Historical Society reopens Brownson House after flood damage repairs

The Shelton Historical Society invites the public to a grand opening of the Brownson House on Sunday, May 21, 1-4 p.m.

Tours of the newly repaired and reinterpreted house will be offered and refreshments will be available. Free and open to the public, it is the organization’s way to show appreciation to the community for its support.

In late October 2015, the Shelton Historical Society suffered severe water damage to the Brownson House, the cornerstone of the Shelton History Center, during a rainstorm while the roof was being repaired.

Water poured down through the roof and attic all the way to the main collection storeroom in the basement, ruining ceilings and walls in its wake. One of the bedroom ceilings collapsed; holes were punched in certain areas to relieve water pressure and to keep it from traveling further along beams in the ceilings. The Historical Society had to close the facility to the public during 2016 for repairs.

Gigantic industrial dehumidifiers were brought in by a disaster recovery company.

Running constantly for over a month, they finally dried the ceilings and walls, albeit with an $800 electric bill. It took such a long time, not only due to the extent of the saturation, but because of the lath, horsehair, and lime that made up the plaster walls in the circa 1822 house.

Specialized contractors were brought in to repair, replace, and paint.

While the house was closed and the attention was on the physical structure, consideration was given to a long-term project that had, out of necessity due to the disaster, been postponed: focusing the interior of the Brownson House to interpret a middle class lifestyle of the early 1900’s. The Society had been working room by room but having the house closed permitted the project to proceed without interruption.

In addition to the Brownson House, the Shelton History Center consists of the Wilson Barn, the one-room Trap Fall School, a carriage barn, a corn crib and an outhouse. While the Shelton History Center staff is available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, they also accommodate appointments for those who would like to arrange tours or use research materials.
For more information, visit www.sheltonhistoricalsociety.org or our Facebook page. Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to call (203) 925-1803 for more information.

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