Connecticut has rich variety of historic homes, museums, cemeteries, trails

Connecticut is steeped in the history of our country's earliest days, beginning with the Colonial period, through the Revolutionary War and up to the present. CT welcomes visitors interested in historic homes and historic sites. Some historic sites are museums located in the homes of legendary writers like Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Families with kids interested in history will be fascinated by the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, locations of the Underground Railroad,museums honoring historic railways and trolleys, the Amistad Museum, and much more. Lighthouses on the shoreline and covered bridges in the inland Litchfield area also speak of the state's deep New England character.

Historic Homes & Sites in Connecticut
Library - Mark Twain House & Museum - Hartford, CT
Mark Twain House & Museum

351 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT, 06105 Phone: 860-247-0998

See why Mark Twain boasted his Hartford house was ‘the loveliest home that ever was’

Come see why Samuel Clemens called his Hartford, CT house “the loveliest home that ever was.” The Mark Twain House & Museum, now a National Historic Landmark, offers tours seven days a week, allowing visitors to explore the restored Victorian home of the author and his family, who lived there from 1874 to 1891. See the library, where he read excerpts from his new work (He wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at the house); the bedroom with its elaborately carved bed bought in Venice; the public rooms decorated by Louis C. Tiffany & Co.; and the school room for his daughters. The house and museum host period pieces of decorative and fi ne arts, including photos, first editions, paintings, textiles and popular-culture artifacts.
Silas Robbins House in Spring - Historic Wethersfield, CT
Historic Wethersfield

Rediscover the nation’s heritage at a variety of historic homes and buildings

Homes with history are everywhere in Historic Wethersfield, an authentic, living New England village where visitors can stroll down leafy streets while rediscovering the nation’s heritage. Original furnishings and painted ceilings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are found at the Hurlbut-Dunham House, and there’s an extensive collection of period cooking equipment at the Buttolph-Williams House, built around 1715. George Washington visited the Joseph Webb House and Silas Dean House, part of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museums featuring 18th century furnishings and a Colonial Revival garden. The lovely First Church, built in 1764, graces the village center, and the Ancient Burying Ground’s headstones go back to 1648. Check at the Wethersfield Museum for information on walking tours, including a self-guided heritage tour.
Roseland Cottage in CT
Roseland Cottage

556 Route 169 Woodstock, CT, 06281 Phone: 860-928-4074

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: Open June-October 15, Thurs-Sunday 11am - 4pm. Tours starts on the hour.
Admission: Adults $15, Seniors $13, Students & Children $7. Free for members of Historic New England.
Bellamy-Ferriday garden -credit-Connecticuts Historic Gardens
Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden

9 Main Street Bethlehem, CT, 06751 Phone: 203-266-7596

Once the home of Bethlehem's first minister, the house was built in 1754, and is filled with American and European antiques. In addition to the 1754 home, the property also features a formal parterre garden, with a collection of roses, peonies, and lilacs. Call ahead to reserve tours for 10 people or more.
Hours: May through October, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $7; students, teachers and seniors, $6; children age 6-18, $4.
nathan hale homestead in coventry CT
Nathan Hale Homestead (1776)

2299 South Street Coventry, CT Phone: 860-742-6917

Nathan Hale Homestead is the birthplace of Nathan Hale, who was hanged as a spy during the Revolutionary War. The house’s furnishings include objects that the hale family owned, and others from private collections, The Hale Homestead is next to the Nathan Hale State Forest. The homestead has a gift shop and guided tours. Coventry Farmers Market is held on the property on Sundays from June through October.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors and students, $8; children age 6-18, $5
Hours: May and October, Saturday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; June-September, Wednesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
kitchne of Webb Deane Stevens Musem-credit-charles Lyle
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

211 Main Street Wethersfield, CT, 06109 Phone: 860-529-0612

At the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum visitors are immersed in life of the 18th and 19th centuries. Three restored homes are included in the one-hour tour. The 1752 Joseph Webb House served as George Washington’s headquarters in May 1781; the Silas Deane House, circa 1770, was built for America’s Revolutionary War diplomat to France; the Isaac Stevens House, 1789, depicts the life of a middle class family in the 1820s and '30s. It has a Colonial Revival Garden.
Hours: May 1-October 31, daily, except Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays, 1-4 p.m. April and November weekends only. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission for tour: Adults, $10; seniors over age 60, $9; for students and children age 5-18, $5; families, $25.
Fall at Weir Farm National Historic Site - Wilton CT
Weir Farm National Historic Site

