Located in Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides a look back into how life used to be in Connecticut. Visitors are immersed in life of the mid-18th and early-19th centuries during the museum lead one-hour tours. First opened in 1919, the Museum is owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Connecticut and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
When visiting the museum grounds, you are immediately welcomed by three houses all sitting next to each other along the side of the road. These three houses comprise the majority of the museum and tour. The first house, The Joseph Webb house, was built in 1752 by Mr. Joseph Webb and has a long and storied history. The house served as George Washington’s headquarters in May 1781 and is where the famous Continental General met with French commander the Comte de Rochambeau to help plan the joint military campaign that led to the victory at Yorktown, which helped to bring the end of the American Revolution. It was later owned by famous antiquarian and businessman Wallace Nutting.
The Silas Dean House was also site to many grand events throughout the years. An attorney and a representative to the Colonial Assembly in Hartford, Deane became involved in the events that helped to lead to the American Revolution. He served as secretary of Connecticut’s Committee of Correspondence, also served as one of Connecticut’s delegates to the Continental Congress in 1774 and helped plan and finance the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May of 1775. By the early summer of 1776, he was in Paris secretly securing French military supplies for the patriot cause in the colonies. America’s first diplomat, he shared lodgings with Benjamin Franklin and signed the treaties of alliance and commerce that Franklin negotiated with France. While Silas Deane was away from home serving the Continental cause, his wife Elizabeth continued to entertain in their handsome new residence. In 1774, John Adams visited Wethersfield and the house. In 1775, George Washington dined with Elizabeth at the house on his way to take command of the troops outside of Boston.
The third house on the museum grounds is the Isaac Stevens house. Stevens began construction of his new home in 1788 and completed it in 1789 prior to his marriage to a miss Sarah Wright that same year. Although smaller than its neighbors, the house is a center hall Georgian similar in plan to the Webb House with handsome woodwork and paneling throughout most of the home. The house remained in the family passed down by generations for the next 170 years.
If you would like to see the houses in person we highly suggest visiting the museum located at 211 Main Street, in Wethersfield, CT. Tours of the homes are offered at a small cost every day of the week during the summer except for Tuesdays 10am to 4pm. Sunday hrs are 1pm to 4pm.
The museum grounds are also home to the Webb Barn, one of the most sought-after locations for weddings and other special events in the Wethersfield area. The barn itself can accommodate up to 135 people for a sit-down luncheon or dinner and contains up-to-date lighting, mechanical systems, restrooms, and a catering kitchen.
For more information please visit the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum website listed below.