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April 14, 2023

$600K raised for ongoing renovations of Wethersfield’s Hurlbut-Dunham House

The Wethersfield Historical Society has raised about $600,000 to restore the town’s landmark Hurlbut-Dunham House with hopes of meeting the goal of raising $1 million by the end of this year, Historical Society Executive Director Amy Wittorff said.

The historical society has owned the 5,166-square-foot house, at 212 Main St., in the Old Wethersfield Historic and Cultural District, since 1970. The historical society has showcased the historic building, which dates back to the 1790s, as a museum since 1995.

Wittorff said the Georgian-style dwelling was the largest in the town when it was built more than 230 years ago.

The house, which has two floors and a cupola on top, has a rich history, Wittorff said. She said it was owned by women throughout most of its existence and “other stories feature the roles of immigrants and people of color who were integral to the community and the house through all historical periods,” she said.

The house was modernized and underwent major renovation and decorative changes in 1865, Wittorff said. But, today, the property is deteriorating to the point where it needs to be restored, she said. Among other things, Wittorff said, the foundation’s walls are buckling, the porch is sagging and there are concerns with its windows. In addition, the renovations will also include a first-ever handicapped accessible access way, she said.

Donations, Wittorff said, have come from citizens and foundations including about $9,000 from the 1772 Foundation; $1,500 from the Farmington Bank Community Foundation; and about $6,000 from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The renovated structure, Wittorff said, will allow the society to host more events and presentations in the building, The house will also then be available for rentals for events like intimate weddings, business meetings, and bridal showers.

The museum has and will continue to stay open during the renovations, Wittorff said. The hours of operation are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays between Memorial Day and Columbus Day. Admission is free.

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