Litchfield Historical Society

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

By: William Roberts

February 23, 2015

On February 23, 2015, I visited the Litchfield Historical Society in Litchfield, Connecticut for a tour of their extensive historical artifacts collection as part of the Curator for a Day class that I took. When I first arrived, I walked to their storage building, where the artifacts are stored when they are not on display at the museum. The first floor contained many vault-like shelves of furniture and woodwork. On one side of the room were boxes full of newspapers, some dating back from the eighteen-hundreds.

The really incredible exhibits were on the second floor. Shelves of items filled the large room, and contained hundreds of items. They included; old and new photography equipment, boxes of gas masks and knives, historic photos, shelves of guns and swords, clocks, pottery, and even an old toilet. I was able to touch all of the items, even several guns from the Civil War and Revolutionary War.

Then, we saw a floor with many hundreds of boxes of clothes including; dresses, shirts, pants, hats, and other miscellaneous items of clothing. Rugs and other textiles were also boxed up in the room.

Near the end of my visit, we took a tour of the current exhibits at the museum. The museum featured items of the Revolutionary War and their other current exhibit was on World War I. I saw cannonballs that were fired at the town of Danbury, Connecticut and even a British Dragoon’s helmet. They had a collection of World War I propaganda posters and military uniforms in the special exhibit area. I was even allowed to use some of the research papers from the curator’s office to find out more about a gigantic painting of Major Benjamin Tallmadge that was on display. I found the painting of interest because I had read about Major Tallmadge's involvement in the Revolutionary War as a spymaster for George Washington!

I also was able to make a poster for my own exhibit which included items from the museum. I drew a picture of my idea for a display, and also made a presentation for the parents, describing what the display would be like if it were real.

My favorite part was touching the historical weapons and clocks, and I hope to go back again soon.

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