Open for business: Mark Twain House, Stowe Center resume tours

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Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.
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Apr. 8—HARTFORD — The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and The Mark Twain House and Museum are set to reopen for guided tours after being closed for much of 2020 and '21 because of the pandemic.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center restarts guided tours today.

Guided tours at the Mark Twain House & Museum resume Saturday.

The houses are adjacent in the historic Nook Farm neighborhood in the West End. The Stowe Center is at 77 Forest St.

Both museums will practice visitation protocols such as reduced tour capacities and frequency and mandatory mask use.

Ticket sales are online only.

Stowe Center tour hours are Thursdays, 12:30 to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Admission is adults ages 17-64, $20; adults 65 and older, $15; children ages 6-16, $10; children 6 and younger, free.

Special events planned include a free community day on Stowe's June 12 birthday, art installations in the garden, and the return of the Salons at Stowe series.

At the Stowe Center, visitors will learn about her work as an author and activist, the complicated legacy of Uncle Tom, and the relevance of her journey to social justice struggles of today.

For information, visit:

—The Twain House opens its doors with Living History tours Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with Mark Twain's best-friend-forever, the Rev. Joseph Hopkins Twichell.

Sunday's tours, at the same times, will be hosted by the Clemens family's ladies maid, Katy Leary.

The Living History tours are presented by costumed actors portraying the famous residents, servants, and friends.

Mark Twain House Admission is by timed ticket: adults ages 17-64, $21; adults 65 and older, $19; children ages 6-16, $13; children younger than 6, free.

The Mark Twain House & Museum is the restored home where American author Samuel Clemens — Mark Twain— and his family lived from 1874 to 1891.

During the years he lived there, Twain wrote his most important works, including "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," and "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."

For information, call 860-247-0998 or

Nellie McKnight Museum

ELLINGTON — The Nellie McKnight Museum, 70 Main St., has spruced up its exhibits and created a gift shop for its reopening.

The museum will host a sneak peak Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The exhibits feature historical items from the McKnight family and other Ellington residents.

Items include a vintage nursery room, vintage and antique clothing boutique, sewing and textile exhibit, antique furniture, tea and china wares, wedding dress collection, kitchen nostalgia, and more.

The gift shop, Nellie's Mercantile on Main, features country and vintage items, Ellington-themed products, and local artisan wares.

For information, go to:

Pleasant Valley schoolhouse

SOUTH WINDSOR — The South Windsor Historical Society will open its Pleasant Valley District 5 Schoolhouse Museum for family tours this spring.

Appointments may be made by calling museum chair Joan Walsh at 860-644-6000.

The building was used as a town elementary school from 1862 to 1952, and then renovated and expanded as a museum.

It's the only old district schoolhouse in South Windsor that hasn't been demolished or converted to a home. It replaced an earlier school that was built on the north side of Ellington Road in 1837.

From 1978 to 1994, the historical society leased and maintained the building as a museum. It then acquired the building from the town.

Most of the upper level is maintained as a typical 19th-century school room. The lower level has displays of items from the town's agricultural and social history.

For information about the museum and the historical society, visit on Facebook or its website: