Tolland Historical Society

Tolland Historical Society The Daniel Benton Homestead, The Old Tolland County Courthouse and the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.
The Tolland Historical Society operates three museums. The Daniel Benton Homestead, The Old Tolland County Courthouse and the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum. Museums are open seasonally on Sundays 1-4pm.
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Any person, family or business interested in the purposes of the Society may become a member by making application to the Society. Volunteers always welcome.

Mission: It is the aim of the society to promote community awareness of local history

Here are today's answers:No. 23: a spring scale (for weighing meats, heavy bags of grain, etc.)No. 24: a large wick for ...
04/02/2020

Here are today's answers:

No. 23: a spring scale (for weighing meats, heavy bags of grain, etc.)
No. 24: a large wick for kerosene burner (camping or during emergencies)

We'll have two more clues tomorrow at 9 a.m. and noon.

Here's another item you might find in the shops in Rockville in the 1800s.What is Guess the Artifact No. 24?Stop back at...
04/02/2020

Here's another item you might find in the shops in Rockville in the 1800s.

What is Guess the Artifact No. 24?

Stop back at 3 p.m. for the answer.

If you went into Rockville or another city in the 1800s, you'd see this used in the shops.(Click on the image to view th...
04/02/2020

If you went into Rockville or another city in the 1800s, you'd see this used in the shops.
(Click on the image to view this item)

What's Guess the Artifact No. 23?

We'll have another clue at noon and the answers at 3 p.m.

Here are the answers to No. 21 and 22.21. Slates that children wrote on in school with chalk. They're named slates becau...
04/01/2020

Here are the answers to No. 21 and 22.

21. Slates that children wrote on in school with chalk. They're named slates because they were made of slate.
22. An inkwell.

Here's Guess the Artifact No. 22.Do any kids out there know what this 1800s-era item is?Check back with us at 3 p.m. for...
04/01/2020

Here's Guess the Artifact No. 22.
Do any kids out there know what this 1800s-era item is?

Check back with us at 3 p.m. for the answers to No. 21 and 22.

Here's a message from Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach for the students following along:Tolland had 13 ne...
04/01/2020

Here's a message from Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach for the students following along:

Tolland had 13 neighborhood schools but students also learned at home. Sound familiar? Because we were an agrarian (farm) community, children had no school during "mud" season in the spring, or in the fall to help with the harvest.

I hope some of the "what is it" items encourage students to do research on their own to learn more!

Here's Guess the Artifact No. 21. What are these 1800s-era items?

Check back at noon for another clue and the answers at 3 p.m.

Here are your answers:No. 19 is an oil can.No. 20 is a five-gallon pickle crock (also called a kraut crock.)Join us tomo...
03/31/2020

Here are your answers:
No. 19 is an oil can.
No. 20 is a five-gallon pickle crock (also called a kraut crock.)

Join us tomorrow at 9 a.m. and noon for two more clues.

Here's artifact No. 20.What is this 1800s-era household object?Check back at 3 p.m. for the answer.
03/31/2020

Here's artifact No. 20.
What is this 1800s-era household object?

Check back at 3 p.m. for the answer.

Children learned skills by shadowing (following) their parents when they did chores. You may be noticing that many thing...
03/31/2020

Children learned skills by shadowing (following) their parents when they did chores. You may be noticing that many things we have and do today, we had and did in the past, just differently, and with more "elbow grease."

Here's Guess the Artifact No. 19. What item is it from the 1800s?

Join us at noon for No. 20 and at 3 p.m. for the answers.

Artifact No. 17 is a milk can, and No. 18 is Bag Balm, which was used for chapped cow's udders and farmers' hands.Join u...
03/30/2020

Artifact No. 17 is a milk can, and No. 18 is Bag Balm, which was used for chapped cow's udders and farmers' hands.

Join us again tomorrow at 9 a.m. and noon for two more clues.

For our Guess the Artifact No. 18, we have a household item that can be still used today after all of the hand-washing w...
03/30/2020

For our Guess the Artifact No. 18, we have a household item that can be still used today after all of the hand-washing we're doing.

What was its original use in the 1800s?

Stop back at 3 p.m. for the answer.

