Cultural Events


Dozens Spent Time Enjoying This Year's One-Stop House & Garden Tour

Published: July 01, 2018 at 12:00 am

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Jean and Lincoln Sander have appreciated and improved their property at the intersection of Glen and Walnut Tree Hill Roads since purchasing it in 2002. The couple offered it to Newtown Historical Society for a unique single-stop House & Garden Tour…
Jean and Lincoln Sander have appreciated and improved their property at the intersection of Glen and Walnut Tree Hill Roads since purchasing it in 2002. The couple offered it to Newtown Historical Society for a unique single-stop House & Garden Tour event June 24. (Bee Photos, Voket)
Frank Gardner and Chris Lincoln were among the guests who meandered through the meticulously maintained English Garden at the home of Lincoln and Jean Sander.
Frank Gardner and Chris Lincoln were among the guests who meandered through the meticulously maintained English Garden at the home of Lincoln and Jean Sander.
The original outhouse - a three-seater - still stands beside the circa 1748 Benjamin Curtiss House, which is owned by Lincoln and Jean Sander and served as the site of the 2018 Historical Society House & Garden Tour. Benjamin Curtiss was among…
The original outhouse - a three-seater - still stands beside the circa 1748 Benjamin Curtiss House, which is owned by Lincoln and Jean Sander and served as the site of the 2018 Historical Society House & Garden Tour. Benjamin Curtiss was among Newtown's founding fathers, and was the brother of Matthew Curtiss, whose former home at 44 Main Street serves as headquarters for Newtown Historical Society.
Meg Amin checks out the commissioned embroidery on a child's canopy bed during the 2018 Home & garden Tour.
Meg Amin checks out the commissioned embroidery on a child's canopy bed during the 2018 Home & garden Tour.
A leather-covered rocking potty chair was among the one-of-a-kind antiques that guests saw decorating the children's room at the home of Jean and Lincoln Sander, who hosted the 2018 Historical Society House & Garden Tour.
A leather-covered rocking potty chair was among the one-of-a-kind antiques that guests saw decorating the children's room at the home of Jean and Lincoln Sander, who hosted the 2018 Historical Society House & Garden Tour.
A rustic sundial serves as the focal point in the Sanders' trough garden.
A rustic sundial serves as the focal point in the Sanders' trough garden.
Cindy Glaberson carefully displayed a colonial-era baby bonnet, one of Jean Sander's prized collectibles on display at the 2018 Newtown Historical Society House & Garden Tour.
Cindy Glaberson carefully displayed a colonial-era baby bonnet, one of Jean Sander's prized collectibles on display at the 2018 Newtown Historical Society House & Garden Tour.
Lincoln Sander points out a feature in his English Garden to Home & Garden Tour visitors Ken and Barbara Donahue.
Lincoln Sander points out a feature in his English Garden to Home & Garden Tour visitors Ken and Barbara Donahue.
Dutch tobacco jars from the mid-18th Century are among the items found within the Benjamin Curtiss House.
Dutch tobacco jars from the mid-18th Century are among the items found within the Benjamin Curtiss House.
Jo-Ann Scebold and Carol Reilly Study the antiquities at the home of Lincoln and Jean Sander during to 2018 House & Garden Tour
Jo-Ann Scebold and Carol Reilly Study the antiquities at the home of Lincoln and Jean Sander during to 2018 House & Garden Tour
The second time was the charm, literally, for the more than 50 attendees who spent Sunday afternoon, June 24, enjoying the hospitality and meticulously maintained grounds of Jean and Lincoln Sander.

The couple had graciously offered to showcase their property to help Newtown Historical Society raise funds in part to repair two barns behind the Matthew Curtiss House on Main Street, according to Gordon Williams, chair of the society's annual House & Garden Tour.

The Sanders moved to Newtown in 2002, acquiring the home of one of the community's founding fathers.

The circa 1748 Benjamin Curtiss House was built by the brother of the namesake, Matthew Curtiss, whose former home at 44 Main Street serves as headquarters for Newtown Historical Society (of which Mr Sander is a former president).

Benjamin was one of three men to petition the General Assembly in October 1761 to establish the Stratford-Newtown town line, according to Ezra Levan Johnson's History of Newtown, Conn. (1917).

The original event date of June 10 had to be postponed after intense storms three weeks earlier caused substantial damage around the Sander's property.

But except for a few fresh stumps and several trees that showed signs of branches being broken off, the grounds of the Sander's historic home at 211 Walnut Tree Hill Road appeared pristine this past weekend.

Guests meandered through the gorgeous English garden and through the property's wooded trails that afforded glimpses of boaters on the Housatonic as well as a corn crib, the property's original outhouse, and nature themed statuary amidst dozens of diverse species of flora along the shaded paths.

The event, which was attended by numerous Historical Society supporters and special guest First Selectman Dan Rosenthal and his wife, Meri, represented a one-off experiment by society organizers who normally solicit four or five properties for attendees to view by travelling among them.

Mr Williams previously told The Newtown Bee that society leaders decided to hold this year's event at that single property in part because there are few other locations in town that have as much to offer. By all observations, this was true, since the house itself is packed with furnishings and antiquities, many with interesting stories behind them.

For example, as Mr Sander was leading a group through the house, he pointed to a somewhat austere piece of furniture and remarked, "that one piece cost me more than my first house."

Stepping into a child's room on the second floor, visitors could view features from another time, including a rocking "potty chair," a number of hand-sewn stuffed animals, and a breathtaking canopy bed whose decorative covering was hand-embroidered in Poland, reportedly taking four years to complete.

The event also provided a venue to honor Newtown Historian Dan Cruson by launching a scholarship fund in his name. Mr Cruson has served as town historian for at least three decades and has authored a number of books related to the town and its history.

The scholarship fund being established in Mr Cruson's name will bestow awards to high school graduates planning to study history.

Learn more about and discover ways to support the Newtown Historical Society at its website.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2