Litchfield County: Happening in the Hills

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Kent Barns

Enjoy the shops, galleries, restaurants, and other businesses in the more than dozen buildings. It is the ideal place in any season to spend time browsing shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Kent Barns
6 N Main Street

Lock Museum of America

This landmark is a quirky, off-the-beaten-path kind of place that traces the history of locks and lockmaking in America. The Museum houses an extensive lock collection that includes a cannon ball safe, 30 early era time locks, safe escutcheon plates, a large number of British safe locks, door locks, padlocks, handcuffs and keys, and more. Located in Terryville, the museum is directly across from the original site of the Eagle Lock Company, founded in 1854. Major collections are displayed by company or theme. The Eagle Lock Room contains over 1,000 locks and keys manufactured from 1854 to 1954. The Bank Lock Room comprises a selection of bank locks, vault locks, safe locks and time locks. The Corbin-Russwin Room contains a large display of ornate hardware. Several pieces are gold plated and enameled. One of the animated displays shows how a pin tumbler lock works. A large display of mounted door knobs and escutcheons made by Russwin and P & F Corbin during the Victorian era are extensively detailed in styles such as Roman, Greek, French and Italian Renaissance, Gothic, Flemish, and Elizabethan English. The Yale Room accommodates locks manufactured by the company from 1860 to 1950. One of the attractions here is the original patent model of the Mortise Cylinder Pin Tumbler Lock designed by Linus Yale Jr., in 1865. While this device is considered the greatest invention in the history of lockmaking, it is certainly not without historical precedence. Close by is a 4,000 year old Egyptian made pin tumbler lock. There is a large display of locks and hardware made by Sargent and Co. in New Haven, Ct. Several early exit devices and door closers are on display as well. The Antique Lock Room contains a large display of colonial locks and Ornate European locks dating back to the 1500’s. The museum is open seasonally from May 1st through October 31st; Tuesday through Friday, 1:30pm – 4:00pm, weekends by appointment. You can call Thomas Hennessy, Jr. to schedule a visit. See contact info below.

230 Main Street (Route 6)

Jabez Bacon House

The Jabez Bacon House is an architecturally significant three-story Georgian house built circa 1760 for the man reputed to be Connecticut’s first millionaire. Acknowledged as one of the finest 18th century houses in Connecticut, the Jabez Bacon house combines an extraordinary level of fine workmanship with well-preserved and uniquely beautiful features in superb original condition. Jabez Bacon was a self-made merchant who bought the property in Woodbury in 1758 at the age of 28.  He was a partner in the Derby Fishing Company, which owned ships and traded along the eastern seaboard.  Bacon had a store, now a private home next door, and was said to have sold supplies to the yankee peddlers for all of western Connecticut and into New York and Massachusetts.

30 Hollow Road, Woodbury

Glebe House Museum and Gertrude Jekyll Garden

Set in historic Woodbury’s village center, the Glebe House Museum offers the visitor a glimpse of Revolutionary War era Connecticut. The simple but elegant 18th century farmhouse is furnished as the home of the Reverend John Marshall, who lived in here during the American war for Independence. In 1926, famed English horticultural designer and writer, Gertrude Jekyll was commissioned to plan an “old fashioned” garden to enhance the newly created museum.  The Glebe House garden includes 600 feet of classic English style mixed border and foundation plantings, a planted stone terrace, and an intimate rose allée.

49 Hollow Rd, Woodbury


Winsted Hosiery Mill

Founded in 1882, the Winsted Hosiery Company was a small manufacturer of men’s hosiery.  By 1936 it had grown to become the largest hosiery manufacturer in Connecticut. The company’s red-brick industrial complex exemplifies the Italianate and Renaissance Revival design influences on manufacturing facilities around the turn of the century. Most of the mill buildings in the Winsted Hosiery complex retain a high degree of architectural integrity.

101 Whiting Street, Winsted

Soldier’s Monument and Memorial Park

Completed in 1890, Soldiers’ Monument was erected as a memorial to the men of the surrounding communities who served in the Civil War. The monument is on a crest of Camp Hill on Crown Street overlooking Winsted’s downtown Main Street.  During World War II, the monument served as a watchtower for aerial activity to provide early warning protection for our state and nation.  Today, the Monument and Memorial grounds continue to serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by all citizens for freedom and provide a location for reflection and rest.

Crown Street, Winsted

Gilbert Clock Factory

The Gilbert Clock Company started its long history of clock making in December of 1828. It became one of America’s giants in the industry, spanning over 130 years. Originally known as Marsh, Gilbert and Company, it was founded by William Lewis Gilbert (1807-90) and his brother-in-law George Marsh when they purchased a clock shop servicing the Farmington and Bristol, Connecticut area. Around 1834, they moved the company to Dayton, Ohio but returned to Bristol after only a year. In 1837, John Birge joined the firm, and the name was changed to Birge, Gilbert, & Company. Shortly thereafter, Chauncey and Nobel Jerome and Zelotus Grant became partners with Gilbert, and in 1837 the company was know as Jerome, Grant, Gilbert, & Company. This company manufactured Jerome’s cheap brass-movement clocks. In October of 1841, Gilbert moved to Winchester (called Winsted at that time), Connecticut and purchased a clock factory with Lucius Clarke. This new partnership was named Clarke, Gilbert, & Company. They produced inexpensive brass clocks from 1841 to 1845 when William Gilbert bought out Clarke’s share and continued operations as W. L. Gilbert & Company. In 1848, Clarke re-purchased his shares and the firm was known as Gilbert & Clarke.

Wallens St, Winchester

Hollister House Garden

Gideon Hollister, a leading early resident of Washington, built this house about 1765 for his son Preston. In addition to farming, the enterprising Gideon operated a sawmill, a trading post, and a potash works; he also held civic and military posts. Succeeding generations of Hollisters occupied the house until the middle of the 20th century and continued to be important in Washington. Open fields, barns and other outbuildings on the property bear witness to the homesteads ongoing use as a farm. In the latter part of the 20th century, the house became, like many other Litchfield County farmsteads, a weekend home.

Because Washington was still remote in the mid-18th century, the house’s architecture is simple. Its saltbox form is uncommon in the region (only three exist today in Washington), and the finishes are plain. Later additions maintained this overall simplicity. Although it is not old enough to contribute to the homestead’s historic significance, the garden is noteworthy. The gardens were begun in 1979 by George Schoellkopf and planned to compliment the old house and the surrounding landscape. The garden unfolds in a successive series of “rooms” bordered by walls and hedges which create an architectural framework for the romantic abundance of the plantings. The garden is open to the public late April to mid-October.

Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Rd

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