Falls Mountain on the Housatonic River, 1886

Old Connecticut from Vintage Connecticut Postcards on Facebook, wonderful site



Portland, situated across the Connecticut River from Middletown once produced tons of Brownstone in its quarries.  Portland Brownstone was used in the construction of Hartford's Old State House in 1796. The vast majority of the brownstone buildings at Wesleyan University and Trinity College) as well as the famous brownstones in New York City were built with brownstone from Portland's quarries.

The Old State House

The Old State House (completed 1796) in Hartford,  is generally believed to have been designed by noted American architect Charles Bulfinch as his first public building.
The House is, in appearance, very similar to the Town Hall of Liverpool, England, built in the mid-18th century and perhaps depicted in one of Bulfinch's architecture books. However, all materials came from the United States.

 Its first story is 20 feet high and constructed from Portland, Connecticut brownstone. The second and third stories are brick patterned in Flemish bond. The cornice is wooden.
Over the years, several eyewitnesses (mostly staff members) have claimed to experience paranormal activity inside the building.

 In 2009, the Old State House was investigated by the investigators of TAPS on episode 524 of the Sci Fi Channel program Ghost Hunters. The episode aired on December 9, 2009.

Following the investigation, TAPS announced that they captured audio of strange sounds inside the building. Something that sounded like a doorknob being opened was recorded in the Senate Room while no one was in it, and audio of what sounded like a woman sighing was captured in the Steward Museum room when no female team members were present in the building.


The name Naugatuck is said to be an indigenous term (in the native American Algonquian language) for either “one tree” or “fork of the river.” "Naugatuck" was also the name of a village of the Paugussett sachemdom on the Naugatuck River where Naugatuck Connecticut is today. Another Paugussett sachemdom village (Capage) existed on the Naugatuck River a few miles south at what is now Beacon Falls, Connecticut.

Naugahyde is a brand of artificial leather (or "pleather" from plastic leather. It was developed by United States Rubber Company, and named for the Borough of Naugatuck where it was first produced.  A marketing campaign of the 1960s and 1970s asserted humorously that Naugahyde was obtained from the skin of an animal called a "Nauga". The claim became an urban myth. The campaign emphasized that, unlike other animals, which must typically be slaughtered to obtain their hides, Naugas can shed their skin without harm to themselves.

The Reverend Samson Occom ....sad story...the state should name a park or a highway or some damn thing for this guy

The Reverend Samson Occom (1723 – July 14, 1792) was a member of the Mohegan nation, from near New London who became a Presbyterian cleric. Occum was the first Native American to publish his writings in English, and also helped found several settlements, including what ultimately became known as the Brothertown Indians. Together with the missionary John Eliot, Occom became one of the foremost missionaries who cross-fertilised Native American communities with Christianized European culture.

Born to Joshua Tomacham and his wife Sarah, Occom is believed to be a direct descendant of Uncas, the notable Mohegan chief. In 1743 at the age of 20, Occom heard the teachings of Christian evangelical preachers in the Great Awakening. He began to study theology at the "Lattin School" of Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock in 1743 and stayed for four years until leaving to begin his own career. In addition to improving his English, Occom learned to read and speak Hebrew. From 1747 until 1749, Occum worked under and studied with the Reverend Solomon Williams in New London, Connecticut.

From 1749-1761, Occom became a teacher, preacher, and judge to Pequot Native Americans in Montauk, eastern Long Island. He married Mary Fowler, a local woman, in the fall of 1751.
Occom helped the Pequot to assimilate and adopt European-style houses, dress and culture.
He was officially ordained a minister on August 30, 1759, by the presbytery of Suffolk. Occom was never paid the same salary as white preachers, although promised that he would be. The "Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge" also gave Occum a stipend, but he lived in deep poverty for much of his life.

In 1761 and 1763, Occom traveled to the Six Nations of the Iroquois in upstate New York to preach. Winning few converts, he returned to teach at Mohegan, Connecticut near New London.

Meanwhile, in 1754, Wheelock had established an Indian charity school in Lebanon, Connecticut with a legacy from Joshua Moor, among others. Wheelock persuaded his former pupil to travel to England to raise money for the school.

