The Danbury Museum and Historical Society
The Danbury Museum and Historical Society, Inc. was formed to acquire, preserve, exhibit and interpret New England's past; focusing particularly on the heritage of Danbury. Situated on a 2 acre campus on Main Street in downtown Danbury, the museum preserves the John and Mary Rider House (c. 1785), the Dodd Hat Shop (c. 1790), the little red school house, the Marian Anderson Studio, and the Charles Ives Birthplace. Huntington Hall, a modern exhibit building, contains the museum offices and a research library.
The Danbury Museum can trace it's own history back to 1921 with the opening of the Scott-Fanton Museum. Much of its collection was acquired during the extensive travels of wealthy industrialist John Fanton and his wife Laura Scott. The many artifacts they brought back from Europe, Asia, and the Americas were initially exhibited in a museum, which opened in their home on Deer Hill Avenue following their deaths.
In 1941 another organization was formed by a group of local citizens concerned with the preservation of endangered historic properties. The Rider House was threatened with demolition and this grass roots group took action and raised the funds to purchase the Main Street property and create the Danbury Historical and Arts Center.
The Danbury Museum and Historical Society was born when a merger was formed in 1947 between the Scott-Fanton Museum and the Danbury Historical and Arts Center and their collections were consolidated on the Main Street property. Several of the historic buildings they have protected over the years, have been acquired and actually relocated to Main Street creating a unique historic campus where they hold a rich diversity of community focused programs.
The Danbury Museum and Historical Society is a private museum chartered by the State of Connecticut. In July of 2008 the museum became part of the City of Danbury. As the Danbury Museum and Historical Society Authority it gets a percentage of its operating budget in the form of a grant from the city. The rest of it's funding comes from memberships, donations, grants, events and fund raising programs.
For more information go to www.danburymuseum.org