Box 189

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact John Renjilian, 203-426-0864


The Matthew Curtiss House, home of the Newtown 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 housemuseum, 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.

The Historical Society will offer a chance to view these treasures in their context within the Curtiss House on May 19, conducting an open house at the historic building from 12 – 4. Costumed docents will be available to lead tours, or you are free to walk through the house on your own. Please join us for a special event demonstrating paper quilling. This involves rolled and shaped strips of paper that are glued together to form decorative designs which can be added to other objects such as greeting cards, or left on their own as pieces of art. Quilling, or paper filigree, is an ancient technique dating to at least the Renaissance. The workshop will be offered by Lisa Ronalter. In the demonstration you will learn the history of the craft, and then, join in and learn how to arrange, curl and bend small strips of paper to create beautiful and detailed artwork to take home with you. All supplies provided.

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.