A beautiful grandfather clock stands in the front hall of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. It is made of cherry, mahogany, and brass, and stands 92 inches tall. Purchased by Dan Huntington in 1800, before his marriage to Elizabeth Whiting Phelps, this Aaron Willard clock arrived at Forty Acres with Dan in 1817.
On New Year's Day 1801, Dan was married to Elizabeth Whiting Phelps in the Long Room of Forty Acres. Dan and Betsy lived in Litchfield, Connecticut with their children until 1809. Dan then moved his family to Middletown, where he was a Reverend at the First Congregational Church and ran a boarding school out of their home. In 1817, Dan moved his family to Forty Acres and took over management of his wife’s family farm. Dan’s Aaron Willard grandfather clock was one of the possessions included in the move.
Aaron Willard was a prominent member of the most famous clock making family in early America. Aaron and his brother Simon traveled to Boston to participate in the Revolutionary War. After the war, the brothers returned to their hometown of Grafton and set up a very successful clockmaking business. At the height of its production, Aaron’s shop employed all of the artisans required to make a single clock. Aaron Willard’s style and craftsmanship became the high standard that similar clocks were measured against.