Historic House Museums of Southeastern Connecticut Last Updated 6/16

How We Lived Then
Visit 16 historic house museums in the southeastern corner of the state. Experience stories that will take you from the agricultural beginnings of Colonial Connecticut through the development of communities, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the transformative effects of industrialization. These houses with 16 unique stories showcase the history of Connecticut… Still Revolutionary.

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Florence Griswold House

c.1817
Known as the Home of American Impressionism, the Museum shares the story of an enterprising woman of the early 1900s and the artists who captured on canvas Connecticut’s rural landscape while summering at her boardinghouse.
 

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Ashbel Woodward House Museum - Franklin

c. 1835
This 19th century home features a look into a country doctor’s home, Franklin’s historical collections and genealogy library. Living history events are held in the spring and fall.
 

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Avery-Copp House - Groton

c.1800
Built on the banks of the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut, the Avery-Copp House tells the story of life in Groton from just after the Revolutionary War.

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Beaumont House - Lebanon

c. 1790
1 ½-story farm house. Home of Samuel and Lucretia Beaumont and the childhood home of Dr. William Beaumont, considered the “father of gastric physiology.” Interpreted as the home of a farmer/craftsman, and his wife and nine children in the early 1800s. Located on the Lebanon Historical Society campus.

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Captain Nathaniel Palmer House - Stonington

c.1750
Victorian mansion built by two brothers, Captains Nathaniel Brown Palmer and Alexander Smith Palmer, and featuring exhibits pertaining to Nathaniel’s discovery of Antarctica and the brothers’ adventurous lives.

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Colchester History Museum - Colchester

c.1850
Operated by the Colchester Historical Society, the museum offers four exhibit rooms housed in a historic house built in 1840 by the Reverend John Ballard.

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Denison Homestead - Mystic

c.1717
Home to generations of Denisons, this historic manor house is situated on land granted to Capt. George Denison in 1654.  Restored in 1946 and converted into a museum, the house features five distinctly furnished rooms that reflect different periods of American history.

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Ebenezer Avery House - Groton

c.1750
This 18th-century house is where wounded soldiers were taken after the Battle of Groton Heights on September 6, 1781. It was moved one block away to its present location in Fort Griswold State park in 1971.

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Hempsted Houses - New London

c.1678 & 1759
This landmark property tells the story of three great populations whose paths collided in early New London: the Native American, the Europeans who arrived in the 1600s, and the enslaved Africans who were brought here about the same time.

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Jabez Smith House - Groton

c.1783
An excellent example of 18th-century domestic architecture, this one and one-half story house has remained virtually unchanged since it was built by Jabez Smith. Authentic 18th- and 19th-century antiques and gardens are on display.

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Leffingwell House - Norwich

c.1675
What was built as a simple house in 1675, evolved from a pre-Revolutionary tavern into an elegant home by 1765. The house is filled with a fascinating assortment of pieces representative of its architectural evolution.

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Nathan Lester House & Farm Tool Museum - Gales Ferry

c.1793
Step back 200 years into an original colonial farm set on 100 acres.The park offers gardens, picnic areas and hiking trails open dawn to dusk.
 

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Samuel Smith House - East Lyme

c.1700
An outstanding example of a simple colonial-era farmhouse. The house is unique in that it has been lovingly maintained and restored with accuracy to its beginning in 1685.
 

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Shaw Mansion - New London

The Shaw Mansion was built in 1756 by Captain Nathaniel Shaw. The New London County Historical Society purchased the mansion in 1907, from a relative of the Shaw Family, Miss Jane Perkins, and the mansion became its headquarters.  Located in downtown New London, the mansion houses our collection and is used to host many special events, programs, and tours. The Shaw Mansion is a fundamental part of our mission and enables us to inspire residents and visitors to appreciate the county’s past and draw upon its rich heritage to understand the present and imagine its future.

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Smith-Harris House

c.1845
On the National Historic Register as the Thomas Avery House, this fully-restored Greek Revival farmhouse features mid-19th century life and later through the story of the Avery, Smith and Harris families.

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Thomas Lee House - Niantic

c.1660
It is one of the oldest wood frame houses in Connecticut and still in its primitive state. Barn displays of Nehantic Indians and Ezra Lee, pilot of Revolutionary War Submarine Turtle.