Our collections include objects that relate to the history of the buildings and their occupants, and the history of Simsbury, Hartford County, and the State of Connecticut – agricultural, political, industrial, social and domestic.
Learn more about collection areas and individual artifacts by selecting one of the menu items below. More information and pictures will become available as we implement a new collections database and complete the cataloguing for each artifact.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4
Session 1: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Session 2: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
We are so excited to announce that we will be having our sled painting event again this year!
All materials will be provided: sleds, paints, brushes etc. We will have people on hand to help and inspire you (an art teacher and craft people). We will also have photos for suggestions. It is helpful to bring a smartphone to look for inspiration from Pinterest. We will have drills if you want to add some LED lights to your creation and hair dryers to hasten the paint drying time. You will leave with a completed creation to enjoy for the holidays.
The sleds will be base coated in a choice of colors: black, barn red or white — please be sure to email us at email@example.com to let us know which base coat you’d like; include your phone number in case we need to reach you to clarify any details.
The cost is $40 per sled. Supplies are limited so please reserve early to guarantee a spot.
Payment by PayPal (link below included for each session) or a credit card by phone (860-658-2500) or in person in advance of the event.
Session 1: 10AM – 12PM
Session 2: 1PM – 3PM
The furniture and decorative arts collection is particularly strong in 19th century vernacular furniture and household items, especially pieces that have been used by Phelps and collateral family members such as the Zoological Series dinner set acquired by Fanny Rosanna Phelps Pettibone around the time of her marriage in 1823. Of special note is the Higley highboy, possibly the only known surviving dowry item purchased by John Owen for his daughter, Esther, when she married Brewster Higley III in 1757. Later remade into a “lowboy,” this piece was undoubtedly constructed by Windsor cabinet-maker William Manley.
The agriculture collection includes farm equipment and tools specific to dairy farming, and field crop implements specific to hay, rye and corn. Among their many interests, Phelps family members were active dairy farmers well into the twentieth century; 100 tons of hay and two tons of rye were among the property lost in the great barn blaze of 1896. The business collection represents the wide variety of interests that created and maintained Simsbury, including implements and artifacts used on canal boats, by physicians, and in law offices.
The vehicle collection represents popular forms of horse-drawn transportation dating from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The majority of the vehicles were acquired by donation in 1970; most retain their original paint and upholstery. Specific examples include the Three-Spring Wagon, which was available through the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog, the Park Phaeton, constructed by Henry Hooker of New Haven, CT, and the sleek Albany Cutter, built for brisk rides across snow and ice behind fast-paced trotters. Currently in protective storage in our Carriage House, the Ensign-Bickford Fuse Wagon may be viewed by special appointment.
The Simsbury Historical Society is a non-profit organization that depends upon your support. Please consider making a donation to support our efforts in preserving Simsbury's rich history. If you're interested in becoming a member of the Simsbury Historical Society, please visit our Membership page.