Here are today's Guess the Artifacts clues from Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach:History can repeat itsel...
03/30/2020

Here are today's Guess the Artifacts clues from Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach:
History can repeat itself. In the 1800s, children helped at home. In Tolland, that usually meant around the family farm.

What 1800s item is this Guess the Artifact No. 17?

We'll have No. 18 at noon and the answers at 3 p.m.

The Tolland Historical Society recently held a contest to choose a slogan to raise awareness about our need to raise $15...
03/28/2020

The Tolland Historical Society recently held a contest to choose a slogan to raise awareness about our need to raise $150,000 this year to restore the bell tower on the Old Tolland County Court House Museum.
Our aim is to repair the structure that holds up the bell and to be able to ring it again.
Our winning slogan is "Let History Ring."
Tolland student Kate Reinard has donated a lovely drawing of the bell tower and cupola on the court house for us to use during the fundraising drive. Thank you, Kate!
The winning slogan was suggested by a society member who wishes to remain anonymous.
The runners-up were Sandy Willis, who suggested "The Bell Tolls for Tolland" and Patricia Nelson, who suggested "An apPEAL for Tolland."
Thank you to Sandy and Patricia and everyone who entered the contest.
To support the project, tax-deductible donations may be mailed to the Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084.

From Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach:Last, we'll address the room that no home in the 1800s had. But the...
03/27/2020

From Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach:
Last, we'll address the room that no home in the 1800s had. But these important items resided in the bed chamber.

No. 15: a pitcher, bowl and covered chamber pot set
No. 16: a men's shaving set.

Thanks for playing along all week. We'll be back with more Guess the Artifact clues Monday at 9 a.m. and noon.

Here's another two-part question.Collectively, what is Artifact No. 16 called and in what room of an 1800s-era home was ...
03/27/2020

Here's another two-part question.
Collectively, what is Artifact No. 16 called and in what room of an 1800s-era home was it used?

We'll post our answers at 3 p.m. today.

Each of our Guess the Artifacts clues today has a two-part question.No. 15: What are these items called and in what room...
03/27/2020

Each of our Guess the Artifacts clues today has a two-part question.
No. 15: What are these items called and in what room of an 1800s-era home were they used?
Stop back at noon for Artifact No. 16.

Today's answers from Historical Society President Kathy Bach: Tin was an important source material for making various ev...
03/26/2020

Today's answers from Historical Society President Kathy Bach:
Tin was an important source material for making various everyday items in the 1800s.
No. 13: a jelly funnel
No. 14: a candle form

We'll have two more clues tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m.

Oops. We at the Tolland Historical Society got delayed in posting No. 14 in our Guess the Artifact series.What is this t...
03/26/2020

Oops. We at the Tolland Historical Society got delayed in posting No. 14 in our Guess the Artifact series.
What is this tin 1800s item?
We'll give you the answers for No. 13 and 14 at 4 p.m. today and will get back on schedule tomorrow.

It's lucky No. 13 in the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact series.What is this 1800s household item?We'll ...
03/26/2020

It's lucky No. 13 in the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact series.
What is this 1800s household item?
We'll post No. 14 at noon and have both answers for your at 3 p.m.

There isn't much we do in the kitchen today that couldn't be done in the 1800s, Kathy Bach, president of the Tolland His...
03/25/2020

There isn't much we do in the kitchen today that couldn't be done in the 1800s, Kathy Bach, president of the Tolland Historical Society, says.
Artifact No. 11 is a waffle iron.
No. 12 is a coffee grinder made by the Charles Parker Co. of Meriden.

It's the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact No. 12.What is this 1800s item?Answers to No. 11 and 12 at 3 p....
03/25/2020

It's the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact No. 12.
What is this 1800s item?

Answers to No. 11 and 12 at 3 p.m. today.

It's the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact No. 11.What is this 1800s household item? (This may be too easy...
03/25/2020

It's the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact No. 11.
What is this 1800s household item? (This may be too easy.)
We'll post No. 12 at noon and have the answers for you at 3 p.m.

Here are the answers to today's Guess the Artifact contest from Kathy Bach, president of the historical society: Conveni...
03/24/2020

Here are the answers to today's Guess the Artifact contest from Kathy Bach, president of the historical society:

Conveniences you ask? Of course there were conveniences in the 1800s.
No. 9 Bed warmer
No. 10 Stereoscoptic or Stereoscope, like a ViewMaster.

