One Man, 550 Museums

One man has turned visiting every museum in the state into a quest and he's documenting it.

Steve Wood got the idea for the "Connecticut Museum Quest" while on his way to pick up his son from day care in New Britain. After repeatedly passing a sign for the Industrial Museum and wondering what it was, he decided to try to visit every museum in Connecticut, he writes on his Web site.

He began searching the Internet and thought maybe there would be 100 places to visit, but the list grew to 200, 300 and then 400 places. Finally, he settled on a system that narrowed the list to 550.

He includes anything that calls itself a museum, any town history “room” or display, no matter how small. His biggest difficulties have been art galleries because some are permanent with changing exhibits, like at Wesleyan, St. Joseph’s College and University of Bridgeport .

They range from the usual, like the Connecticut River Museum to the more unusual, like the Trash Museum and the Waterbury Button Museum.

Some of the oddest are the Special Joys Toy and Doll Museum in Coventry, The Lock Museum in Terryville, the Finnish American Heritage Museum in Canterbury, and the New England Museum Bicycle Museum in Bloomfield, Woods said.

And the state has not one, but two truck museums. 

"When you’re the third smallest state in the US and you still manage to cram in about 550 museums, it stands to reason that a good percentage of them will be tiny," he writes. "I’ve seen my share - and can’t determine which is the smallest, but the Button Museum is in the running."

Wood has visited more than 130 museums, but it's an ever changing number, he said.

To learn more about Steve Wood's adventures, visit his Web site.

Do you have a Connecticut quest? If so, share it with us.

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