Exhibits & Collections


The Groton Historical Society has been a collecting institution since its founding in 1894. Since then, the society has preserved and shared artifacts and documents important to the town’s history. The GHS collection includes:

  • Photographs of people, places, and events from the advent of photography to the present
  • Original 17th-20th century documents including deeds, tax records, wills, district school reports, and personal letters
  • Ephemera including local business receipts, invitations to events, advertisements, broadsides, and pamphlets
  • Furniture and decorative arts representing centuries of life in New England
  • Personal and business letters of George S. Boutwell
  • Textiles including a large collection of well-preserved early 19th century samplers
  • c. 1850 Stagecoach, c. 1900 Town Hearse, and 1802 horse-drawn water pump


In addition to the furniture, textiles, toys, decorative arts, and paintings that adorn the interior of the Boutwell House, rotating themed exhibits are installed in our exhibit gallery.

Currently on Display: Victorian Foodstuffs

There are things we remember about people, places, and times–things that stay with us because they comforted us, challenged us, or changed us. Our food memories are no exception: a favorite family tradition, a stubborn recipe, and a return to locally-sourced goods.

While this exhibit focuses heavily on the tools that were used in New England kitchens in the 19th Century, it’s actually much more about the food. In fact, it’s all about the food: what was available, how it was prepared, how it was stored, how it dictated the design of the tools used to work it, and how its uses changed with advances in technology and increased commercialization. Despite these developments, the very action of sharing, communing, and connecting around food remains a constant.

–Kara Fossey, GHS Exhibits Consultant

A Sampling of Past Exhibits

  • Groton: A Photographic History
  • Pre-Revolutionary Groton
  • Groton and the Civil War
  • The Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture
  • Building Groton: 150 Years of Domestic Architecture
  • Groton at 350