"Mainly the university....." Storrs by leics
Storrs Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 4 photos
I'm not going to pretend I explored Storrs.
I visited, I parked on the outskirts of the wonderfully lush, tree-filled university campus. I tried to go to the puppet museum (it was shut)...I walked down to explore the wonderful and rambling old mental hospital on the campus (apparently left to rot because it contains asbestos)....I tried to go the the Natural history/Archaeology Museum (couldn't find anywhere to park)....I drove around the wonderfully lush and tree-filled campus a bit more, then gave up.
I went to a local Friendly's for breakfast and was served by a very nice girl who was sooooooo incredibly excited about her upcoming trip to Athens and Turkey. So we had a good chat about that, and I ate a very pleasant breakfast, and then I left Storrs behind (because I could still find nowhere to park) and drove off into rural Connecticut.
A pity really: I would have liked to explore more of Storrs. It is, largely, the campus of the University of Connecticut and is actually named after the two brothers who founded that university (at first Storrs Agricultural College). Storrs is really part of Mansfield (named after the town in Nottinghamshire).
The Mansfield Training School and Hospital (for the 'mentally retarded') was open from 1860 -1993, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places...adn now forms part of the university campus. i knew the main building (a rather wonderful 'U' shape) existed but had not realised, until later research, that the strange wooden huts in which various music lessons were taking place...and which contain the puppet museum...were also part of the 'training school'.
The facility was closed in 1993 because of concerns about how its residents were treated, but by then their numbers had greatly reduced from well over 1000 to around 150.
It's a fascinating place to wander, and very atmospheric.
Perhaps, if you are travelling along route 44 and see the puppet museum signed, you might take a break and explore a little of this strange area? Wander round the hospital and its associated buildings, explore the woods a little, listen to the silence as the wind gently moves through the long grasses (see video)? Watch for butterflies and dragonflies and birds?
I may well return to do just that....
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