leading a walking tour of the oldest sections of Village Cemetery, Newtown’s primary cemetery.
Participants should meet at the Elm Drive entrance at 1 pm, and wear comfortable shoes.
Mr Cruson plans to lead a tour of the oldest section of the cemetery. There will be a 10-minute walk through the 19th Century section of the burial ground, and then a detailed explanation of the 18th Century section including how the area was laid out and why the headstones appear as they do.
Attendees will be invited to head over to The Matthew Curtiss House following the tour for some light refreshments. Reservations are not needed.