Metro   City

Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum

Thank You! Your rating has been saved.

When Torrington resident Orsamus R. Fyler (1840-1909) commissioned a new home in 1897, he had no idea that it would one day become a house museum and the headquarters of the Torrington Historical Society. Undoubtedly, what he intended was a grand yet comfortable home for himself, his wife Mary, and their daughter and son-in-law, Gertrude and Edward Hotchkiss. Upon completion of the home in 1900, the Fylers and Hotchkisses quickly settled in. The residence remained in the family until the last occupant, Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss, died in 1956. In her will, Mrs. Hotchkiss bequeathed her estate to the Torrington Historical Society. This extraordinary gift included the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum and grounds, the adjacent house (now the history museum), and the Carriage House. With this philanthropic gesture, Gertrude left a legacy for her family and a treasure for the community.

Fodor's Guide to New England called the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum "one of the better house museums in Connecticut" - and we agree! You will not regret a visit to this Queen Anne-style Victorian house museum. Complete with family furnishings and impressive collections, the house is interpreted as it was when last lived in by Gertrude Hotchkiss in 1956; stepping into this former residence is like stepping back in time. The house and family come to life as tour guides provide visitors with stories about the residents, their home, and the Torrington of yesteryear.

The entrance to the house immediately deposits visitors into a classic 1930s kitchen. Simple and utilitarian, this room is in stark contrast to the main section of the home. There, visitors will find rooms containing impressive woodwork, stenciled decoration, murals, ornamental plaster ceilings, parquet floors, original combination gas and electric chandeliers and of course, the family furnishings. But perhaps most impressive to visitors is the quantity and quality of the millwork that can be seen throughout this residence. Built by the Hotchkiss Brothers Company (the family business), the house was obviously a showpiece for the firm. Mahogany, birds-eye maple, quarter-sawn oak and red birch are just a few of the types of wood used in the house. Paneled walls and elaborate hand carved details can be seen in abundance, especially in the first floor of the mansion. The interior decoration, together with the family furnishings and collections of porcelain, paintings and art glass, are sure to provide a visual delight for the visitor.

Collections, Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum

The Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum contains several noteworthy collections.

Of particular interest are the glass, porcelain and painting collections.


The glass collection includes art glass baskets, vases and other pieces by various American, English, and European makers. Stevens and Williams, Lalique, Thomas Webb, and Steuben are just a few of the manufacturers represented. The majority of the collection dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Hundreds of porcelain vases, decorative items, plates, and figurines were collected by Gertrude Hotchkiss throughout her lifetime. Purchased at antique shops, auction houses, and in her travels, these artifacts include pieces from the Orient, Europe, England and the United States. Included are works by the Meissen, Dresden, Limoges, Sevres, Royal Worcester, and Staffordshire manufactories. Also of note are a Chinese Rose Medallion bowl and a ginger jar (left) from the K'ang Hsi period.


Paintings in the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum include works by several American painters. Perhaps most notable are the six portraits of Hotchkiss family members painted by Ammi Phillips. Also of interest are still life paintings by George Lawrence Nelson, and landscapes by Connecticut impressionist, Winfield Scott Clime. An early work by Eanger Irving Couse is also on view, as is a portrait of Mary Fyler by Albert Herter.

Explore Related Categories

Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
Hours:April 15-October 31 Tuesday- Saturday 12-4 pm


Be the first to add a review for this item.

Please write a review for this item

Send a Message