History around Branford
I looked up Branford and found some excellent tours.
Shore Line Trolley Museum was incorporated in 1945 as the Branford Electric Railway Association, operating on a portion of the old “F” trolley route of the Connecticut Company, which previously provided service from downtown New Haven, through East Haven and into Branford. The main purpose of this museum is to preserve the history and significance of the trolley car. We own more than 100 vehicles, ranging in ages from the late 1800s to the early 1900s in addition to related artifacts and documents.
The 29th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers were the first regiment of African American soldiers to serve the Union in the American Civil War. In response to the valor and sacrifice of these men, many white residents of the state became more willing to support the extension of full suffrage for African American men after the war. Established in late 1863, the 29th Regiment began training at a place called Grapevine Point (now called Criscuolo Park), and by 1864, the black regiment boarded a ship bound for South Carolina and then moved to Virginia, where the regiment participated in a violent siege between Richmond and Petersburg. In fact, by April 1865, the 29th Regiment was part of the last attacks on Richmond, and they were among the first Union soldiers to march through the streets of Richmond. The Connecticut Twenty-Ninth Colored Regiment, C. V. Infantry Memorial in Criscuolo Park pays tribute to these brave soldiers and their substantial role in both the Union cause and racial equality. The memorial was designed to serve as a teaching tool for those wishing to learn about this important aspect of the Civil War. At its center, an eight-foot-tall, four-sided black granite obelisk tells the history and story of the regiment and some of its most prestigious members.
Built by Nathaniel Harrison II in 1724, the Harrison House exemplifies typical 18th-century Connecticut architecture, though it has been modified by various owners over the years. Harrison's grandfather Richard Harrison moved from New Haven to Branford in 1645. His son Nathaniel Harrison I and grandson Nathaniel II participated actively in the town. Nathaniel II served as a town clerk, a magistrate of the New Haven Colony, and a justice of the peace. In the latter role, he performed numerous marriages for Branford residents. The house was inherited by his son Nathaniel III (1735-1770), and then by Nathaniel III's daughter Martha and son-in-law Nicodemus Baldwin, who was a private in the 5th Battalion during the American Revolution. Since May 2016, the Branford Historical Society has owned the Harrison House.
Sitting on the harbor entrance to the Long Island Sound and located about five miles away from downtown New Haven, the Five Mile Point Light has endured as a prominent and historical New Haven fixture for over 200 years. First established as a 30-foot octagon wooden tower in 1805, the lighthouse currently residing in Lighthouse Point Park stands over 70 feet and draws thousands of lighthouse enthusiasts and park-goers every year. Although the beacon in this iconic New England lighthouse has been deactivated since 1877, the Five Mile Point Light once extended welcoming arms to both ships and sailors entering the Long Island Sound. Furthermore, with the current brownstone and brick lining lighthouse tower dating back to 1847, the Five Mile Point Light showcases the unique lighthouse construction techniques and lighthouse designs prominent throughout New England in the 19th century.
The Connecticut River Museum, located on the riverfront in Essex, Connecticut, preserves the history of both Essex village and the Connecticut River waterway. The museum is ran by volunteers and is a non-profit organization established by The Connecticut River Foundation. The museum is located inside of the National Register Steamboat Dock building, and the learning experience can be enjoyed both inside and outside of the museum. Inside of the museum,historic artwork, artifacts, books and manuscripts that were gathered from the area can be examined, as well as a gift shop. There are various outdoor programs situated along the river that the museum provides to visitors as well, such as guided river cruises and walking tours. The museum is open year-round.