735 Nod Hill Road Wilton, CT, 06897 Phone: 203-834-1896

Home to three generations of American Impressionist painters, Weir Farm is the only national park dedicated to American painting. Discover this creative landscape guided tour of the Farm; check out the Stone Wall and meadows. See for yourself the artistic legacy of this nationally treasured site at the indoor art galleries. Enjoy park activities like fishing, swimming, and hiking; then stroll the gardens at sunset for a spectacular show of floral beauty!
Hours: Grounds open year-round, daily, dawn to dusk; Visitor Center open May through November, Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Gardens at Boothe Memorial Park and Museum - Stratford, CT
Boothe Memorial Park & Museum

5774 Main Street Stratford, CT, 06614 Phone: 203-381-2046

This former homestead of the Boothe Family from 1663 to 1949 covers 30 acres and includes several buildings that exhibit antique farming tools, carriages, and old trolleys. Visitors are welcome to use the picnic grounds and enjoy the rose garden. - Walking Map
Hours: Park grounds are open year-round, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Museums and displays are open June 1 through October 1, Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Lockwood Mathews Mansion in CT
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

Mathews Park, 295 West Ave. Norwalk, CT, 06850 Phone: 203-838-9799

America's first chateau; 62-room Victorian palace with stenciled walls, inlaid woodwork and skylit rotunda; gift shop. National Historic Landmark. Guided and audio tours.
Hours: Early April-early January, Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; seniors and students, $5; children under age 12, free.
Lock 12 Historical Park

487 North Brooksvale Road (Route 42) Cheshire, CT, 06410 Phone: 203-272-2743

Lock 12 Park is rich with history. Explore the restored section of Farmington Canal, built in the 19th century. Visit the park’s museum to learn more about the Canal and historical structures like the lockkeeper's house and helicoidal (or spiral) bridge.
Old State House of Connecticut

800 Main Street Hartford, CT Phone: 860-522-6766

Connecticut's original statehouse is the oldest in the U.S. Many historic events took place here, including the signing of the first written Constitution in the nation, and the Amistad and Prudence Crandall trials. The site contains a the restored, original Senate chamber and a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. Free admission.
Hours: Columbus Day to July 4, Monday-Friday; July 4 to Columbus Day weekend, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (last ticket sold at 4 p.m.)
Admission: Adults, $6; children, $3.
Yale University - New Haven, CT
Yale University

Information Center at 149 Elm Street New Haven, CT, 06510 Phone: 203-432-2300

This historic Ivy League University, founded in the 18th century offers walking tours of the campus. Many historic figures studied here, including Nathan Hale, President William Howard Taft and Noah Webster. Modern day Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton both spent time at Yale.
Hours: Tours daily, Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
General William Hart House

350 Main Street Old Saybrook, CT, 06475 Phone: 860-388-2622

A Georgian-style Colonial built in 1767, featuring an herb garden and intricate decor. Of particular interest are the eight corner fireplaces. Notice the nine-window facade with 12 over 12 panes, the cornices, cornerboards and graduated clapboards.
Hours: Sundays from July 18 to September 13, 1-3pm or by appointment. $5 Donation for tours is requested.
Prudence Crandall Museum

Junction Routes 14 and 169 Canterbury, CT, 06331 Phone: 860-546-7800

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.
Bush Holley House

39 Strickland Road Greenwich, CT Phone: 203-869-6899

The circa 1730 National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House was home to Connecticut’s first art colony. The site was the home and business headquarters of colonial merchant and mill owner David Bush, his wife Sarah, their children and their slaves. From 1890 to 1920, the house was run as a boarding house and was a gathering place for artists, writers, and editors.
Hours: Hours change seasonally; call ahead or consult website.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors and students, $8; children under age 6, free.
phelps hatheway house and gardens
Phelps-Hatheway House and Garden

