Noah Webster: Defining American
This new permanent exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to explore Webster's life and impact in greater depth. Under the direction of Guest Curator Elysa Engelman, Ph.D., a team of staff, scholars, and community members developed Noah Webster: Defining American. Topics include Webster's impact on government, influence on shaping a national language, contributions to improving education, and his personal side. A variety of interactive displays are dispersed throughout the exhibit including a magnetic crossword puzzle that incorporates some of Webster's Americanized words and a sit-down activity area with three different kits that allow adults and children to explore American language and culture through play and investigation. Featured in the exhibit is an original piece of artwork that incorporates elements of Webster's life and accomplishments. Visitors have an opportunity to select from eight different buttons which spotlight the painting's features and allow them to hear about it through Webster's own words.
Noah's Discovery Learning Space
The three rooms of the 1787 "lean-to" addition of the historic house have been transformed into a hands-on activity space for children and adults. The Discovery Learning Space offers a variety of activities to explore Noah Webster's early life. The space includes an interactive archaeological section where reproductions of artifacts can be found, a colonial kitchen where children can try on costumes and pretend to be one of the Websters, and an area devoted to colonial farm life and what West Hartford was like during Webster's childhood.
A highlight of the space is a beautiful mural painted by West Hartford artist Brian Colbath. The mural shows the Noah Webster House and its landscape as it might have looked when Noah lived there.
Call 860-521-5362 x17 to request information on displaying the exhibit at your venue.
Explore the alphabet soup of West Hartford’s dynamic past, colorful personalities, and pivotal events. This semi-permanent exhibit allows visitors to discover our community’s history and the people who have helped to make it an “all-American town”.
Stylized artwork by West Hartford native painter Pamela R. Levy vibrantly brings each letter of the alphabet to life. Enjoy hearing veterans tell their heroic stories, test your sense of smell by identifying the aroma that matches one of our town’s culinary establishments, stomp your feet to the melody of local music, or explore the visual record of our triumphs and losses through the hundreds of images in the exhibit.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Connecticut Humanities Council, and the many individuals who supported this project.