The Hunter House Victorian Museum was built in 1894 as the family home for Mr. James Wilson Hunter and his wife Lizzie Ayer Barnes Hunter and their three children James Wilson, Jr., Harriett Cornelia and Eloise Dexter.
As none of the three children married, they continued to live their adult lives in their family home. With no heirs, Eloise as the last surviving member of the family, created the Hunter Foundation. According to her will, she required the foundation to operate her “residence at 240 Freemason Street … with the furniture, decorations, paintings and curios … as a museum and example of American Victorian Architecture.”
In 1988 the Hunter’s family home opened to the public as the Hunter House Victorian Museum. The interior was refurbished with reproduction wall coverings, floor and drapery treatments and upholstery on the original furnishings. Lighting fixtures were refurbished as well with the inclusion of reproduction fixtures where needed. The original collection of furnishings and decorative arts has been complemented with the donation of several unique pieces.
The museum provides guided tours for the public April through December each year as well as offering a full season of
special tours, exhibits and events highlighting the various facets of Victorian social history and custom.
Special educational programming is also offered throughout the season for groups of all ages and interests from pre-school to elderhostel.
In 1990 the museum also became the headquarters for a local chapter of the national organization of the
Victorian Society in
America, the Eloise Hunter
Chapter, Victorian Society in America, named for the museum’s founder, Eloise Dexter Hunter.
Copyright 2009. Hunter House Victorian Museum. All Rights Reserved.
Site developed and maintained by WHRO.
For problems with this site contact the Webmaster.