Here's Artifact No. 10 from the 1800s.Anyone want to guess what it is?We'll have an answer at 3 p.m.Thanks to Kathy Bach...
03/24/2020

Here's Artifact No. 10 from the 1800s.
Anyone want to guess what it is?

We'll have an answer at 3 p.m.
Thanks to Kathy Bach, director of the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum, for all of the photos.

Let's see who knows what this is.This is Artifact No. 9 from the 1800s.We'll post No. 10 at noon and have your answers a...
03/24/2020

Let's see who knows what this is.
This is Artifact No. 9 from the 1800s.
We'll post No. 10 at noon and have your answers at 3 p.m.

Here are today's answers from Kathy Bach, director of the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum:No. 7: work items were well...
03/23/2020

Here are today's answers from Kathy Bach, director of the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum:
No. 7: work items were well made in the 1800s to last a lifetime in many cases. This is a handsaw.

No. 8 Slicing and peeling were just as easy 200 years ago. This item looked more primitive in the 1800s, but it got the job done! It's a mandoline slicer for slicing vegetables.

Here's artifact No. 8.What is this 1800s item?We'll post the answers to 7 and 8 at 3 p.m. today.
03/23/2020

Here's artifact No. 8.
What is this 1800s item?

We'll post the answers to 7 and 8 at 3 p.m. today.

It's Guess the Artifact No. 7.What is the 1800s item at the top of the photo?We'll post No. 8 at noon and then give you ...
03/23/2020

It's Guess the Artifact No. 7.
What is the 1800s item at the top of the photo?

We'll post No. 8 at noon and then give you both answers at 3 p.m.

Answers for Guess the Artifacts No. 5 and 6.Kathy Bach, president to the Tolland Historical Society, says around the kit...
03/20/2020

Answers for Guess the Artifacts No. 5 and 6.
Kathy Bach, president to the Tolland Historical Society, says around the kitchen, we find lots of "conveniences" to help prepare food in the 1800s.

No. 5 is an apple peeler.
No. 6 is a potato ricer.

It's been fun having you follow along this week. We'll be back with more clues on Monday at 9 a.m. and noon.

We guess Artifact No. 5 was too easy. Maybe Artifact No. 6 is a bit more obscure.What is this 1800s artifact?(Click on t...
03/20/2020

We guess Artifact No. 5 was too easy. Maybe Artifact No. 6 is a bit more obscure.
What is this 1800s artifact?
(Click on the image to see the whole thing.)

Come on back at 3 p.m. today for the answers. Thanks for following along.

It's Guess the Artifact No. 5.What is this 1800s item?We'll post No. 6 at noon and both answers at 3 p.m. today.Thanks f...
03/20/2020

It's Guess the Artifact No. 5.
What is this 1800s item?

We'll post No. 6 at noon and both answers at 3 p.m. today.
Thanks for all of your guesses, especially from the kids learning from home, and thanks to the Girl Scout troop that's using our posts for a badge.

Today's answers from Kathy Bach, the Tolland Historical Society president and director of the Old Tolland County Jail an...
03/19/2020

Today's answers from Kathy Bach, the Tolland Historical Society president and director of the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum:

Making food from scratch was an everyday chore in the 1800s. Everyone in the family participated.
Guess the Artifact No. 3 is a hand butter churn.
No. 4 is a sausage press.

Follow along tomorrow at 9 a.m. and noon and see the answers at 3 p.m.

Here's the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact No. 4.Answers to 3 and 4 will be posted at 3 p.m. today.Thank...
03/19/2020

Here's the Tolland Historical Society's Guess the Artifact No. 4.
Answers to 3 and 4 will be posted at 3 p.m. today.

Thanks to all who are guessing our 1800s items and following along, including some of our relatives from Colorado and Illinois.

It's Guess the Artifact No. 3!What is this 1800s item? We'll post Guess the Artifact No. 4 at noon and post the answers ...
03/19/2020

It's Guess the Artifact No. 3!
What is this 1800s item?
We'll post Guess the Artifact No. 4 at noon and post the answers at 3 p.m.
Thanks for playing along while you're at home.

