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.

Author Charles Monagan to speak Sept. 17 about his book, “Connecticut Icons”

     The Tolland Historical Society will host a free talk Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. by author Charles Monagan about his recently re-released book “Connecticut Icons: Classic Symbols of the Nutmeg State.”
     The talk will take place at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum at 52 Tolland Green.
     Monagan, who was the editor of “Connecticut” magazine from 1989 to 2013, says the book grew out of a last-page column he wrote for the magazine from 2001 to 2005. It includes short profiles of 50 places, natural features, buildings, food and other items that seemed to him to be especially “Connecticut” and that everyone thinks they know about but probably don’t.
     Monagan has been a writer and editor for more than 45 years. He’s the author of several books, including “The Neurotic’s Handbook,” “The Reluctant Naturalist” and “How to Get a Monkey into Harvard.” He wrote the book and lyrics for a musical, “Mad Bomber,” in 2011.
      In 2016, he spoke at the jail museum about “Carrie Welton,’’ his fictionalized account of a Waterbury native’s adventurous life.

Author Charles Monagan

 

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Learn how to make ice cream the old-fashioned way Aug. 27

The public is invited to come learn how to make ice cream the old-fashioned way on Sunday, Aug. 27 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum at 52 Tolland Green in Tolland.

The event and admission are free, but donations are always appreciated.

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Check out this video by Society Secretary Kate Farrish about the Historical Society’s internship program

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A Stroll Down Tolland Green…Then and Now

The Old Tolland County Court House Museum will be holding a photo exhibit of the homes in the Tolland Historic District on Sept. 10, 17 and 24. 
There are more than 50 homes on the Tolland Green that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including some that are over 250 years old.
The courtroom walls will come alive with pictures of buildings on the Green from the 1700s and 1800s, compared to the present day.
Visitors will see how the Green has evolved and yet stayed the same. Come learn about the history of the houses, the families that lived there, the shops, taverns and other businesses in the town center.
The exhibit will run on Sundays in September, starting on Sept. 10, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Tolland County Court House Museum at 53 Tolland Green. 
Admission is free, donations are always welcomed.

A tavern at 59 Tolland Green that burned down in 1896

A tavern at 59 Tolland Green that burned down in 1896

 

This home at 26 Tolland Green started out as a one-family home but later was transformed into a two-family Victorian with a porch. In the 1920s, it was throughly remodeled back to a single-family house.

This home at 26 Tolland Green started out as a one-family home but later was transformed into a two-family Victorian with a porch. In the 1920s, it was throughly remodeled back to a single-family house.

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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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