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.

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    BECOME A MEMBER OF THE TOLLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY:
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    One or two hours of your time and talent can make a difference to our museums. Click here to view and print form.


Ringing the bell again!

The restoration of the bell tower atop the Old Tolland County Court House Museum is nearly complete, and this week, Paul Bastiaanse, president of Valley Restoration, the contractor on the project, Kathy Bach, president of the Tolland Historical Society and society volunteer Dr. Sharron Laplante tested out the bell.

It worked and will once again ring out across the historic Tolland Green.

The Tolland Historical Society is still raising funds to complete the project. If you would like to help, please use the “donate” button on this website, tollandhistorical.org, or mail a check to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084. Indicate that the gift is for the bell tower project on the memo line

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More progress on the court house bell tower

Here’s your weekly update on the restoration project on the bell tower of the Old Tolland County Court House and Museum:

The copper work is complete. All wood areas are primed, and the finish coat of paint is complete.
We are awaiting the installation and the louvers.
The Tolland Historical Society is getting close to being able to ring the bell again!

Tax-deductible donations are still needed to finish the project. Donations can be made at this website or by mail at Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084. Thank you in advance for any gift of any size.

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Progress on the Court House Museum Bell Tower

Today’s update from the Tolland Historical Society on the restoration project at the Old Tolland County Court House Museum is quite visible.

The restored shiny gold weathervane is again atop the shiny copper cupola dome or the bell tower. All those restorations are now complete.Work on the beams is finishing up in the attic space.

Outside they are finishing the restoration and replacement of clapboards on the base of the bell tower.

Beautiful weather means painting has commenced on the cupola blinds.

The Tolland Historical Society is still seeking tax-deductible donations to complete this important project. They can be made by using the ‘donate’ button at tollandhistorical.org or by mail to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084.

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Our Weekly Update on the Court House Bell Tower Restoration Project

Here’s your Wednesday update on the restoration of the cupola at the Old Tolland County Court House Museum:

Copper work continues at the bell tower deck area as seen in this photo. Interior bolts and brackets are being installed on timbers in the attic.

The historically accurate replacement window for over the front door has arrived from shop. Friends of the late Tolland Historical Society archivist Barbara Cook raised funds for the window in her memory.

The society still needs your donations to help complete the restoration project on the 1822 building. Tax-deductible donations can be made at http://tollandhistorical.org or by mail to the Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084.

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Update on the Court House Museum Project

Here’s your Wednesday update on the bell tower restoration of the Old Tolland County Court House Museum:

This week work continues inside in the attic with large timber restoration as seen in 2 of the attached photos. As weather permits, work on clapboards at the base section of the bell tower also is being performed. There is some rot evident requiring replacement; otherwise, caulk and priming prep is taking place before final paint.The louvers, or blinds, will be scraped and returned to the bell tower after all repair work is completed and the bell is returned to the cradle there. An interesting historical note, the window shutters were and are green, and the louvers will be returned to that color.

The society needs your support for this important project. Tax-deductible donations can be made using the ‘donate’ button at http://tollandhistorical.org or by mail at Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084.Any gift of any size is appreciated!

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Here’s your Wednesday update on the bell tower restoration at the Old Tolland County Court House Museum

Restoration vs “repair or replace”: the question continues comes up during this project in various forms as to why it’s taking so long.
It’s taking a long time because this is a “restoration” of a 199-year-old building, preserving as much of the original as possible. A portion of the funding for this project is coming from a State Historic Preservation Office grant, the office which approved the engineering plans and assists throughout.
The attached photos highlight recently completed restoration work on the eight bell tower columns that support the copper cupola dome. You can see where the damage caused by water was replaced by new wood inlays, a new capital (top of the column) and finished with epoxy.
This step is a work of art, and once it was complete, it took five-plus days for the epoxy to cure.
Yes, the wood is as smooth as it looks!
The Tolland Historical Society is continuing to raise money to cover an unexpected $24,000 cost to deal with the rotting timbers inside the bell tower.Donations can be made online at www.tollandhistorical.org or by mail to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084. Thank you in advance for a gift of any size.

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Braiding Rugs

Tolland Historical Society volunteer Peter Palmer recently taught some of the Society interns the old-fashioned art of making braided rugs at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.

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Update on the Court House Museum Project

Here’s your Wednesday update on the restoration project at the Old Tolland County Court House Museum:
This week, the replacement wood and the epoxy treatment on the columns has finished curing.
The heavy plastic wrap has been removed. You can see the complete column. 
The final old leaf gilding has been applied to the weathervane.
New timbers for inside work have been delivered. More on that next Wednesday.
The Tolland Historical Society is continuing to raise money to cover an unexpected $24,000 cost to deal with the rotting timbers inside the bell tower.
Donations can be made online at www.tollandhistorical.org or by mail to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084. Thank you in advance for a gift of any size.

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Free Fiber Spinning Demonstration on July 25

The Tolland Historical Society will hold a free fiber spinning demonstration on Sunday, July 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum on the Tolland Green.

It will feature a hands-on experience with drop spindles and a Louet wheel.Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated when you’re visiting.

Photo credit: Woolery.com

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Restoration Work Continues on the Court House Museum

Important restoration work continues this week on the bell tower at the Old Tolland County Court House Museum.

The Tolland Historical Society is still seeking donations to support this important project and to replenish its operating funds. Donations can be made online at www.tollandhistorical.org or by mail to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084. Please note on your check if you are supporting the Court House project or making an unrestricted donation. Thank you in advance for a gift of any size.

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