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Best Local History & Culture in Hartford

By: Cityseeker
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The Museum of Connecticut History

Connecticut in all its glory is proudly displayed here at the state's official museum that highlights the history of America's Constitution State. From its inception as a place for nutmeg dealers at the ports of New Haven and New London to the present day, everything you wanted to know about Connecticut can be found on this museum's walls and shelves. A couple of the highlights include the Joseph C. Mitchelson coin collection and the Freedom Trail Quilts. It's a great place for those who want to know more about these 'Nutmeggers', or how residents of the state are called.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Butler-McCook House & Garden

Located in the downtown area, the Butler-McCook House & Garden is one of the oldest structures in Hartford. Established in 1782, the home was designed by Jacob Weidenman in a Victorian style, and everything reflects this era, from the pretty garden that surrounds the home to the interior details. The home was owned by the Butler and McCook family for two centuries and now it functions as a museum, with exhibits reflecting the four generations that lived in this house, and the changes that the neighborhood saw over the years.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Old State House

One of the nation's oldest state houses, Hartford's Old State House dates back to 1796. A Federal-style building designed by famed architect Charles Bulfinch, the Old State House has been restored on numerous occasions and has been on the list of National Historic Landmarks since 1966. The state house bears an assemblage of architectural influences, where a Federal Styled-facade gives way to a Victorian chamber and a courtroom awash in Colonial Revival style. Home to the Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities, this regal, brick-hued edifice overlooks a pristine lawn, and lords over the sleek cityscape of Hartford. Even though it has not served the Connecticut government since the construction of the new State Capitol building, the Old State House is a stirring canopy lending insights into the history of the state.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is dedicated to the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it offers a profound insight into the life and times of this suffragette. This is the home in which Stowe lived from 1873 until her death in 1893. The house includes authentic, restored furniture pieces as well as souvenirs from her journeys around the world. A library, located on the grounds of the nearby Day House contains books, manuscripts, images and more. Visitors can also view eight Victorian gardens on the grounds of the estate as well as several special events held throughout the year.

Hartford, CT, United States
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The Mark Twain House & Museum

This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Connecticut Historical Society

The Connecticut Historical Society expounds upon the history of America's fifth State. Visit their museum and center to learn more about Northeastern history through exhibitions, programs and Connecticut-related collections. It also features one of the largest costume and textile collections in New England. The research center has over 270,000 artifacts and graphics, and over 100,000 books and pamphlets. Overall, an interesting spot to visit, especially if you're from Connecticut.

Hartford, CT, United States
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Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Noah Webster was a pioneer of education and learning in Colonial America and his birthplace and childhood home is an educational, often overlooked, attraction for adults and kids alike in northern Connecticut. Throughout the year, visitors come to the Noah Webster House to learn more about the man who inspired generations of Colonial Americans to read and write in a uniform fashion, forgoing British spellings and pronunciation guides.

West Hartford, CT, United States
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Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in historic Wethersfield is a collection of 18th Century homes that are National Historic Landmarks. The Webb House was built in 1752 and its claim to fame is as a resting place of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The Deane House was built for an American diplomat to France's family during the War. The open hours are seasonal for this interesting and historic museum.

Wethersfield, CT, United States
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