CCT: HW - Events


{Visitors with a costumed interpreter in the Whitfield House}

Henry Whitfield State Museum



{2015 Calendar of Events brochure}  Print the 2015 Calendar of Events brochure

May 1-December 13 - 10:00-4:30 pm
Guilford Goes Global
Display of visitor photos showing the museum’s Guilford magnet in locales around the world. Free admission.

May 1-September 13 - 10:00-4:30 pm

Name that Thingamajig

Contest to identify an unusual artifact displayed each month. Monthly prize winner randomly selected from correct entries. Free admission.

May 9 – 2:00 pm

From Barbados with Love: Sailor’s Valentines Then and Now

Lecture on the history of 19th-century sailor’s valentines and reception for artist Lois Kessler. Included with admission.

May 16 – 1:30 pm

Foundations: The Stone Walls of Early Guilford

Lecture by Dr. Robert Thorson at the Guilford Free Library followed by a walk-and-talk and children’s program at the Henry Whitfield State Museum. Free (regular admission required to tour museum).

June 13 – 10:00-4:30 pm

Connecticut Open House Day – Puritans at Play!

Have fun with historical games and old-time toys, including bubble wands. Free admission.

June 21 – 10:00-4:30 pm

Guilford Attacked: Artifacts from the 1781 British Raid

Exhibit displayed in conjunction with Simeon Leete Day at Guilford’s Peletiah Leete II House. Included with admission.

June 27 & 28 – 11:00-4:00 pm

Early Guilford Days Family Festival

Experience the sights, the sounds, and the aromas of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as Guilford’s five history museums present two days of tours, craft demonstrations, hands-on activities, and refreshments. The Henry Whitfield State Museum, Hyland House Museum, Medad Stone Tavern Museum, Thomas Griswold House Museum, and The Dudley Farm Museum recreate the popular fourth-grade educational program "Early Guilford Days" for the whole family.

Start your adventure at any of the five museums where you can buy a discounted ticket for admission to all the sites for both days of the event. Tickets are $5 per person, $10 per family of two or more and children 11 and under are free. Have your ticket punched at all five museums and redeem it at your last stop for a free gift.

In addition to regular tours and refreshments, the following activities will be offered at each museum:

The Henry Whitfield State Museum at 248 Old Whitfield Street will celebrate children both days by offering early toys and games for play as well as the skill of writing with a quill pen and ink. Daily children’s chores will be highlighted, including planting a seed to take home, using a yoke to haul water, and making fire from flint and steel. On Saturday, the featured craft demonstration will be candle making with Bob and Melodye Whatley of Chili Bob Candleworks. The Henry Whitfield House, built in 1639, is Connecticut’s oldest house. The museum is operated by the State of Connecticut, State Historic Preservation Office.

The Hyland House Museum at 84 Boston Street will feature hearth cooking with Sue Kowalski on Saturday and fun with herbs and the art of dying cloth on Sunday. Tasty samples will be available. The Hyland House, built in 1713, is a classic saltbox and one of the earliest house museums in New England. It is operated by the Dorothy Whitfield Historic Society.

The Thomas Griswold House Museum at 171 Boston Street will have a smith working at the forge in the blacksmith shop and will present weaving demonstrations and games for children on both Saturday and Sunday. The Thomas Griswold House, built circa 1774, is widely recognized as a superb example of local architecture of the period and with its several outbuildings is operated by The Guilford Keeping Society.

The Medad Stone Tavern Museum at 197 Three Mile Course, also owned by The Guilford Keeping Society, will host stenciling and paper cutting activities each day. The 1803 tavern was one of two taverns owned by Medad Stone and, oddly enough, was never used as a tavern! Find out more about this curious story when you tour this 14-room, 10-fireplace building that has seen little alteration since it was first constructed.

