Our Museums

DANIEL BENTON HOMESTEAD
Built in 1720 and occupied by the Benton family for 212 years, this is the earliest house museum in Tolland County.

OLD TOLLAND COUNTY JAIL AND MUSEUM
The oldest cellblock dates from 1856, jailer's home from 1893. Thousand of items used in Tolland homes, farms and businesses.

OLD TOLLAND COUNTY COURT HOUSE
Beautiful 1822 courthouse in a transitional Colonial to Federal style with original Palladian window. Courtroom restored to 19th Century appearance. Exhibits.

Get to Know the Tolland Historical Society

     The public is invited to the annual meeting of the Tolland Historical Society and a free tour of the Daniel Benton Homestead on June 19 at 7 p.m.
     Society members and anyone who would like to join the society or learn more about it is invited to attend the meeting at the homestead at 154 Metcalf Road in Tolland.
     There will be a brief business meeting followed by light refreshments and the free tours.
     Built in 1720 and in the Benton family for 212 years, the homestead is the oldest house museum in Tolland County. The society also offers programs for Tolland schoolchildren and the public and operates the Old Tolland County Court House Museum and the Old Tolland County Jail Museum, both on the historic Tolland Green.
     For more information about the meeting, contact Society President Kathy Bach at familybach@aol.com.

Benton Homestead

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Portraits in Silhouettes Fundraiser Set for June 24

    Parents and grandparents can preserve a memory with a hand-cut silhouette of their children and grandchildren on Saturday, June 24 when Silhouette artist Jean Comerford will be on hand at the Old Tolland Court House Museum.
     The event is a fundraiser, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to support the Tolland Historical Society.
     Each silhouette is cut freehand with scissors as the children aged six months and up sit for the portrait.
     Portrait sessions, which last 10 minutes, are by appointment only. Visit signupgenious.com and search for nkjtr@sbcglobal.net to make an appointment. Adults can also pose for a silhouette.
     A single silhouette is $35 and a duplicate is $15. A 5×7 frame for one silhouette is $35, and an 8×10 frame for two to three silhouettes is $45. All silhouettes will be mounted on acid-free museum board. Only cash and checks will be accepted.
     Jean Comerford and her daughter Marcella have been creating beautiful portraits in this rare art form for 25 years.
     The event is sponsored by the Tolland Historical Society. For more information, call 860-870-9599.

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Open on Sunday, May 28 for Memorial Day

     The Old Tolland County Court House Museum and the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum will be open at noon on Sunday, May 28, before the 1 p.m. start of Tolland’s Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

     The museums’ lawns make a great vantage point to watch the parade, and visitors can stop in before or after the parade.

     Admission is free, but donations to the Historical Society are always appreciated.

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Native American and Colonial Encampment

The Daniel Benton Homestead at 154 Metcalf Road in Tolland is hosting a Native American and Colonial Encampment on Sunday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Historical Society volunteer Perne Maynard took these photos of the first day of the encampment on May 20.

The family-friendly event is free, but donations are appreciated.

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Tolland Green Day 2017

May 11, 2017 marked the annual Tolland Green Day, a beloved local tradition that is the culmination of a partnership between Tolland Public Schools and the Tolland Historical Society. Third graders from Tolland Intermediate School spent the day learning all about local history from Society volunteers Kathy Bach, Peter Palmer and Mariah Geissler Bumps as well as their music and art teachers. 
The students learn about Colonial education from Mariah and got to hold and learn about artifacts from Kathy and Peter at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.

President Kathy Bach

President Kathy Bach

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Mariah Geissler Bumps teaching school

Mariah Geissler Bumps teaching school

 

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Thanks for the Coverage of the 51st Annual Tolland Antiques Show

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For complete coverage and many photos of the 51st Annual Tolland Antiques Show, visit this story in Antiques and the Arts Weekly:

https://www.antiquesandthearts.com/tolland-antiques-show-americana-pickers-paradise/

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Portraits in Silhouette

     Parents and grandparents can preserve a memory with a hand-cut silhouette of their children and grandchildren on Saturday, June 24 when Silhouette artist Jean Comerford will be on hand at the Old Tolland Court House Museum.
     The event is a fundraiser, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to support the Tolland Historical Society.
     Each silhouette is cut freehand with scissors as the children aged six months and up sit for the portrait.
     Portrait sessions, which last 10 minutes, are by appointment only. Visit signupgenious.com and search for nkjtr@sbcglobal.net to make an appointment. Adults can also pose for a silhouette.
     A single silhouette is $35 and a duplicate is $15. A 5×7 frame for one silhouette is $35, and an 8×10 frame for two to three silhouettes is $45. All silhouettes will be mounted on acid-free museum board. Only cash and checks will be accepted.
     Jean Comerford and her daughter Marcella have been creating beautiful portraits in this rare art form for 25 years.
     The event is sponsored by the Tolland Historical Society. For more information, call 860-871-9599.

 

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Internship Open House May 20

     The Tolland Historical Society is once again sponsoring an internship for students in grades 7 through 12 this summer at the Old Tolland County Courthouse and the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.
     Interested students are invited to an open house and tour on Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m. behind the jail museum on the Tolland Green.
     This is a valuable community service opportunity. Students will learn all aspects of the workings of a museum from behind the scenes to interaction with the public. 
    Interns will: 
❖ Design displays & exhibits
❖ Catalogue museum collections
❖ Give tours
❖ Create activities for Sunday events for the public
❖ Participate in historic demonstrations
❖ Preserve historical artifacts
❖ Network with visitors
    The interns will earn community service hours and will receive a reference letter.
    For more information, contact Jail Museum Director Kathy Bach at familybach@aol.com or 860-872-7716 or Courthouse Museum Director Ni-Ni Reinard at nkjtr@sbcglobal.net or 860-212-3650.

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Thank You for Supporting the 51st Annual Tolland Antiques Show

     The Tolland Historical Society would like to thank our 60 dealers and our hard-working volunteers for putting on another successful Tolland Antiques Show on April 23.
     We couldn’t have asked for a better crew of dealers and volunteers, who each year, make this event a major fundraising success for the Society.
      Show Director Mary-Pat Soucy
      Deputy Show Director Dr. Sharron Laplante

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Sharron Laplante

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You’re invited to the Tolland Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary Masquerade Ball on Saturday, June 3

     The Tolland Historical Society is inviting members of the public to buy tickets for “Arlyne’s Gold,” its 50th Anniversary Masquerade Ball, on Saturday, June 3 at 6 p.m.
     The celebration honors the late Arlyne Garrity, the first president of the society when it was founded in 1966.
     Cocktails will be served from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the secret garden at the Hicks-Stearns Museum on the Tolland Green. Dinner, catered by Tolland’s own Country Caterers, begins at 7 p.m., followed by the big band music of Kats N’Jammers until midnight.
      Seating is limited, so purchase your tickets as soon as possible. Member seats are $50 per person, and non-member seats are $65, which includes a one-year membership to the society.
     Tickets can be purchased at the Tolland Red and White store at 46 Tolland Green or by contacting gala chairperson Celeste Senechal at celeste5@gmail.com.
     Dress is formal. This will be a night to remember with specials guests, prizes for fashion and historical characters and games. Masks are suggested and will be available for a donation to the Hicks-Stearns Museum, which is donating the use of its property for the event.

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