The first few tours, I felt a little silly putting on the white cotton gloves that let me pull back the lapel on the Revolutionary War uniform to better show off the rich red of the rather literal red coat. When I unscrewed the nuts on the 1870s corpse preserver to show where you could peak through a window to see the dear departed, I tried not to draw attention to the how hard I was trying not to drop them. But every time, those moments of awkwardness would fall away as I got started sharing the stories of the objects that live in the storage vaults of the CHS. With small groups clustered around the yellow silk dress worn to Lincoln’s inaugural or the elevator numbers from the G. Fox department store, I have the fun of telling the stories of Connecticut and letting people be close enough to feel how those objects touched peoples lives generations ago. I use a coffin lid to tell the story of vampires in Connecticut, and letters from the Anti-Suffrage League to the tell the stories of women’s history that we don’t expect. The best part of the Behind-the-Scenes Tours are the history nuts who go on them; their enjoyment makes all the planning more than worth it. So why don’t you join us? For 2015 we’ll offer six tours, all with a different theme and new objects and stories. Until December 31 you can buy a Season Pass at a deep 20% discount for all six tours (or for a slightly smaller discount, 3-Tour passes). If you have a hard-to-buy for History Nut on your list, this makes a perfect gift. Or maybe a perfect way to treat yourself to a year of history.
Behind-the-Scenes Tours will be offered at 11:00 am & 2:00 pm on the following Saturdays in 2015:
January 24: The Downton Abbey Era in Connecticut
February 21: Amistad and Beyond
March 28: Sports Spectacular
October 24: Furniture from Claw Foot to Gilded Finial
November 21: Connecticut and the Revolutionary War
December 12: Toys and Games Made in Connecticut
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.