As one of the original 13 colonies, Connecticut is a state with a rich history and cultural heritage. The state played a pivotal role in shaping the foundation of our nation. Our Connecticut adoption professionals think its important for kids growing up here to be aware of their state’s history. Fortunately, the beautiful Museum of Connecticut History allows both kids and adults to learn all about the state’s history, from colonial times until today. We love going here for educational trips as a family. Some of our favorite exhibits at this museum include:
Portraits of Connecticut Governors
The Museum is home to the State of Connecticut’s collection of Governor’s Portraits. This collection began in 1800 when the state launched an official campaign to acquire fine works of art. The state Legislature commissioned a portrait of George Washington from Philadelphia artist Gilbert Stuart. In 1830, a painting of former Connecticut governor and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wolcott, Jr. was hung in the State House in New Haven. Within a couple of decades, the state had built a collection of several former governors and lieutenant governors, including some that dated back to the colonial period. This collection was previously housed at the State House and the Capitol Building before moving to the museum’s Memorial Hall in 1910.
Mitchelson Coin Collection
If you’re a classic coin collector or enthusiast, we highly recommend taking a trip to the Museum’s sample from the Mitchelson Coin Collection. Even history buffs and others not as familiar with classic coins can appreciate this collection. Joseph C. Mitchelson was a member of the U.S. Assay Commision and the first American elected to the British Numismatic Society. He donated a large portion of his collection of currency, coins, and medals to the Connecticut State Library in 1911. Today, you can view a wide range of American coins on display at the Museum of Connecticut History, from as far back as the 17th century until present day.
Freedom Trail Quilts
In 1997, a grassroots group of volunteers from throughout Connecticut organized the Freedom Trail Planning Committee. Their goal was to build a tribute to the Connecticut Freedom Trail of the Underground Railroad through one of the most traditional American crafts – quiltmaking. They worked together to craft four quilts which represented each region of Connecticut, which was completed in 1998 and framed in 1999. You can view the quilts today at the Museum of Connecticut History.
Liberties & Legends
The Liberties & Legends exhibit tells the story of the charter oak. This iconic tree was used to hide the Royal Charter of 1662 granted by Charles II. In 1687, agents of James II tried to seize the charter, but it was hidden away in this oak tree on the Wyllys estate in Hartford. This tree was one of Connecticut’s most prominent landmarks for over 150 years until it was taken down by a storm in 1856. The exhibit features a variety of objects made from and related to the tree, including:
- Colt revolving pistol
- Picture frames
- Miniature furniture
- The original charter in a frame made from charter oak wood
- State Constitutions of 1818 and 1964
- Connecticut’s copy of the United States Bill of Rights