Located in the center of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides the quintessential New England experience. Visitors are immersed in life of the mid-18th and early-19th centuries during informative and entertaining one-hour tours. We also host a number of annual events to entertain, educate and enlighten visitors.
First opened in 1919, the Museum is owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Connecticut and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Tour four remarkable 18th-century houses
The 1752 Joseph Webb House is where George Washington and French General Rochambeau met in May 1781 to plan the campaign which led several months later to the final battle of the Revolutionary War and the defeat of the British in Yorktown, Virginia. The Webb House was later owned by photographer and antiquarian Wallace Nutting. Read more.
The Silas Deane House, circa 1770, was built for America’s Revolutionary War diplomat to France as both his residence and as a power base for his political aspirations. The Deane House features an excellent collection of mid-to-late 18th century furniture made in Connecticut. The kitchen and second floor chamber in the rear interpret the life of slaves in this period. Read more.
The Isaac Stevens House depicts the life of a middle class family in the 1820s and 30s, with many original family possessions and a fascinating period toy exhibit. The interiors have recently been reinterpreted with the installation of reproduction block-printed wallpapers, which had become affordable and were very popular in middle class households at the time. Read more.
Within easy walking distance is the Buttolph-Williams House. Owned by Connecticut Landmarks and managed by the Museum, it captures the spirit of Puritan life in New England in the 17th century and is the setting for the Newberry Award-Winning novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond (1958) by Elizabeth George Speare. Read more.
Among the “ten commandments” Wallace Nutting distributed to workers building his line of furniture was the decree: ‘Let nothing leave your hands until you are proud of the work.” Nutting’s attention to detail and groundbreaking accomplishments in promoting American history and antiques are celebrated in the exhibition, “Wallace Nutting: Preservation Pioneer,” 100 years after Nutting opened the historic Joseph Webb House to the public for the first time. Held in collaboration with The Wallace Nutting Collector’s Club, the exhibition is made possible with financial support from Connecticut Humanities, and will run through October 30, 2016. Admission to the exhibit is $8.
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News & Events
Each year, using armloads of greenery and native plants, authentic decorations from days of yore, and some pretty clever food-styling tricks, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s “Three Centuries of Christmas” tours show in fascinating detail how the American holiday season evolved over the past 300 years. The 2016 season kicks off with the lively WDS Holiday Preview Party on Friday, December 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. Guests will delight in a candlelight preview of the dazzling holiday decorations throughout the museum, stroll from house to house enjoying delicious food, wine, ale, and live holiday music, and chat with Mr. and Mrs. Silas Deane, Mrs. Claus, and guides in period dress. Admission is $30 for members, $35 for non-members. View more details.
Seconds after the nine-pound musket is raised to Anthony Riccio’s shoulder onlookers are momentarily riveted by a brilliant flash, billowing smoke and a resounding blast. As the scent of gunpowder clears, a connection with the past is made; the sense of living history is complete. Riccio’s 18th-century musket demonstration serves as the finale of the new “Revolutionary Soldier” Digging Deeper Tour at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum. Offering an in-depth view of the life of a typical Continental soldier, upcoming tours for “A Soldier’s Life” are November 12 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Admission is $15 per person. Space is limited and advance-ticket purchase is recommended.