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Hartford State Capitol, Connecticut, built 1873.

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Historical Museum Guide for Connecticut

A directory of Historical Museums in Connecticut, categorized by county.

Taking a trip to Connecticut?  A visit to these Connecticut history museums and historical sites will allow you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there.  Visit a historical museum and gain insight into the history of your Connecticut ancestors and the way they lived.

Some history museums have virtual tours, histories, genealogy data and historic photos to view online!

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Connecticut History Museums

Fairfield County

Danbury Historical Society and Museum

[Danbury History]

More than just a museum, there are several historic buildings located on the campus including: 1785 Rider House, the Little Red Schoolhouse, the Marian Anderson Studio and the 1790 John Dodd Hat Shop.  The history of Danbury is chronicled in artifacts and exhibits.  The museum offers a research library and archives by appointment.  Address is 43 Main Street, Danbury, CT.

Danbury Railway Museum

Travel in historic train cars on the Danbury Rail Yard Local offering a 20 minute tour.  Exhibits include trains, railway artifacts and an antique operating turntable.  Located at 120 White Street in the old Danbury Train Station in Danbury, CT.

Darien Historical Society and the Bates Scofield House

Hoyt Barnum House at Stamford   [Virtual Tour]

Mill Hill Historical Complex

Operated by the Norwalk Historical Society, the Mill Hill complex features 3 historical buildings and a cemetery.  Buildings include the 1835 Town House, The Law Office of Governor Thomas Fitch and the 1826 Downtown District Schoolhouse.  The cemetery is the third oldest in Norwalk and holds some of the first settlers.  The Town House holds a museum dedicated to the local history of Norwalk, and the schoolhouse is used as an educational tool where children may learn about early schooling.  Located inside Mill Hill Historic Park at 2 East Wall Street in Norwalk, CT.

New Canaan Historical Society and Museums

Sheffield Island Light House

Established in 1827, the lighthouse is 44 feet tall, it can be reached by ferry from Norwalk, CT.  The tour is included with the ferry ride.

Wheeler House

Constructed in 1795, the house features early furnishings and historic household items.  Located at 25 Avery Place in Westport, CT.

 

Hartford County

American Clock and Watch Museum

[Research]

Nestled in the heart of the clockmaking town of Bristol, you will find this museum displaying hundreds of historical and ornate timepieces.  Housed inside the colonial Miles Lewis house along with a research library. 

American Clock and Watch Museum

100 Maple Street

Bristol, CT.

Brown-Elton Tavern in Burlington

The beautiful Federal-style house was built in 1810 by Giles Griswold.  It was used as a private home, public house and inn over a period of 164 years.  Today, the Burling Historical Society has renovated and enhanced the period rooms and tavern interior, using it at the society headquarters.  At this time seasonal activities and tours are offered with museum status coming soon.  Located at 781 George Washington Turnpike in Burlington, CT.

Connecticut Historical Society Museum & Library

The Connecticut Historical Society has established a non-profit museum, library and education center.  The society is one of the oldest historical societies in the nation and houses one of the most distinguished collections in New England.  Exhibits will take you through years of changing history in Connecticut.  Visitors will enjoy a large collection of Inn & Tavern signs dated from 1750-1850.  Featuring hands-on activities for children, people of all ages will learn about the history of Connecticut.  Located at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford, CT.

The Connecticut Trolley Museum

[History]

Owned and operated by the Connecticut Electric Railway Association Inc., the museum is America's oldest incorporated organization which is dedicated to the preservation of the trolley era and it's history.  Visitors are taken on a 3 mile round trip ride on a streetcar with educational narrative.  The museum has in it's collection over 70 pieces of rolling stock dating back to 1869 including passenger and freight street cars, interurban cars, locomotives, railroad cars and a variety of others.  Located at 58 North Road, East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut.

Derrin House - Historical Home in Avon

The Derrin House was the property of the Derrin family for over 150 years.  Today, the house is filled with period furnishings and implements.  Visitors to this historic home will learn what life was like on a 19th century New England Farm.  Open seasonally and by appointment.  Contact the Avon Historical Society at 860-678-7621.  Located at 249 West Avon Road in Avon, CT.

