Salmon Brook Historical Society opens Wilcox House

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Wilcox House, submitted photo

For the past two years the Salmon Brook Historical Society has been restoring the Captain Sadoce Wilcox House and Lyman Wilcox Barn in West Granby. The old dwelling house, built in 1800, is an important part of the West Granby National Register Historic District, and is ideal for helping visitors to imagine what life was like for farmers and artisans of the early 19th century. The historical society opened the house and barn to the public for a fall preview on Sept. 17 and will open them again on Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. before the cold weather sets in.

When the Granby Land Trust, and then the historical society, acquired these amazing resources from sixth-generation owner Steven Wilcox Hastings in 2019, they were filled with family heirlooms, some dating to before the house was built. Both structures were, and continue to be, in need of much repair. Fortunately, the property had been a summer residence for generations four through six of the Wilcox family since 1908. Thus, most of the two buildings were unchanged from their original state.

After careful analysis of original paint colors, fireplace construction and furniture use as detailed in Captain Wilcox’s 1833 probate inventory, the first floor of the house could be restored and displayed to closely appear as it did when the family’s first generation lived and worked in it.

For Sadoce, his wife Roxie, and their 11 children, life was filled with hard work. This work spanned a great variety of tasks beyond farming, including Sadoce’s blacksmith business, cider brandy distilling and woolen cloth production. The cloth was woven on an 18th-century loom, which is now on display in the north parlor.