Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
4
Historic SitesGardensHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Harriet Beecher Stowe was the best-selling author of the anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin." A 21st-century museum and program center, the Stowe Center offers interactive and engaging tours and programs designed to inspire action on social justice issues. Specialized tour experiences and discussion-based contemporary issue programs are regularly offered.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
315 reviews
Excellent
155
Very good
94
Average
42
Poor
11
Terrible
13

Yaacov D
1 contribution
Sep 2019
It is obvious to all that Mrs. Stowe believed in the truth of the Bible, its placement in society as a beacon of truth, and its authority as the word of God. Just read her letter to Frederick Douglas, and you will see. It is equally obvious that she drew her strength and commitment from this sacred text to advocate for the very great and positive social transformation that she did.

How terribly disappointing to then see the arrogance of those who run this home now.

Nothing of the ethos that actually shaped history is meaningfully presented. Rather, in its stead you will find critical race theory, contemporary victimization narratives, and an assorted collection of materials that are 100% secular in their approach.

While the staff is clearly free to disagree with the Biblical sources, it is disgusting to be in a place where the staff exhibit such profound disrespect for the very person whose life they are trying to celebrate.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jab
7 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
Waste of money and time. I've read Uncle Tom's Cabin and came to learn more about the woman who wrote it and the time and place she lived. Instead I got a kumbaya group discussion with a bunch of tourists where we were prompted to reflect on how racism is wrong. Rather than provide context (slavery existed because it was profitable and became increasingly so in the run up to the civil war) any opinion that doesn't reflect modern sensibility was prefaced by being "problematic." This hesitation around suggesting any nuance or context prevented any honest conversation and I learned more from the few guests that provided a few historical facts the tour guide could not offer. The secondary guide that twice interrupted the main guide to suggest incorrect facts further suggested that unprofessionalism that now seems to rest at the core of the center's mission. Most of the house is exhibit space. If you want to better under Stowe and her times and work, luckily a ton of books better address the subject than this tour.
Written July 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dwight M
2 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
Unless you are wanting an insulting and condescending museum experience, stay away. The tour guides and director are pushing propaganda. Stowe was an intelligent and fascinating person, a century before her time. The museum itself was an educational experience and well done.
Written September 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hannah M
Boyertown, PA5 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
We had a private tour (meaning no one else signed up for that time slot). It was a traditional tour, lots of information, lots of reading of items on the walls. No time to go back through the house on your own. Would have liked to have known that ahead of time and would have taken a few more pictures or spent a bit more time reading the information.
Written July 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SBGiGi
Santa Barbara, CA164 contributions
Aug 2021
Interesting little house that Harriet lived in as her last home. It's a small house, and you don't get to tour the whole thing, so that was disappointing. They talked about the other rooms, but that was almost worse, since we couldn't see them!

Our guide was in his first week of being a guide, so he didn't have a lot of knowledge, unfortunately. He really couldn't answer any of our questions, either.

If you are going for only this museum, i would skip it! But if you want to do it on the same day as you do the Mark Twain house (next door) then it is an interesting addition.
Written August 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kbphotography85
Bozeman, MT402 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
The house is next door to Mark Twain's, yet very different in architecture/design. I thought we'd learn more about the house than we did. It was an odd tour. We learned a little bit about Harriet's life, but it was more about the politics during that time. I don't know how to explain it, it was a little weird and not what we were expecting. We could have walked next door to take a pic of the house and not done the tour.
Written October 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

T B
Washington DC, DC15 contributions
Oct 2022
I thought I was going to get a summary of daily life in the house as well as interesting facts about the items in the home. Unfortunately, this tour was mostly discussion with random facts. I also find the messaging a bit extreme and out of place. Just tell the history of the woman and her home. That's what people come to hear.

