Historic homes in Mystic, Connecticut, bring state's past to life
Norwich Free Academy - 108 Crescent Street
Norwich, CT, 06360
Centuries of treasures in a historic museum
More than a century of loving attention to art and architecture are on display at this marvelous museum on the campus of Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT. An architectural treasure as well, the building was designed by Stephen C. Earle inspired by the Romanesque Revival style popularized by H. H. Richardson. Within you’ll discover plaster replicas of ancient masterworks, historical artifacts, stunning examples of fine and decorative art, and material gathered from the people and cultures of five continents and spanning 35 centuries. Interpreter guided tours are free with your admission and there are changing exhibits, film screenings, discussions, book signings, events, and a unique gift shop. The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays all year long. Closed Holidays.
275 Great Neck Road / State Route 213
Waterford, CT, 06385
Beautiful seaside gardens; Roman Classical Revival Mansion open for tours in summer
This park is located at the summer home of the Harkness family, which bought this 40-room mansion in 1907. The style of the house is Roman Renaissance Classical Revival. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and sweeping lawns. The mansion is open for tours from Memorial to Labor Day, although the property is open for walking year-round, every day. Tours are given during the summer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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of Harkness Memorial State Park.
Monte Cristo Cottage
325 Pequot Avenue
New London, CT, 06320
The Monte Cristo Cottage was the only permanent home of Eugene O’Neill from his birth in 1888 until 1917, as well as the setting for two of the playwright’s best known works, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Ah, Wilderness!. Named in honor of his father James O’Neill’s most popular role, the dashing Edmund Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo, the 1840’s cottage is both a Registered National Landmark and a museum for O’Neill, America’s only Nobel Prize-winning playwright. It features a Eugene O’Neill portrait and poster gallery and a permanent exhibition on the life and works of the playwright.
556 Route 169
The bold Gothic Revival style of this summer home built by Henry and Lucy Bowen contrasted sharply with other houses on Woodstock’s town green. Surrounded by its original landscape, the house survives with the family’s furnishings and elaborate decorative schemes. The complex, including an ice house, aviary, carriage barn with private bowling alley, and parterre garden, demonstrates the mid-19th-century design aesthetic popularized by Andrew Jackson Downing. Museum shop.
Hours: June 1-October 15, Wednesday-Sunday, tours on the hour, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $8. Historic New England members free. $7 seniors. $4 students and children.
Prudence Crandall Museum
Junction Routes 14 and 169
Canterbury, CT, 06331
New England's first academy for Black women (1833-34), established by Connecticut's female state hero. Changing exhibits, period furnishings, research library, gift shop. National Historic Landmark; part of the Connecticut Freedom Trail and the Connecticut Women’s Heritage Trail. Gift shop.
Hours: May, Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; June-October, Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; November-April, weekdays by appointment
Admission: Adults, $6; seniors and college students, $7; children age 6 to 17, $4.