PLYMOUTH — The Lock Museum of America and the Plymouth Historical Society will host open houses on June 11 to celebrate Connecticut Open House.
Open houses will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 11 at the Plymouth Historical Society at 572 Main St. and the Lock Museum of America at 230 Main St.
Jerry Milne of the Plymouth Historical Society and Lock Museum of America said the Plymouth Historical Society recently completed a new addition to its building. This, he said, will allow the historical society to feature many more local artifacts in its collection.
“One item that will be highlighted is a massive six-by-eight-foot sign for ‘The Quiet House,'” Milne said. “In the mid-1800s it once hung in an inn on Main Street, opposite Plymouth City Park. The tavern was owned by a woman who did not allow her daughters to consume alcohol, where its name. Before that it belonged to Revolutionary War soldier David Smith and George Washington stayed there when he met General Rochambeau. It is also very likely that the Marquis de Lafayette was there as a translator and may -being Alexander Hamilton, since he usually accompanied George Washington.
Visitors to the Historical Society Open House can also expect to see an 1850s steam engine in operation.
Milne said the Lock Museum of America is one of only two lock museums in the world, the other being located in Seoul, South Korea.
“It’s in Terryville because it’s on the site of the first Eagle Lock Company headquarters,” Milne said. “The Terryville
Water Wheel powered the original lock factory.
Visitors to the Lock Museum Open House will find several exhibits featuring memorabilia from Eagle Lock and other Connecticut lock companies.
The museum also has skeleton keys, which Milne says date back to medieval castles in the 1500s.
“These types of locks were replaced by combination locks because you could coat them in wax, put them in the hole, and see the indentations to identify how to pick the lock,” Milne said. “Combination locks were eventually replaced by timed locks. In the 1800s, when bank safes still used combination locks, criminals could go to the bank owner’s home and force them at gunpoint to open the safe. So they started talking to local clockmakers and realized they could put a clock in there and the safe wouldn’t open until the banks opened at 9am.
Milne said the 2010 film “The Town” features Ben Affleck as a bank robber whose efforts are blocked by a time lock.
The Lock Museum of America also resumed offering its “escape room” to the public in May. Milne calls for those not wearing a mask to be vaccinated.
“It went really well,” Milne said. “We just had a family of eight; It was a nice moment.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]