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.

Native American and Colonial Encampment Postponed

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the 17th Century encampment planned for May 19 and 20 has been postponed.
It will be rescheduled for this summer, and the Tolland Historical Society will post a new date when it has been set.
We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

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Two Worlds Meet — Native American and Colonial Encampment

Daniel Benton Homestead Museum
154 Metcalf Road, Tolland
Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The Benton Homestead will welcome Native American and English colonial reenactors who portray life in 17th century New England. The talented interpreters in period clothing will focus on how Native Americans interacted with the English colonists during the 1600s as settlements expanded throughout the region. Visitors can speak with skilled artisans who demonstrate the daily life of both cultures.
Demonstrations include flint knapping, 17th century medicines, open hearth cooking, quill work, finger weaving, military drills and arms and armor.
The museum will also be open for tours. The weekend is a unique opportunity to experience a little bit of New England as it was 300 years ago in an authentic setting. This is a family-friendly event that only happens once a year.
Photo: Homestead Director Gail White Usher is seen in the center of the photo from last year’s event.

Benton Homestead Director Gail White Usher, center, at the 2017 encampment

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New Tolland Military Museum to Open on May 27

The Tolland Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new museum at 749 Tolland Stage Road, adding to the cultural vitality of the Tolland Green neighborhood. 

The Tolland Military Museum will include the extensive private collection of Richard J. Provencher of Ashford, a retired Connecticut National Guard member and former commander of the American Legion Post 14 and the Tolland VFW. The collection features several military campaigns, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.

The Town of Tolland has long supported military members and their families. Recently, the town council voted to lease the “barn” (the former resident state troopers’ office behind the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum) for purposes of a museum. This building was originally built as part of the Tolland County jail system, consisting of the jail, the barn and 100 acres of farmland where Tolland Middle School now sits. The most recognizable sight on the property today is the jail museum at 52 Tolland Green.

The Tolland Military Museum will open from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, the same day the Tolland Memorial Day Parade will be held, beginning at 1 p.m. along the Tolland Green.

The museum will be open seasonally May thru September and will have programs on Veterans Day in honor of veterans across the state. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated. 

For more information, please contact Mary-Pat Soucy from the Tolland Military Museum, at Tollandmilitarymuseum@gmail.comor at 860-803-0034 or Kathy Bach, president of the historical society, at kwbach@gmail.comor at 860-416-7030.

 

Some of the artifacts that will be on display in the new Tolland Military Museum

More artifacts from the Richard J. Provencher collection

Collector Richard J. Provencher, at right, with U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney

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Tolland Antiques Show Video

To see an entertaining video from the 52nd Annual Tolland Antiques Show, produced by Historical Society board member Perne R. Maynard, follow this link:

http://community.prmemories.com/52nd-antiques-show.html

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Scenes from the 52nd Annual Tolland Antiques Show

Perne R. Maynard, the Society’s Media Chairman, shared these terrific photos from our latest, successful antiques show, which was held March 4 in Tolland.

Dealer Greg Hamilton shows off one of his treasures.

 

The show came together through the hard of work Deputy Show Director Sharron Laplante, at left, and Show Director Mary-Pat Soucy

 

Another treasure at the show

See photos from Perne on the Antiques Show page

 

 

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Directions to the 52nd annual Tolland Antiques Show on Sunday, March 4

Some people have been calling asking how to get to the Tolland Middle School at 1 Falcon Way in Tolland for Sunday’s show.

Here you go:

From Boston, take I-84 West to exit 68. Turn right off the exit and follow to the next light on Tolland Green. Turn right onto Old Post Road. Go straight about one mile and turn right onto Old Cathole Road. The middle school is less than a mile down the road on the right.

From Hartford, take I-84 East to exit 68. Turn left off the exit and follow to the next light on Tolland Green. Turn right onto Old Post Road. Go straight about one mile and turn right onto Old Cathole Road. The middle school is less than a mile down the road on the right.

Admission is $9. Parking is free, and lunch can be purchased at modest prices. The show is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it benefits the Tolland Historical Society.

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The 52nd Annual Tolland Antiques Show is Set for March 4!

     Antique lovers: make plans to com on out March 4 to the 52nd annual Tolland Antiques show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tolland Middle School.
     The show will feature more than 50 dealers from throughout New England, Pennsylvania and New York. It is one of the premier events in the Northeast dealing in early Americana. The show will feature 18th- and 19th-century American furniture, accessories, textiles, rugs, prints, folk art, paintings, redware and early iron. Many items are of museum quality.
    Admission is $9. Parking is free, and lunch will be available for a modest price.
    The show is a benefit for the Tolland Historical Society, with proceeds supporting the Old Tolland County Courthouse, the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum and the Daniel Benton Homestead. Proceeds also support the many programs that the society sponsors in the community and its curriculum-related programs in the Tolland school system.
    For more information, contact Show Director Mary-Pat Soucy at mpsoucy@comcast.net or 860-803-0034.

See our show page for a list of dealers and advertising opportunities!

Scenes from past shows:

2017 Tolland Antiques Show

 

 

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Museum Interns Featured on “Better Connecticut” Oct. 31

Thank you to Kara Sundlun from WFSB’s “Better Connecticut” show for featuring Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach and our middle and high school interns on her show.

Here’s a link to the video:

http://www.wfsb.com/clip/13866103/meet-students-who-run-a-county-jail-and-museum

Intern Jaden Delgobbo and Kara Sundlun, host of WFSB’s “Better Connecticut” show

 

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World War I Talk, Continued

 
Carl Stidsen of the New England Air Museum will give the second half of his World War I talk, on the War at Sea, on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum at 52 Tolland Green.
He had begun the talk on World War I aviation on Sunday, Sept. 24.
His talk, sponsored by the Tolland Historical Society, is free, but donations to support the society’s museums and programs are always appreciated.

Carl Stidsen, speaking Sept. 24 at the Jail Museum

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Portraits in Silhouette Fundraiser Nov. 12

Silhouette artist Marcella Comerford will provide beautiful, hand-cut silhouettes on Sunday, Nov. 12 for a one-of-kind gift just in time for the holidays.
The Tolland Historical Society is now accepting appointments for this fundraiser, with a portion of the proceeds going to support its museums and programs. 
By appointment only, the event will take place at the Tolland Court House Museum at 53 Tolland Green in Tolland.
To reserve a time slot, visit www.signupgenius.com and search for nkjtr@sbcglobal.net.
The event is suitable for children aged 6 months and up, and adult subjects are welcome as well. 
A single silhouette costs $35, with a duplicate costing $15. A 5×7 frame for one silhouette is $35, and an 8×10 frame for two to three silhouettes is $45.
Each silhouette is mounted on an acid-free museum board.

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