by Ray Bendici
Aug 6, 2013
05:44 AM
Unsteady Habits

Barnum Museum Events in August

Barnum Museum Events in August

P.T. Barnum and his family sit for a formal portrait.

The main exhibit space inside The Barnum Museum has been closed since a tornado struck Bridgeport in 2010 (and will continue to be off limits for another two years while restoration continues), but that hasn't stopped the show from going on. The plucky staff continues to exhibit some items in the back exhibition hall, and there is a regular schedule of events, including lectures and other programs.

Two upcoming events of note focus on some of the many writings of Barnum, including his many correspondences. According to a recent press release:

On Aug. 7 at 12:15 p.m., the museum will unveil a rare letter from P.T. Barnum as part of its lunchtime "Sneak Peek" series, which features hidden gems from the museum's collection. The letter, written in Bethel and dated 1834, was recently purchased with donor support, and mentions Barnum's plans for expanding his lottery business, which was one of his first successful enterprises. Unfortunately, the state of Connecticut banned lotteries starting shortly thereafter, forcing Barnum to shut down his Bethel business and eventually move to New York City. Admission $2; museum members free.

On Aug. 18 at 2 p.m., Melissa Houston, the museum's registrar, presents "The Showman and The Irish: P.T. Barnum and Home Rule." The lecture centers on an 1886 letter in which Barnum states his support for Home Rule in Ireland, and examines Barnum's relationship with the Irish. The letter in question is special in that it was a metal plate that was going to be used to print multiple copies of the letter. Admission $5; members free.

Here is the plate:

For more info, call 203.331.1104 (x100) or visit


Barnum Museum Events in August

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About This Blog

Connecticut may be one of the smallest states, but it's also one of the most diverse. No one knows this better than content manager Ray Bendici, who is always ready to learn more about our eclectic home, be it by exploring a roadside oddity, discovering a new book or uncovering a bit of little-known state history.

For comments or feedback, email Ray.

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