What People’s Belongings Can Tell You:  

Probate Inventories & Refurnishing the Strong-Howard House

October 22, 2013       7 PM to 8:30 PM


Recently, Windsor Historical Society opened the parlor and store of its Strong-Howard House.  In those two rooms, the furnishings of the Howard family have been reproduced so that visitors may sit on the chairs, pore through the documents in Captain Nathaniel Howard’s desk, and finger fabrics, fans and tortoiseshell combs for sale in the Howard’s store. 
So how did Curator Christina Vida know how the Howard’s family home was furnished in 1810?  Probate inventories, listings of objects owned by people at the time of their death, provide a wonderful window into the past.  On October 22, from 7pm to 8:30pm, join Windsor Historical Society Curator Christina Vida for a presentation on how researching probate inventories helped her select the objects that are being used to reinterpret the interior of the Strong-Howard House. Captain Nathaniel Howard’s three-page inventory described and valued his clothing, furniture, stock, and land that he owned when he died in 1819. But did it include everything that was in his home? Learn the basics and how an in-depth inventory study allowed her to draw some broad conclusions about what Windsor’s households looked like around 1810.  Vida will also discuss the glories and pitfalls that probate inventories provide for curators, researchers, and genealogists alike.

Cost for this October Archives Month program is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $4 for WHS members.   For more information, contact us at 860-688-3813 or online at www.windsorhistoricalsociety.org.  The Society is located at 96 Palisado Avenue (Route 159) in Windsor.  Parking is available in the Windsor Discovery Center parking lots and around Palisado Green.


Over 100 individuals, businesses, and granting agencies have helped make Phase 1 of the restoration and reinterpretation of the Strong-Howard house possible including Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Connecticut Humanities, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Becky and Paul Hendricks, Konica Minolta, Kate and Hugh McLean, Lu and Mike Rabbett, Town of Windsor, Windsor Federal Savings, and the 1772 Foundation.  Over $500,000 has been raised with $250,000 more needed.  Contact Christine Ermenc, Executive Director at the Society a6 860-688-3813 x. 101 or cermenc@windsorhistoricalsociety.org for more information or if you are interested in joining our growing ranks of supporters.  Gifts of all amounts will be acknowledged with gratitude.  The project will progress over the next two years with full completion expected by the end of 2015.


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