Photos by Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach

Here are today's Guess the Artifact answers.Work items were well made in the 1800s to last a lifetime in many cases.No. ...
03/18/2020

Here are today's Guess the Artifact answers.

Work items were well made in the 1800s to last a lifetime in many cases.
No. 1 is a photo of rug beaters.
No. 2 is a photo of a drill press.
Join the Tolland Historical Society with two more Guess the Artifact photos tomorrow at 9 a.m. and noon.

Here's Guess the Artifact No. 2!At 9 a.m. and noon each weekday, the historical society will post a photo of an 1800s ar...
03/18/2020

Here's Guess the Artifact No. 2!
At 9 a.m. and noon each weekday, the historical society will post a photo of an 1800s artifact and our followers can guess what it is.
We'll provide the answers at 3 p.m. each day.
Hope you'll follow along, take some guesses and have fun.

The Tolland Historical Society wants to do its part to keep parents and children who are at home entertained and educate...
03/18/2020

The Tolland Historical Society wants to do its part to keep parents and children who are at home entertained and educated.
Every weekday at 9 a.m. and noon, we'll post a photo of an 1800s artifact and ask people to respond with their guess of what the object is or was used for.
Then at 3 p.m., we'll post the answers.
Hope you will follow along and have fun!
Here are two of our first items.

A special message from Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach:     Some weeks ago, our thoughtful and deliberat...
03/11/2020

A special message from Tolland Historical Society President Kathy Bach:
Some weeks ago, our thoughtful and deliberate Tolland Antiques Show director, Mary-Pat Soucy, in consultation with the Tolland Historical Society board, made the appropriate decision to cancel the 2020 show.
In a letter to past dealers, she wrote that "with declining markets and unpredictable income, the prudent decision for this year is to focus all of our efforts on our Court House."
She was referring to the large capital project the society is undertaking to restore its 1822 Court House Museum cupola and bell tower. Soucy, who also handles major fundraising events for the society, is planning fundraising opportunities to raise about $150,000 for the project in 2020.
This was a difficult decision after running a successful show for 53 years, but we have to focus on preserving our beautiful museum on the Tolland Green.

Do you have a slogan that will ring our bell?Today, Feb. 21, is the last day for residents to enter our contest to sugge...
02/14/2020

Do you have a slogan that will ring our bell?

Today, Feb. 21, is the last day for residents to enter our contest to suggest a catchy fundraising slogan to restore the bell tower on the 1822 Old Tolland County Court House Museum.
The society must raise $150,000 to restore the interior structure that cradles the bell as well as restoring and replacing some exterior parts of the bell tower itself on the stately building that graces the historic Tolland Green. At the end of the project, the society will be able to once again ring the bell.�
The winner of the slogan contest will receive a $50 gift card and a book of Tolland history written by a local author, and the runner-up will receive a $25 gift card.
Entries should be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084 no later than Feb. 21. Please include suggested slogan, name and email address or phone number. �

Photo by Tom Calabrese

Tolland Historical Society holds slogan contest for Tolland residents     In 2020, the Tolland Historical Society is und...
01/20/2020

Tolland Historical Society holds slogan contest for Tolland residents

In 2020, the Tolland Historical Society is undertaking a major fundraising drive to restore the bell tower on the 1822 Old Tolland County Court House Museum, and it’s asking for help from Tolland residents of all ages.
The society must raise $150,000 to restore the interior structure that cradles the bell as well as restoring and replacing some interior and exterior parts of the bell tower itself on the stately building that graces the historic Tolland Green. At the end of the project, the society will be able to once again ring the bell.

To build excitement for the project, the society is asking Tolland residents to suggest a catchy slogan for the fundraising campaign. The winner will receive a $50 gift card and a book of Tolland history written by a local author, and the runner-up will receive a $25 gift card.
Entries should be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Tolland Historical Society, P.O. Box 107, Tolland, CT 06084 no later than Feb. 21. Please include suggested slogan, name and email address or phone number. 

The existing courthouse replaced an earlier building built in 1785 to satisfy the state’s requirement that the town provide a courthouse and a jail in order to be designated as the Tolland County seat.

All court sessions in Tolland County were held in the building until about 1890. From 1899 to 1985, the town’s public library operated in the building.

