Learn how the Chaffee family lived, and view the fine furnishings that would have graced their large home including high chests, desks with bookcases, silk-on-silk embroidered scenes, and fine dishware. Who kept these furnishings gleaming? Who kept the Chaffee’s household running? Discover more about the lives of Sarah, Betty, Jack, and Nancy, enslaved people who served the Chaffee family, and the chores they were tasked with each day.
In 2021, we reinterpreted the entire house to more deeply reflect Windsor’s diverse history alongside a more inclusive interpretation of the home’s first residents.
Changing Exhibit Space
Along with the reinterpretation, we also created space for changing exhibitions that illuminate the region’s Black experience. Currently on display is is Dr. Fiona Vernal’s A Home Away from Home: Greater Hartford’s West Indian Diaspora, which opened June 23, 2021 and will remain on view until summer 2022.
Dr. Chaffee’s medical office was attached to his home, and it is a rare architectural survival. There, see historic medical instruments, encounter some shocking medical treatments of the 18th century. You will leave feeling fortunate that you live in the twenty-first century!
In the fall of 2019, we unveiled a reinterpreted doctor’s office that features hands-on activities. Open drawers in the apothecary chest and desk, page through medical texts, and look through reproduction receipts made from Dr. Chaffee’s actual practice.
Note: this 18th-century house has steps, thresholds, and narrow doorways, and is not wheelchair accessible. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.