The Dudley Farm Museum at 2351 Durham Road (Jct. of Rtes 77 & 80) in North Guilford invites you into the world of 19th-century household chores and laundry. In between all the cleaning you can view the gardens and visit with the sheep, chickens, and oxen. Visitors are welcome to picnic at the farm during the event (picnic tables available). The 1844 farmhouse and late 19th and early 20th century farm are operated by The Dudley Foundation.

July 1-31 - 10:00-4:30 pm

A Stitch In Time: Guilford Museum Quilts

Poke around in one attic and you never know what you will find. Poke around in five attics and things get really interesting. Over the past long winter, the Henry Whitfield State Museum, Hyland House Museum, Medad Stone Tavern Museum, Thomas Griswold House Museum, and The Dudley Farm Museum searched their collections for unique and interesting quilts. The result is a special town-wide exhibit. Visit Guilford’s five history museums during regular hours in July 2015 and marvel at quilts ranging from the 18th to the 20th centuries that literally weave the stories of the past and the people with this venerable craft and art form. Check individual sites for admission, hours, and special events throughout the month-long exhibit.

With colorful names like Calamanco, One Patch, Carolina Lily, Queen Victoria’s Crown, and Crazy Quilts, and fabrics as diverse as linen, cotton, and wool, quilts were utilitarian in use but illustrate the agrarian, social, economic, and cultural life of families and communities. Displayed in period room settings, the quilts and coverlets help breathe life into the spaces that Guilford residents lived in from the early 17th century through World War II.


July 1-31 – 10:00-4:30 pm

Captain Frederick Lee: First Hero of the U.S. Coast Guard
Exhibit of artifacts from Eagle’s first captain, Frederick Lee of East Guilford (Madison). Included with admission.

August 1 – September 27 – 10:00-4:30 pm
Faulkner’s Island Lighthouse
Exhibit chronicling the over-200-year history of Guilford’s lighthouse and its keepers. Included with admission.

August 16 – 10:00-4:00 pm

Meet a Lighthouse Keeper

Interact with a costumed interpreter as he describes the life of a 19th-century lighthouse keeper at Faulkner’s Light. Included with admission.

September 26-December 13 - 10:00-4:30 pm

Holidaze: The Real Story of Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas

Exhibit detailing the origins and many myths of the holidays from Ancient Rome to 21st-century commercialism. Included with admission.

October 3 – 10:00-4:30 pm

History Rocks: Stone Working in Early Guilford

Talks, demonstrations, and hands-on activities related to the iconic stones of New England and Connecticut’s oldest house. Included with admission.

October 24 – 10:00-4:30 pm

Halloween Hysterics at Henry’s

Flashlight tours, scavenger hunts, craft activities, displays on the Whitfield/Salem witch trial connection and the cemeteries under the Guilford Green, and tours of the Holidaze exhibit.

Included with admission.

November 27, 28 & 29 – 10:00-4:30 pm

Harvesting History

Reproduction trade items, samples of 17th-century receipts,  “Make Your Marke” quill pen activity, reading of the Pilgrim Cat storybook each hour, and tours of the Holidaze exhibit. Included with admission.

December 4 – 4:00-8:00 pm

Firelight Festival

Festive luminaria, outdoor fires, popcorn, marshmallows, s’mores, hot cider, hot chocolate, tours of Connecticut’s oldest house after dark and the Holidaze exhibit, natural holiday ornaments crafts, and a reading of The Night Before Christmas. Included with admission. No rain or snow date.

December 12 & 13 – 2:00 pm

Night Before Christmas Story Time

The history behind the classic holiday tale and its author followed by a reading of the book inside the 1639 Whitfield House, plus discounts on children’s toys, games, and books in the gift shop. Included with admission.

December 16-18, 21-23 – 10:00-4:30 pm

Gift Shop & Visitor Center Open

Holiday shopping, Holidaze exhibit, and Guilford Goes Global display. Free admission.

248 Old Whitfield Street, Guilford, CT 06437  ~  ~  203-453-2457