Weekend Events By Historical Society: Homes & Garden Tour, Open House, History Of Ice Cream Event And Walking Tour

Newtown Historical Society will host its annual homes and gardens tour on Saturday, June 28. Then on Sunday, the society will host the final open house of the season at its headquarters, a program about ice cream combined with a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Ferris Acres Creamery, and a walking tour of Sandy Hook Center.

“Mainly Main Street” is the focus for Newtown Historical Society’s 2014 House & Garden Tour.

Ticketholders will be able to visit several antique homes and their hidden gardens, all within the town’s historic district and within easy walking distance of the flagpole. A professionally landscaped, stunning modern renovation is just a very short drive away.

The self-guided tour, the 18th annual presentation by the historical society, will run on Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, rain or shine.

In addition to the homes and gardens on the tour, the 2014 event will also offer ticketholders a visit to the historic Newtown Meeting House, at 31 Main Street; a 10 percent discount on lunch at The Inn at Newtown, 19 Main Street; and a stroll through The Pleasance, a scenic garden at 1 Main Street that is owned and maintained by The Bee Publishing Company.

(Click here for a preview of the homes and gardens on the tour.)

Advance tickets are $25 for adults, $10 ages 8-12, and can be purchased online at www.newtownhistory.org. Early ticket sales are also available at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street; The UPS Store, 261 South Main Street (within Waterfall Plaza); and at Everything Newtown, 61 Church Hill Road.

Tickets on the day of the tour will only be available in front of The Matthew Curtiss House, 44 Main Street, from 10 am to 2 pm. Tickets will be $30 for adults and $15 for children that day. Maps for all ticket-holders will also be available at The Matthew Curtiss House on Saturday.


Sunday Events

The Matthew Curtiss House, a circa 1750 Connecticut saltbox, will be open on Sunday from noon to 4 pm. Docents will be available to lead tours and/or answer questions. Admission is free; donations will be accepted.

Visitors will learn about an iconic treat that rivals the all American apple pie: ice cream.  While discovering some of the more unusual flavors that were popular over the years, they can taste a recipe made famous by Dolly Madison, who served it to her White House guests in 1813.

Ambitious visitors will also be able to help make some ice cream the old-fashioned way, and then enjoy the results of their labor.

In celebration of Ferris Acres Creamery’s tenth anniversary the historical society will welcome Shirley and Charles Ferris III, who will be stopping by between 1 and 3 to share the history of dairy farming in general and their farm in particular.

The Ferris family arrived in Newtown from Stamford in 1703.  William David Baldwin Ferris moved to the site of their current farm on Sugar Street in 1864 and William’s son, Charles Ferris, Sr, built an apple orchard. It wasn’t until the 1930s that Dairy animals were introduced to the farm by Charles Ferris, Jr during the 1930s. Today Ferris Farm is the final operating dairy farm in Fairfield County.

A walking tour of Sandy Hook Center will be conducted by Town Historian Dan Cruson, beginning at noon.

Several stories of intrigue, including the Sandy Hook Shoot Out of 1898, will be included.

The tour will last about 45 minutes. Participants are encouraged to wear good walking shoes, and will be invited to regroup at The Matthew Curtiss House for ice cream event.

For more information, visit www.newtownhistory.org or call 203-426-5937.

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