East Windsor Historical Society and  Academy Museum 

Operated by the East Windsor Historical Society, the museum is located at 115 Scantic Road in East Windsor Hill, CT.

Governor's Mansion   [Virtual Tour]  [History]

Situated on 4 acres, the Governor's home is decorated with original 18th century furnishings.  The Georgian Revival Colonial style mansion has been called home by Connecticut governors since 1943.  990 Prospect Avenue, Hartford, CT.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center   [Collections]

Hill-Stead Museum

Built in 1901, the house was home to the Pope family for over 40 years.  This historical museum has been open since 1947 and features a lovely collection of impressionist paintings.  The archives holds historical documents, photographs, and postcards.  Tours are offered and rentals for special occasions are available.  Located at 35 Mountain Road in Farmington, CT.

Mark Twain House and Museum 

Museum of Connecticut History

New England Air Museum   [Photos & Exhibits]

Noah Webster House Museum

[Bio and Facts about Noah Webster]

The home is birthplace to Noah Webster (well known author of the Blue Back Speller and the American Dictionary).  The museum is operated by the West Hartford Historical Society and exhibits relate the stories of the town's history as well.  Located at 227 S. Main Street, West Hartford, CT.

Manchester Museum and Historical Society

Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine

Old State House Museum  

Now considered a National Historic Landmark, it is one of America's oldest state houses.  Beautifully restored, the Old State House was built in 1796 and is available for tours or rental.  Location is 800 Main Street in Hartford, CT.

Oliver Ellsworth Homestead: Elmwood

[The Ellsworth Family]

Built in 1781, Elmwood was the home of Oliver Ellsworth, famous Revolutionary Patriot, Jurist, and Statesman.  Today, the Ellsworth Homestead serves as a museum owned and operated by the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution.  Located at 778 Palisado Avenue in Windsor, CT.

Phelps Tavern Museum 

Built in 1771 and occupied by the Phelps family for almost 200 years, the building has served as a family home, a canal hotel, lodge meeting site, entertainment hall and the local tavern.  Since 1962 Phelps Tavern has been a property of the Simsbury Historical Society.  It is must one of 16 buildings in the Simsbury community in the Farmington Valley.  Located at 800 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, CT.

Pine Grove Schoolhouse

Housed in the historic school building originally known as School Number 7, this building served as a schoolhouse from 1865 to 1949.  Today, the schoolhouse is set up as an early 20th century schoolhouse and furnished with items from that era.  Pine Grove Schoolhouse is open seasonally and by appointment.  Call 860-678-7621 for further information.  Operated by the Avon Historical Society, it is located along Route 167 at the corner of Harris & West Avon Road in Avon, CT.

Schoolhouse No 3

[History of Avon]

Take a step back to a simpler time in history.  Housed in old Schoolhouse No. 3, the museum features historical artifacts, memorabilia, photographs, and other items related to the history of Avon, Connecticut.  Open by appointment only.  Contact the Avon Historical Society at 860-678-7621.  Located at 8 East Main Street in Avon, CT.

Stanley-Whitman House   [Research]

A living history museum devoted to telling the history of Farmington, Connecticut.  Housed in a 1720 historic house, it may be rented for special occasions and meetings.  Visit at 37 High Street in Farmington, CT.

Webb Deane Stevens Historical House Museum

Owned and operated by the Colonial Dames of America in Connecticut, these four 18th century houses are remarkably intact.  They include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, the 1770 Silas Deane House, the 1789 Isaac Stevens House and the Buttolph-Williams House.  Visitors can see how people lived in the 17th and 18th centuries, view the beautiful gardens and enjoy the close by shops and restaurants.  Available for weddings and event rentals.  Located at 211 Main Street in Wethersfield, CT.

Windsor Historical Society

 

Litchfield County

Cornwall Historical Society & Museum

Housed inside the 1885 John Thomas Andrew barn, the society holds historical artifacts, documents, photographs and other items related to the history of Cornwall.  A great starting point for exploring the Cornwall area, with walking tours, local history publications, lectures and family programs. Research by appointment is welcome year-round. Summer exhibits are held in our newly converted Victorian Barn. Located at 7 Pine Street in Cornwall, Ct.

