Worcester Historical Museum

Worcester Historical Museum: Hours, Address, Worcester Historical Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Worcester Historical Museum

Worcester Historical Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Worcester Historical Museum (WHM) is the only institution solely devoted to the preservation, interpretation, and collection of Worcester History. WHM includes a research library of over 7,000 titles, an archive that houses thousands of documents, and a collection of artifacts, all vital to the study of Worcester History. A few examples of WHM's holdings include correspondence of abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster, Blackstone Canal Company records, Civil War era diaries and letters, artifacts related to Worcester's industrial, weaponry from the colonial era through World War II, paintings and sculptures, and a significant costume and textile collection.WHM also owns and operates Salisbury Mansion, Worcester's only historic house museum. Built in 1772, it has been restored to its 1830s appearance and one of the best documented historic houses in New England.Worcester History is interpreted through a calendar of exhibitions, educational programming, tours and publications. WHM features both permanent installations and changing exhibitions.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
47 reviews
Excellent
24
Very good
15
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
0

NYU62
Tucson, AZ15,756 contributions
Couples
We've been to Worcester many times, but this was our first opportunity to visit this Museum. It was not what we had expected, and we spent much more time here than we had intended. The rooms are filled with items made in Worcester or in the immediate area. This is a City of less than 200,000 people, and yet, so many creative ideas were born and brought to fruition here. What gifted and talented people were residents of Worcester !

For instance, we never knew that the "Smiley Face" :) was born here. It was the work of Harvey Ball, a commercial artist, who received a total of $240 for his design, period. Not a dollar more from any of the products which carried this image. Harvey Ball was a graduate of the Worcester Art Museum School. Upstairs, in this Museum there is a Smiley Face room, and it is lovely. Color coordinated carpeting, and displays of the Smiley Face on many, many products. In 1999, this image was on a 33 cent stamp.

Downstairs, the items are all older, yet most interesting. We found Renwal dollhouse furniture, and never knew these were made in Worcester. Our oldest daughter loved (and loves) doll houses and furnishings, and Renwal was made way before her time, but somewhere she found a Renwal brand dining chair, and that started her collection. Those molded plastic Renwal furnishings are among her most precious possessions. Every antique store that we pop into, we look for them, but they are impossible to find.

So, from molded plastics, to toys, to boots and shoes, to aerospace crew protective equipment, to David Clark headsets, to tools, to barbed wire, to radios and flashlights and smiley faces, Worcester manufactured many, many consumer goods. We were amazed at how many.

This was a most worthwhile visit.

There is a free parking lot adjacent to the back of the Museum on Chestnut Street. The entrance into the Museum is on Elm around the corner. Admission is $5.00 for Adults, and $4.00 for Seniors and Students. Under 18, get in free.
Written July 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SGSSaratoga
Saratoga, CA35 contributions
Family
This small museum provides interesting background on the history of Worcester. The main focus is on the industrial history of the city, which also includes information on the immigrant community over time. They also have an extensive exhibit on the role of citizens in World War I, which was interesting as well. An hour is adequate to do a quick tour.
Written March 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AlePad2013
New York City, NY123 contributions
Couples
This is a great place to visit when in town. It has an excellent exhibit on the industrial history of Worcester and New England. They also have a great collection of artifacts and cute little store too.
Written March 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3Dtravelpro
53 contributions
I wish I could give this a higher review but the museum needs an overhaul and a rethink.

As an area native, I wanted to come here and see a thorough history of Worcester.

It does a small but fairly decent job of talking about some of its revolutionary history, but lacks some basic things. How about a copy of the Worcester Spy?

Later they devote an entire room to manufacturing but nothing about the tornado, the creation of the Valentine, Major Taylor, or the December, 1999 fire that killed six firefighters.

They devote an entire room to the smiley inventor however.

There’s so much history to cover in Worcester. It just needs a rethink.
Written June 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nancysparkle
Middleboro, MA33 contributions
Couples
My husband and I visited the Worcester Historical Museum last week, and we enjoyed it thoroughtly! Who knew so many famous people and things were from here? There were innovations in technology, psychology, manufacturing, and more. It is not a really small museum, but small enough to be manageable for an older couple to do in one visit. The building itself is beautiful, also.
Written February 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kim P
Worcester, MA43 contributions
Friends
I've lived in Worcester my whole life and learned so much about our city's past from spending an afternoon here with a close friend. There was an exhibit called 50 Objects as well as a photography exhibit of Worcester Center that just amazed me. Time flew by wandering from room to room. I remarked to my companion that I enjoyed this museum more than my recent visit to The Smithsonian. I believe that is because the local history was so relevant to me and gave me the opportunity to appreciate just how rich and diverse this city has become over the years.

There is one room that is more suitable to hold younger children's interest. There was a cash register with several buttons that could be pressed to show the price of different items back in the day such as the price for a cup of coffee or a slice of apple pie. They had three different pay phones mounted on a wall that showed the progression of the phone over the years. I also liked the jukebox that allowed me to hear different music from artists that were from Worcester along with an informative binder providing detail on each of the artists.

The upstairs that we didn't have a chance to visit features a small Harvey Ball display as well as many paintings on the stairway of prominent historical figures throughout Worcester's history.

The best part of our visit was the surprise of finding a much sought after poster of The Triple Deckers of Worcester. I've been searching for this print since the early 90's and it was for sale there in the gift shop. This was such an unexpected surprise. (I can't wait to get it framed!)

There was a lovely lady who provided us with free tickets to visit The Salisbury Museum and also provided me with a contact for their library collection so that I could do some research on a topic that has interested me over the years.

I loved this museum so much that I'm considering becoming a member. If you have the time, I recommend a visit to the Worcester Historical Museum.
Written January 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sue L
Worcester, UK42 contributions
Couples
I visited Worcester, MA because I am from Worcester, England. This museum highlighted how important Worcester, MA was in terms of inventions and 'firsts'. However, I would have liked some clue as to whether Worcester, England citizens settled here and that's why it was called Worcester and what these first citizens did.
Written October 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Barbara H
Worcester, MA213 contributions
Couples
We spent several hours thoroughly enjoying the displays of historical items with supporting information, some interactive. There is a timeline which gives dates and events for the nation and Worcester, simultaneously, which is very helpful. There are also hands-on exhibits which are good for adults as well as children. There is a parking lot next to the museum on Chestnut Street and a small, but nice gift shop in the museum lobby. Prepare to learn a lot and have a good time!
Written January 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cindy R
Weddington, NC1,213 contributions
Solo
If you are living in Worcester or Worcester County you should visit this museum so you can be an informed resident of a nice little city. Small children will have fun with some of the interactive aspects of the museum. A little "general store" with a scavenger hunt, a patent office with a time clock punch, a little diner. Fun for the kids and they might learn a little history as they go along with their fun activities. I was surprised at some of the things that were invented and/or manufactured in Worcester. Didn't realize it was the home of so many things - especially during the industrial age.

There is a small parking lot accessible from Chestnut Street (between the museum and the church) which is free but if that is full just down the street is a small garage.
Written January 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hhnola
Worcester, MA6 contributions
Friends
History museum aren't for everyone, but history is so I hope hungrygirl will go back now that the Alden Family Gallery has opened. It adds to the more linear understanding of history but giving a context to kids (and adults) that invites conversation, rather than rote memorization of "facts."
Written February 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Worcester Historical Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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