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Bush-Holley House Museum
Review Highlights
early american history

this museum is located in cos cob, ct., just off exit 4 of interstate 95. the house has 2 stories... read more

Reviewed 27 June 2018
arthur w
Brooklyn, New York
Great piece of history a bit off the beaten path

Near exit 4, this is a terrific museum/historical society. Right now there (through spring 2018... read more

Reviewed 4 February 2018
Norwalk, Connecticut
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9 - 14 of 21 reviews
Reviewed 14 October 2015

This was my first time at the Bush-Holley House, in Cos Cob, and in the state of Connecticut.

I spent a couple hours exploring the tranquil enclave of Cos Cob, a section of Greenwich with a beautiful harbor, and this quaint National Historic Landmark. This was the home of the wealthy merchant Bush family from roughly 1750-1850, and half the house is set in that period. Relics from the Revolutionary era include a stove designed by Ben Franklin, a chair that doubles as a chamber pot, and some wall paper marked with a stamp imposed by the Stamp Act tax on paper goods.

The other half of the house reflects its time as the hub of the Cos Cob Artists Colony during the American Impressionist period. Elmer MacRae was the most famous artist to live here. He often painted impressionist images of his wife and daughters. One of these images was of his daughter Constant "Feeding the Ducks." MacRae would later exhibit that piece at the famous 1913 Armory Show in NYC.

Visitors check in for tours at the Greenwich Historical Society in the small yellow house next door. There is also a small museum about the history of Greenwich and a gift shop in that building. The clerk there and my tour guide were both young, vibrant college age students who were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed the visit.

Overall: Prime stop in quaint Cos Cob. Definitely worth a couple hours.

Date of experience: October 2015
1  Thank Dante M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2015 via mobile

Although the guide did a wonderful job in explaining the complex history of this house, it is essential that you buy the guide to the house if you want to fully understand it.

There is a small but very interesting gift shop, and we found the history of the slaves and the room that they probably lived in one of the most moving parts of our visit.

Another high point was the extraordinary number of paintings that were done in the house and featuring the exact rooms ofthe house. That begins as soon as you walk in the door and you see a young girl in a painting looking at the staircase that you are seeing in real life.

Very much worth while to both of us.

Date of experience: August 2015
1  Thank robcurtross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2015

We took the kids when they were little and had a nice time. It is just one building and can be done in a few hours. Tour staff was very good.

Date of experience: August 2014
1  Thank tom p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2014

On the bank of the Mianus River outlet to The Long Island Sound stands this Colonial House built in 1930, plus its add-ons in later years. It is adjacent to the Greenwich Historical Society with its Gift Shop and Gallery. The Bush-Holley House is distinguished by authentic restoration including slave quarters, and its attention to the Cos Cob Impressionist Colony which was based in it when it was a guest house in the early 20th century. The noted painter Childe Hassam was a summer resident with his wife, and some of his smaller works are on display. The 50-minute tour on the hour is fascinating. Built abutting the local road that skirts the river, the house currently lacks any real property in this residential part of Greenwich. Yet combining the tour with a visit to the Historical Society gives visitors an important glimpse into the business and cultural life of what was once a thriving coastal port, now a thriving diverse community.

Date of experience: November 2014
1  Thank Elizabeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2014

We wound up here when rain cancelled our beach day. SO glad. Our tour guide Lucy was fantastic and not only taught us so much about the house specifically but also about general history and art. From the slave quarters up through the Victory Garden, the museum showcases the most interesting aspects of the house's entire history, and the people who lived there come alive. The current exhibit in the storehouse is fascinating- it covers the great estates in the area, which my companion loved, while I absolutely adored the incredible clothing and accessories on display. I've been to a lot of historic houses lately and this was the most engaging and interesting. And as a side note, tours are usually given on the hour. We got there too late for one and figured we'd missed out since we couldn't stay for the next one, but Lucy took us on our own, personalized tour that was a bit abbreviated so she'd be back in time for the scheduled tour, and adapted it for the things we were most interested in. She was absolutely great- she knew the answers to every question (I tend to ask a lot of questions) and had so much enthusiasm. They have a lot of special programs and programs for kids, and the next time I'm in town I'll definitely check to see if there's any special program going on there.

Date of experience: August 2014
2  Thank Bfranz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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