Since our founding in 1889, the New Canaan Historical Society has carried out its mission “to bring together and arrange the historical events of the town of New Canaan, the genealogies of the families who have lived in the town, to form a library and to collect relics and curiosities, to form a museum.”
To this day we accomplish that by promoting historic preservation, aiding researchers, maintaining museums and historical sites, mounting exhibitions, holding educational events and tours, and building an awareness and appreciation of our Town’s rich past.
Our founders included the descendants of some of New Canaan’s first families — among them Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Lockwood, Charles R. Abbott, Alexander Law, S.Y. St. John, James and Edwin Hoyt, Lucius Monroe Sr., Francis E, Weed, Mr. & Mrs. Henry B. Rogers, and Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Silliman. Today the Society welcomes all members — descendants of early settlers and more recent arrivals included.
At our headquarters in the 1825 Town House, the Society maintains a research library of more than 3,500 volumes, along with scores of manuscripts, deeds, newspapers, photographs and other documents dating to the colonial era.
The Society owns or operates eight museums and buildings, including: The 1764 Hanford-Silliman House, The 1960 Gores Pavilion, and The Rogers Studio and Museum. Learn more about our buildings.
The Society is an open, inclusive, family organization. We hold a full schedule of events: gatherings, lectures, tours, exhibitions, and a year-round schedule of educational workshops.
Our goal is to educate and enlighten the public in an atmosphere that is welcoming, friendly and fun. There are several ways to get involved. Click here to learn about membership, being a volunteer, and more.