55 South Main Street Suffield, CT Phone:

A three-century-old sycamore overhangs this house, built in the 1760s and expanded 1794. The neo-classical house is a window into prosperous life in the 18th century. The house is furnished with eighteenth-century furniture and landscaped with formal flower beds. House includes original French wallpapers.
Hours: May-October, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $13; seniors, students and teachers, $10; Suffield residents, $7; children ages 6-18, $5; Family of two adults and any number of children, $30.
The Connecticut Freedom Trail

The Connecticut Freedom Trail is list of over 60 historic locations throughout the state. Each location played an important role in the African-American journey from slavery to freedom in Connecticut. Places in addition to those listed on the Amistad Trail include historic homes, churches, graves, monuments, and sites on the Underground Railroad.
Osborne Homestead Museum & Kellogg Environmental Center - Derby, CT
Osborne Homestead Museum & Kellogg Environmental Center

500 Hawthorne Avenue Derby, CT, 06418 Phone: 203-734-2513

The Osborne Homestead Museum was a simple farmhouse built around 1840. It became the home after the Civil War to Wilbur Fisk Osborne and Ellen Lucy Davis Osborne. Frances Eliza Osborne (1876-1956), the last of their four children, inherited the family house and, in 1919, married Waldo Stewart Kellogg, a New York architect. A businesswoman and conservationist, Frances Osborne Kellogg deeded her 350-acre property to Connecticut to form Osbornedale State Park. The Museum’s grounds are landscaped with formal flower gardens, ornamental shrubs, and flowering trees.
Hours: Tours are offered, May-October, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Grounds open year-round Monday–Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Gillette Castle in East Haddam - Photo Credit Shutterstock
Gillette Castle State Park and Mansion

67 River Road East Haddam, CT, 06423 Phone: 860-526-2336

This castle-like mansion was the eccentric home of William Gillette, a turn-of-the-century stage actor who was famous for his classic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. The house is filled with fascinating architectural details and also includes exhibits about Gillette's career and his love of railroads and trains. - Hiking Map (PDF)
Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tours of the castle are offered; call for schedule.
Admission: There are no fees for visiting the park grounds; There is a charge for castle tours.
Ancient Burying Ground

corner of Main and Gold streets Hartford, CT, 06103 Phone: 860-337-1640

The Ancient Burying Ground was the primary burying ground in the city from 1640 until the early 1800s. It contains extraordinary examples from the golden age of Puritan funerary art by dozens of carvers of New England. The oldest gravestone is believed to be for Timothy Stanley, who died in 1648. The property has an African-American memorial, a monument to the first settlers of Hartford, and graves of Revolutionary War veterans. The Ancient Burying Ground is an open-air museum. Due to the extreme fragility of the stones, gravestone rubbings are not permitted. - Self-Guided Walking Tour
Hours: Gates are open year-round, daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Topsmead State Forest - Litchfield, CT - Photo Credit CT DEEP
Topsmead State Forest

Buell Road Litchfield, CT, 06579 Phone: 860-567-5694

This state property includes the home of Edith Morton Chase, who built this English Tudor style house in 1925, under the direction of architect Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Fine craftsmanship and use of materials like cypress, oak, terracotta tiles, and stucco, along with an eye for detail and tasteful wealth are on display throughout the house. It is furnished with 17th- and 18th-century English country antiques. Guided tours of the house are offered June through October of the second and fourth weekends of the month, noon to 5 p.m. Reservations are not needed. Picnicking on the grounds is welcome. - Park Map (PDF)
Grand Tour Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery Norwich Connecticut
Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery

Norwich Free Academy - 108 Crescent Street Norwich, CT, 06360 Phone: 860-887-2506

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.
Noah Webster House

227 South Main Street West Hartford, CT Phone: 860-521-5362

The Noah Webster House is located in the restored 18th-century birthplace and childhood home of Noah Webster, a teacher, lawyer, early abolitionist, and the creator of the first American dictionary. This national landmark explodes with activities that range from tours, youth programs, and award-winning exhibits to lively nights out, theatrical productions, and more. Tours last 45 minutes and are led by historical interpreters.
Hours: Thursday-Monday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $7; seniors, $5; youth age 6-18 and college students, $4; children age 5 and younger, free.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Exterior 500x250
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

