The Museum of Connecticut History in Hartford focuses on Connecticut's industrial, military, and political history. Both changing and permanent exhibitions illustrate the state's growth and the part it has played in the development of the United States from colonial times to the present. The museum itself is made up of Memorial Hall and an additional 3 adjoining exhibition areas.
Among the permanent displays are historic documents, such as the 1818 and 1964 State Constitutions and Connecticut's original 1662 Royal Charts, and portraits of Connecticut governors. The Museum of Connecticut History has been collecting and displaying items related to the state's military, industrial, and political history since 1910. The museum is situated inside the historic and beautifully restored 1910 State Library and Supreme Court building in Hartford, which is located across the street from the State Capitol building. Museum of Connecticut History
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Things to Do in Hartford: Museum of Connecticut History
- Portraits of Connecticut Governors
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Mitchelson Coin Collection
In 1911, The Connecticut State Library received a vast collection of currency, coins, and medals from Joseph C. Mitchelson. Mitchelson was a member of the United States Assay Commission and was the first American to be elected to the British Numismatic Society. The Museum of Connecticut History 's Joseph C. Mitchelson coin collection is considered to be one of the world's best American coin collections.
The coin collection contains choice specimens of every minted coin in the United States, including trial pieces and patterns. The American coins on display date back to the 17th century and contains coins from all the way to the present. Among the coins are several rarities, such as the ultra high relief 1907 $20 Gold Double Eagle and Connecticut's 18th century Higley copper token. The coins on display are just a sample of the museum's entire Mitchelson Coin Collection. The collection originally was made up of more than 10,000 United States and foreign coins, and continues to grow. It now contains some of the most unique and rare coin specimens in the world.
Colt Firearms Collection
The name Colonel Samuel Colt is possibly the most recognizable name throughout the history of American firearm development. His genius marketing and inventing aided Connecticut in becoming a major firearms manufacturing center during the 19th century and 20th century. The revolvers and several other firearms that were made by the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in Hartford played a significant part in many historic events, not only in the United States, but also around the world.
The Colt collection was given to the Museum of Connecticut History in 1957, and is considered to be among the finest collections of early Colt prototypes, experimental firearms, and factory models in the world. Among the firearms on display are Colt-made shotguns, automatic weapons, and Gattling guns. The original "Rampant Colt" statue that once was located at the Colt Factory in Hartford was obtained by the museum in 1995. The Colt Firearms Collection, along with historic photographs and other related items, is a "must-see" for not just firearms enthusiasts, but for American history enthusiasts and students as well.
Freedom Trail Quilt
The Freedom Trail Quilt project, as well as the quilts on display in the Museum of Connecticut History, represent the great significance of the Freedom Trail story within Connecticut's history and the nation's history. The project is an acknowledgment by both public and private groups of this significance.
Connecticut in World War I
The Connecticut in World War I exhibition displays the effects of World War I, both in France and on the homefront from 1917 to 1919. During the war, the U.S.S. Connecticut battleship remained in its home waters in York River, Virginia. Over 1,000 trainees of gun crews for merchant ships and midshipmen participated in exercises aboard the U.S.S. Connecticut while the battleship sailed off the Virginia Capes and throughout the Chesapeake Bay. The U.S.S. Connecticut was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Command and brought troops home from Europe during the first half of 1919.
The Museum of Connecticut History offers two educational outreach programs that are presented in classrooms of schools: Connecticut Invents! and A Connecticut Sampler. Both of these programs bring the stories of Connecticut's history to life through interactive, hands-on exploration and activities.
Connecticut Invents! Focuses on both famous and not so famous Connecticut inventors and their inventions. The education program is tailored towards upper elementary and middle school students. Connecticut Invents! Is designed to meet several State of Connecticut Department of Education standards in both history and technology education. Students will learn about several different inventors and inventions that have come from Connecticut. They will also have the opportunity to become inventors themselves through hands-on activities.
A Connecticut Sampler explores Connecticut's industrial, military, and political history through hands-on activities, objects, and role play. The program is designed for students in third grade and above. Students will have the chance to learn about famous Connecticut inventors and inventions, relive the legend of the Charter Oak through role play, and find out about the role of Connecticut soldiers in the defense of the United States from the American Revolution to the present. A Connecticut Sampler also teaches students about local Connecticut history, state symbols, and state nicknames.
231 Capitol Ave, Hartford, Connecticut 06106, Phone: 860-757-6534