Operated by the National Society of The Colonial Dames, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum is a complex consisting of several historical homes and buildings available to tour. The Joseph Webb House, The Silas Deane House, and The Isaac Stevens House are the main attractions, but the complex is also home to the Buttolph-Williams House, The Webb Barn, and a Colonial Revival-style garden which is listed as one of Connecticut's Historic Gardens.
Backstory and Context
The Joseph Webb House:
Joseph Webb built this house in 1752 following his marriage. Following his death in 1761, the house was inherited by his son, Joseph Jr. Notably, the house was used as George Washington's headquarters in May 1781 and was where the Continental General met with Rochambeau prior to the Battle of Yorktown. The house has been used as a museum since 1916 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
The Silas Deane House:
Silas Deane graduated from Yale University in 1758 and was admitted to the bar in 1761. He moved to Wethersfield to establish his law practice and became the legal advisor to Joseph Webb's widow, Mehitabel Webb. Silas and Mehitabel married in 1763.
Deane played a rather large role in the American Revolution; the museum's website states, "He was secretary of Connecticut’s Committee of Correspondence, served as one of Connecticut’s delegates to the Continental Congress in 1774, and helped plan and finance the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May of 1775. By June of 1776, he was in Paris secretly securing French military supplies for the patriot cause. Our nation’s first diplomat, he shared lodgings with Benjamin Franklin and signed the treaties of alliance and commerce that Franklin negotiated with France, the first country to recognize the United States as an independent nation."
The Isaac Stevens House:
Construction of the Isaac Stevens House was completed in 1789. The house now showcases what a middle-class household would have been like around 1830. The second floor is dedicated to a children's exhibit.
The Buttolph-Williams House:
Originally built between 1711 and 1714, the Buttolph-Williams House originally served as both the residence of Benjamin and Annie Belden and their tavern. The Antiquarian & Landmarks Society (now Connecticut Landmarks) opened the house to the public in 1951, after fairly extensive renovations. Now, the house serves as a museum showcasing late seventeenth-century decor. Notably, the popular YA novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond was set in The Buttolph-Williams House; the museum offers The Witch of Blackbird Pond-themed tours for school groups.
The Buttolph-Williams House, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. Accessed March 8th 2021. https://webb-deane-stevens.org/historic-houses-barns/buttolph-williams-house/.
Isaac Stevens House, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. Accessed March 8th 2021. https://webb-deane-stevens.org/historic-houses-barns/isaac-stevens-house/.
History of the Silas Deane House, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. Accessed March 8th 2021. https://webb-deane-stevens.org/historic-houses-barns/silas-deane-house/.
Joseph Webb House, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. Accessed March 8th 2021. https://webb-deane-stevens.org/historic-houses-barns/webb-house/.
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Connecticut Historic Gardens. Accessed March 8th 2021. https://www.cthistoricgardens.org/webb-deane-stevens-museum.