One of the most popular and free events in the Litchfield Hills are the holiday house tours offered by the Osborne Homestead Museum located on 500 Hawthorne Avenue in Derby. The homestead was part of a dairy farm she took over after the death of her father, Wilbur Fisk Osborne. Kellogg, a preservationist, willed 350 acres to the state, which now make up Osbornedale State Park. She died in 1956 at age 80.
This year's tours take place from Friday, November 24 - Sunday, December 17 with tours being offered Thursdays thru Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Each year, many wonderful clubs contribute to the holiday festivities here. The clubs are: Derby Garden Society, Garden Club of Orange, Long Hill Garden Club, Naugatuck Garden Club, Olde Ripton Garden Club of Shelton, Oxford Garden Club, Roxbury/Bridgewater Garden Club, Women Redefining Retirement from Milford, and Ye Olde Kellogg Garden Club. Since the clubs rotate rooms each year to a different theme, the decorations are always new and creative.
The Osborne Homestead Museum, a classic colonial house constructed in the mid-1800's and enlarged and completely remodeled in the Colonial Revival style during the 1920's is transformed into a holiday showcase. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its restored interior is embellished with holiday decorations that are displayed amid the original contents of the estate, which constitutes a significant collection of antiques and fine arts. The theme of this years event is with the theme of "Night at the Opera".
A special highlight of this event are the Holiday Twilight Tours that take place on Fridays on December 1, 8, and 15 from 4 pm. to 7 p.m. This is a magical time to visit this house that is bathed in soft lighting where beautiful holiday floral arrangements and decor are sure to put you in the spirit of the season. To round out the fun, a special holiday gift market is planned and will take place on Friday December 1, 4 PM to 7 PM and Saturday December 2, 9 AM to 12 PM. Groups of more than 8 people to call (203) 734-2513 to reserve a tour date and time.
About the Osborne Homestead Museum
Adjacent to the rolling hills and open meadows of Osbornedale State Park, Osborne Homestead Museum encompasses the house and grounds of the former Frances Osborne Kellogg Estate. Originally constructed in the mid-1800's, the house was enlarged and completely remodeled in the Colonial Revival style during the 1920's. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, its restored interior now displays the original contents of the estate, which constitutes a significant collection of antiques and fine arts.
The Museum's grounds are landscaped with formal flower gardens, ornamental shrubs, and flowering trees, providing visitors with an endless pageant of color from spring through autumn.
The Osborne Homestead Museum is a member of the esteemed Connecticut Historic Gardens , a group of fifteen distinctive historic houses dedicated to bringing awareness to the state's unique history and garden designs. The museum is also one of the fourteen sites along the prestigious Connecticut Women's Heritage Trail , a collection of museums and institutions that highlight the role of women in the state's history.