Box 189

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact John Renjilian, 203-426-0864


The clock is ticking and the countdown is on for the first fall Open House at the Matthew Curtiss House! Time will be of the essence, as long-time clock collector, restorer and aficionado Jerry Valenti will be in residence on September 15, from 12.00-4.00, at 44 Main Street. Jerry has long tended to cleaning and keeping the Newtown Historical Society’s several time pieces running, and for this event he will be demonstrating how clocks work with cutaway models, discussing and showing examples of the history of clockmaking, and showing how the parts of a clock go together to keep us on time. Don’t be late for this event!

The Matthew Curtiss House, home of the Historical Society, is one of the oldest buildings on Main Street. It was constructed about 1750, and purchased by Matthew Curtiss in 1781; Curtiss continued to live there until his death in 1824. He is sometimes called Junior, in deference to his father, the first of the family to live in Newtown, though the elder apparently lived in the Berkshire section of town.

But the Curtiss House is not just an old building. Maintained by the Historical Society as a house museum, the Society’s collections on display are intended to represent the House throughout its life, not just the period of Curtiss ownership. Thus, the artifacts range from a tall case clock made in Newtown in the 1780s by Ebenezer Smith, to a nineteenth century weathervane that swung round the barn of Scrabble inventor James Brunot in the twentieth century, to twentieth century graphics and needlework. All the items in the House reflect either a direct Newtown connection or are examples of things that might well have been used in the town, whether for work, play, or to celebrate an occasion. These treasures will all be on view in their context within the Curtiss House, and they aren’t limited to sight: come hear the newly remastered recording of the 19th century Organette! Costumed docents will be available to lead tours, or you are free to walk through the house on your own.

The Newtown Historical Society is an entirely volunteer organization with no paid staff, and volunteer staffing limits the Society to one open house per month during the spring and fall. Please see the website for further information,, visit, or call 203-426-5937.