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Connecticut Open House Day

Please join us for the 14th annual Open House Day sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism. This one-day statewide event is designed to showcase Connecticut’s diverse world of history, art, and tourism.

Saturday, June 9 from 11 – 4
Allis-Bushnell House
853 Boston Post Road

The Madison Historical Society was founded more than a century ago with the goal of preserving the past for future generations. But why do we keep stuff and what do we learn from it? “Collecting and the Role of the Museum” will be the topic of the day at fourteenth annual Connecticut Open House Day. Visitors are encouraged to tour the 1785 Allis-Bushnell House and to learn about the treasures in their own backyard. In addition, the MHS will offer a 10 percent discount on purchases of books or posters.

Docents will also be offers tours of the downstairs rooms of the house, which are curated to represent five distinct periods. Our knowledgable guides will help visitors imagine each room’s purpose during notable events in Madison’s history. In the colonial kitchen, for instance, Abigail Meigs may well have organized a spinning party in 1770 to protest British taxes on such goods as tea and textiles. In the dining room,  Frederick Lee may have hosted, in May 1836, a celebration of the establishment of the newly named town of Madison. The tour continues to the year 1839, when an abolitionist meeting is known to have taken place here when the house was owned by Nathan and Chloe Bushnell. In the Victorian parlor, guides will describe fourteen-year-old Emilie Ely, who wrote passionately to her sister about Madison’s Civil War draft in 1861. The final “stop” on the tour is in the 1920 Tea Room, designed to evoke the spirit of Susan Josephine Hart on the day the women of Madison learned that they had won the right to vote.

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The Allis-Bushnell House

The Allis-Bushnell House was once home to Madison’s prominent Bushnell and Scranton families. Built in 1785, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Visitors to the Allis-Bushnell House can experience five historic days that unfolded within its rooms or in homes nearby.

The home’s lower-level rooms, each with distinct period architectural features, are decorated with period furniture, domestic implements, decorative arts, and paintings that illustrate how life was lived in Madison in five time periods from colonial days through the 1920s.

Each of these scenic “sets” is complemented by stories, shared by our guides, of life in the house as it was during colonial days, the Revolutionary War period, the Civil War period, and the Colonial Revival era.

The House is opened on occasion throughout the year for special events, talks, and exhibits. Public tours are given on CT Open House Day in early June and on the fourth Saturday in November, following Thanksgiving. Be sure to check our calendar for details.

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