Way Back When ... 1750

This Sunday marks the opening of the Ogden House, a well-preserved colonial saltbox home located at 1520 Bronson Road in Fairfield. Fairfield Museum Docents lead tours there every Sunday during the summer from 1 to 4 p.m.

David and Jane Ogden built the home and moved into it in 1750, when they were first married. The objects and interpretation of the house come from David Ogden’s probate inventory at the time of his death in 1775.

In colonial times, most rooms were used for several purposes, and the kitchen or “keeping room” was one such area. The kitchen was the center of the colonial home, where the fireplace or hearth was located. It was considered the heart of the home. The term “keeping” room stems from the fact that it was the room where the fire was “kept.”

The hearth would often have several fires going at various temperatures for several purposes at the same time. Pots would be placed on a “trammel,” a piece of iron that hangs in the center of the hearth. The temperature of the items in the pots would be regulated by raising and lowering the trammel and bringing the pots closer to or farther from the fire.

Some of the objects found in the Ogden House kitchen include kettles, skillets, a scale, pewter plates, a butter churn and storage barrels. A bucket and ladle for fetching water from outside was always nearby to help put out fires.

The windows in Odgen House, like most colonial home windows, had small panes of glass. That is because they were imported from England and the smaller size panes did not break as easily as larger pieces. In addition, smaller pieces were less expensive because all glass was taxed, even mirrors.

Ogden House is open through September 30 (closed July 8). Tours begin every ½ hour, and the last tour is at 3:30pm. Admission is $5, $3 for Students & Seniors, and free for Fairfield Museum members. For more information visit Faifieldhistory.org/visit/ogden-house/.

The Fairfield Museum & History Center and Museum Shop, located at 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Members of the museum and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org.

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The year the Ogden House was built on Bronson Road.