Daniel Benton Homestead, Tolland

January, 2009 by Ray Bendici
Filed Under: 
benton_homestead
 
Courtesy of the Tolland Historical Society

The Damned Story: Built in 1720 by Daniel Benton, this red cape was inhabited by six generations of Bentons -- a few of which apparently still like to call the place home!

From the time it was built until 1932 -- a span of 210 years -- the house was exclusively resided in by the Benton family, including Elisha Benton, Daniel's grandson, who was a patriot and possible seed for haunting stories.

While fighting against the British during the Revolutionary War, Elisha was captured, put on a prison ship and contracted smallpox. He was then subsequently traded for a British prisoner and sent home, where he was reunited with his true love, a local girl named Jemima Barrows who also happened to be 12 years his junior. Despite family objections, Jemima tended to the weakening Elisha, and sadly, not only had to watch him eventually succumb in January of 1777, but also die herself from smallpox five weeks later. It was agreed to bury the devoted couple near one another, but because they were never married, they could not be interred directly next to each other (as per traditions of the day). Instead, they were buried at a respectful distance on opposite sides of the carriage path, divided by others in death as they had been in life.

Over the decades there has been all sorts of unusual supernatural activity reported at the Benton Homestead, including unusual lights and ghostly figures moving in front of windows at night, unexplained "vibrations," random knockings, the cries of a girl weeping, and the specter of a young woman wandering the house in a wedding dress. Also, the shade of a young soldier has been sighted roaming the grounds, perhaps looking for his lost beloved . . .

Could love be eternal, after all?

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For further reading about the history (and ghosts) of the Daniel Benton Homestead, you can try David Phillips' Legendary Connecticut.

Our Damned Experience: We have yet to visit the homestead, but we will have all our shots and immunizations up-to-date  when we do.

If You Go: The Daniel Benton Homestead is owned and operated by the Tolland Historical Society, and is open for tours starting in May and running through the summer months. It is located on Metcalf Road in Tolland.


View 160 Metcalf Rd in a larger map

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Comments

Submitted by Jayme (not verified) on
You should check out www.northwestconnecticutparanormal.com I used to be in their group before I moved too far and we did a whole investigation at the Daniel Benton Homestead. If you go to their site and then click on investigations, it will tell you all about it. Very cool place!

Submitted by Autumn (not verified) on
My friend and I thought the homestead was open this past Saturday because the lights were on, so we went up to the door and knocked . We heard a scream in the woods next to the house so we stopped and waited. We then knocked on the door again, heard this said yell noise (only very close to the house now) and continued to leave. I tried to play it off as some sort of animal, but it honestly sounded nothing like anything we have ever heard. :I

Autumn, Very interesting to hear about your experience. My group is going to hopefully be conducting an investigation there this spring. We are in the works of contacting the individual who is in charge of the Homestead. Maybe we will get to experience the screams also.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on
Wow that's crazy I live on that road and have always been interested in that place.

Submitted by Chris (not verified) on
About a year ago in the summer a friend and I were driving through Tolland one night to get to our friends house who lived on Metcalf Rd, the same one the Benton Homestead is on. Because it was warm out, we had the windows down and my friend thought it would be funny to pull over in front of the house and shut the lights and the car off. We were there for about a minute and we were both extremely scared and then we saw someone coming around from the side of the house. It looked like a man but I was so scared I reached the keys in the ignition to start the car so we could take off and when I looked back there was nothing and we didn't want to hang around to see if anyone was really there.

Submitted by dillymacavelli (not verified) on
This place was crazy. Me and my friends went last weekend. I went with a sceptic mind and soon after I got there my mind set completley changed. Me and a friend physically witnessed a.rock lift up and drop to the ground and roll at us. Crazy stuff.

Submitted by Tim (not verified) on
I grew up in Tolland, and we frequented the house a class trips for Halloween. I definitely heard and saw a lot of creepy things. A great place to visit for the amateur ghost hunter.

Submitted by Birdie (not verified) on
When I was in second grade, I went to the Benton Homestead. There is a basement area with a spinning wheel there, and I remember, our tour guide was giving us a lecture on the other side of the room when I noticed a man sitting by the wheel. I walked away from the group and spoke to him for a few minutes. He told me about the spinning wheel and what it was used for; he was very friendly. When my group started to leave, I thanked him and went to go; he asked me very politely if I could answer a question first, and I said yes. He asked me if I had seen a woman in white upstairs. I said no, because I hadn't and he thanked me anyway and I went back to my group. When I returned to them, I asked my friends why nobody else had spoken to the nice man at the spinning wheel. They told me that there hadn't been a man at the spinning wheel. So that's the experience I had.