Goshen Historical Museum

21 Old Middle Road
P.O. Box 457
Goshen, CT 06756

Gunn Historical Museum

Housed in an 1780 home located on Washington Green, the museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Washington, Connecticut.  Exhibits include a large collection of antique chairs, the Cogswell family papers, photos, historical documents and other artifacts.  Located at 5 Wykeham Rd. in Washington CT.

Litchfield History Museum

Roxbury Furnace

Sloane - Stanley Museum and Kent Iron Furnace Historic Site

Tapping Reeve House / Litchfield Law School

Watertown Historical Society Museum

Featuring exhibits of historical artifacts, documents and memorabilia related to the rich history of Watertown, the society also maintains many genealogical materials for the researcher.  Located at 22 Deforest Street in Watertown, Connecticut.

 

Middlesex County

Connecticut River Museum   [Collections]

Recently renovated, the museum brings the River history to life through exhibits of artifacts and items related to the history of the Connecticut River Valley and the people who live there.  Located at 67 Main Street in Essex, CT.

 

New Haven County

Dudley Farm Living History Museum in Guilford, CT.

Henry Whitfield House

Known as the oldest standing stone house in Guilford, the Henry Whitfield house is a museum holding historical artifacts related to the culture of New England's early settlers.  Located at 248 Old Whitfield Street in Guilford, CT.

Mattatuck Museum - Art & History in Waterbury

[Collections

The Mattatuck Museum was established in 1877 as the Mattatuck Historical Society.  The society was designed to preserve and display the history of the part of Connecticut known as Mattatuck (a ten town area surrounding Waterbury).  Located at 144 W. Main Street in Waterbury, CT.

Wharf Lane

A complex featuring three historic houses Milford, CT.  Located at 34 High Street.

Shore Line Trolley Museum

Featuring over 100 vintage vehicles, artifacts and documents from the days of trolleys, the museum offers visitors a chance to experience the thrill of riding the old trolley line operated by the Branford Electric Railway.  Located at 17 River Street in East Haven, CT.

 

New London County

Historic Sites of New London

Mystic Seaport

New London Gazette US Custom House & Maritime Museum

The oldest continuously operating custom house in the United States is housed in a beautiful granite building erected in 1833.  Located at 150 Bank Street in downtown New London, the museum features a research library along with such maritime exhibits as Amistad: Voyage to Freedom.

Old Lighthouse Museum and Stonington Historical Society

USS Nautilus and US Navy Submarine Force Museum

 

South Windsor County

District #5 Schoolhouse Museum and Historical Society

The Pleasant Valley schoolhouse was used as the town elementary school for 90 years 1862-1952.  Today it is being used a local history museum filled with school and town memorabilia.  Located at 771 Ellington Road in South Windsor, CT.

 

Tolland County

Ellie McKnight Museum

This lovely Federalist style home was built in 1812 for the Sexton family.  Purchased in 1922 by the McKnight family, the home was donated to the Ellington Historical Society and today serves as a museum which is open during the Fair on the Green, special events and by appointment. 

New England Civil War Museum

Visit the only museum in Connecticut focused on the fighting men of the Civil War.  Located on the second floor of the longest continuously used Civil War veterans hall in the United States, the New England Civil War Museum is devoted to conveying the lessons to be learned from the history of the American Civil War.  Located at 14 Park Place, in Rockville-Vernon, CT.

 

Windham County

Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum

Mill Museum / Windham Textile and History Museum

Prudence Crandall Museum 

Samuel Huntington Homestead Museum

[The Huntington Family]

Birthplace to Samuel Huntington (signer of the Declaration of Independence), the house was built ca 1723 and has been continually enlarged and remodeled.  Archaeological finds are still being made at this property and artifacts discovered give example of early life in Connecticut.  Located at 36 Huntington Rd. in Scotland, CT.

 

Museum Index for Other States

Connecticut Census Records

 

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Connecticut Historical Museums Guide is a tool designed to help you find Connecticut history museums and Connecticut historic sites.  

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