Weston’s Coley House museum to reopen for first time in five years in October

Coley Homestead that the Weston Historical Society will restore using grants from the Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust.

Coley Homestead that the Weston Historical Society will restore using grants from the Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust.

Contributed photo / Weston Historical Society

The David Dimon Coley House, a historic museum in Weston depicting life in the 1940s, will reopen for guided tours on Oct. 2 after a five-year hiatus, the Weston Historical Society announced in a press release.

The Greek-Revival style building housed five generations of the Coley family for over 130 years until Cleora Coley bequeathed it to the Weston Historical Society in 1981, according to its website. In 2017, the museum closed for restoration work funded by The Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust, the press release said.

When it reopens, the guided tour will tell the story of how the Coley family likely lived in the 1940s and will include three new exhibits exploring Weston’s history.

“Over the course of five years, the Coley House has undergone restoration work as well as a reinterpretation which includes new exhibits and a focus on life in the 1940s,” the press release said. “No other historic house in Connecticut reflects the 1940s era which makes the Coley House unique.”

The period rooms on the first floor reflect the 1941-45 period when three generations of the Coley family lived in the home. The parlor room explores leisure time during World War II and the kitchen depicts the food and technology available to the Coley family at the time, according to the press release.

In the office and sewing room, visitors can learn about Cleora Coley, who was a caregiver, housewife and bookkeeper for the construction business owned by her husband, James, according to the Weston Historical Society website.

The Coley House’s interactive exhibition, “Life in the '40s,” compares home life, technology and gender roles in the 1840s (when the home was built) to the 1940s.

The “Let’s Play” exhibition in Jimmy Coley’s former bedroom portrays what children in Weston did for fun in the 1840s and 1940s. Visitors can explore games and toys children used in the two eras, and learn about the Weston Toy Company.

“Twelve Stories of Weston” highlights twelve moments in Weston’s history, including Weston’s Indigenous inhabitants, the town’s industrial age and the impact of the Merritt Parkway and the Saugatuck Reservoir.

The Coley House and the Weston Historical Society’s exhibit hall will be open on Thursdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for hourly tours with a $5 admissions fee for non-Weston Historical Society members. Tours will be free of charge on opening day.