Gunn Historical Museum

The mission of the Gunn Historical Museum is to collect, preserve, and share the objects and stories which illuminate the history of Washington, Connecticut. Our beginnings date back to 1899 when the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution opened the Judea Historical Room in a house on the Green. When the Gunn Memorial Library was built in 1908 the collection was moved across the street into the lower level of the library. In 1965 June Willis bequeathed her house to the library and the museum moved next door.

The Gunn Museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

Free guided exhibit tours continue every Saturday from 1 to 2pm. Please call 860-868-7756 or email info@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org to register in advance. Tour groups are limited six people.

To download and review our safety protocols before visiting click here: Gunn Museum Safety Protocols. Face masks are required inside the Museum. We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum!

WASHINGTON, CONNECTICUT – AN AMERICAN STORY

 

Explore the unique people, places, and events that have shaped Washington’s rich history in our award-winning exhibit.

Click here to read more about the exhibit as well as some positive reviews.

Cemetery Tour

14th Annual Washington Cemetery Tour

Friday, October 29, 2021, 6:30-8:30pm

Ticket Registration Opens on Oct. 1

Washington Cemetery Tour

The Washington Cemetery Tour is an annual “living history” event produced by the Gunn Museum with the support of local theater luminaries, Doug and Martha Winkel of The Dramalites, showcasing the rich history of Washington using costumed actors to portray residents from the past. In this year’s tour, which will be in-person, we will be sharing new stories about “Residents of The Green”; the untold fascinating accounts of those who lived and worked around Washington Green in the past. Costumed tour guides with lanterns will lead groups of visitors along a magical path of 1,000 luminarias, spanning a quarter-mile from the Gunn Museum through the shadowy Washington Green Cemetery, where the town’s departed citizens will be stationed at their graves to tell their true tales. The rain date is Sat. Oct. 30, 6:30-8:30pm. New this year: Free tickets are required to attend and can only be obtained in advance by online reservation starting on October 1 at gunnmuseum.org

No onsite tickets will be available as in years past. Attendees must check in at the booth in the museum parking lot 15 minutes before your tour departure time. Please print your tickets or have them ready on your phone when you check in. If you are late and miss your tour, we cannot add you to another tour.

The Washington Green Cemetery Tour starts at the Gunn Historical Museum at 5 Wykeham Road, Washington, CT. Tours depart every ten minutes between 6:30 and 8:30 pm and last approximately one hour. The First Congregational Church at 6 Kirby Road, across the street from the Museum, will be a stop on the Cemetery Tour this year. The Gunn Library and Museum buildings will not be open during the tour this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While there is no fee for this event, donations are greatly appreciated. All funds raised support the Gunn Historical Museum.

We ask that you please be mindful and select a time slot that you are certain you can attend, so that the tours can run smoothly the evening of the Cemetery Tour. No changes can be made to online reservations the day of the Cemetery Tour. If, for any reason, you need to cancel or change your time slot, you must do so online at least one day in advance. You may cancel your ticket online and then re-register, if space allows.

Tour guests are encouraged to bring a flashlight, dress warmly, wear comfortable walking shoes, and carpool since parking is limited. We also strongly encourage everyone attending the Cemetery Tour to wear a facemask. The rain date for the Cemetery Tour is Saturday, October 30 from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Parking is limited, with over 400 people typically in attendance. Be sure to allocate extra time to find a parking space and check in. Please park in one of the following designated parking lots or nearby side streets if the lots are full: Gunn Library parking lot at 5 Wykeham Road or Washington Club Hall parking lot at 92 Green Hill Road.

Current members of Friends of the Gunn Historical Museum will be given preference for the first tour (first come, first serve, until filled) and should pre-register by calling the museum at 860-868-7756 before October 1 to reserve their tickets for the first tour. If you aren’t currently a member, click here to join online: www.gunnlibrary.org/gunn-museum/museum-support/

“The Washington Cemetery Tour is my favorite annual event. I enjoy bringing friends to hear the stories of people who lived here years ago” says area resident Rich Pomerantz. “It’s incredibly special to see the cemetery path lined in candlelit luminaries as we are guided by local area students dressed in period costume,” says Pomerantz. “It’s one of the best things to do in our wonderful town. I look forward to it each year.”

Thank you to this year’s Washington Cemetery Tour Sponsors to Date!:

Ericson Insurance Advisors

George Home

Klemm Real Estate

Paul Hirschauer at Guaranteed Rate

The Matthews Group

Union Savings Bank

William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty

If you’d like to become a sponsor, contact: jchapin@biblio.org

2022 Calendar – Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for our 2022 calendar, which will feature a different historical theme: Washington residents and their automobiles from the past.

Documenting History as it Happens: Collecting your Coronavirus Stories

The Gunn Historical Museum would like to document this moment in history so that future generations will know what life was like in Washington, Connecticut during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Please keep a record of your experience and the impact this event has had on our town. Consider collecting items for the Gunn Museum’s archive related to the pandemic in Washington like objects, photographs, videos, signs, menus, art, personal protective equipment, letters, journals, diaries, or short stories describing your personal experience.

First-hand accounts of life during this time will be invaluable to future historians who will be telling the story of the coronavirus pandemic. Diversity will allow us to tell a better story. We welcome submissions from everyone with a connection to Washington, CT: Children, adults, seniors, both full-time residents and part-time residents, first responders, firefighters, police, medical professionals, educators and students, business owners, employees, clergy and parishioners, town government and selectmen, those who caught the virus and those who avoided it, and more. To participate please contact Gunn Historical Museum Curator, Stephen Bartkus: curator@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org

The Gunn Museum is attracting visitors from far and wide…

Hours of Operation:

Free admission

Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am – 4pm

Free one hour guided exhibit tours take place every Saturday at 1pm. Please email info@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org or call 860-868-7756 at least one day in advance to register. Groups are limited to six people.

Contact Information:

Gunn Historical Museum
5 Wykeham Road
P.O. Box 1273
Washington, CT 06793
Telephone: 860-868-7756
Stephen Bartkus, Curator 
curator@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org
Ashley Doerwald, Museum Assistant info@gunnhistoricalmuseum.org

Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube:

          

E-newsletters:

If you’d like to receive the Museum’s monthly e-newsletter, which contains information about Museum programs, Washington’s history, and more, sign up here.

Adele Worsley Garden

The panel gardens at the Gunn Historical Museum were created — and are maintained — by the Washington Garden Club in memory of Adele Worsley. Adele was a much-loved member and horticulturist who worked tirelessly for the Washington Garden Club. The flowers at the Gunn Museum are in bloom from spring to fall, so stop by and visit our beautiful gardens.

 

** Please note: The Gunn Historical Museum is located in a 1781 colonial home and is not currently handicap accessible, although we are looking into the possibilities of making the building more accessible.**