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- Upcoming Events
- Collecting & Donations
- Exhibit Extras!
- 2024 Danbury Museum Gala
- Danbury History in Brief
- The Great Danbury Fair
- Partner Organizations
- "The Vault"
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The mission of the Danbury Museum & Historical Society Authority is to acquire, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the heritage and history of Danbury for the purpose of education, information, and research.
Situated in downtown Danbury, the museum preserves the John and Mary Rider House c.1785), the Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), the Marian Anderson Studio, the old King Street Schoolhouse, the Little Red Schoolhouse and the Charles Ives Birthplace. Huntington Hall, a modern exhibit building contains the museum offices and a research library.
The Danbury Museum and Historical Society has evolved out of efforts to preserve endangered historic properties. One of the City's oldest structures, the Rider House on Main Street, would have been demolished in 1941 to make way for a gas station had it not been for the intervention of concerned citizens (including the Mary Wooster DAR Chapter). After raising money to purchase this property, these citizens founded the Danbury Historical and Arts Center.
A merger, in 1947, between the Scott-Fanton Museum and the Danbury Historical and Arts Center, saw the creation of the Danbury Scott-Fanton Museum & Historical Society Inc. During the 1950s and 60s, the museum acquired the John Dodd Hat Shop, the Ward House, the Charles Ives birthplace, two one room schoolhouses and erected Huntington Hall, where many of its exhibits have been displayed.
In 2004, the Museum was thrilled to add the Marian Anderson Studio to its collection. Famed contralto Marian Anderson made Danbury her home for more than 50 years. The studio was moved to the Main Street campus of the museum in 1999. Restoration of the studio was completed in early 2004. 2006 saw the merger of the Danbury Scott-Fanton Museum with the City of Danbury and a new entity was born on July 1, 2008...the Danbury Museum and Historical Society Authority.
The next meeting of the Danbury Museum Authority Board of Trustees will be held on Thursday, September 14, at 5:00 pm in the museum's Huntington Hall.
President - Geoff Herald
Vice President -Liz Hudson
Second VP - Robert Young
Secretary - Marian Hesemeyer
Treasurer - Robert Doyle
Trustees: Paul Valeri, Doug Polistena, James Beschle, Roberto Alves, Reverend Brandon Whitfield.
Board members are nominated by the Mayor of the City of Danbury and confirmed by Danbury's City Council. If you would like more information please contact the Danbury Museum at email@example.com
Board meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at 5:00 pm in Huntington Hall and via Zoom. The public is welcome.
President - Ed Siergiej
VP /Treasurer - Kathy Ehli
Secretary - Joretta Kilcourse
Roberta Struski, Brigid Guertin, Joan Saplio, and Dr Tom Valluzzo.
Authority Board Representative:
Meetings are held at 4:00 pm on the second Thursday of the month in Huntington Hall at the Danbury Museum & Historical Society and via Zoom. These meetings are not open to the public.
43 Main Street & 5 Mountainville Avenue, Danbury, CT
Facebook: Danbury Museum & Historical Society
Board President: Geoffrey Herald
Executive Director & City Historian: Brigid Guertin
The Danbury Museum and 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 handicap accessible exhibit space and houses the museum offices, research library, and archives. Huntington Hall is also a place for local groups to hold meetings, (groups as varied as
the Danbury Garden Club, Friends of Danbury Cemeteries, Daughters of the American Revolution–Mary Wooster Chapter, Fabric Friends of the Danbury Museum, Danbury Mineralogical Society, the Arion Singing Society, and the Friends of the Danbury Museum) 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 & 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 (over on Mountainville Avenue) the Charles Ives Birthplace Museum is now open for tours as well! The collections displayed in these buildings encompass everything from historic Danbury-made hats, to colonial kitchen equipment from the 18th century, to the death mask of Charles Ives, to the gowns worn by Marian Anderson on stage during her career. The archival collection is an amazing example of diverse ephemera tracking 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. The museum gardens are open dawn to dusk and encompass both historic medicinal gardens as well as colorful formal space with many areas to sit and enjoy an oasis of nature downtown. Since 1941 the museum has preserved Danbury’s heritage and our historic properties as it continues its mission to increase history 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 our city’s history.
What’s new at the Danbury Museum?
● Utilizing a combination of state, city, and private funding, the Danbury Museum
successfully rehabilitated the exterior of the Charles Ives Birthplace. Interior work,
generously funded by the Savings Bank of Danbury, in the world famous composer’s first home, has been recently completed and this nationally recognized musical landmark is now available to tour by residents and visitors to our community.
● As an outgrowth of our pandemic programming, the Danbury Museum has continued to create exterior exhibitions on our Main Street campus, exploring our community’s unique history in fun and engaging ways. These outdoor exhibits at our Main Street campus are free and open to the public.
● The Danbury Museum has reinstated historic house tours and is in compliance with ever-changing recommendations of our local, state, and national health officials so that we might best serve our community and visitors in a safe environment.
● The Danbury Museum continues to add a tremendous amount of downloadable,
interactive content to the museum website. Please check out the latest additions to our digital content areas on the Danbury Museum website for new, entertaining, easily accessible, and ever-evolving highlights from the museum's archival library.
● The museum continues to concentrate on highlighting, through social media, Danbury’s local history, and provides a rich diversity of programs focused on local historians, authors, and artists. For more info, please check out our social media platforms, and social media curated photo exhibitions.
● The museum continues its initiative to increase school programming for Danbury
students. During the next few months the Danbury Museum will continue to adapt and create digital content to complement the Danbury Public Schools social studies
curriculum at a variety of grade levels.
● Research services are readily available for addressing local history and genealogy
related queries. We are thrilled to have accommodated students, family historians,
authors, and filmmakers from all over the globe. Our microfilm collection of Danbury newspapers and archival library, located in Huntington Hall, is accessible to researchers by appointment.
● The Danbury Museum has expanded into the virtual realm, making continuous
improvements to our extensive website and social media platforms, providing the first stop for researchers and visitors. We are proud to provide digital content to over
1,000,000 accounts annually.
(Please note that in some months there are no minutes as there was not a quorum present to have an official meeting.)
April 2023 Board meeting minutes (pdf)Download
April 2023 Agenda (pdf)Download
March 2023 Meeting Minutes (doc)Download
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2021-2022 Board Minutes/Agendas
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January 13 2022 Board of Trustees Agenda (pdf)Download
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COVID Guidelines Door Panel (pdf)Download
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