To celebrate spring, the Matthews Curtis House, an excellent example of Connecticut saltbox architecture located on 44 Main Street in Newtown is hosting an open house day on Sunday, April 17 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. When touring this house visitors will step back in time as docents will guide you through the house, explain the history of their collections and the people who lived in the house by taking you on a journey back in time.
This house was purchased by Matthew Curtiss Jr. in 1781 and is thought to have been built by him. For some time it was believed that he was the house’s builder and first resident and thus his name was attached to it. Subsequent research shows that the house was originally constructed about 1750.
Curtiss was a Lieutenant in Connecticut’s Revolutionary War militia and served Newtown in a number of civil offices, including hay warden, highway supervisor, member of the school committee, grand juror, keeper of the pound and selectman. For a short period he was a partner in a provisions business, dealing mostly in beef. Curtiss sold the house in 1807, but may have continued to live there until his death in 1824.
Today the house is furnished with items of the time that the house was built as well as some items of a later date; all tell the story of Newtown’s history. Among the most unusual features of the Curtiss House are the large basement fireplace with cupboard built into the chimney stones and meat hooks in the attic which are all that remains of an old smoke oven.
Weather permitting, join their docents for some colonial games in celebration of spring. If there is a chill in the air, they may even have an open hearth fire.
The Matthews Curtis House is open for tours one Sunday per month from March – June and September – December and there is no admission fee. The next dates are May 15 and June 12 from noon to 4 p.m.