Visitors to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum can view this grand home as it was when last occupied by Gertrude Fyler Hotchkiss in 1956. That year, Mrs. Hotchkiss bequeathed her Main Street property to the Torrington Historical Society and with that gift also gave the organization its permanent home. Today, visitors are able to take a guided tour of this Queen Anne style Victorian which features fine woodwork, stenciled walls, murals, and original family furnishings. The house is open for guided tours seasonally April through October and is also decorated for Christmas each December.
Commissioned in 1897 by Torrington residents Orsamus and Mary Fyler, the house was designed by New Haven architect William Allen and constructed by the Hotchkiss Brothers Company of Torrington. Upon completion in 1900, the home was occupied by the Fylers, their only child Gertrude, and Gertrude’s husband Edward Hotchkiss (whose family owned the building company). Various staff also resided in the house but none as long as the last housekeeper, Elizabeth Hritzo, who was employed by the family for over 30 years.
Two other historic buildings on the site were also part of the original bequest and continue to be used by the Society. The former Carson House next door to the Hotchkiss-Fyler House is now home to a permanent exhibit of Torrington history, No Place Like Home: The History of Torrington. The Carriage House at the back of the property houses Pursuit of Precision: The Hendey Machine Company, an interpretive exhibit featuring a machine shop of metalworking tools made in Torrington.