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The Matthew Curtiss House, home of Newtown Historical Society at 44 Main Street, will host the final regular open house of the year on Sunday, November 19, from noon until 4 pm.
One of the oldest buildings on Main Street, the house was constructed about 1750, and purchased by Matthew Curtiss in 1781; Curtiss continued to live there until his death in 1824. He 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.
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.
The autumn open house will offer a chance to view these treasures in their context within The Curtiss House.
Costumed docents will be available to lead tours, or guests can walk through the house on their own.
In addition, a special demonstration of making potpourri using Colonial herbs and recipes will be offered, with visitors welcome to make a sachet of their own to take home. A donation of $2 is requested to cover materials.
The historical society will host its annual holiday open house on Sunday, December 3. The public is invited to view traditional holiday decorations while enjoying light refreshments.
The building will again be open from noon until 4, and donations will be welcomed.
For additional information visit newtownhistory.org or call 203-426-5937.