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Best History Museums in New Haven

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Pardee-Morris House—beautifully restored and preserved home near Lighthouse Point Park shows you what life was like for a prominent New Haven family in the 1700s. The home is maintained and run by the New Haven Colony Historical Society, and is open weekends June through August. After your tour of the museum, walk around the park to enjoy a panorama of Long Island Sound.

Named after the fraternal brotherhood, the Knights of Columbus museum is one of the finest religiously themed museums in America. Situated beside the Supreme Council office, the museum strives to put the various activities of the Knights of Columbus fraternity into the forefront of the world. The numerous material sources and artifacts pertaining to the fraternity are on show in this Columbus Plaza museum.

Eli Whitney was an idealist and visionary who has been forgiven the unwitting consequences of his brilliant inventions; the cotton gin turned slavery from a tottering institution into a thriving business, and the milling machine gave rise to the horrific abuses of American industry. The museum occupies several buildings erected by Whitney as a model for a factory town, and preserves the roots of the industrial revolution that changed the country and the world.

Venture into Yale's exciting natural history museum. This is the only museum in Connecticut with fossil dinosaur material on permanent display. The Pulitzer Award winning "The Age of Reptiles" mural (slightly outdated, but nevertheless a beautiful work of art in itself) depicts 300 million years of prehistory. Explore the cultures and peoples of the world through exhibits on Ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica, the Andes and the Great Plains, just to mention a few. It is best to visit during non-school hours.

Established in the year 1862, the New Haven Museum is one of the best spots in the city, especially if you want to gain brief knowledge about the local history. The museum comprises of a collection of artifacts from throughout New Haven’s history. Historic art, photographs, period furniture and more are all stocked under one roof here. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibitions as well as cultural programs through the year. Within the museum, you can also take a tour of The Whitney Research Library, that boasts of a collection of rare books and more than than 300 manuscript collections among other historic records and elements. Open five days a week, the New Haven Museum is a perfect place to gather some local historic knowledge.

Housed in two buildings at Southern Connecticut State University, the Ethnic Heritage Center houses exhibits, archives and educational programs throughout the year. Exhibits, artifacts and programs are possible through associations with other ethnic historical societies in New Haven and Connecticut. If you are interested in learning about the different cultures and people who make up the area, a trip to the Ethnic Heritage Center is the perfect way to do so.

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