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Danbury Museum & Historical Society

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Address: 43 Main St, Danbury, CT 06810-8011
Phone Number:
+1 203-743-5200
10:00 - 16:00
Open now
See all hours
Mon - Sat 10:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Danbury Museum & Historical Society Authority acquires, preserves,...

The Danbury Museum & Historical Society Authority acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets Danbury's past. Situated in downtown Danbury, the museum preserves the John and Mary rider House 9c.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 found 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 1950's and 60's, the museum acquired the John Dodd 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, theMuseum was thrilled to add the Marian Anderson Studio to its collection. Famed opera singer Marian Anderson lived in danbury for over 50 years. It 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.

Tours of the historic buildings on our Main Street campus are available on Saturdays only from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the winter season. Check our website regularly for updates, news and events or to sign up for our email newsletter.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Learn your history

Excellent way to learn the history of Danbury CT. It is a wonderful collection of antiques and homes in the downtown area of the city. Excellent for groups, families and... read more

Reviewed 4 March 2017
Linda S
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22 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 21: English reviews
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2017

Excellent way to learn the history of Danbury CT. It is a wonderful collection of antiques and homes in the downtown area of the city. Excellent for groups, families and individuals.

Thank Linda S
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2016

The main house is OK but nothing special. But the history of the area’s hatting industry and Marian Anderson’s Studio and history make it worth a visit. Also sponsors a number of activities.

1 Thank TheGranddad
Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 April 2016

My husband is a history teacher and he has used this site to teach his High School students about the history of Danbury. What a great resource for research as well.

1 Thank Noreen236
Danbury, Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 April 2016

Danbury has such an incredibly rich and exciting hidden history! Where better to learn all about it than the Danbury Museum! Stop in and meet the friendly and knowledgeable staff, check out the gift shop, see where Marian Anderson rehearsed and learn about hatting! A must see for anyone who lives or works in Danbury and the surrounding area!

1 Thank Coffee4life
Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
80 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2016

Growing up in Danbury, this place had many things to bring back great memories of the old Danbury. It is not packed full of things....I wish they had more....but it was very interesting and fun to look at what they had.

Thank gurr10
Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
53 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2016

We knew it by the name of "The Scott Fanton Museum" as kids. Now, it is a place to learn about our history and how we have come to be Danbury!. Bridget and Dianne are awesome at telling our history! They are mesmerizing!

Thank sajacob
DHdmhs, Research Specialist at Danbury Museum & Historical Society, responded to this review

Thanks very much for your glowing review of The Danbury Museum & Historical Society. You are welcome to visit anytime for our tour, a visit to the archives, an exhibit or other special event program. Your enthusiasm for the museum and local history is greatly appreciated! More 

Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
72 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2015 via mobile

The Danbury Museum hosts many good exhibits . There is currently one on Danbury in the 1950s. It's well done, as usual . It's also a good place for anyone doing research on local history . Bridget , the Director, is delightful too, as Is the rest of the staff. I'd check their website for the myseum's schedule before heading... More 

Thank Steve F
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 28 May 2015 via mobile

A nice slice of American history! It's a beautiful spot. Very informative;the staff really knows their stuff. They are also incredibly friendly! Come on down to Main street and go back in time!

Thank DinDaBoonies
Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2015

I just love coming to the Museum. Always new exhibits, Knowledgeable staff, friendly. I am a danbury native for 57 years. It is a wonderful place to learm about your community and history of Danbury. Several buildings, hat factory , Marian Andersen. they have it all Everyone should visit several times a year.

1 Thank sdMarianobrothersinc
Danbury, Connecticut
Level Contributor
105 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2015

The staff was so friendly and well informed. There is some very nice items for sale. A lot of displays of informational items also.

Thank Levi S

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