Hicks-Stearns Family Museum

The Hicks-Stearns Museum is an outstanding example of the architectural development of a home. A certain fascination is felt when viewing a house, like the Hicks-Stearns Museum, that has spanned three centuries.

The house was build circa 1750 and was a tavern, post office and town office from 1795 to 1807. The house was purchsed in 1845 by Charles Hicks from Providence RI after his marriage to Maria Stearns from Tolland. The house  was updated in the 1880's from the simple utilitarian design of the mid seventeen hundreds to the ornate style of the Victorian era, when the 3 stoy tower, wrap around porch,3 paint colors and slate roof carriage house were added. The last addition was an office around 1950.

Three generations of the Hicks family lived in the home until the death of Elizabeth Hicks at age 90 in 1974. She established the non-profit museum in her will. Her father Ratcliffe was a prominent attorney and business man in the state, he was president of the Canfield Rubber Company. He was the youngets member elected to the CT Legislature, serving 29 years. Among his more important bills were allowing women to vote regarding school matters.  the first New England state to do so; and abolishing the death penalty; both passed in 1891. In his will, Ratcliffe established a trust to build an agricultural school for "young men in the state of CT of good moral character and of promising intelligence". In 1941, the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture was established at the University of CT, Storrs campus,which remains today as a 2 year school.

The Hicks-Stearns Museum is available as a film location, as well as public and group tours. Among other events, they offer an outdoor summer lawn concert series and a Victorian Christmas Open House weekend. 




42 Tolland Green
P.O. Box 278
Tolland, CT 06084
United States

Map & Directions