History is one of the four strands that make up the exceptional social studies curriculum in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Yet the classroom isn’t the only place to learn about the past. In fact, Connecticut is full of amazing museums that can make learning history a part of an amazing day of quality family time.
Let’s take a look at what our state has to offer and what the websites say about each:
- Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford) “preserves and interprets Stowe’s Hartford home and the Center’s historic collections, promotes vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change.”
- Institute for American Indian Studies (Washington) “preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures.”
- Mark Twain House & Museum (Hartford) “offers visitors an opportunity to learn more about Mark Twain, his family, the historic house, and the author’s legacy.”
- The Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury) “collects and exhibits American art and cultural history — with a focus on the history of the Naugatuck Valley and the artists of Connecticut.”
- Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea (Mystic) “Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.”
- Slater Memorial Museum of Norwich Free Academy (Norwich) “has displayed and interpreted the best examples of fine and decorative art, representing a broad range of world cultures of the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa” for over 100 years.
- Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford) houses a “collection of nearly 50,000 works of art span[ning] 5,000 years and featur[ing] the Morgan collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and European decorative arts; world-renowned baroque and surrealist paintings; [and] an unsurpassed collection of Hudson River School landscapes” among other exhibits.
- Yale Center for British Art (New Haven) “houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom.”
- Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (New Haven) features a “geological, biological, and anthropological ... record of the history of the earth, its life, and its cultures.”
And for some pop culture fun:
- The American Clock & Watch Museum (Bristol) “holds one of the largest displays of American clocks and watches in the world.”
- The Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum (Cheshire) has a collection based on the founders’ belief that “items of childhood had a value for future generations, bringing back memories, or expressing a child’s life through the ordinary toys, lunchboxes, games, and tools of common usage. … [spanning] the years from 1873 to present day.”
- The Danbury Railway Museum (Danbury) “offers railroad history, tours, train rides, a collection of original and restored rolling stock, and opportunities for hands-on railroad work at ‘12 inches to the foot’ scale.”
- The New England Carousel Museum (Bristol) “is dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and preservation of operating carousels and carousel memorabilia and the creation of new carousel material, for the education and pleasure of the general public.”
This list is just a sampling of the museums and historical homes you can visit throughout Connecticut. What are some of the places you’ve visited? Let us know on our social media pages.