Occom preached his way across Britain from February 16, 1766, to July 22, 1767, delivering between three and four hundred sermons, drawing large crowds wherever he went, and raising over ₤12,000 (pounds) for Wheelock's project. King George III donated 200 pounds, and William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth subscribed 50 guineas.

However, Occom on his return learned that Wheelock failed to care for Occom's wife and children while he was away. Furthermore, Wheelock moved to New Hampshire and used the funds raised to establish Dartmouth College (named after the generous aristocrat) for the education of Englishmen, rather than Native Americans as originally promised to Occom.
Upon his return from England, Occom lived with the Mohegan. After Wheelock's betrayal, Occom worked to organize Christianized Indians of New England and Long Island into a new tribe, located in western Connecticut.

Under continuing pressure from settlers following the American Revolutionary War, in 1785 they migrated at the invitation of Christians of the Oneida tribe to their reservation in central New York State.

Occom, his son-in-law Joseph Johnson (Mohegan)(a messenger for General George Washington during the American Revolution); and his brother-in-law David Fowler (Montauk) led the emigrants who built a new settlement called "Brothertown" (originally nearby Waterville, NY).

 The Oneida also invited other Christian Indians to live with them, namely the Stockbridge Mohican from western Massachusetts and two Lenape groups from southern New Jersey. The Mohicans founded what they called New Stockbridge in New York, near Oneida Lake.
Occom not only assured these villages received civil charters in 1787, but also evicted white settlers from Brotherton on April 12, 1792.

Occom died on July 14, 1792, in New Stockbridge. He is buried just off of Bogusville Hill Road outside of Deansboro.

In World War II, the United States liberty ship SS Samson Occom was named in his honor.
The Occom Commons community space is part of Goldstein Hall, in the McLaughlin Residential Cluster. Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut also named a residence hall for upperclassmen after Occom.

In 1768, Occom wrote the 10-page A Short Narrative of My Life, a manuscript now held in Dartmouth College's archive collection; it was first published in 1982. Ere is a portion of the document:

From my Birth till I received the Christian Religion
I was Born a Heathen and Brought up In Heathenism, till I was between 16 & 17 years of age, at a Place Calld Mohegan, in New London, Connecticut, in New England. My Parents Livd a wandering life, for did all the Indians at Mohegan, they Chiefly Depended upon Hunting, Fishing, & Fowling for their Living and had no Connection with the English, excepting to Traffic with them in their small Trifles; and they Strictly maintained and followed their Heathenish Ways, Customs & Religion, though there was Some Preaching among them. Once a Fortnight, in ye Summer Season, a Minister from New London used to come up, and the Indians to attend; not that they regarded the Christian Religion, but they had Blankets given to them every Fall of the Year and for these things they would attend and there was a Sort of School kept, when I was quite young, but I believe there never was one that ever Learnt to read any thing, —and when I was about 10 Years of age there was a man who went about among the Indian Wigwams, and wherever he Could find the Indian Children, would make them read; but the Children Used to take Care to keep out of his way; —and he used to Catch me Some times and make me Say over my Letters; and I believe I learnt Some of them. But this was Soon over too; and all this Time there was not one amongst us, that made a Profession of Christianity—Neither did we Cultivate our Land, nor kept any Sort of Creatures except Dogs, which we used in Hunting; and we Dwelt in wigwams. These are a Sort of Tents, Covered with Matts, made of Flags. And to this Time we were unacquainted with the English Tongue in general though there were a few, who understood a little of it.

