The Connecticut State House - from Bacon Marmalade to Narwhal Tusks

by Kathryn Blanco / Jan 07, 2013 / 0 comments

I have to say, when it comes to Connecticut, not a whole lot is weird. However, the Old Connecticut State House museum in Hartford, Connecticut is a unique destination that holds plenty of historical interest as well as a touch of the offbeat and a dose of downright odd.


Old Connecticut State House museum


Throughout most of the building, visitors can walk through halls where discussions took place and decisions were made in Connecticut’s past. Also available is an interactive exhibit on American history, particularly Connecticut’s history and how it is formed through everybody’s everyday lives. While many of the exhibits were geared towards children adults will also take interest. And who wouldn’t like to pose on the old fashioned bike bolted to the wall for visitor’s use?


Old Connecticut State House museum


Old Connecticut State House museum


Old Connecticut State House museum


Old Connecticut State House museum


However, step into the exhibit of oddities room on the second floor and you’ll find just that: an array of fascinating artifacts collected by a somewhat eccentric artist in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were kept in the attic of this building for a time and open to the public. When the amount of visitors became too large, the collection was moved to another building nearby. After his death, they were redistributed throughout the country but they were re-gathered in the 1990’s. Those that could not be traced or brought back were replaced with similar pieces. In this room you will find anything from a two headed calf to a mummified human hand, to (my personal favorite) a narwhal tusk (also known as a horn, but actually it is technically a tooth).


Two-headed calf, Old Connecticut State House museum


mummified hand, Old Connecticut State House museum


narwhal tusk, Old Connecticut State House museum


On days with good weather, there are a few interesting places just outside as well. On certain days during the summer and early fall, a small farmers market offers fresh produce from around the state.


Farmer's Market, Hartford, CT


Farmer's Market, Hartford, CT


Though I don’t know if they’re always there, my dad, brother, and I also spotted three unique food trucks. Of course, as soon as I saw a truck parked in the middle of Hartford with an image of a gooey grilled cheese sandwich and a slogan reading, “The Whey Station,” I couldn’t resist. I would personally rate the sandwich as a B +, on pretty good bread with gooey white cheese and juicy tomato. There was a fairly wide variety, as you can see below, especially considering the size of the kitchen. Something appealing that I’ll admit I didn’t think to try until later, was bacon marmalade.


food trucks, Hartford, CT


The Whey Station food truck, Hartford, CT


Also available for purchase were a variety of Avery sodas, with average flavors such as birch beer and grape, but also with more fascinating flavors, such as Pumpkin Pie, Brain Juice, Dog Drool, and Monster Mucus.


Avery sodas


There was also a seafood truck, where my brother enjoyed a tray of fish n’ chips, and a cupcake truck with a somewhat limited variety of cupcake flavors, but several sweet toppings and fillings. I found the frostings a little too sweet, but the cupcakes themselves were very good, which isn’t always the case. I found actual lemon rind in my lemon cupcake and my brother’s chocolate one really had a rich flavor. They were both moist and tasty without being overpoweringly sugary.


cupcake food truck, Hartford, CT


Whenever you’re able to go, the Connecticut State House is a fun and unique day trip for the family that will likely be enjoyed by all.


To visit the State House yourself get more information at:


Thank you to for helpful information on the history of the Old State House.





Kathryn Blanco is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


All photos courtesy and copyright Kathryn Blanco