Old Tools, Updated Organette Recordings To Be Featured At Historical Society Open House
The next open house hosted by Newtown Historical Society will be Sunday, November 17, from noon until 4 pm, at The Matthew Curtiss House Museum, 44 Main Street.
Tom Vaughn and Matt Mallet will show and demonstrate a variety of old tools, showing what it was like to work with tools from the Colonial era through the early 20th Century. From rough hewing beams to joinery and cabinetry, every job had its own set of tools and its own set of skills needed to wield them properly. Mortise and tenon joints, furniture dovetails, fine carving and inlay, all will be covered by the afternoon’s special guests.
The Matthew Curtiss House, home of the Historical Society, 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. He 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.
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. Thus, 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 developer James Brunot in the 20th Century to 20th Century graphics and needlework.
All 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. These treasures will all be on view in their context within the Curtiss House, and they are not limited to sight. Guests on Sunday will also be invited to hear a newly remastered recording of the 19th Century Organette.
Costumed docents will also be available to lead tours, or guests will also be free to walk through the house on their own.
Newtown Historical Society is an entirely volunteer organization with no paid staff; volunteer staffing limits the society to one open house per month during the spring and fall.
Visit newtownhistory.org or call 203-426-5937 for additional information.