Four Remarkable 18th Century Houses
Located in the center of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides the quintessential New England experience. Old Wethersfield is a quiet town just south of Hartford that is known for its shade covered streets and lanes lined by over 300 historic houses — 50 of them built before the American Revolution. There are historically and architecturally significant churches and public buildings, an ancient burying ground, a variety of small shops, local farm stands, casual dining, and a scenic park overlooking the Cove that connects to the Connecticut River.
The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, owned and managed by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Connecticut, operates four remarkable 18th century houses, three of which are National Historic Landmarks:
- The 1752 Joseph Webb House served as General George Washington’s headquarters in May 1781. It was here where Washington met with French commander Rochambeau to plan the joint military campaign that led to the victory at Yorktown and the end of the American Revolution. The Webb House was later owned by Wallace Nutting
- The Silas Deane House, circa 1770, was built for America’s Revolutionary War diplomat to France as both his residence and as a power base for his political aspirations
- The Isaac Stevens House, 1789, depicts the life of a middle class family in the 1820s and 30s using many original family possessions. The newly opened second floor features the Colonial Dames’ toy collection, a children’s bed chamber and interactive exhibits on child life and play in the early 19th century
- The Buttolph–Williams House, built in 1711, is owned by Connecticut Landmarks and managed by the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. The medieval appearance of the exterior and the romantic interiors inspired local author Elizabeth George Speare to use the Buttolph-Williams house as the setting for her novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, first published in 1958
The three Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum-owned houses stand on their original foundations next door to one another on Main Street in Wethersfield. The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Colonial Revival Garden, based upon the 1921 design of Amy Cogswell, one of the first female landscape architects in the United State, and the Webb Barn, a popular site for meetings and weddings, are behind the Webb House.