Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Stratford Museum Month

Share

What does Stratford have that most other Connecticut towns don’t?
More Museums!
June is Stratford Museum Month

Did you know that we currently have eleven museums, and June is the month we celebrate this important fact. These are not stodgy, overwhelming places that tire your feet and your brain. These are places of vitality that expand and encourage your awareness of the town we live in and the history we share.

All through Stratford Museums Month, each museum will have their own special offer—discounted or free admission, a discount on merchandise, etc. And be sure to get a Hidden Gems Passport,available all month at the Stratford Public Library, Town Hall, and at each museum.

When you visit a museum, get your passport stamped to be eligible to win the Museums Swag Bag! At the end of the campaign, email pictures of your passports to museums@townofstratford.com or drop them off at Town Hall, room 118. Incomplete passports are also eligible.

  • Boothe Memorial Park and Museum sits on a lovely 32-acre site in the Putney section of Stratford. Built about 1840 and remodeled in 1914, it is said to be “The Oldest Homestead in America,” since it sits on the foundations of a 1663 house, and has been continuously occupied. There are many fascinating buildings to tour on the property, all of which were collected or created by the eccentric Boothe brothers in the early 1900’s, plus an extravagantly beautiful rose garden.
  • The Boothe Memorial Railroad Society, located within the park,is an all-volunteer non-profit charitable 501(c) (3) organization established in 1999. Their mission is to promote an interest in model trains and railroad history through educational projects, community outreach, and fellowship among members, thus expanding the growth and enjoyment of the hobby, and appreciation of railroad history.
  • The Stratford Veterans Museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the town’s men and women who have served their country through the Armed Forces. Part of the way that story will be told is through a series of displays in the museum, including a “core” exhibit that takes visitors from the Revolutionary War through today’s conflicts. The museum is in the ongoing process of collecting stories of those Stratford men and women who have honorably served in our country’s Armed Forces, so please contact them if you have something to share.
  • The Merritt Parkway Museum is located in Ryders Landing Shopping Center. In October 2006, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Sbriglio generously donated space for a lobby museum dedicated to the Merritt Parkway. Archives, photos and a 30-minute video describing the early challenges of building the Merritt are on display. 
  • The Connecticut Air & Space Center is a non-profit Air Museum that displays vintage aircraft, memorabilia, and artifacts that pertain to Connecticut, and is housed in the refurbished 1929 Curtiss Hangar near the Sikorsky Memorial Airport. The Museum offers many talks and special events at the center and elsewhere.

Igor Sikorsky

  • The National Helicopter Museum contains hundreds of photographs and models tracing the history of the helicopter both in the United States and around the world. An airport and seaplane base built in Stratford in the 1920’s brought Igor Sikorsky to the area to build his flying boats. Then Sikorsky flew his US300 Helicopter in September 1939 in Stratford, and produced many helicopters and rotary wing aircraft from that time. Stratford is the birthplace of the American helicopter industry.
  •  Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American History Museum is a collection of artifacts which reflect decades of turbulent times for African Americans in the United States during the period of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. It brings visitors up close and personal, which is an experience that many have only read about in history books or seen in movies. The exhibit embraces the teachings of tolerance, diversity, unity and educating people that there was a time when imagery played a significant role in how African Americans were perceived. The artifacts and memorabilia may seem to be difficult to view, but they are a part of African American history that needs to be told, just as much as the triumphs which were made by African American pioneers and trailblazers. The exhibit is an opportunity to begin honest conversations regarding a rich and strong history which has historically been maligned. The “Images of America” exhibit is an experience which will leave lasting impressions and memories.     
  • The Judson House and the Catherine B. Mitchell Museum are home to the Stratford Historical Society. The mission of the Society is to preserve, protect, cherish, and celebrate the history of the Town of Stratford, which dates back to 1639. There are ongoing exhibits, research materials, lectures and talks on a variety of subjects, and many items of interest.
  • The Perry House has known many changes in the over 300 years of its existence. It began as a thatch-roofed home in 1690 and grew to be the charming house that welcomes visitors entering Stratford. The stories of its residents over the years is as engaging as learning of the changes in its architecture and surrounding landscape. The Perry House is now operated by The Perry House Foundation, Inc., a non profit group, whose purpose is to stimulate and maintain cultural, educational, and tourism for the benefit of the Town. It’s available as a rental for parties, meetings, life-events, and sponsors a range of activities as fund-raisers. All income is used for improvement to the facility, restoration, and maintenance.
  • The Putney Chapel was built in 1844, and used for regular meetings by various societies during its history. The Putney Ladies Sewing Society used the chapel from it’s inception until 1961. The Lyceum Society also had its monthly meetings there to discuss such issues as “Whether sloth or ambition has created more evil in society”. Preachers and orators would come to address the 60 or 70 people the chapel held. Also, a Christmas Eve service was held every year by the people in the surrounding area, and continues to this day. The charming Chapel is available to rent for meetings, weddings, etc.
  • Academy Hill in Stratford’s Historic District is home to monuments dedicated to those who have served this country in times of war throughout our history. The Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Commission continues to offer bricks for the “Walk of Honor” on Academy Hill. A memorial brick can be purchased for any Stratford Veteran who served in the United States Armed Forces during time of war and who resided in Stratford at any time before, during and after military services. Stratford’s annual Memorial Day service is held here.

For more specific information about hours and availability for individual sites, go to www.stratfordhiddengems.com.  

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you. I’m relatively new to the nutmeg state and to Stratford. But, it’s a beautiful state full of history and beautiful landscapes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read more

Local News