151 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Phone: (860) 346-0746
Mon.-Thurs., 10am - 2pm
1st Sat. of the month, 12-3pm
Genealogy and research in archives by appointment only.
With a mission to safeguard objects made or used in Middlesex County, we pride ourselves on the breadth of our holdings. From Civil War uniforms to Colonial era bibles, from China Trade porcelain to former slaves' manumission papers, our collection represents the diversity of the area's residents over the last 350 years. Featured too are many items from Middletown's rich manufacturing past, such as suspenders made at the Russell Manufacturing Company, once the nation's largest supplier of men's braces, and a 1920s steam contraption used by Jack's Lunch for making Middletown's most famous culinary creation, the steamed cheeseburger.
The museum collection includes:
Art: paintings and drawings by professional and amateur artists; landscapes of local scenes, maritime views, portraits of local people, and more.
Decorative arts: Antique furniture, from a 17th-century joined chest to an elaborate gilded Victorian mirror; ceramics, from 18th-century porcelain tea sets to hand-painted Victorian punchbowls; metalware, including pewter made by the Danforths of Middletown, one of the 18th century's most prominent pewtermakers.
Textiles: 18th- through 20th-century clothing and accessories; approximately 20 quilts and coverlets; and a collection of needlework made by local girls and women in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Militaria: various uniforms, accessories and equipment of local soldiers from the late 18th century through World War II. The Civil War collection is especially rich.
Photographs and images: thousands of 19th- and 20th-century photographs, including portraits of Middlesex County residents, views of Middletown's downtown, and historic images of neighboring towns; hundreds of postcards of Middletown and area towns as early as 1905.
Miscellaneous: A burglar alarm that shot actual bullets, a Victorian-era oak recliner, cigar molds, and apothecary bottles are a smattering of the items that were once made or used by residents during Greater Middletown's history.