Meet The Stanton House New Curator

Stanton House curator David Perrelli says that the museum's intact collection of centuries of artifacts and records of family and business life make the Clinton landmark a national treasure.
Stanton House curator David Perrelli says that the museum's intact collection of centuries of artifacts and records of family and business life make the Clinton landmark a national treasure.

Though only 32, David Perrelli has held several interesting jobs, including illustrator, interior designer, paralegal, and antiques specialist. His latest endeavor puts to use many of his skills: The historic Stanton House is officially back open for business in Clinton, and David is its new curator.

The Guilford native assumed the role after the Essex Savings Bank took over as trustee in May, with the bank managing the house with an endowment that was left by the last surviving Stanton family member, Louis Stanton, in the early 1900s. Prior to this, the house was closed for more than two years before residents, including David, helped bring the house back to its current state.

As curator, David is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the museum.

"There's no other place like it. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm really thankful that I've been able to do it," says David. "Clinton is beyond lucky to have something like this in town."

Not only does he serve as the Stanton House curator, but he also runs Old Beautiful, an antique shop about a block away from the historic house, making it very convenient for him to go back and forth to give tours by request.

Being the curator also means David gets to reside inside the Stanton House, giving him a rare opportunity to get to know the house, the general store, and its historic treasures. Different from many other historic houses across the country, this house has some unique components to it, David explains.

"The Stanton House isn't like any other historical museum. The most exciting thing is to be able to go through what is an amazing time capsule. What's amazing about this house and is not true of most house museums in the country is the fact that it never left the family and the family's original contents were never taken out of the building," he says. "We've had national experts-people who are curators at major museums and who are nationally known historians-come through and their mouths dropped, saying this house is a national treasure."

Since moving in, David has found several interesting artifacts, including newspaper clippings, tradesmen's bills, and to-do lists, saying, "There's undiscovered treasures in ever cupboard and every drawer."

Residents can expect a few minor changes compared to a couple of years ago. David has rearranged some of the interior furniture to make it look "more period authentic." The house's kitchen area was also restored to its original color, which is a Persian blue.

Another amazing feature of the house, David says, is the general store.

"That's part of the tour and it's one of the most remarkable parts of the house. There are very few commercial structures from this period that survived. The store was an addition and it lasted for several decades, in operation beginning in 1804," he says. "We're really lucky to have that and we're even luckier to have a mind-boggling, comprehensive collection of ledgers and documents that really paint a very clear, detailed picture of what Adam Stanton was selling and what he paid for."

Currently David is busy maintaining the house, working at the antique store, and helping to get a technical assistance grant from the Connecticut Trust for the Stanton House.

Though there are no set hours for the Stanton House, residents can call David to set up an appointment for tours. He is hoping by spring 2013 to have a set schedule offering open seasons and daily hours. He also noted that the house would be open for Christmas in Clinton.

Take a walk through one of the town's historical treasure-call David for tours of the Stanton House at 860-664-0018 or 860-669-2132. You can also "like" the Stanton House on its facebook page at
www.facebook.com/stantonhouse.

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