Our Collection

The Knapp House

The New Milford Historical Society & Museum Collection
Update on the Knapp House Recently, the 247 year old Knapp House, part of the Historical Society's collection, was discovered to be seriously showing its age.
Originally built in 1770 by Daniel Burritt. Levi S. Knapp, a shoemaker by trade, bought the property from Royal Davis in 1838. Parts of the house dates to 1770, while later additions and renovations date to 1815. The original wide board floors have started to sag and her plaster walls have cracked from stress on the supports.
We recently brought in a Circuit Rider from Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation for a consultation. During his visit, Greg Farmer walked through the entire Knapp House to investigate everything that has been going on these last few months from the crevices of the basement up to the roof. Through this investigative visit, he gave us advice on how to proceed and help us define the relevant issues and develop a strategy for moving forward.
Our next step has been to bring in structural engineers to give us proposals for further investigations. These projects and repairs will cost a tremendous amount of money, so we will be applying for various grants to help us with funding. We will first be applying for a Historic Preservation Technical Assistance Grant through Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. This grant will help pay for a condition assessment survey on the historic structure which will give us a “deep investigation” into the structural problems. With this survey and the proposals from the structural engineer, a plan will be put into place prioritizing the work that will need to be done.
We have a long road ahead of us with restoring and preserving the Knapp House. It is a living piece of New Milford history that we cannot afford to lose.
We also made a promise to Ms. Mary Clissold Knapp 59 years ago when we accepted the house as part of the Historical Society’s collection. This is a promise that we intend to keep!
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