I also don't recommend "the farm" tour. It's mostly a neighborhood synopsis and given the cast of characters hanging out at the laundromat/liquor store/etc. across the street, you won't be missing much.
Written November 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bhlraven1916
Atlanta, GA938 contributions
Jun 2019 • Solo
Had a great time. Yes, this is an interactive guided tour. There's two stops where staff tries to engage in conversation with the guest. Because we recently celebrated Juneteenth and because I'm African American i thought it be interesting to have a discussion on making it a Federal holiday. Great feedback! Colleen was our tour guide and did a remarkable job engaging with the folks in attendance. She was extremely knowledgeable about the house and Stowe's family history. You're allowed to take picture. Nice gift shop. Plenty of parking.
Written June 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nostalgia1
Simsbury, CT USA14 contributions
Jun 2017 • Solo
Finally had the time to visit the HBS House and was looking forward to hearing about this exquisite home and the life of HBS. As I waited for the tour to begin I took note of the large variety of books offered in the book store. The majority had to do with racism and slavery. Many of the books for children had to do with notable black figures. As I looked further, I came upon a book for children highlighting notable black women. Featured is Angela Davis who is associated with the violent deaths of 4 innocent people by Black Panthers in the 70's. Next to that were BLACK LIVES MATTERS mugs and bumper stickers. There is no question that BLM has everything to do with the most violent of behavior including the promotion of the killing of policemen. What kind of message are they sending to the children who visit this historical landmark? 90% of the tour focused on the violence of slavery and racism but their bookstore promotes its own form of violence. Little was said about the house or other things HBS is noted for. Definitely recommend the Mark Twain house. There is no political agenda happening there.
Written August 16, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heidi D
Farmington, CT1 contribution
Jul 2018 • Family
Five years ago I brought my daughter and her friend on a tour of HBSC and we had such a wonderful time that we decided to visit yesterday. The girls (13 years old) plus another friend came with me. We were told at the visitor center that this was not a "conventional house tour" but what I was not told was that this would be a discussion of liberal agendas such as white privilege, how the police are and should be feared, scandals of the current administration, women's rights today as viewed by the liberal viewpoint. Now perhaps it steered this way because everyone but myself and the girls had extremely liberal opinions but the conversation was also directed to that agenda by the guide (look at these documents from her time and apply them to the social justice plights still happening today). I chose not to speak out with my opinions as I had the girls with me and I did not want an incident to occur plus the girls were so very uncomfortable that I did not want to add to it. At the end of the tour, we were invited to write down our thoughts on what we learned of HBS and the social justices of today. We were invited to share the thoughts. I declined to write, but the girls did - they wrote messages of not condemning people for other views, that all lives matter and are important, and to be open-minded. This is where the discussion turned to "breastfed babies being ripped off the breasts of their mothers," the scandals of the current administration being so often that the email newsletter has a hard time choosing what to put, etc.

I was really shocked by this new tour and did not in any way feel that there was room for an honest and open discussion as the Center touts they welcome. It was very clear, at least from our tour, that liberal agenda is pushed here. If you truly want to be an inclusive, open-minded center than perhaps you should have the tour guides play devil's advocate such as HBS's father did with his own children. Instead of constantly directing the discussion down the liberal path, introduce varying viewpoints which may make people feel more open to having the type of discussion the Center alleges to welcome. Otherwise, please make it very clear that "this is a liberal political agenda based tour discussion where we guide you to apply the struggles of the mid-1800's to those of 2018 as viewed by liberal machine."
Written July 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments, Heidi. We are dismayed to hear about your experience on the Stowe House tour and apologize for what transpired. The intent of the new tour experience is to allow all visitors to feel comfortable sharing their views. Indeed, it has been rewarding when visitors with opposing viewpoints listen to each other and come away with a better understanding of where others are coming from. Stowe’s courage as she picked up her pen inspires us to believe in our own ability to make positive change. "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" challenges us to confront America’s complicated past and connect it with today’s issues. Yes, these discussions can be uncomfortable, but the Stowe Center believes in the importance of civil discourse and civic engagement. The Center’s intent is not to tell people what to think, but rather to challenge them to think. We hope visitors will leave the tour feeling inspired to create positive change on issues they care about just as Stowe did in her time. The Museum Associates who lead the Stowe House tour are trained in both American history and tour facilitation. Many of them are passionate about social justice issues of our time, just as Stowe was in her day. However, your point is well taken that their personal views should not influence the tour experience. We will give this topic renewed focus as we conduct continual staff training.
Written August 13, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)