Weston Historical Society rebrands with name change

Coley House in Autumn (Weston History & Culture Center/contributed)

WESTON, CT – The Weston Historical Society has changed its name to the Weston History and Culture Center to reflect its pivotal role in the community connecting people and providing opportunities to learn more through outstanding exhibitions, thought-provoking programs, and events that include history, art and music.

Announcement of the non-profit’s rebranding coincides with its plans for the grand reopening of the Coley House on the Coley Homestead, 104 Weston Road, Weston. Members and donors will attend a preview of the reopening on Saturday, October 1. The public is invited to tour the newly restored home on Sunday, October 2 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. After October 2, the Coley House will be open every Thursday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm for tours.

The name change is part of a rebranding project that began during the pandemic when the museum was forced to close. CT Humanities came to the aid of small museums, like Weston’s, providing grants, including the CARES Act Grant in 2020 and the CT Cultural Fund Grant in 2021, to help overcome revenue losses from the pandemic’s shutdown. In changing its name, the Weston History and Culture Center joins a trend among museums nationally to remove the word “society” from its name. The change emphasizes the diversity of the Center’s current programs and its plans for the future.

“The Weston History and Culture Center has always been more than a museum and archive,” said Center President Leigh Meccay. “Our rebranding enables us to highlight the broad range of exhibits, events and programs. We understand how important it is to create a welcoming place in Weston where people of all demographics can come together and enjoy our rich history as well as our educational and cultural programs.”

The Center will continue its mission of preserving history, both in the Prue Bliss Archives and throughout the Coley Homestead. The Center is located on a 3.7-acre site called the Coley Homestead, which dates to the early 19th century. It was home to generations of one of Weston’s founding families and reflects the town’s agricultural past.

The Coley House opening on October 1 and 2 will unveil a re-interpretation of the family’s life there, focusing on the 1940s, a period when three generations of Coleys lived in the house – and when times were different with the U.S. entering World War II.

The Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust generously funded the Coley House renovation and reinterpretation. Additionally, the Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust funded repairs and renovations to other buildings on the homestead — the barn, carriage and bunk houses, in addition to the archive/museum building. The Daniel E. Offutt, III Charitable Trust supports the Center’s long-range plan of providing new educational programs, more exhibit space, and hands-on workshops in these buildings.

The Center will also debut a new exhibition, “The Curious Case of Eleven O’clock Road- How Weston Got Its Place Names,” opened September 11 in the museum. The exhibit explores how early settlers saw their world and how the town developed and will be open every Thursday and Sunday from 1pm – 4pm through March 26, 2023.

In coming weeks, visitors will notice new signage appearing with the Center’s logo on Weston and High Acre roads, the corner where the museum is located. Other changes will include the new website name, www.westoncthistory.org, along with additional announcements on upcoming programs. Please consider joining as a member or donating to support educational programming. Volunteers are always welcome.

For more information, please visit www.westoncthistory.org. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Center is self-supporting and receives no funding from the Town of Weston.

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