was founded in 1963 to preserve, promote, and share knowledge about East Hampton’s rich history. We believe that preserving historic places and events provides an essential link to our past, reminding us of who we are and where we came from.
The mission of the Chatham Historical Society is preserve the history of East Hampton CT. We invite all East Hampton residents to share their history and stories with us. We can come to a person’s residence or set up a meeting at our museum, the town library or Senior Center. If you’d like to be interviewed or know someone that is willing, please contact us!
The Chatham Historical Society annually publishes a calendar offering a photographic journey through East Hampton. It also offers an annual Antique Appraisal Day, a biennial Historic House Tour, an annual Town-wide Tag Sale, programs for local elementary school children, monthly speakers and hikes around town, and an annual Fall History Festival.
School House and Museum
The Historical Society operates a complex that includes an 1840 one-room school house and two Museum buildings. The school house was moved from Old Chestnut Hill Road in 1980 and reconstructed on its present site. The first museum building, originally a third grade portable classroom at Center School, was moved to the grounds in 1993. The newest structure was built over the course of three years from 2003 to 2006.
The Chatham Historical Society Museum is jam packed with artifacts, antique toys, and memorabilia that tell the stories of East Hampton, Middle Haddam, and Cobalt history. Among the many items displayed are an extensive Bevin Bell collection dating back to the early 1800s; a shipbuilding portrayal dating back to the 1700s when shipyards dotted the banks of the Connecticut River in Middle Haddam; arrowheads found around Lake Pocotopaug; bell toys made by Gong Bell Company and N. N. Hill Brass Company; and cast iron toys made by Watrous Manufacturing. There is also a display of witch hazel from American Distilling and a case of items from East Hampton’s Native Son, Governor William O’Neill (1980-1991).