Wallingford historic mansion to showcase silver collection

Wallingford historic mansion to showcase silver collection


WALLINGFORD — Silver production was big business locally for more than 150 years.

Next month, the Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust will open the doors of the historic Franklin Johnson Mansion on South Main Street and showcase silver products in its collection as part of a celebration of the silver industry of Wallingford and Meriden.

Jean Garcia, Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust board member, said Monday volunteers will be able to explain the different uses of the locally crafted silver products, which include platters, trays, salvers and plates, as well as historical information about the impact the silver industry had throughout the world.

“A lot of this stuff that we have came from the American Silver Museum in Meriden,” Garcia said. The museum closed in 1995 and moved its collection of silver products to Wallingford in 1996.

Joseph Ortense Jr., whose father worked in the local silver industry, donated the mansion to the historic trust in 1997.

Franklin Johnson himself had a looser connection to the silver industry. One of his ancestors, Jacob Johnson, was a silversmith and metalsmith. He also had a cousin, Miles Johnson, who was a silversmith.

LTakores@record-journal.com 203-317-2212 Twitter: @LCTakores


When: 1-3 p.m. Sept. 17.

Where: Franklin Johnson Mansion, 153 S. Main St., Wallingford.

Host: Wallingford Historic Preservation Trust.

Donation: Suggested donation of $5 to support the museum.

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