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{Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace} Eric Sloane Museum &
Kent Iron Furnace
National Register of Historic Places
tate Archaeological Preserve

Keeping the life and legacy of artist, author, and collector Eric Sloane alive.

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{Eric Sloane} A man of great energy and many talents, Eric Sloane (1905-1985) was a prolific artist, author and illustrator of over 30 books, and an avid collector of Americana. His extensive collection of hand tools is displayed in a building gifted to the State in 1969 by Stanley Works, the Connecticut-based tool manufacturing company, to mark their 125th anniversary. The collection tells a fascinating story about bygone times and the great American heritage of craftsmanship.

{Eric Sloane} Sloane’s career as an artist comes vividly alive in his studio, minutely re-created with his paint-spattered easel and rows of jars jammed with paint brushes. Examples of his artworks are displayed in an adjoining gallery.
{Exterior view of the re-created pioneer cabin} Adjacent to the museum, Sloane himself built a pioneer cabin as described by Noah Blake in Diary of An Early American Boy, an 1805 diary published by Sloane.


{Kent Iron Furnace} The Kent Iron Furnace, which is on the museum property, began production of pig iron in 1826 and continued for almost 70 years. The granite blast furnace with its Gothic arches can be seen down the hill behind the museum. A diorama explaining the local iron industry is in the museum lobby.



Closing Temporarily for Structural Repairs & Upgrades

In preparation for our celebration of a half century showcasing the life of Eric Sloane through his superb collection of early American tools, his painting and illustrations, his prolific writings, and his artists’ studio, the Eric Sloane Museum will be closing for the season on Monday, September 3, 2018. Starting in October, the museum will be undergoing structural repairs and upgrades to secure the building and improve the visitor experience for the next half century.

The museum will remain open for its regular hours (Friday-Sunday, 10:00-4:00) through Sunday, September 2, 2018. Visitors are still welcome to explore the grounds of the museum and see the remains of the Kent Iron Furnace which produced iron during the 19th century and is a featured industrial site on the Connecticut Iron Trail. Events scheduled for the rest of the season will still take place as planned.

The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum are Looking for Volunteers to Help Build the Noah Blake Cabin

Would you like to learn how to split shingles and hew logs while working with some interesting people to help build the Noah Blake cabin? We will provide instructions and historical background, snacks, safety equipment, and the opportunity – you provide your own boots, proper attire for working outside with sharp tools, a sense of humor, and a willingness to learn and work. Check out the 2018 Events calendar for work dates at the Eric Sloane Museum, or call the museum at (860) 927-3849.

2016 Theme: Eric Sloane and New England Apples

This summer, a small museum in the northwest corner of Connecticut will become one of a handful of museums in the country with an heirloom variety apple orchard. The orchard, envisioned through collaboration between the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum and Peter Montgomery, a Silicon Valley executive turned horticulturalist, will be installed on the grounds of the Eric Sloane Museum of Kent this April. The museum, founded by Connecticut artist Eric Sloane to house his collection of early American tools, has experienced revitalization in recent years due to the efforts of the Friends organization. Each season for the past four years has centered upon a main theme that reflected an important aspect of the life and work of Eric Sloane, and this year will be no different. This year, programming and events will focus on Eric Sloane and New England Apples.

Enter Peter Montgomery, owner of Montgomery Gardens based in Warren. Montgomery is passionate about heirloom apple trees – and Connecticut heirloom varieties in particular. “Having an orchard on the museum grounds puts the Eric Sloane Museum on par with other museum orchards at Washington's Mt. Vernon, Jefferson's Monticello, and Sturbridge Village,” Montgomery says. “No one at the Connecticut Apple Marketing Board can recall when the last heirloom apple orchard was planted in Connecticut.” Friend's board president Jim Mauch explained the impetus behind this year’s theme. “In print and in oils, Eric Sloane revered the American apple tree and what it represented to the early American – food, drink, fuel, and an important source of wood for specialized tools. Eric Sloane would have loved this orchard.”

The orchard will be planted adjacent to the Noah Blake cabin, which was constructed on museum grounds by Sloane himself in the mid-1970s. The cabin is a recreation of the cabin Sloane depicted in his classic Diary of an Early American Boy: Noah Blake 1805. In another of his books, A Reverence for Wood, Eric Sloane describes a Westfield Seek-No-Further apple tree growing in the abandoned, haunted village of Dudleytown, in Cornwall Bridge. Mauch was adamant about the inclusion of the Seek-No-Further in the orchard. "We could not imagine a more fitting tribute to his life and works, and out of respect for Eric Sloane's reverence for the Westfield, two will be planted in Noah Blake's Orchard," Mauch reflected, adding “It was imperative that we were able to secure this variety.”

The orchard planting will take place on Saturday, April 30th from 1-3 p.m., and the public is invited to attend and even to participate in planting an initial ten heirloom varieties, including Wealthy, Wolf River, Roxbury Russet, and the Westfield Seek-No-Further. Montgomery will be on hand to discuss best practices when it comes to planting and initial care and concerns with heirloom varieties of fruit trees. Montgomery will return to the Eric Sloane Museum on Saturday, June 18th from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. to give a talk on the history, development, and current restoration efforts concerning Connecticut’s heirloom fruit trees.

{Stone wall & fire pit}

2015 Stone Wall & Fire Pit Project

This gathering area was built on museum grounds during the 2015 “Eric Sloane and New England Stone” season. Many thanks to the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum and board member Jeff Bischoff for designing and orchestrating construction. We are also grateful to stonemason Carl Dill, who generously donated his time instructing four classes in stone wall building, and for the students who constructed this wall under his supervision.

Connecticut Public Television's series Connecticut's Cultural Treasures features the Eric Sloane Museum as one of the 50 most notable cultural resources in the state.

Click here to watch the 6-minute program.

31 Kent-Cornwall Road (Route 7), Kent, CT 06757  ~  ~  860-927-3849