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on
They never take you on tours of the basement or second floor so stop lying "Birdie".

Submitted by Katie (not verified) on
Joe, I lived in Tolland when I was in 2nd grade (1992) and I specifically remember going into the basement. I remember they showed us the big pen where they collected ash to make soap with and think that was gross to wash with ash. So it is possible that "Birdie" was in the basement. I do not remember ever going on the second floor though.

Submitted by Jaye (not verified) on
Thought you readers would like to know that there will be a Historical Novel available during the 300th Anniversary Celebration in Tolland, CT on September 19, 2015. This novel is about the lives of Elisha Benton and Jemima Barrows, 1774-1777 and the self-sacrifice of the men and women of Tolland when they respond to the Lexington Alarm. Forever, Side by Side is a book written by John J. Cuffe, and fulfills a promise made to Elisha & Jemima years ago. You can get more information on the Tolland Historical Society website - The Daniel Benton Homestead Museum. – or contact John at ForeverSBSjjc@gmail.com

Submitted by Birdie (not verified) on
Wow. Calm down. I'm not lying. This was years ago, I don't know if it's changed, but this is how I remember it happening, and I'm pretty sure we went to the basement. It wasn't a complete tour of down there, but I do believe that we went down there for a few minutes. Maybe it was the first floor instead. It was a very long time ago. But there's no need to get aggressive and start calling me a liar, I'm telling it exactly as I remember it.

Submitted by Tolland Girl (not verified) on
I visit the Benton Homestead all the time! I loved to go when I was little. We went on field trips to the house a lot and the historians always had different activities for us to do, like carry water buckets on our shoulders or collect fire wood, etc. I haven't been in a while but I'd love to go soon!

Submitted by Vickie (not verified) on
Daniel Benton is my 5th great grand uncle. Interesting to find out about his homestead.

Submitted by sarah (not verified) on
The couple they speak about in this house is in our family as well. That is what brought me to this page. Maybe we are cousins? :)

Submitted by leon (not verified) on
I know there are not very recent posts to this page but yes they do include basement tours at Benton Homestead my family and I have done it many times. I don't know if they still do it but they used to host a Colonial Encampment every year where Re enactors like my family would camp for the weekend. The basement was used as a prison for a short time for captured Hessian troops during the Revolution,Several wrote their names,Dates and short messages on the beams of the ceiling there are also a few glass display cases containing items found while working on the buildings and grounds several are items my son found while digging our fire pit for one weekend.

Submitted by Tolland native (not verified) on
There is absolutely a basement. On many field trips they'd say that's where the soldiers would hide. I use to love driving past the house at night. Shut the lights off... An anticipate a legend. Never saw anything,but truly believe.

Submitted by Heidi (not verified) on
Visited in May. Took some pictures. https://m.facebook.com/groups/175335559307300?ref=bookmark&refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php&refid=9&_rdr#!/photo.php?fbid=10152411881005485&id=508785484&set=a.10150272772145485.338453.508785484&source=43

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
My friend recently got into our school jazz choir. Apparently she had called her mom and said calmly,.I got in.. Her mom then proceeded to scream, and when asked about it, shouted,.My daughter got into jazz choir!. She was in the middle of a meeting. <a href="http://generalnews.net/mini-weapons-of-mass-destruction-pdf/">Mini Weapons Of Mass Destruction Pdf</a>

My friend recently got into our school jazz choir. Apparently she had called her mom and said calmly,.I got in.. Her mom then proceeded to scream, and when asked about it, shouted,.My daughter got into jazz choir!. She was in the middle of a meeting.

Submitted by Jaye (not verified) on
Thought that many of your readers would like to know that there will be a Historical Novel available during the 300th Anniversary Celebration in Tolland, CT on September 19, 2015. This novel is about the lives of Elisha Benton and Jemima Barrows, 1775 and the self-sacrifice of the men and women of Tolland when they respond to the Lexington Alarm. Forever, Side by Side is a book written by John J. Cuffe, and fulfills a promise made to Elisha years ago. You can get more information on the Tolland Historical Society website - The Daniel Benton Homestead Museum.

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