The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society provokes and cultivates an interest in history by telling the stories of West Hartford and its residents.
Centered in the birthplace of Noah Webster and inspired by his spirit of discovery, we help adults and children create meaning from the past through participatory experiences and access to historical materials.
Through history and the life of Noah Webster, we establish a common ground for understanding our diverse community.
The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society (NWH & WHHS) is located in the restored 18th-century birthplace and childhood home of Noah Webster, the creator of the first American dictionary and "Blue-Backed Speller", a teacher, lawyer and early abolitionist. The home was restored by the Noah Webster Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) organization, and opened to the public as a museum in the late 1960s. In 1970, the West Hartford Historical Society merged with the Foundation.
Today, the museum building includes the historic house, the Jodik Education Center with a working reproduction open hearth, two exhibition galleries, a newly renovated Visitor Reception Center (VRC), and the Hamilton Gallery. The VRC includes a museum shop, a one-room schoolhouse theater, and a long-term exhibit on Noah Webster. The museum holdings also include a diverse collection of decorative arts, manuscripts, books, and ephemeral artifacts related to Noah Webster as well as to the local community.
Each year the Noah Webster House serves approximately 10,000 school children and thousands of general visitors from around the world. An important part of our school services is the many free-of-charge experiences that we offer to at-risk children. The Noah Webster House also provides numerous workshops, summer camps, and a history club for young people.
The museum also offers a broad range of family and adult programs. These include our Kids' First Saturday program which makes the museum a destination for families on the first Saturday of each month, with topics ranging from New England folklore to historic games and music. For an adult audience we provide lectures, book discussions, popular Tavern Nights (raucous evenings with food, drink, folk music, and colonial games), hearth-cooking classes, and our thrilling Halloween program West Hartford Hauntings.