Press Releases

New ‘Digging Deeper’ Tour Examines Revolutionary Soldier’s Life

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.

“Textile Treasures” Digging Deeper Tour

When textile and costume expert Lynne Bassett was invited to consult on a new textile tour at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum, she was genuinely surprised at the quality of the collection. There, among the brilliantly colored and richly detailed clothing, shoes, and linens dating from the 1690s to mid-1800s, lay several Sarah Noyes Chester crewelwork pieces. To put that into perspective, Chester’s crewelwork bed cover, part of the same set, is at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the first time, the public can get a behind-the-scenes view of this historic and remarkably well-preserved collection during the WDS “Textile Treasures” Digging Deeper Tour, on October 8, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Admission is $15 per person. Space is limited and advance-ticket purchase is recommended.

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Tour a Garden by One of America’s First Female Landscape Architects on Connecticut Historic Gardens Day, June 26

The public is invited to view a small piece of the world as it was seen through the eyes of Amy Cogswell—one of the first female landscape architects in the United States and designer of the Colonial Revival Garden at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum. On Sunday, June 26, 2016 from noon to 4 p.m., the WDS Colonial Revival Garden will be one of 14 historic gardens highlighted for Connecticut Historic Gardens Day.

Sword-Wielding Horsemen & 5th CT Regt. to Clash During Revolutionary War Encampment

Memorial Day weekend will begin with a bang at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Revolutionary War Encampment, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, 2016. This year brings two sword-wielding, 18th-century horsemen—David Loda and John Catalfumo—representing colonial and British officers, respectively, to engage in a swordfight on horseback. They will also make a dashing pair atop their gleaming horses as they lead the charge in a skirmish between opposing forces. The event follows the Wethersfield Memorial Day parade and lasts until 4 p.m. Admission to the encampment is free; regular admission charged for optional tours of the museum.

Exhibit Highlighting 100th Anniversary of Wallace Nutting’s Webb House Opens July 4

Among the “ten commandments” Wallace Nutting distributed to the 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 his groundbreaking accomplishments in promoting American history and antiques will be celebrated in “Wallace Nutting: Preservation Pioneer,” an exhibition that […] Details.

Celebrate Three Centuries of Christmas at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum: Dazzling Preview Party, Candlelight and Daytime Tours

The 2015 season kicks off with the lively WDS Holiday Preview Party, on Friday, December 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. Guests will delight in a 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.

“Three Centuries of Christmas” evening-candlelight tours of the three elegantly appointed, historic houses—featuring guides in period dress sharing the fascinating history of Christmas and New Year’s Day—will be on Friday and Saturday, December 18 and 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Daylight “Three Centuries of Christmas” tours will be on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, from 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 12 – Jan 3.

Bill Hosley to Examine the Art & Society of the Connecticut Valley at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

October 8, 2015 – Historian Bill Hosley will share his insight on what was once one of the cultural cradles of American civilization—Connecticut’s central valley, which blazed trails in art, architecture, technology, industry, agriculture, governance, religion, and social reform—at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, on Thursday, October 8, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. in the Webb Barn.

The Vilest Deeds: Silas Deane, Edward Bancroft and the American Revolution

October 1, 2015 – There will be an airing of historical dirty laundry at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum on Thursday, October 1, 2015, as Professor of History Thomas J. Schaeper, Ph.D., of St. Bonaventure University, presents “The Vilest Deeds: Silas Deane, Edward Bancroft and the American Revolution” at 6:30 p.m. in the Webb Barn.

Tour a Garden by One of America’s First Female Landscape Architects on Connecticut Historic Gardens Day, June 28

Wethersfield, Conn. (May 12, 2015 –The public is invited to view a small piece of the world as it was seen through the eyes of Amy Cogswell—one of the first female landscape architects in the United States and designer of  the Colonial Revival Garden at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum. On Sunday, June 28, 2015 from noon […] Details.

The ‘Cooking Skewer’ That Helped Win the War – Bayonet Demo Added to WDS Revolutionary War Encampment

Wethersfield, Conn. (May 1, 2015) – Strange, yet true: In the early days of the Revolutionary War, American soldiers used the bayonet mostly as a cooking skewer or tool rather than a fighting instrument. Thankfully,Wethersfield’s best-known patriot, Silas Deane, and his friend and colleague Benjamin Franklin (America’s ambassadors to France), helped make it possible for […] Details.

