Holcombe Education Center Named at Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

A new facility dedicated to expanding and enlivening the public programming and education offered by the Webb-Deane-Stevens (WDS) Museum will be named the Holcombe Education Center in recognition of Lucy Eaton Holcombe, whose bequest helped make the project possible. Mrs. Holcombe’s numerous contributions to the museum will be honored at the ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony for the Center at 9:30 a.m. on June 4, 2021. 

A long-time, devoted member of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Connecticut (NSCDACT), which owns and operates the museum, Mrs. Holcombe was actively involved in every aspect of the Society and the museum. In 2008, she became a member of the Elizabeth Colt Society, which recognizes and honors those who included the NSCDACT and its historic houses in their estate plans.

“This transformative gift from Mrs. Holcombe is yet another example of her longstanding devotion to the to the NSCDACT’s historic preservation mission,” said Executive Director Joshua Campbell Torrance. “We are grateful to Mrs. Holcombe for her generosity and foresight in helping to ensure the future of the Webb Deane Stevens Museum, and for enabling us to build and support a new education center.”

Mrs. Holcombe grew up in Hartford, was a graduate of the Oxford School and Connecticut College. She worked at Connecticut General (CIGNA) and also taught first grade in the Bloomfield Public Schools. She was a former secretary of the New England Morgan Horse Association. She was a member of the Friends of Cossitt Library, former member and Secretary of the Granby Library Board, and a member of both the Granby Historic Properties Study Committee and Salmon Brook Historical Society. She and her husband Seth were longtime members of The Granby Land Trust and enthusiastically supported land conservation. 

A committed and dedicated member of the Society, Mrs. Holcombe served several terms on its Board and was known for her love of education and her understanding of the importance of historic preservation. “She would be delighted to know her gift has helped to build this wonderful education center. Lucy and Seth left a lasting impression on anyone who knew them and now have left an enduring markfor so many others to enjoy as well,” commented her niece, Nancy Hinman.  

The Holcombe Education Center will enable WDS to offer year-round, and expanded programming to the public, school groups, and private-tour groups. In addition to providing exhibition and public-meeting spaces, facilities for research, and access for people with disabilities, the Center will boost the museum’s economic impact on the surrounding community, benefitting area businesses and bolstering Wethersfield’s heritage tourism.

About the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in The State of Connecticut 

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Connecticut was founded in 1893 for the purpose of increasing public knowledge and understanding of the colonial heritage in the United States of America, and inspiring pride in its traditions. Their participation in patriotic-service programs, historical activities, and stewardship of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum are the primary means through which they fulfill their purpose. The Connecticut Society acquired the Joseph Webb House in 1919, the Stevens House in 1957 and the Deane House in 1959.  Both the Webb and Deane houses are National Historic Landmarks, and the Stevens house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides the quintessential New England experience – from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. Admission to the museum includes entrance to the galleries at the Holcombe Education Center and tours of the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met with French General Rochambeau and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War; the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France; and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House, which depicts Connecticut life in the 18th and 19th centuries. For more information visit: www.webb-deane-stevens.org or social media at @webbdeanestevens, email [email protected] or call (860) 529-0612.