Street Address
225 Prospect St
Winsted, CT 06098
Mailing Address
PO 206
Winsted, CT 06098
phone: 860-379-8433
Museum Type(s)
Staff
Milly Hudak, President

Description

Solomon Rockwell House (c.1813), a classical Revival Colonial mansion, displays Victorian fashions, doll house, military collection, extensive collection of Civil War memorabilia, paintings by Erastus Salisbury Field. Fire department museum.

History

From The Connecticut Guide, 1935

From Torrington we enter the town of Winchester, which was laid out by Hartford in 1732. The name was taken from Winchester in England. The region was remote, and the first settler did not arrive until 1750; town privileges were granted in 1771. Winchester is a broken hill country, the elevations ranging from 700 to over 1500 feet. It is in the Greenwoods section of the State, with abundant hemlock and pine. The town is noted for its laurel display, and an annual Laurel Drive is marked out in June.

Winsted was chartered as a borough in 1856 and as a city in 1915, and in 1930 had a population of 7,883. The name was a combination of Winchester and the neighboring town of Barkhamsted. It lies in a pocket of the hills, at the junction of the Mad and Still Rivers, which supply good waterpower. The Winsted Mfg. Co. has been making scythes since 1792, probably the oldest manufacturing concern in the State. The forerunner of the Wm. L. Gilbert Clock Co. started in 1807, making it the oldest of the present clock-making establishments in Connecticut. Among other important products are electric appliances, hardware, edge tools, silk thread, hosiery and underwear

The Gilbert School, an endowed high school, lies to our right as we enter the city, at North Main St. and Park Place. Wm. L. Gilbert, who ran $300 in debt to start business, at his death left to the town over $1,000,000 in well-planned philanthropies. He was identified with Winsted from 1841 to 1890. Turning west on Main St., we pass the County Court House, Town Hall, and four fine modern churhes. An old Mile Stone lies in the yard of the Methodist Church on our right. This was on the route of the old stage road from Hartford to Albany. A block west, on Lake St. at the corner of Meadow St., is the imposing Solomon Rockwell House, built in 1813, now headquarters of the Winchester Historical Society, with an exhibit of antiques. A projecting pediment is supported by 4 columns. The Barn in the rear is one of the gems of late Colonial architecture: a pedimented gable with semi-elliptical window, and heavy molding below the pediment and around the entire roof. There is also a small Cabin with somewhat similar treatment, except for square pillars on the corners, with Corinthian capitals. The Old Mill House, on the east side of Lake St., was built originally in 1771. The Beardsley Library, founded in 1874, stands at Main and Munro Sts., on our right.