Since the Society’s two historic houses have been closed for the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff has taken this opportunity to reinterpret the Dr. Hezekiah Chaffee House to more deeply reflect [...]
Both families who lived in the Society’s two historic houses were involved in a quarantine situation in the late 1700s. Dr. Chaffee ordered the Howard family to be quarantined after Capt. Howard contracted smallpox and spread it to his three sons. The care for all of them fell on the shoulders of Mrs. Ann Howard.
Do you ever wonder how objects end up in museum exhibitions? The cloak on view in our museum gallery arrived at the Society in a box. It had ripped seams, frayed trim, insect damage, and layers of dirt. But in its prime in the early 1800s, the bright red color was a fashion statement and a sign of the owner’s wealth.
Windsor Historical Society operates two historic house museums, including the 1767 Dr. Hezekiah Chaffee House. In its time it was the largest home on the Palisado Green. In 1992, the town leased the Chaffee House to Windsor Historical Society to operate as a museum. How would we furnish it?
In the decades following the Connecticut River's discovery by Europeans, the numerous shallows and oxbow bends of the river limited the river’s potential as a trading hub. However, throughout the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, maritime trade along the Connecticut River slowly and steadily grew.
For centuries, the wedding day attire of brides and grooms has carried enough significance for future generations to preserve as relics. The Society owns many wedding-day souvenirs from Windsor couples, including these 18th-century ladies’ shoe buckles that were possibly worn by Hannah Allyn on January 6, 1763, the day she wed Captain James Hooker.
They worked in the kitchen from dawn to dusk cooking, washing, and ironing. They emptied chamber pots every morning after sleeping in basements and attics. And they were supposed to be invisible whenever guests came calling. Who are ‘they’? They are the slaves of Windsor’s Chaffee family.