77 Forest Street Hartford, CT, 06105 Phone: 860-522-9258

Now a National Historic Landmark and a stop on the Connecticut Freedom Trail, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is based in the activist author’s meticulously preserved Victorian Gothic cottage, where she lived for 23 years. Among the center’s collections, which include letters, artifacts, paintings and memorabilia, is the dining room table where she wrote the most famous of her 30 books, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Outside, several Victorian-era gardens reveal Stowe’s interest in flower gardening. Visitors are encouraged by knowledgeable guides to engage in conversation as they tour the home, learning about how Stowe and her family lived, the issues of their time (and ours) and what inspired her. Salon, or parlor, conversations on those issues are held regularly.
Henry Whitfield State Museum

248 Old Whitfield Street Guilford, CT, 06437 Phone: 203-453-2457

Connecticut's oldest house (1639) and New England's oldest stone house, built as a minister's home and town stronghold, Colonial Revival restorations 1903 and 1930s. 17th- to 19th-century furnishings, museum shop, visitor center. National Historic Landmark.
Hours: January 2-April 26, Monday-Friday by appointment; May 1-December 15,Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; seniors and college students, $6; children age 6-17, $5.
Amistad Memorial

165 Church Street New Haven, CT, 06510 Phone:

Completed by Ed Hamilton in 1992, this monument pays tribute to the 53 Africans who escaped their slavery by overpowering the crew of the ship Amistad. The monument is located at the site of the old New Haven Jail, in which the Africans were kept during their initial arrest.
Connecticut Historical Society Museum

1 Elizabeth Street at Asylum Avenue Hartford, CT Phone: 860-236-5621

The society's museum has one of the largest collections of Connecticut furniture, silver, pewter, costumes, graphic materials and tavern signs in existence. A library holds 100,000 manuscripts and nearly 3 million volumes. Events and lectures are scheduled throughout the year. The interactive, multimedia exhibition features five galleries, historic artifacts, and special sound and light effects.
Hours: Year-round, Tuesday - Friday, noon- 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; seniors over age 64, $6; college students and youth age 6-17, $4.
Keeler Tavern Museum

132 Main Street Ridgefield, CT, 06877 Phone: 203-438-5485

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. British cannonball embedded in its exterior, souvenir of 1777 battle. Late 18th-century furnishings; guides in Colonial costume. Garden with reflecting pool. Gift shop.
Hours: February-December,Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; seniors, $3; children under age 12, $2.
Shore Line Trolley Museum

17 River Street East Haven, CT, 06512 Phone: 203-467-6927

Ride vintage streetcars through scenic woods and wetlands. View exhibits on the trolley era and tour the trolley collection. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hours: April, Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; May and September-November, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; late November-late December, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $6; seniors, $5; children age 2-15, $3; under 2 free.
Hill-Stead Museum

35 Mountain Road Farmington, CT, 06032 Phone: 860-677-4787

National Historic Landmark. Colonial Revival style house (1901) set on 150 acres with sunken garden. Collection of French Impressionist paintings, decorative arts and original furnishings. Hour-long guided tours begin every half-hour. Last tour of the day begins one hour before closing. Admission to Hill-Stead Museum is by GUIDED TOUR ONLY except the first Sunday of every month and certain other designated special occasions.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Grounds are open daily, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free to the public.
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $10; students, $8; children age 6-12, $5.
Monte Cristo Cottage

325 Pequot Avenue New London, CT, 06320 Phone: 860-443-0051

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.
Danbury Railway Museum

120 White Street and Patriot Drive Danbury, CT, 06810 Phone: 203-778-8337

This museum is set in Union Station, restored to its appearance as it was in 1903. Inside visitors will find antique railroad cars, railroad artifacts and memorabilia, and changing exhibits. Train rides of varying lengths are scheduled throughout the year; some celebrate holidays, with festive themed rail cars.
Hours: June-august, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. September-May, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $6; children age 5-12, $4.
Historic Mansion & Gardens - Harkness Memorial State Park - Waterford, CT
Harkness Memorial State Park

275 Great Neck Road - CT Route 213 Waterford, CT, 06385 Phone: 860-443-5725

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. - Park Map (PDF)