Cultural Events

Historical Society Spring Open House Scheduled

Published: April 26, 2019 at 07:45 am


The Matthew Curtiss House, home of Newtown 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.

Curtiss 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.

But the Curtiss House is not just an old building. 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 the 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.

Newtown Historical Society will offer a chance to view these treasures in their context within the Curtiss House on April 28, conducting an open house at the historic building from noon to 4 pm.

Costumed docents will be available to lead tours, or visitors will be free to walk through the house on their own.

In addition, Judith Barbour Osborne will be demonstrating and inviting guests to try the art of calligraphy. Ms Osborne has been a calligrapher for more than 40 years and has taught calligraphy at several levels.

The hands-on experience will offer an introduction to lettering in the Italic style. Participants will also learn about the characteristics of Colonial-era lettering and how it fits into the history of calligraphy.

Supplies will be available for the workshop; visitors are also welcome to bring their own calligraphy supplies if they have them.

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.

Reservations are not needed for the open house or workshop, but additional information is avail-able by calling 203-426-5937 or visiting


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