Christine Cohen

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Listening, Advocating & Getting Results

October 21, 2022

Sen. Cohen Welcomes Federal Grant To Help Restore Henry Whitfield House In Guilford

GUILFORD – Six months after she wrote a letter of support seeking federal funding for the project, state Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) today welcomed a $500,000 semi-quincentennial grant from the National Park Service for the historic preservation of the Henry Whitfield House Museum on Old Whitfield Street in Guilford.

The funds will be used to repoint stones inside and outside of the 383-year-old granite structure and to replace antiquated electrical wiring.

“Back in April I wrote the National Park Service advocating for this funding because we’ve had this local treasure in Guilford for almost four centuries, and I want to ensure that future generations can enjoy the Whitfield House and learn from it as well,” Sen. Cohen said. “It’s quite an honor that we were chosen to receive this funding, being just one of 17 grants that were approved across the country. It really speaks to the fascinating history of this region of Connecticut.”

“You and Connecticut’s residents continue to offer tremendous public support and enthusiasm for experiencing this unique piece of our nation’s history. We plan to ensure that the Henry Whitfield House will survive for future generations to experience,” said Megan Brown, Chief of the State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants Division of the National Park Service.

Construction of the Henry Whitfield House began in 1639 when a group of English Puritans, including Reverend Henry Whitfield and his family, entered into an agreement with the Menunkatuck band of the Quinnipiac tribe and renamed the area Guilford.

Built of local granite, the house was one of the colonial settlement’s four stone houses that functioned as defensive buildings and private homes. It is now considered to be Connecticut’s oldest house and New England’s oldest stone house. Since 1900, it has been owned and operated by the State of Connecticut as a public museum, and the site is a State Archaeological Preserve.

The museum’s web site notes that The Henry Whitfield House is a physical reminder of the European settler colonialism of the 1600s, as well as the Colonial Revival era of the 1800s-1900s that celebrated and glorified European ethnocentricity and superiority. The museum is striving to confront the facts about the site’s history in order to acknowledge past injustice, recognize how that injustice manifests in society today, and work towards an equitable future for all people.