From the Time of our Reformation till I left Mr. Wheelocks
When I was 16 years of age, we heard a Strange Rumor among the English, that there were Extraordinary Ministers Preaching from place to Place and a Strange Concern among the White People. This was in the Spring of the Year. But we Saw nothing of these things, till Some Time in the Summer, when Some Ministers began to visit us and Preach the Word of God; and the Common People all Came frequently and exhorted us to the things of God, which it pleased the Lord, as I humbly hope, to Bless and accompany with Divine Influence to the Conviction and Saving Conversion of a Number of us; amongst whom I was one that was Imprest with the things we had heard. These Preachers did not only come to us, but we frequently went to their meetings and Churches. After I was awakened & converted, I went to all the meetings, I could come at; & Continued under Trouble of Mind about 6 months; at which time I began to Learn the English Letters; got me a Primer, and used to go to my English Neighbours frequently for Assistance in Reading, but went to no School. And when I was 17 years of age, I had, as I trust, a Discovery of the way of Salvation through Jesus Christ, and was enabl’d to put my trust in him alone for Life & Salvation. From this Time the Distress and Burden of my mind was removed, and I found Serenity and Pleasure of Soul, in Serving God. By this time I just began to Read in the New Testament without Spelling,—and I had a Stronger Desire Still to Learn to read the Word of God, and at the Same Time had an uncommon Pity and Compassion to my Poor Brethren According to the Flesh. I used to wish I was capable of Instructing my poor Kindred. I used to think, if I Could once Learn to Read I would Instruct the poor Children in Reading,—and used frequently to talk with our Indians Concerning Religion. This continued till I was in my 19th year: by this Time I Could Read a little in the Bible. At this Time my Poor Mother was going to Lebanon, and having had Some Knowledge of Mr. Wheelock and hearing he had a Number of English youth under his Tuition, I had a great Inclination to go to him and be with him a week or a Fortnight, and Desired by Mother to Ask Mr. Wheelock whether he would take me a little while to Instruct me in Reading. Mother did so; and when She Came Back, She Said Mr. Wheelock wanted to See me as Soon as possible. So I went up, thinking I Should be back again in a few Days; when I got up there, he received me With kindness and Compassion and in Stead of Staying a Forthnight or 3 Weeks, I Spent 4 Years with him. —After I had been with him Some Time, he began to acquaint his Friends of my being with him, and of his Intentions of Educating me, and my Circumstances. And the good People began to give Some Assistance to Mr. Wheelock, and gave me Some old and Some New Clothes. Then he represented the Case to the Honorable Commissioners at Boston, who were Commission’d by the Honorable Society in London for Propagating the gospel among the Indians in New England and parts adjacent, and they allowed him 60£ in old Tender, which was about 6£ Sterling, and they Continu’d it 2 or 3 years, I cant’t tell exactly. —While I was at Mr. Wheelock’s, 1 was very weakly and my Health much impaired, and at the End of 4 Years, I over Strained my Eyes to such a Degree, I Could not persue my Studies any Longer; and out of these 4 years I Lost Just about one year; —And was obliged to quit my Studies.

