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Sloane Museum reopens May 5 with special programs

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KENT—The Eric Sloane Museum and Kent Ironworks will reopen for its 2024 season with special demonstrations and new exhibits May 5 and 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The museum, located adjacent to the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association compound, just north of Kent village on Route 7, features the studio and antique hand tool collections of renowned artist Eric Sloane. It is owned and operated by the State Historic Preservation Office of Connecticut.

The Kent iron furnace, located at the Eric Sloane Museum, will be the site of iron-making demonstrations the weekend of May 18 and 19. Photo contributed

On May 18 and 19, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors are invited to immerse themselves in an Ironworks Weekend, a program exploring the history of ironmaking in the Housatonic valley. The Kent Iron Works site operated for 70 years in the 19th century, although the iron industry was active at other locations in the town from 1736. 

The event will include special tours, exhibits and an iron-smelting demonstration, marking the first iron smelting on the site since the furnace’s closure in 1892. Master blacksmiths Steve Mankowski and Christopher Henkels will smelt iron with a bloomery furnace using traditional methods and techniques. 

Admission to the museum and programs is free both Saturday and Sunday.

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