Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Northern Early America
The Henry Whitfield House was built in 1639 when Guilford was first settled by Puritans fleeing religious persecution in England. They sailed directly to New Haven, settled in 1638, and proceeded to purchase the land known as Menuncatuck from the local tribe.
The Old Stone House was the home of Guilford's first minister, Henry Whitfield, and also served as a defensive stronghold for the community. Local legend has it that church services were held here before the construction of the first meeting house in 1643. However, Whitfield and other town leaders probably met here often, the house was not large enough for the entire community to worship in.
In 1650, Henry and his family returned to England during the Counter Migrations. He took a position under Oliver Cromwell in the newly-empowered Puritan church and died in 1657. The Whitfields later sold the Guilford house to the Thompson family, absentee landlords who managed their property in the colonies as a tenant farm until the 1770's.
From 1776 to 1900, the Griffing and Chittenden families (related through Marriage) owned the Whitfield House. Prominent Guilford citizens and successful business owners, they lived in the house at various times, rented it to tenant farmers, and possibly used the site for offices and warehouses. In the 1860s, they allowed St. George Catholic Parish to meet in the house until their church was built. The Chittendens heavily remodeled and expanded the building in 1868. Sarah Chittenden Clone sold the house to the State of Connecticut in 1900.
Open year round Wednesday to Sunday:
Feb. 1st-Dec. 14th 10:00 a.m.- 4:30p.m.
Dec. 15th-Jan. 31st By appointment only
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Good Friday
Seniors (over 59) $2.50
College Students (with valid ID $2.50
Children (6-17) $2.00
Children (under 6) Free
Groups of 10 or more 1/2 price with adv. res.
School Groups Free
AAA Memberes (with valid card) 2-for-1 (higher price prevails
Located in Guilford, CT - Exit 58 off I-95, 15 miles East of New Haven.
From I-95 Northbound:
- take exit 58
- at the end of the exit ramp, take a right onto Route 77 (Church St.)
From I-95 Southbound:
- take exit 58
- at the end of the exit ramp, take a left onto Route 77 (Church St.)
From Route 77 (Church St.)
- follow Route 77 past Route 1 to the Guilford Green stop sign
- take a right onto Broad Street
- take an immediate left onto Whitfield Street
- follow Whitfield Street past the Green until the road forks
- bear left at the fork onto Old Whitfield Street
- take an immediate left onto Stone House Lane
- take the first left into the Henry Whitfield State Museum driveway
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