From the Time I left Mr. Wheelock till I went to Europe
As soon as I left Mr. Wheelock, I endeavored to find Some Employ among the Indians; went to Nahantuck, thinking they may want a School Master, but they had one; then went to Narraganset, and they were Indifferent about a School, and went back to Mohegan, and heard a number of our Indians were going to Montauk, on Long Island, and I went with them, and the Indians there were very desirous to have me keep a School amongst them, and I Consented, and went back a while to Mohegan and Some time in November I went on the Island, I think it is 17 years ago last November. I agreed to keep School with them Half a Year, and left it with them to give me what they Pleased; and they took turns to Provide Food for me. I had near 30 Scholars this winter; I had an evening School too for those that could not attend the Day School—and began to Carry on their meetings, they had a Minister, one Mr. Horton, the Scotch Society’s Missionary; but he Spent, I think two thirds of his Time at Sheenecock, 30 Miles from Montauk. We met together 3 times for Divine Worship every Sabbath and once on every Wednesday evening. I (used) to read the Scriptures to them and used to expound upon Some particular Passages in my own Tongue. Visited the Sick and attended their Burials.—When the half year expired, they Desired me to Continue with them, which I complied with, for another half year, when I had fulfilled that, they were urgent to have me Stay Longer. So I continued amongst them till I was Married, which was about 2 years after I went there. And Continued to Instruct them in the Same manner as I did before. After I was married a while, I found there was need of a Support more than I needed while I was Single, —and made my Case Known to Mr. Buell and to Mr. Wheelock, and also the Needy Circumstances and the Desires of these Indians of my Continuing amongst them, and the Commissioners were so good as to grant £15 a year Sterling—And I kept on in my Service as usual, yea I had additional Service; I kept School as I did before and Carried on the Religious Meetings as often as ever, and attended the Sick and their Funerals, and did what Writings they wanted, and often Sat as a Judge to reconcile and Decide their Matters Between them, and had visitors of Indians from all Quarters; and, as our Custom is, we freely Entertain all Visitors. And was fetched often from my Tribe and from others to see into their Affairs Both Religious, Temporal, —Besides my Domestic Concerns. And it Pleased the Lord to Increase my Family fast—and Soon after I was Married, Mr. Horton left these Indians and the Shenecock & after this I was (alone) and then I had the whole care of these Indians at Montauk, and visited the Shenecock Indians often. Used to set out Saturdays towards Night and come back again Mondays. I have been obliged to Set out from Home after Sun Set, and Ride 30 Miles in the Night, to Preach to these Indians. And Some Indians at Shenecock Sent their Children to my School at Montauk, I kept one of them Some Time, and had a Young Man a half year from Mohegan, a Lad from Nahantuck, who was with me almost a year; and had little or nothing for keeping them.
My Method in the School was, as Soon as the Children got together, and took their proper Seats, I Prayed with them, then began to hear them. I generally began (after some of them Could Spell and Read,) With those that were yet in their Alphabets, So around, as they were properly Seated till I got through and I obliged them to Study their Books, and to help one another. When they could not make out a hard word they Brought it to me—and I usually heard them, in the Summer Season 8 Times a Day 4 in the morning, and in ye after Noon. —In the Winter Season 6 Times a Day, As Soon as they could Spell, they were obliged to Spell when ever they wanted to go out. I concluded with Prayer; I generally heard my Evening Scholars 3 Times Round, And as they go out the School, every one, that Can Spell, is obliged to Spell a Word, and to go out Leisurely one after another. I Catechised 3 or 4 Times a Week according to the Assembly’s Shout or Catechism, and many Times Proposed Questions of my own, and in my own Tongue. I found Difficulty with Some Children, who were Some what Dull, most of these can soon learn to Say over their Letters, they Distinguish the Sounds by the Ear, but their Eyes can’t Distinguish the Letters, and the way I took to cure them was by making an Alphabet on Small bits of paper, and glued them on Small Chips of Cedar after this manner A B & C. I put these on Letters in order on a Bench then point to one Letter and bid a Child to take notice of it, and then I order the Child to fetch me the Letter from the Bench; if he Brings the Letter, it is well, if not he must go again and again till he brings ye right Letter. When they can bring any Letter this way, then I just Jumble them together, and bid them to set them in Alphabetical order, and it is a Pleasure to them; and they soon Learn their Letters this way. —I frequently Discussed or Exhorted my Scholars, in Religious matters.—My Method in our Religious Meetings was this; Sabbath Morning we Assemble together about 10 o’C and begin with Singing; we generally Sung Dr. Watt’s Psalms or Hymns. I distinctly read the Psalm or Hymn first, and then gave the meaning of it to them, after that Sing, then Pray, and Sing again after Prayer. Then proceed to Read from Suitable portion of Scripture, and so Just give the plain Sense of it in Familiar Discourse and apply it to them. So continued with Prayer and Singing. In the after Noon and Evening we Proceed in the Same Manner, and so in Wednesday Evening. Some Time after Mr. Horton left these Indians, there was a remarkable revival of religion among these Indians and many were hopefully converted to the Saving knowledge of God in Jesus. It is to be observed before Mr. Horton left these Indians they had Some Prejudices infused in their minds, by Some Enthusiastical Exhorters from New England, against Mr. Horton, and many of them had left him; by this means he was Discouraged, and was disposed from these Indians. And being acquainted with the Enthusiasts in New England & the make and the Disposition of the Indians I took a mild way to reclaim them. I opposed them not openly but let them go on in their way, and whenever I had an opportunity, I would read Such pages of the Scriptures, and I thought would confound their Notions, and I would come to them with all Authority, Saying“these Saith the Lord”; and by this means, the Lord was pleased to Bless my poor Endeavours, and they were reclaimed, and Brought to hear almost any of the ministers.