Shaded by a 300-year-old sycamore tree, the Hatheway House provides a glimpse of 18th century life. The main block of the house was built in the 1760s by Shem Burbank for his bride. Here they raised a large family until financial reverses forced the sale of the property to Oliver Phelps, a prosperous land speculator. To reflect his increasing wealth, Phelps altered the existing house and in 1794 added a wing in the current high fashion. This wing still has rooms with their original vibrant-colored French wallpapers. After Phelps’ death in debt, the house was purchased by Asahel Hatheway and it remained in the Hatheway family for a century. Today, the site is maintained by the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society as an historic house museum. The attractive grounds are set off from the street with an ornate fence built by Phelps. A handsome summer house overlooks formal flower beds, maintained by the local garden club.
Founded in 1936, the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society is a
non-profit organization chartered to preserve the heritage of
the state of Connecticut. It presently maintains eight historic
house museums throughout the state and sponsors programs
for its members including the publication of the Antiquarian.