The Danbury Museum & Historical Society is YOUR hometown museum. Preserving, protecting, and educating Danbury’s friends, neighbors and visitors about the heritage and history of our community is our main focus. Situated in downtown Danbury at the southern end of Main Street the main museum campus is composed of five buildings. Huntington Hall is a modern exhibit building containing the museum offices, research library and gift shop. Huntington Hall is also a place for local groups to hold meetings, and is used by the museum to host a diverse series of lectures and programs that are free and open to the public.
The museum preserves several historic buildings including, the John and Mary Rider House (c. 1785), the John Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), the Marian Anderson Studio, the King Street Schoolhouse, the Little Red Schoolhouse and the Charles Ives Birthplace. The collections stored in theses historic buildings encompass everything from hats to colonial kitchen equipment from the 18th century, to the christening costume of Charles Ives, and gowns worn by Marian Anderson onstage during her career. The Danbury Museum has an outstanding collection of historic textiles and one of the oldest quilts in Connecticut. The archival collection is an amazing example of diverse ephemera tracing the life and lifestyles of Danburians past and present. In addition, historic newspapers, city directories, letters, diaries, and a wide-ranging photo collection provide a unique glimpse of our local, regional and national history.
Since 1941 the museum has preserved Danbury’s heritage and historic properties as it continues its mission to increase historic based tourism, museum programming, and the expansion of local history curriculum in our public schools. The Danbury Museum is thrilled to provide tours of the historic buildings in its collection, and to safeguard the documents that reflect the myriad of faces of our city’s history.
The recent completion of an extensive renovation to Huntington Hall provided the museum with handicap accessibility, a permanent Danbury history timeline exhibit, and the installation of new display cases that are used for ongoing exhibits. The Danbury Museum hosted a very successful, six month exhibit of women’s hats last summer and fall and this summer and fall the Danbury Museum will be exploring Danbury’s baseball history through photographs and artifacts exhibited in the new cases.
The museum continues to concentrate on highlighting Danbury’s local history and providing a rich diversity of programs. Programs in our January to June series focused on “Locally Grown” historians, authors, artists, and complimented the local musicians who performed in the Marian Anderson Studio. The museum launched a renewed initiative to increase school programming for Danbury children (public school and home schooled) inclusive of tours, on-site re-enactors and in-school programs which reached over 2,000 children in the last fiscal year alone. Research services are readily available for addressing local history and genealogy-related queries. In the past year, we are thrilled to have accommodated students, family historians, authors, and filmmakers from all over the globe. Recently secured funds have enabled the museum to purchase and install software that will allow us to fully catalog our collections, both material culture and archival, for easier access.
The Danbury Museum & Historical Society has continued to add to our extensive web site, providing the first stop for researchers into Danbury history and providing for the easy dissemination of walking tours, biographies and short essays about critical past events in local history. The website has become a successful vehicle for drawing people to the museum! For more about new programs, lectures, exhibits, tours, fundraisers and events you can also like the Danbury Museum on Facebook, follow the Museum on Twitter, or sign up, on the website, for a free copy of the museums monthly e-newsletter “Danbury Happenings”!
Monday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm