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Wethersfield Attractions & Museums

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BROAD STREET GREEN

Beautiful, even in winter, but dazzling after an ice storm, the Broad Street Green - surrounded by elegant and stately old homes - is where early settlers grazed livestock. Today it's host to dozens of magnificent specimen trees - elms, oaks, sycamores, an 1836 copper beech - some as high as 15 stories tall! Click to access a map of the green with tree specimens labeled.

Trees on the green
COVE PARK

The park includes open space and the cove. Originally an "oxbow" of "The Long Tidal (i.e.Connecticut) River," Wethersfield Cove is ten feet above sea level and forty miles from Long Island Sound. Thomas Deming built his shipyard on the banks of this natural harbor, where he launched the Tryall - the first ship made in Connecticut - in 1649. The cove is a public boat launch providing access to the Connecticut River.

Summer at the Cove
COVE WAREHOUSE

Once part of a thriving commercial center, the warehouse - now housing a Wethersfield Historical Society maritime exhibit - contains reminders of the West Indies trade that flourished in Wethersfield from 1650 to 1830. Merchants exported lumber, grain, onions, salted beef, fish and pork in exchange for salt, sugar, molasses and rum from the Caribbean. Open mid May through mid October, Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. $1 for Adults, Free for children 16 and under and Society members.

One warehouse remains next to the water
FIRST CHURCH

When built in 1764, some derisively referred to it as "vastly grander than Solomon's Temple." Today, this beautiful church which graces the center of the village, is home to First Church of Christ Congregational. Members come from miles around to worship in this authentic 18th century building, whose light-filled interior inspires all those who gather here.

A landmark in the center of town
ANCIENT BURYING GROUND

The quaint, often poetic, inscriptions found on the headstones in this historic burial ground tell poignant tales of the demise of loved ones. The skills of a dozen different Connecticut Valley stone carvers are represented here. The earliest one - Leonard Chester's table stone - dates from 1648.

A carved headstone dates from the 1600s
HURLBUT DUNHAM HOUSE

This handsome brick house is filled with original furnishings, wallpapers and painted ceilings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Jane and Howard Dunham, social and civic leaders of their day, made it their home. Open mid May through mid October. Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. $3 for Adults, Free for children 16 and under; Society members. Tours begin at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center (Wethersfield Museum). 860-529-7656.

BUTTOLPH-WILLIAMS HOUSE

Built for Benjamin Belden around 1715, this house - now a museum - provided the setting for Elizabeth George Speare's award-winning novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which depicts a young woman's encounter with superstition and intolerance in a 17th century New England town. The restored kitchen contains an extensive collection of period cooking equipment. Open May 1st through October 1st. Wednesdays to Mondays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 860-529-0612.

WEBB DEANE STEVENS MUSEUMS

Revolutionary War diplomat Silas Deane's portrait hangs in his home on Main Street, one of three remarkable 18th century houses that comprise the Museum. These homes - all with important stories to tell about Wethersfield's rich past - capture the vitality of our nation's formative years. Museums are open May 1st through October 31st, Wednesdays to Mondays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. November 1st through April 30th, Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information call 860-529-0612

Keeney Memorial Center is home to the Visitor Center and
WETHERSFIELD MUSEUM

The Wethersfield Museum is an excellent way to begin your tour of Old Wethersfield. Informative exhibits provide a good introduction to the town's history. Open Monday to Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Museum fees - $3 for Adults, free for children under 16, Society members, and Wethersfield residents.

WETHERSFIELD ART ACADEMY

The Wethersfield Academy for the Arts is a nonprofit educational organization that can be found at the Old Buck Farm located on Hartford Avenue where some of Old Wethersfield's most beautiful homes can be seen. The Academy offers tours, family events, festive celebrations, exhibition previews, concerts, guest artist gatherings, as well as catered affairs. Keep an eye on our website calendar for up coming events.

THE SOLOMON WELLES HOUSE

Built in 1774 for a descendant of colonial governor Thomas Welles and later used as the warden's house for the former state prison, this elegant house overlooks Wethersfield Cove and the adjacent Cove Park. Hartford's skyline is visible on the north horizon, but worlds away. The grounds are used by the Wethersfield Farmers Market spring, summer and fall.

THE FRANCIS HOUSE

The Captain James Francis house was in the possession of the Francis descendants from 1793 until 1969. Due to the generous donation of the descendantsthis property is open as a historic house for the public to experience the daily life of a middle-class working family in the early Republic. The Captain James Francis house is open for education programs and by appointment seasonally. Please contact Education Coordinator Mary Pat Knowlton at (860) 529-7656 or by e-mail.

GARDENS

Colonial-era gardeners were a practical sort, not unduly concerned about matters of beauty. Gradually, interest in horticultural aesthetics grew. Wethersfield homeowners today tend gardens for food, flavor, profit or pleasure. This generation's gardens of note include the Webb House Colonial Revival Garden, designed by Amy Cogswell in 1921, The Heritage Herb Garden and the Weston Rose Garden.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Springtime brings parades, the farmers market, Comstock's Heirloom Seed Festival and See You on Main Street a weekend with reenactors, a historic encampment and more. Check the event calendar to see upcoming events.

Revolutionary war reenactors fire their weapons
A WALK DOWN MAIN STREET

The best way to discover the quiet beauty that Old Wethersfield has to offer is to leisurely stroll around the village. The leaf-covered brick sidewalks of Main Street will lead you past beautiful old homes, historic sites and tree-filled parks. "Take your time" is good advice to first-time visitors. Check at the Wethersfield Museum for walking tours.

Fall is a popular season for a walk down Main Street
MAIN STREET SHOPS

From artwork and antiques, to custom-designed jewelry and hand-made crafts, you'll find these - and other unique treasures - at a variety of small shops along Main Street. Browse to your heart's content at Antiques on Main, Heart of the Country, House of Images Gallery, Sandra Wakeen Gallery and Neill Walsh Goldsmiths - to name a few.

WETHERSFIELD NATURE CENTER

The Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center is an environmental education facility devoted to the mission of sharing and exploring our natural world through exciting environmental learning.