—I am now to give an Account of my Circumstances and manner of Living. I Dwelt in a Wigwam, a Small Hut with Small Poles and Covered with Matts made of Flags, and I was obligd to remove twice a Year, about 2 miles Distance, by reason of the Scarcity of wood, for in one Neck of Land they Planted their Corn, and in another, they had their wood, and I was obligd to have my Corn carted and my Hay also,—and I got my Ground Plow’d every year, which Cost me about 12 shillings an acre; and I kept a Cow and a Horse, for which I paid 21 shillings every year York currency, and went 18 miles to Mill for every Dust of meal we used in my family. I Hired or Joined with my Neighbours to go to Mill, with a Horse or ox Cart, or on Horse Back, and Some time went myself. My Family Increasing fast, and my Visitors also. I was obligd to contrive every way to Support my Family; I took all opportunities, to get Some thing to feed my Family Daily. I Planted my own Corn, Potatoes, and Beans; I used to be out hoeing my Corn Some times before Sun Rise and after my School is Dismist, and by this means I was able to raise my own Pork, for I was allowed to keep 5 Swine. Some mornings & Evenings I would be out with my Hook and Line to Catch fish and in the Fall of Year and in the Spring, I used my gun, and fed my Family with Fowls. I Could more than pay for my Powder & Shot with Feathers. At other Times I Bound old Books for Easthampton People, made wooden Spoons and Ladles, Stocked Guns, & worked on Cedar to make Pails, (Piggins), and Churns & C. Besides all these Difficulties I met with advers Providence, I bought a Mare, had it but a little while, and she fell into the Quick Sand and Died. After a while Bought another, I kept her about half year, and she was gone, and I never have heard of nor seen her from that Day to this; it was Supposed Some Rogue Stole her. I got another and Died with a Distemper, and last of all I Bought a Young Mare, and kept her till She had one Colt, and She broke her Leg and Died, and Presently after the Cold Died also. In the whole I Lost 5 Horse Kind; all these Losses helped to pull me down; and by this Time I got greatly in Debt and acquainted my Circumstances to Some of my Friends, and they Represented my Case to the Commissioners of Boston, and Interceded with them for me, and they were pleased to vote 15£ for my Help, and Soon after Sent a Letter to my good Friend at New London, acquainting him that they had Superseded their Vote; and my Friends were so good as to represent my Needy Circumstances Still to them, and they were so good at Last, as to Vote £15 and Sent it, for which I am very thankful; and the Revd Mr. Buell was so kind as to write in my behalf to the gentlemen of Boston; and he told me they were much Displeased with him, and heard also once again that they blamed me for being Extravagant; I Can’t Conceive how these gentlemen would have me Live. I am ready to (forgive) their Ignorance, and I would wish they had Changed Circumstances with me but one month, that they may know, by experience what my Case really was; but I am now fully convinced, that it was not Ignorance, For I believe it can be proved to the world that these Same Gentlemen gave a young Missionary a Single man, one Hundred Poundsfor one year, and fifty Pounds for an Interpreter, and thirty Pounds for an Introducer; so it Cost them one Hundred & Eighty Pounds in one Single Year, and they Sent too where there was no Need of a Missionary.
Now you See what difference they made between me and other missionaries; they gave me 180 Pounds for 12 years Service, which they gave for one years Services in another Mission, — In my Service (I speak like a fool, but I am Constrained) I was my own Interpreter. I both a School master and Minister to the Indians, yea I was their Ear, Eye & Hand, as Well as Mouth. I leave it with the World, as wicked as it is, to Judge whether I ought not to have had half as much, they gave a young man Just mentioned which would have been but £50 a year; and if they ought to have given me that, I am not under obligations to them, I owe them nothing at all; what can be the Reason that they used me after this manner? I can’t think of any thing, but this as a Poor Indian Boy Said, Who was Bound out to an English Family, and he used to Drive Plow for a young man, and he whipt and Beat him almost every Day, and the young man found fault with him, and Complained of him to his master and the poor Boy was Called to answer for himself before his master, and he was asked, what it was he did, that he was So Complained of and beat almost every Day. He Said, he did not know, but he Supposed it was because he could not drive any better; but says he, I Drive as well as I know how; and at other Times he Beats me, because he is of a mind to beat me; but says he believes he Beats me for the most of the Time“because I am an Indian. ”
So I am ready to Say, they have used me thus, because I Can’t Influence the Indians so well as other missionaries; but I can assure them I have endeavoured to teach them as well as I know how;—but I must Say, I believe it is because I am a poor Indian." I Can’t help that God has made me So; I did not make my self so, —

