Coley House Reopens, October 2

The historic Coley House on the grounds of Weston Historical Society reopens on Sunday, October 2 after five years of restoration and a unique reinterpretation: new exhibits focus on life in the 1940s.

Guided tours are free on opening day. Space is limited, so registration is required.

After the 2nd, the Coley House and exhibits in the main building will be open on Thursdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00. Coley House tours are guided and take place on the hour. The exhibit hall is self guided. Admission after Sunday’s reopening is $5.00 per person, but free for current Weston Historical Society members.

Meet the Weston History and Culture Center

On another note, the Weston Historical Society is about to have a new name. Starting next week, it will be known as the Weston History and Culture Center. The rebranding is meant to emphasize the diversity of the organization’s current programs and its plans for the future.

So, here is how the Weston History and Culture Center describes what you will see in the restored Coley House:

Life in the 1940s

On your guided tour, learn how the Coley family would have lived, worked, and played during the 1940s. Using photographic evidence and historic research, rooms on the first floor have been interpreted in the 1941–1945 period when three generations of the Coley family occupied the home.

In the parlor, learn about leisure time on the home front during World War II. Sit down at the dining room table for an interactive experience as you discuss topics important to the Coley family and Weston during this period. Explore a kitchen in transition as technology and World War II impacted food supplies, appliances and everyday household tasks.

Learn about the lady of the home, Cleora Coley, who served multiple roles in the family. Complete your visit with self-guided tours of three new exhibitions in the Coley House.

In the back parlor, enjoy the interactive exhibition “Life in the 40s.” Compare architecture, food, communication and education in the 1840s(when the house was built), 1940s(when the last three generations lived in the home) and then predict what life will look like in 2040.

Upstairs, explore the exhibition, “Let’s Play!” Without video games, TV and computers, how did children have fun in Weston all those years ago? Find out in the new permanent exhibit located in Jimmy Coley’s former bedroom.

Learn about the Weston Toy Company, view toys created in Weston, and explore toys and games children would have enjoyed in the 1840s and the 1940s. See the restored wallpaper that was installed for Jimmy when he was a child back in the early 1950s.

Across the hall is the exhibition, “Twelve Stories of Weston,” which uses objects from the Weston Historical Society’s collection and reproductions to highlight twelve important moments in Weston’s history.

From Weston’s Indigenous inhabitants, to the rise and fall of Weston’s industrial age, to the impact of the Merritt Parkway and the Saugatuck Reservoir, learn how Weston has evolved.

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