WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Wethersfield Historical Society is raising money to save the Hurlbut-Dunham House on Main Street.
The Hurlbut-Dunham House was a home for several families from the late 18th to early 20th century. The last private owners of the home, the Dunham’s, left the house to the historical society and ever since, it’s been frozen in time.
Back then, the house was a social hub for Wethersfield. Jane and Howard Dunham entertained friends on the grounds and in the big parlor rooms. Presently, the historical society hosts community events there and rents out the space for private parties.
Lifetime and Hallmark have used the home as a set for movies and the History Channel filmed a series at Hurlbut-Dunham, according to Jill Fletcher, the development manager for the historical society.
Now the house is in desperate need of structural repairs. The walls of the basement are caving in and inside rooms, you can see water stains and peeling drywall. Windows and shutters have to be replaced, as well as the exterior structural brownstone sills and lintels.
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“The historical society has an opportunity to take this house, in the center, in the heart of the historic district and bring it to life again,” said Lee Kuckro, the co-chair of the Wethersfield Historical Society’s Capital Campaign.
Kuckro joined the historical society in the 1970s. His wife Ann said, “Preservation is our gift to the future.”
He said it’s always been his goal to restore the home.
“The place looked very special but shabby to me,” he said. “Since that time, I’ve always wanted to get back and see how it was in its glory.”
The historical society is raising $1 million to save the home from falling apart. They’ve raised half of the money thanks to donors and are now looking to the community for help.
“We want people to feel like it’s their home, it’s essentially the town’s living room and the best front porch in town,” Fletcher said.
Once the renovations are done, the historical society wants to highlight the stories of women, people of color and the immigrants of Wethersfield, focusing on the stories that haven’t been told before.
If you want to make a donation, visit the Wethersfield Historical Society’s website.