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2010 Holiday Tour of the People’s House

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A prominent industrialist, George C. F. Williams, built the Georgian Revival style residence in 1909 at 990 Prospect Avenue in Hartford CT’s West-End. In 1943 the State of Connecticut decided that the Governor should have a “special” house, much like the President has the White House. The State acquired the home in 1943, renovated it, and the first Governor occupied the home sometime in 1945.
During the early 1990’s, the first lady of then Gov. Lowell Wiecher, started an annual tradition – a holiday open house. The Governor invites the public to tour the festively decorated first floor of the residence each year in early December.

Local merchants and organizations donate the decorations in each room. The decorations change every year making each open house a new experience. Each visitor receives a holiday card with a special recipe from the Governor. This year’s recipe is Cracker Candy. Yummy!!
 
The tour takes about 20 minutes and is a definite must see holiday event. Hopefully our next Governor will continue this popular tradition.
The owner of the old G. Fox Department Store lived next door to the first Governor who resided in the home in 1945. Who was the first Governor to live in this historic home? Who lives next door today? Write your guesses in the comments section of this post or on the Guide to Living in Greater Hartford’s Facebook wall.

 

  • The Foyer is where the tour begins and ends. Enter to the sounds of music and voices emanating from the stair landing above and meet the Governor, Santa & Mrs. Claus.
  • The Library features a spinning tilt-top table by Eli Chapin and “burled” walnut faux painting by artist John Canning whose works are in the State Capitol, Grand Central Station and Radio City Music Hall.
  • The Sunroom includes an old English Hunt Board (circa 1840) for display of family photos and an old English Tavern Table from around 1740.
  • The Living Room features an 18th Century spinning round table, and an 18th Century Chippendale Man’s Secretary (desk) that was made in East Haddam CT.
  • The Reception Area features the Governor’s family Christmas tree. This year the family tree features ornaments from Connecticut artists. In addition, a wooden version of the state seal, made from a single piece of wood, is inlayed in the reception area floor.
  • The Dining Room is currently displaying a 36 piece sterling silver set, commissioned in 1906, for the USS Connecticut. The exterior of each piece portrays a different area or feature of CT while the inside of each piece is gold.

 

The tour is free and includes:

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