The Tolland Public Library Association gave the courthouse to the society in 2001, when it became the society’s third museum. The first floor is home to the French Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut, and the top floor includes a beautiful courtroom that has been restored to look as it did in the 19th century.


Photo by Tom Calabrese

Thank you to Tim Leininger of the Journal Inquirer for this terrific photo and interview of the Society's president Kath...
01/05/2020
Conversation with Kathy Bach

Thank you to Tim Leininger of the Journal Inquirer for this terrific photo and interview of the Society's president Kathy Bach, who is also director of the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum.

VERNON — All Kathleen Bach — Kathy for short — wanted by the time she moved to Connecticut was to settle down and establish roots.

The Tolland Historical Society is excited to greet your trick or treaters tonight until 8 p.m. at the jail museum at 52 ...
10/31/2019

The Tolland Historical Society is excited to greet your trick or treaters tonight until 8 p.m. at the jail museum at 52 Tolland Green.

Thanks to our terrific crew and the folks who came out tonight to our "Terror in the Tolland Jail" fundraiser. Happy Hal...
10/19/2019

Thanks to our terrific crew and the folks who came out tonight to our "Terror in the Tolland Jail" fundraiser. Happy Halloween. 👹👻👽🎃👾💀😈

Be prepared to be scared! Adults and children 10 and up are invited to spend a spooky night at the Old Tolland County Ja...
10/08/2019

Be prepared to be scared! Adults and children 10 and up are invited to spend a spooky night at the Old Tolland County Jail and Museum at 52 Tolland Green on Oct. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. when the Tolland Historical Society holds its “Terror in the Tolland Jail” event.

Come hear a spine-tingling fictional tale, circa 1880, about something horrific that has happened at the jail. Meet the frightening inmates. Visit their cells for chilling sights. Re-live history as it might have happened at Halloween.

Admission is $10, and the proceeds benefit the society.
 Caution: the event has a scary theme.
For more information, contact Mary-Pat Soucy at [email protected].

Thank you to those who loaned us quilts, our volunteers and the visitors who made this weekend a success.
09/29/2019

Thank you to those who loaned us quilts, our volunteers and the visitors who made this weekend a success.

Address

52 Tolland Grn
Tolland, CT
06084

General information

In addition to museums we maintain Archives and Library. Educational programs for schools and youth as well as public programs are conducted. The Society sponsors annual Antiques Show.

Opening Hours

Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(860) 870-9599

Alerts

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Comments

Have quantity of political memorabilia—might be good for your archives -give me a call
Can anyone tell me what the old road that crosses 84 between exit 68 and 69 is ? Thanks
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO THE PEOPLE THAT YOU THINK WILL BE INTERESTED, THANK YOU. JERRY DOUGHERTY'S CONNECTICUT https://public.fotki.com/GCDOUGHERTY/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/gcdougherty/COLLECTIONS/
Is it possible to buy the William P McDermott book: Tolland, a CT Town 1715-1815? My ancestor John Coltrain lived there from 1769 to at least 1778. I have total value of taxable property for each year from 1770 to 1786. The value ranged from low of 21 pounds to a high of 44 pounds. At what economic status would he be during this time? He had 63 ac of land. Thanks, Dorothy
Can anyone give me any info on the stone sphere's and the beautiful mausoleum at the North Cemetery in Tolland? Seems out of place. SOmeone that didn't want to buried with the commoners?
I grew up in Tolland and tell my kids every year that I want to bring them to the Hick's Stearns to tour their Christmas set up and want to make this year THE year. I can't find any information anywhere though... Will it be open for Christmas tours this year? Thanks in advance!
I hope you can see these photos. We had a great time at the Benton House for the 17th c. event. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Colonial-Living-History-Alliance-162045140499235/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1329090857127985
It's not me there are 4 Dina Benton's onFacebook .that's why I created my own Facebook profile.l didn't want anyone thinking they were me.
It's always a treat to visit the Benton Homestead and step back into American history. I'm looking forward to once again meeting people who share an interest in the American Revolution and chatting with them about Forever, Side by Side - my novel of Elisha Benton and Jemima Barrows, and Tolland in the run-up to war. Hope to see you tomorrow! John