Guilford Museums Celebrate Reopening With Free Weekend


By Jesse Williams / • 09/06/2021 7:00 AM EST

For the first time in over a year, historic homes and museums in Guilford are reopening, and to celebrate Connecticut Open House, many will be offering free entry this Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13, as that organizations that watch push them to get back on track after being closed to the public.

Maison Thomas Griswold MEDAD Stone Tavern Museum Henry Whitfield House Hyland and all opened their doors earlier this month. The Dudley Farm Museum resumed hosting events in mid-May.

All except Hyland are offering free or reduced entry to the Saturday June 12 Open House, a statewide program promoting tourism that is receiving special attention this summer as many businesses and cultural landmarks begin. the reopening process.

Notably, this Saturday will also feature the return of the popular label sale hosted by the Guilford Keeping Society (GKS), which maintains and preserves the Thomas Griswold House and Medad Stone Tavern, as this organization seeks to get back on track. after a year. mostly cut off from public events

“It’s a big deal, and it’s a great place to do it,” said GKS member Sue Stottard. “This is where we earn the money to maintain these two old houses. It’s a lot of

The sale, which looks more like a flea market behind Maison Griswold, with vendors renting spaces to showcase their wares, is already exceeding expectations from last year, according to Stottard, with 28 spaces rented a week before the sale.

Whether it’s going back to these kinds of community fundraising events or just seeing people come back inside the structures, the local historic site community is just thrilled to start welcoming residents again and visitors.

“It’s kind of super special,” said GKS director and curator Pat Lovelace. “We’ve kind of rejuvenated things a bit. “

It hasn’t been easy last year, especially for GKS, which is home to hundreds of historical artifacts, photographs and documents, and is also responsible for the upkeep of homes, which are aging and in need of special care. .

Without the ability to host most of its annual fundraisers, including beer and wine tastings and picnics, Lovelace said GKS has survived on a handful of grants and donations as members are trying to replace the windows and install a functional carpentry shop in the Griswold house, among others.

The hope is that as people feel more comfortable and vaccinations continue to increase, GKS will be able to organize a full list of events and start building their collection list. funds and possibly return to indoor events as well, according to Stottard.

Stottard said that in the past the tag sale was one of the biggest events and included donated items sold by GKS itself as well as plants and flowers donated by the Guilford Garden Club and Leete’s Island Garden Club.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, both houses of GKS will be open on weekends in September and the other museums also said they hope to return to normal operations for the public.

This is the most important thing, according to Lovelace, and the true mission of those who continued to spend on local history through the difficulties of last year.

“It warms my heart so much, because it is the history and people of Guilford were not able to see,” said Lovelace.

For more information on GKS, visit For more information on the Hyland House Museum, visit For more information on the Dudley Farm Museum, visit For more information on the Henry Whitfield State Museum, visit

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