“So I’m a Yankee. Why I could make anything a body wanted and if there wasn’t any quick new-fangled way to make a thing, I could invent one.”
- Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court
- Locks and clocks were big business in Connecticut in the Industrial Revolution and you can see the largest collections of both on this getaway. The Lock Museum of America, I-84 Exit 38 in Terryville has 22,000 items tracing the history of the American lock industry.
- American production clocks fill the rooms of the American Clock & Watch Museum, off Rte. 6 in Bristol.
- Then head south to Cheshire and visit Lock #12 Historical Park on Rte. 42. The restored section of the 1828-48 Farmington Canal has a museum, lockkeepers’s house, helicoidal bridge, picnic area and a hike/bike trail.
- Drive south on Rte. 10 and visit the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden and learn about the famous inventor of the cotton gin.
- Stay over in the New Haven area for great pizza.
- Next day take an old fashioned streetcar ride and the Shore Line Trolley Museum, I-95 Exits 51N/52S, in East Haven.
DRIVING TIP: Approximate driving distance between furthest points (1 & 6) is 50 miles.
Lock Museum of America
Largest collection of locks, keys and ornate hardware in the U.S. Some 22,000 items tracing the American lock industry.
American Clock & Watch Museum
Permanent exhibit on the history of Connecticut clock making and the Industrial Revolution. Largest collection of American production clocks on display. Many clocks striking hourly. Housed in an 1801 mansion with period garden.
Lock 12 Historical Park
Restored section of Farmington Canal (1828-48). Park also includes museum, lockkeeper’s house, helicoidal bridge, 2.9-mile hiking/biking trail, picnic area.
Eli Whitney Museum
“Inventing Change” outlines the Whitney legacy of the site. Water Learning Lab, an outdoor learning environment, open May-Oct., weather permitting. Historic 1816 barn on site.
Shore Line Trolley Museum
Nearly 100 classic trolleys, including first electric freight locomotive, oldest rapid transit car, rare parlor car and trolley rides. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.