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Boothe Memorial Park and Museum

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Title: Boothe Memorial Park and Museum  
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Subject: Astronomical observatories in Connecticut, Booth, List of museums in Connecticut
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Boothe Memorial Park and Museum

Boothe Homestead
The Boothe Homestead
Location 5774 Main St., Stratford, Connecticut
Built 1914
Architect Boothe,David & Stephen
Architectural style Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Shingle Style
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 85000951[1]
Added to NRHP May 1, 1985

Boothe Memorial Park and Museum sits on a 32-acre (130,000 m2) site in the Putney section of Stratford, Connecticut. Built about 1840 and remodeled in 1914, it is said to be "The Oldest Homestead in America,"[2] since it sits on the foundations of a 1663 house, and has been continuously occupied. Circa 1914 two brothers, David Beach Boothe and Stephen Nichols Boothe, created the Boothe Memorial Museum which maintains a collection of twenty architecturally unique buildings. Some of the structures include a carriage house, Americana Museum, miniature lighthouse, windmill, a clock tower museum, trolley station, chapel, and a blacksmith shop. The property became a public park owned by the town of Stratford in 1949.[3]

Boothe Memorial Park and Museum was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 1, 1985.


  • Observatory 1
  • Putney chapel 2
  • Toll booth 3
  • Activities 4
    • Astronomy 4.1
    • Birding 4.2
    • Museum tours 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The BMAS (Boothe Memorial Astronomical Society) Observatory was built in 1957 on the grounds of the park, located near the cemetery. The observatory features two telescopes: a 16-inch Cassegrain (1960) and 4 inch Unitron refractor.[4][5]

The observatory is open for public observing at 8:00 p.m. on the first and third Friday of each month.

Putney chapel

Originally constructed in 1844 for Congregationalist services,[6] the Putney Chapel was moved onto Boothe Park grounds in 1968 from a nearby location on Chapel Street.[7] The chapel is officially non-denominational, handicapped accessible and can still be used as a place of worship or for events, being rentable by the day.[8]

Toll booth

Other buildings in the park

The park also contains the last remaining highway toll booth in Connecticut. It was removed from the Milford side of the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge at the end of the Merritt Parkway, when state toll booths were abolished in June 1988. The booth is of wooden log architecture and is also on the list of National Register of Historic Places.[9]


The park grounds are open year long, free of charge.


The BMAS group meets the first and third Friday of every month from 8pm-10pm and is open to the public.[10]


The park is often a destination for bird watchers, and attracts a number of different species due to the large open areas, many trees and the nearby Housatonic River. A September 2010 bird watching festival held by the Connecticut Audubon Society found 262 birds of 49 species, including the bald eagle, double-crested cormorant, downy woodpecker, great blue heron, monk parakeet and red-tailed hawk.[11]

Museum tours

Guided tours are available from June 1 to November 1 on Tuesdays & Fridays between 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays 1:00pm–4:00 pm.[12]

See also


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  5. ^
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External links

  • Boothe Memorial Park & Museum - official site
  • State of CT listing
  • Description from Online Highway
  • Photos of the park from the town of Stratford's website
  • Photographs and description of sights in the park from New England Site
  • Boothe Memorial Astronomical Society - official site

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