History runs deep in Eastern Connecticut. From the first settlements in the late 1600's, through the battles of the American Revolution, and into modern times, Eastern Connecticut bares the marks of those who made significant contributions in the arts, military, manufacturing and more! Just check out the amazing places you can experience a step back in time with your kiddos!
Monte Cristo Cottage - The summer residence of New London, Connecticut's most famous resident, America's only Nobel Prize winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill. Named in honor of O'Neill's father, actor James O'Neill, and his famous role in The Count of Monte Cristo, the cottage served as the setting for Eugene O'Neill's two most famous plays, Long Day's Journey into Night and Ah! Wilderness. The cottage serves as a museum commemorating O'Neill's life and career, and houses an extensive collection of O'Neill memorabilia. Open limited hours.
Mashentucket Pequot Museum - Take a journey through the past, into the history of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Travel back 18,000 years through native and natural history, and experience the world from the frigid ice age through the modern Pequot Tribal nation today. Don't miss their upcoming interactive exhibit on Skateboard Culture in Native America!
Mystic Seaport - Also known as The Museum of America and the Sea, the Seaport is one of those spots your kids soak up so much information and history, yet they have so much fun they forget they're learning. The setting is a re-created 19th century coastal village with historic tall ships to climb and a working preservation shipyard to watch in action. Listen to shanties in the sea music exhibit or take a charter out on the serene Mystic River.
Fort Trumbull - Built in 1775 under the direction of Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Fort Trumbull was supposed to protect the port of New London and the seat of the Government of the state. During the American Revolution, the Fort was attacked and captured by the British under the command of Benedict Arnold. Today, the fort still stands at the mouth of the Thames River in New London. A visitor's center features interactive exhibits and models reflecting the history of the Fort. Take a stroll down by the water for a spectacular view of New London Harbor, and if the Coast Guard Barque Eagle is in port, take a tour!
Windham Textile and History Museum - Housed in the former headquarters of the American Thread Company, this unique museum preserves the history of textiles, textile arts and textile designers. Kids can learn about how clothing was made, from picking cotton to assembling the pieces of a garment. Don't forget to say hello to the giant frogs on the Frog Bridge!
Custom House Maritime Museum - While inside the building, you'll find a museum housing a diverse history of maritime life in the New London area, the Custom House also is the oldest continuously operating customs office in the country! Come to the Custom House to learn about the Amistad, the history of commerce and contraband, and the many lighthouses dotting New England's coastline. Certain days in May and June, you can even tour one of the oldest lighthouses in the US, the New London Harbor light.
Photo courtesy of Mashentucket Pequot Museum.
Originally published 2013-06-07.