Go to Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day and select the Danbury Museum & Historical Society as your museum of choice and either print out your ticket or show it to us on your phone and your tour of our historic buildings is FREE!
Tour the four historic buildings on our Main Street campus (John & Mary Rider House, John Dodd Hat Shop, Little Red Schoolhouse, and Marian Anderson Studio) on Saturdays only, between 10 am - 3 pm. Please allow 60-90 minutes for your tour. We do not offer walk-through tours of of our historic buildings.
The John & Mary Rider House was built circa 1785 during Danbury's post-Revolutionary War period. It housed the workshop of John Rider, a carpenter, who served as a state militia captain during the Revolutionary War. It is the signature building of The Danbury Museum and is listed in The National Register of Historic Places.
The John Dodd Hat Shop building was built as a home by John Dodd circa 1790. This historic building houses an exhibit dedicated to the hatting industry in Danbury and includes a multimedia presentation of the hat making process. There is a fine selection of Danbury made hats, hatting tools, and other artifacts on display.
Little Red Schoolhouse --This re-creation of a one-room schoolhouse from the 1800s was built with bricks salvaged after the demolition of the Balmforth Avenue School in the 1960s. On display are artifacts related to the history of education.
Marian Anderson and her husband, Orpheus Fisher, lived at Marianna Farm on Joe's Hill Road in Danbury from 1943 to 1993. The Marian Anderson Studio was designed and built by her husband as a rehearsal space for Marian.
The Charles Ives Birthplace is currently closed to the public due to ongoing routine maintenance efforts. We completed Phase I, exterior updates, in 2016.
Follow the path of the Museum in the Streets and take a walk through Danbury’s downtown Historic District. Along the way, thirty-four history panels cover a variety of topics and and tell the fascinating story of Danbury! Download the map below.
Guided Walking Tours of the Downtown Historic District Available
Looking for a unique, fascinating and active program for your school group, club, civic organization, workplace team, or class reunion group?
Led by Danbury Museum Executive Director and City Historian, Brigid Guertin, you'll hear city tales, see historic buildings, and learn more about local history.
These tours must be booked two weeks in advance and are based on availability and by appointment only. $200 per group and limited to 10 people.
All proceeds benefit The Danbury Museum & Historical Society.
Jack Stetson's The Life and Times of the Great Danbury State Fair is THE complete history of everyone's favorite fair. This book is available in the museum's gift shop and like all the books featured here can be ordered over the phone by calling 203-743-5200.
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