Source: Samsom Occom, A Short Narrative of My Life, typescript, Dartmouth College Archives, in Bernd Peyer, The Elders Wrote (Berlin, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1982), 12–18.

The Pennamite–Yankee War

The Pennamite–Yankee War (or Yankee-Pennamite Wars) was the intermittent conflict between 1769 and 1799 between settlers from Connecticut, who claimed the land along the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in the present Wyoming Valley, and settlers from Pennsylvania, who claimed the same lands.

Claims on the Wyoming Valley were disputed from the first. The Dutch regarded the Susquehanna River as the border between New Netherland and the English colony of Virginia. King Charles II of England rejected all Dutch claims on North America and, in 1662, granted the land to Connecticut, a full two years before his country's conquest of New Netherland and its subsequent conversion into the Province of New York.

 In 1681, Charles II also included the same land in the grant to William Penn. The charter of each colony assigned the territory to the colony; thus, overlapping land claims existed.
In the seventeenth century, fierce resistance by the Susquehannock rendered the debate academic, but by the mid-18th century, the double grant became problematic.

Both colonies purchased the same land by treaties with the Indians. Connecticut sent settlers to the area in 1754. Yankee settlers from Connecticut founded the town of Wilkes-Barre in 1769.

Armed bands of Pennsylvanians (Pennamites) tried without success to expel them in 1769-70, and again in 1775.

The "wars" were not particularly bloody—in the First Pennamite war, two men from Connecticut were killed and one from Pennsylvania in the course of two years.
In 1771, Connecticut's claim was confirmed by King George III.

In 1773, more settlers from Connecticut erected a new town, which they named Westmoreland. However, the Pennsylvanians refused to leave, and, in December 1775, the militia of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, actually made an abortive attack on a Connecticut settlement.

At the end of the American Revolution, conflicts between the two claimants continued, and in 1782, the Continental Congress overturned the king's ruling and upheld Pennsylvania's claim to the area. But when the state sought to force the Yankees from the land, another Pennamite war ensued, with Connecticut and Vermont sending men to help the settlers.

The controversy ended in 1799, with the Wyoming Valley becoming part of Pennsylvania and the Yankee settlers becoming Pennsylvanians with legal claims to their land

Old Connecticut

The Connecticut Irish: Eileen Farrell

The Connecticut Irish: Eileen Farrell: Eileen Farrell (February 13, 1920 – March 23, 2002]) was an American soprano who had a nearly 60 year long career performing both cla...

How weird is this?

Leopold Maria Alfons Blanka Karl Anton Beatrix Michael Joseph Peter Ignatz von Habsburg-Lothringen (Whew) AKA the Archduke Leopold Maria of Austria, Prince of Tuscany died Willimantic, Connecticut March 14, 1958. He spent the last half of his life as a factory worker.
Leopold was the second son of Archduke Leopold Salvator, Prince of Tuscany and Infanta Bianca of Spain. At the age of 19, he was the last person appointed to the Order of the Golden Fleece by his great uncle, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Through his mother, after the death in 1931 of his cousin Jaime, Duke of Madrid, Leopold was an heir to the Carlist claims to the throne of Spain, but having given up his aristocratic status upon his marriage to a commoner in 1919, he renounced the claims in favour his youngest brother, Archduke Karl Pius of Austria.
Through his grandmother Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies he was in the line of succession to the British Throne, ranking around 300th in line at his birth, and descending to approximately 1000th in line at the time of his death.

Known after his marriage he emigrated from Austria to the United States where he sought a career in Hollywood and had several minor roles. He moved to Willimantic, Connecticut where he settled into a small house with his second wife and spent the rest of his life as a factory worker.

The Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern Railroad

The Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern Railroad (The"Shepaug" name derives from the Shepaug River that most of the line followed which in turn was a Mohegan name that meant "rocky water".) was a short independent railroad in western Connecticut that was chartered as the Shepaug Valley Railroad in 1868 and operated from 1872 to 1891 when it was taken over by the Housatonic Railroad. In turn, in 1898 the Housatonic operation of the line was in turn taken over by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H). The line was abandoned in 1948. However much of the line remains in place as rail trails to this day. Henry R. Colt, the gun manufacturer, was the lines original treasurer.
Gail Borden's condensed milk business had started operation in the Burrville section of Torrington in the 1860s and thanks to strong sales during the civil war the milk business was profitable, a new Borden creamery was built and started shipping dairy products out of Washington Depot soon after the start of operations on the SL&N began.  
The need to get milk as fresh as possible to New York City markets led to runs of a Sunday "milk train". At first the milk was delivered to Hawleyville to be picked up by the Housatonic and then carried to Bridgeport and on to New York. Eventually the creamery at Hawleyville was closed as was the Hawleyville branch, by which time the milk train ran through Danbury to South Norwalk.
Other significant freight shippers included stone quarries near Roxbury and New Preston (marble and granite) and ice cut from Bantam Lake.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Connecticut.

