The Westport Historical Society invites you to visit the circa 1713 Handy House, located at 202 Hix Bridge Road.

Open every Wednesday and Saturday from June 26 through September 21, 2024.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Admission is free. 

Continue to click through the pages to learn more about this special house as well as upcoming events to be held there.

Admission is free. The Handy House is located at 202 Hix Bridge Road, Westport.

In many ways, the home on Hix Bridge Road will be a unique experience for visitors, quite unlike what some may expect when visiting a historic house.

Far from being an overly restored historic house frozen in time, the Handy House will provide the visitor with an experience of discovery. The public will not encounter rooms full of rare and valuable antiques, but instead, experience ever-changing “windows” into the town’s past.

The Handy House has been left mostly unfurnished so that visitors can view the walls, floors, windows, doors, hinges, moldings, plaster, and other parts of its structure. Inside, visitors can discover the secrets of this architectural marvel that includes an 18th century house buried within a Georgian style house from 1790, buried within a Federal-style 1830s structure.

For those who are curious to know what lies behind the shingles, beneath the plaster, under the floor boards, or for those who want to try to solve the secrets of this architectural puzzle, we have opened “windows” in the walls and floors that contain the keys to evolution of the house.

The Handy House is not the home of a famous person – George Washington did not sleep here! Yet the stories of the people who lived in the house provide an extraordinary look into a world of ordinary lives of Westporters otherwise lost to history. Visitors will discover how the residents shaped the house and how they were changed by the world around them.

Events 2024

Special exhibition: Hurricanes

Hurricane! ‘38, ‘54, ‘91

An exhibition of three historic Westport hurricanes

Climate extremes have been a daily topic in recent years. This exhibition will look back at the impact of the Hurricane of 1938, Hurricane Bob 1991, and offers a second chance to see our popular Hurricane 1954 display, showcasing images from the collection of the Westport Historical Society, highlighting dramatic rescues and experiences of those living along the shoreline at East Beach, the Point and Westport Harbor.



Kids Make History!

10 AM – 1 PM Wednesdays in July/August

Handy House

Drop in for some creative crafts and family fun! Make a corn husk doll, create a sunprint, scavenger hunt and take an adventure along the Heritage Trail. FREE.





Artist-in-residence: Discover the lost art of cyanotypes!

Meet our first ever artist-in-residence at the Handy House! Tina Tryforos is a photographer, educator, and bookmaker specializing in the historic photographic process of cyanotypes, the Prussian blue image invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. This residency will offer hands-on workshops to allow community members to make their own cyanotypes, using this easy non-toxic photo technique which can be exposed in sunlight and developed in water.  Meet Tina at the Handy House on most Wednesdays in July/August.

10 AM – 12 PM Wednesday July 10 Cyanotype workshop

10 AM -12 PM Wednesday August 14 Cyanotype workshop

This program is supported by a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust

administered by the Bank of America and the Westport Community Gift Fund.


Handy House Artisan Fair and Vintage Market 10 AM – 3 PM

Saturday September 21, 2024

(rain date Sunday Sep 22)

202 Hix Bridge Road, Westport MA


Handy House Artisan Fair, organized by the Westport Historical Society, showcases 30 local craftspeople who specialize in skills and traditional crafts commonly practiced in the 18th and 19th century.

Traditional craftsmanship, from blacksmithing to green woodworking, is still very much alive in Westport. The Artisan Fair offers a rare opportunity to meet these craftspeople, learn about their skilled hand work and human powered technologies through hands on demonstrations.  Some artisans will have their work for sale, so it will also be a chance to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping! This event not only preserves and perpetuates knowledge about traditional crafts, but is also an opportunity for the community to reconnect to its own history, to visit the Handy House and to celebrate the special heritage of the town of Westport.


Special exhibition: Infinite Details: Reshaping Everyday Life 1700-1850