The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House, known as Forty Acres, is an 18th century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today interprets life in rural New England over three centuries. Through the words, spaces, and possessions of the women and men who lived here, the Museum portrays the activities of a prosperous and productive 18th century farmstead. Members of this household along with numerous artisans, servants, and slaves made Forty Acres an important social and commercial link in local, regional, and national cultural and economic networks. Throughout the 19th century the family transformed the estate into a rural retreat. In the 20th century the house was preserved as a museum by family members and now contains the possessions of six generations of this extended family.
The house was built in 1752 by Moses and Elizabeth Porter on a tract of land known as “Forty Acres and its skirts.” These acres had been owned in common by the householders in the northeast quarter of the stockaded town of Hadley when it was laid out in 1659. After the Porter's only child, Elizabeth, married Charles Phelps in 1770, the house was enlarged and refined. Since 1799 there have been no structural changes.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is open to the public from May 15 until October 15, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm, Saturday through Wednesday (closed on Thursdays and Fridays). It is open mornings by appointment only. Admission to the house is $5 for adults, $1 for children under twelve. A guided tour takes approximately one hour.
In June and July we present Wednesday Folk Traditions, a concert series showcasing a diversity of musical traditions with performers from the Pioneer Valley and beyond. Concerts are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden. Admission is $10; $2 for children 16 and under. We welcome picnickers to the museum grounds beginning at 5 pm.
On Saturday afternoons in July and August we offer A Perfect Spot of Tea — our version of the American colonial-era custom of afternoon tea — accompanied by music, with seatings at 2:30 and 3:30 pm. $10 admission.