The Historical Society is headquartered at General Mansfield House, one of the few residential structures still standing on Middletown’s Main Street. The house was built about 1810 by Robert Watkinson, a dry goods importer who had his store in the northeast parlor of the house. He sold the house in 1815 to Samuel and Catherine Livingston Mather, whose daughter Louisa married Joseph K. F. Mansfield. Their children and descendants lived in the Federal brick mansion until 1959, when it became the headquarters of the Historical Society.
Tucked away off Middletown’s main shopping street, the garden at General Mansfield House offers a quiet retreat from the city’s hustle of daily commerce. Open to the public during daylight hours, the front garden features a lovely formal herb bed, brimming with Russian sage, thyme, verbena and other perennial herbs while the thick border of lilacs offers a fragrant sanctuary for springtime visitors. The plantings were created by the Middletown Garden Club.
The three-quarter acre rear garden – open to the public during special events throughout the year –proffers a serene oasis in the city’s bustling downtown. Special plantings include a formal boxwood garden and a 150-year-old ginkgo tree.
Rose Garden: The back garden of the General Mansfield House features several beds with a variety of rose bushes. Funds for each planting were donated by local families in honor of a loved one. For a list of honorees and information about how you can fund a planting for a friend or family member, see our Rose Garden page.