The Hitchcock-Phillips House
There is much to see in our historic Hitchcock-Phillips House. Here are some highlights:
From the front entrance way, turn left into the Parlor. The mantel portrait in the oval frame on the wall to your right is of Commodore Robert Hitchcock, a Civil War hero from Cheshire. The Aaron Willard banjo clock on the same wall is from the early 19th century. The “corner chair” by the rear door was designed for the comfort of men wearing swords.
Leave the Parlor the way you came in, pausing to admire the handsome original bulls-eye windows in the front door. Enter the Dining Room to the right of the entrance hall and look to your left. The overmantel painting of the center of Cheshire, the most historically important item in the house, was done about 1810 for Rufus Hitchcock by Sylvester Hall of Wallingford. On the wall over the display case are four noted engravings by engraver and silversmith Amos Doolittle. The grandfather clock, one of our oldest items, is from 1775. The traveling desk was used by President Millard Fillmore.
Exit to the rear and turn left into the Exhibit Room. On the wall to your left is a small painting of Niagara Falls, circa 1850-55, by John F. Kensett. On the same wall is the Medal of Honor awarded to Eri D. Woodbury of Cheshire during the Civil War. The display case contains several items made locally, including two pocket watches from the 1880s made by the Cheshire Watch Co. in the building now known as the Watch Factory.
Leave the Exhibit Room passing by the Parlor on your left and into the Keeping Room, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was an important center of family life. At the large fireplace are various pots and utensils. The “beehive” oven beside the fireplace has its own flue and was used for baking.
These are but a few of the historic objects in first floor rooms. There are three floors in the Hitchcock-Phillips House, and we invite you to explore them on your own.
Quilts, other textiles, firearms, toys, tools, and household items may be found in rooms on the second floor.The third floor includes a restoration of a boy’s room as it would have been in the 1960s, when Cheshire Academy owned this house and used it as a dormitory.