Gunn Historical Museum
Stephen Bartkus has resigned as Curator of the Gunn Historical Museum for personal reasons effective June 1. We thank him for his 15 years of dedicated service and know that he will be missed by many in the community. A search will soon begin to fill the position. In the meantime, the Museum will be open for normal hours and most community programs will continue as planned.
While the Gunn Historical Museum is engaged in its search for a new Curator, it will not be accepting any new artifacts nor initiating Oral History projects. Thank you for your patience.
Gunn Historical Museum
The national award-winning Gunn Historical Museum presents an ever-changing view of local history in one of the most beautiful locations in Connecticut. The museum is housed in a 1781 residence overlooking the historic Washington Green in Litchfield County, and we feature innovative exhibitions in our galleries. Come step into the world that was and see it through the images, artifacts and stories of the many people, great and ordinary, who have made and make our town a memorable place.
Our beginnings date back to 1899 when the local Judea Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), led by Abigail Gunn, opened the Judea Historical Room in the Canfield House on Washington Green. When the Gunn Memorial Library was built in 1908, our founders including Ehrick Rossiter and others, envisioned an athenaeum where patrons could learn not only from books, but also through history, art and artifacts, and so they created a museum in the library. The DAR gifted their collection to the Gunn Memorial Library in 1907 and it was moved across the street into the museum on the lower level of the library (the room behind the current circulation desk). In 1965 June S. Willis bequeathed her house to the Gunn Memorial and the museum moved next door, where it remains today. The mission of the Gunn Historical Museum is to collect, preserve, interpret and share the objects and stories which illuminate the history of Washington, Connecticut.
The Gunn Museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays from 10-4 and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. Admission is free.
Free one hour guided tours of our exhibit, Washington Connecticut – An American Story, take place every Saturday at 1:00pm. Please call 860-868-7756 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register in advance. Tour groups are limited six people and masks are required.
To download and review our safety protocols before visiting click here: Gunn Museum Safety Protocols. Face masks are required inside the Museum. We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum!
WASHINGTON, CONNECTICUT – AN AMERICAN STORY
Come visit the museum to explore the unique people, places, and events that have shaped Washington’s rich history in our award-winning exhibit.
Click here to read more about the exhibit.
Gunn Museum Named BEST MUSEUM in Litchfield County in 2022!
Thank you for voting us Best Museum in Litchfield Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Best of Litchfield County 2022! We’re thrilled by this honor and greatly appreciate your continuing interest and support of our work to collect, preserve and share the rich history of Washington, Connecticut!
Harlequin Sullivan’s Shepaug High School Senior Project: Washington LGBTQ+ Oral Histories
Hello! My Name is Harlequin Sullivan and I am a senior at Shepaug Valley High School in Washington Connecticut. Each year at Shepaug, every senior is required to do a project that takes up one school year to complete. It can be anything from writing a book to raising money to donate to cancer research. It is a personalized learning opportunity and unique to every student. For my senior project I filmed interviews with LGBTQ+ people who live in Washington for the Gunn Historical Museum in collaboration with the First Congregational Church. In this project I researched and archived lived experiences of local members of LGBTQ+ community. I want to be a filmmaker so I took the raw interviews and edited them down so they would read as more of narratives. If you would like to watch the finished videos they are below, and if you would prefer to just read the raw transcripts those are also below. This project was generously supported by a grant from the Pride in the Hills Fund at the Connecticut Community Foundation. Click on a name to access the interviews:
Documenting History as it Happens: Collecting your Coronavirus Stories
The Gunn Historical Museum would like to document this moment in history so that future generations will know what life was like in Washington, Connecticut during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Please keep a record of your experience and the impact this event has had on our town. Consider collecting items for the Gunn Museum’s archive related to the pandemic in Washington like objects, photographs, videos, signs, menus, art, personal protective equipment, letters, journals, diaries, or short stories describing your personal experience.
First-hand accounts of life during this time will be invaluable to future historians who will be telling the story of the coronavirus pandemic. Diversity will allow us to tell a better story. We welcome submissions from everyone with a connection to Washington, CT: Children, adults, seniors, both full-time residents and part-time residents, first responders, firefighters, police, medical professionals, educators and students, business owners, employees, clergy and parishioners, town government and selectmen, those who caught the virus and those who avoided it, and more. To participate please contact Gunn Historical Museum Curator, Stephen Bartkus: email@example.com
The Gunn Museum is attracting visitors from far and wide…
Hours of Operation:
Thursdays, Fridays from 10-4 and Saturdays from 10am – 3pm
Free one hour guided exhibit tours take place every Saturday at 1pm. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-868-7756 at least one day in advance to register. Groups are limited to six people and masks are required.
|Gunn Historical Museum
5 Wykeham Road
P.O. Box 1273
Washington, CT 06793
|Audra MacLaren, Executive Director email@example.com
Ava Westervelt, Museum Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
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If you’d like to receive the Museum’s monthly e-newsletter, which contains information about Museum programs, Washington’s history, and more, sign up here.
** Please note: The Gunn Historical Museum is located in a 1781 colonial home and is not currently handicap accessible, although we are looking into the possibilities of making the building more accessible.**