Last updated: 3/7/2011
1907 Litchfield Turnpike
Woodbridge, CT 06525
anytime, but by appointment
The Darling House Museum is open several times during the year by way of significant events.
When Thomas Darling decided to leave New Haven to pursue a country squire's life, he hired Abiel Gray of West Hartford, CT to build his new home. It took Gray two years (1772-1774) to complete the project. The Gambrel roof structure is built on a central hall plan and incorporates several unusual features. The paneling and woodwork in the hallway and front rooms are rich in detail and accentuated by the nine foot three inch ceilings. Imported tiles of Biblical scenes over one fireplace suggest a New York influence.
Miss S. Berenice Baldwin willed the contents of the house to the Society, having sold the structure and 150 acres of the original farm to the town of Woodbridge. Miss Baldwin also had the distinction of being the first person to donate to the Society with her gift of $5.00 back in 1937! The town has placed the care of the house and outbuildings in the hands of the Society. This collection includes a large 18th century barn, a 19th century horse barn, a carriage shed, a chicken coop, a pig house, and a 19th century privy.
The Society has also amassed a large collection of farm implements which are on display in the horse barn. Quilts, linens, and period clothing comprise another special collection. Local archival records date back to the 17th century, and the extensive Darling family papers span three centuries.
The Society was founded in 1936 by a small group of citizens concerned with preserving the history of Woodbridge and Bethany. This has been accomplished through the acquisition of significant artifacts and by documenting many of the oral histories of earlier residents.
From Lucy Finney's living room (our first headquarters) to the 18th century splendor of the Thomas Darling House, the Society has become more than a vehicle to gather and preserve. Its role has expanded to include the dissemination of information to all who are interested and to promote a spirit of community in a rapidly changing world. Membership is open to all.
School and group tours are encouraged and may be booked by special arrangement by e-mail or phone 203-387-2823.
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