Outrageous and Courageous: CT Women and the Fight for Suffrage

Tracey Wilson to Lecture at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., in honor of Women’s History Month.

5th CT Regt. & Charging Horseman to Defend Wethersfield from Redcoats During Revolutionary War Encampment

Wethersfield, Conn. (April 8, 2015) – Huzzah! Memorial Day weekend begins with a bang at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum Revolutionary War Encampment. This year the encampment offers even more British Redcoats for the “surprise” attack, the addition of several crafters, and the return of the Big Bear Trading Company – with reproduction 18 and 19th-century […] Details.

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Privies but Were too Polite to Ask:

Connecticut Historic Restoration Fund Grant Allows for Restoration of Historic Outhouses at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Wethersfield, Conn. (January 7, 2015)— Thanks to a $56,575 matching grant from the Connecticut Historic Restoration Fund, three rare, historic privies—known to some as outhouses—have been fully restored and are once again sitting pretty on the grounds of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum […] Details.

Christopher Prosperi to Reflect on Thanksgiving at 18th-Century Dinner – November 16

Wethersfield, Conn. (September 18, 2014)—Christopher Prosperi, one of the most engaging top chefs in Connecticut cuisine, will visit the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum on Sunday, November 16, 2014, to share his views on the history of what many consider to be the ultimate comfort food—the traditional Thanksgiving feast. The setting is fitting: one would be hard-pressed […] Details.

Ben Franklin to Set the Record Straight at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum – October 9

Will Visit Home of Colleague Silas Deane on October 9

It is unlikely Benjamin Franklin ever visited the Wethersfield home of his friend and colleague, Silas Deane, during the Revolutionary War. But, on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., Franklin will stop at Deane’s residence—albeit a little late. More…

Tours of Garden by One of America’s First Female Landscape Architects Offered on CT Historic Gardens Day, June 22

Come view a small piece of the world as it was seen through the eyes of Amy Cogswell—one of the first female landscape architects in the U.S. and designer of the Colonial Revival Garden at WDS…

British Attack, 5th Connecticut Regiment and 18th-Century Horsemanship at Revolutionary War Encampment May 24

May 24, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thundering across a field at a full canter toward his “adversary,” an 18th century horseman raises his sword and slashes through… a melon? Bolton resident David Loda will reenact this and other mock battle scenes as Lieutenant Colonel David Humphreys, aide-de-camp to General George Washington, during the sixth annual Revolutionary War Encampment at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum.

Quill Pens and Two-Tined Forks: Interesting Oddities Offered at Revolutionary War Encampment

When organizers of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Revolutionary War Encampment wanted to add a new element to their painstakingly authentic event, they naturally decided on a sutler—a military merchant—who hails from Rhode Island and brings with him with an interesting history of his own…

Tags & Treasures Sale, March 22 & 23

Collectors of vintage oddities, artifacts and antiques will rummage for this year’s hottest collectibles at the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum Tags & Treasures Sale, on Saturday March 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Webb Barn at 211 Main St., Wethersfield, Connecticut. $5 admission. Bag sale, 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday: fill bags provided by the museum for only $3 per bag.

Mrs. Claus to Join Party Celebrating the Origin of Santa at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Wethersfield, Conn. (November 27, 2013) – Mrs. S. Claus will make a special guest appearance at the lively Holiday-Preview Party at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum on December 13, 2013, from 5 to 8 p.m. The museum invited Mrs. Claus, one the season’s most endearing figures, to read aloud the beloved classic, “The Night before Christmas or […] Details.

Celebrating the Origin of Santa and Three Centuries of Christmas at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Wethersfield, Conn. (November 13, 2013) –When theologian Clement Moore penned the words, “Twas the night before Christmas…” in 1822, he could not have imagined the impact his poem would have on future generations. What Moore originally created to amuse his children is largely responsible for establishing the image of Santa Claus as he is known today: […] Details.

The Great Molasses Shortage of 1705 and More …

Prudence Sloane Adds Fun to Bill of Fare at 18th-Century Thanksgiving Dinner at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. Connecticut Yankees have always taken pumpkin pie pretty seriously—especially at Thanksgiving—according to culinary educator, food journalist and TV chef Prudence Sloane. When the Connecticut River froze early in the fall of 1705, creating what might have been called The Great Molasses Shortage of 1705, the leaders of Colchester, Connecticut, postponed Thanksgiving until enough of the precious brown goo could be shipped in for the requisite pies.