Great Women of Connecticut

  • Start at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, I-95 Exit 70. Ms. Griswold took in artists as boarders and inadvertently created an artists’ colony!
  • Then head north on Rte. 9 to visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, I-84 Exit 46. “The woman who started the Civil War” also wrote a how-to book on domestic living.
  • Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, I-84 Exit 39 was home to Theodate Pope Riddle, architect and creator of Hill-Stead’s beauty, and daughter of its art collector. She was one of the first licensed architects in the US.
  • The Holley-Williams House in Lakeville, Rtes. 41 & 44, a 19th century family museum, emphasizes the role of women. Stay at one of the inns in Lakeville and plan to take a walk on the Appalachian Trail before hitting the trail back home.

DRIVING TIP: Approximate driving distance between furthest points (1 & 4) is 85 miles.

Florence Griswold Museum

A National Historic Landmark, America’s best-known center of Impressionist painting, offers 11 beautifully landscaped acres along the Lieutenant River, an education center, a restored artist studio, gardens, and the 1817 Griswold House. The Krieble Gallery for American art, a riverfront gallery, features changing exhibitions.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

1871 Victorian cottage, home of the author of the anti-slavery classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Grounds include gardens, 1884 Queen Anne-style Katharine Seymour Day house, Visitor Center. Guided tours of the Stowe House includes a visit to the Day House and admission to changing exhibitions. Children’s costume tours and seasonal garden tours. Museum shop, research library.

Hill-Stead Museum

National Historic Landmark. Colonial Revival style house (1901) set on 150 acres with sunken garden. Collection of French Impressionist paintings, decorative arts and original furnishings. Hour-long guided tour.

Holley-Williams House Museum

19th-century family museum with emphasis on the role of women. Living history house tours, Holley pocket knife exhibit. Grounds include visitor center, ice-house, maze, outhouse, gardens, and medicinal plants.

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