George Wyllys or Wyllis (1590 – 9 March 1645) served for a year (1642–1643) as one of the early governors of the Connecticut Colony. He was born at the manor of Fenny Compton in Warwickshire, England, to Richard and Hester (Chambers) Willis, part of an old, wealthy family.  He may well have become a Puritan in his university years.

He married Bridget Yonge/Young on 2 November 1609 at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon. They had three children before she died in 1629. In 1631 he married again, this time to Mrs. Mary Brisbey. They had one son. The family immigrated to New England in the early 1630s. By 1634, Wyllys had been appointed an Assistant to the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1636, Wyllys sent his steward, William Gibbons, to Hartford along with 20 domestics and indentured servants in order to buy land and oversee construction of a house. That house was the largest home of any of Hartford's early settlers and one of the largest in Connecticut. The famous Charter Oak stood on the property. The same street contained the homes of future Governors Wyllys, Webster, Welles, and Hopkins and was called Governor Street until, much later, its name was changed to Popieluszko Court.

It was not until 1638 that the Wyllys family arrived in Hartford. He was soon elected as one of six Assistants to the General Court in 1639-41. He became deputy governor of the colony in 1641 and in 1642 he served a year as governor. In 1643 and 1644 he again served as an Assistant to the General Court.

Rumors that the Narragansetts would form an alliance with several other tribes to destroy the English settlers prompted Wyllys and the General Court to send two delegates to a meeting in Boston which later resulted in the Articles of Confederation between the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Haven, and Connecticut, a compact to provide cooperation in defense of the colonies.

After his term as governor expired, Wyllys was chosen to be a Commissioner from Connecticut to The United Colonies of New England in 1643.

On his death in Hartford on March 9, 1644/5, his estate, which included slaves, was the largest in the colony until 1680. No portrait of him is known to exist.
Wyllys' home in Hartford was torn down in 1827.

He is buried in the Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground, and his name appears on the Founders Monument.

Wyllys Street in Hartford is named after him.

One of his direct descendants was Frank Lloyd Wright.


Sassacus (Massachuset: Sassakusu (fierce), Born c. 1560 near present-day Groton – Died June 1637. Sassacus was a Pequot sachem. He became grand sachem after sachem Tatobem was killed in 1632.  Sassacus and the Pequot were defeated by the English along with their Narragansett and Mohegan allies in the Pequot War. Sassacus fled to what he thought was safety among the Iroquois Mohawk in present-day New York, but they murdered him and sent his scalp to the English as a symbolic offering of friendship with the Connecticut Colony.


Suckiaug, meaning "Black Fertile River-Enhanced Earth, good for planting", is the name of the land lining the river valley of what is currently Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield, South Windsor, East Hartford, Glastonbury and Rocky Hill.

Fort Hoop

Fort Hoop (Dutch: Fort Huys de Goede Hoop) was a settlement in the seventeenth century colonial province of New Netherland that eventually developed into Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1623, the Geoctroyeerde West-indische Compagnie (WIC), commonly known in English as the Dutch West India Company 1621–1793 of the United Netherlands Dutch Republic built a fortified trading house of the Roman Castra design with a praetorium, castra ways, and gates.

 Fort Hoop was located on the south bank of the Little River (now Park River)
 The directors at Fort Orange (now Albany) and Fort Amsterdam (now New York City) had planned Fort Hoop to be the northeastern fortification and trading center.

The land on which Fort Huys de Goede Hoop was situated was part of a larger tract purchased on June 8, 1633, by Jacob van Curler on behalf of the company from the Sequins, one of the clans of Connecticut Indians.  Curler added a block house and palisade to the post while New Amsterdam sent a small garrison and a pair of cannons.

The fort was commended by 1654 by the settlers to New England. English settlers from other New England colonies moved into the Connecticut Valley in the 1630s.

 In 1633, William Holmes led a group of settlers from Plymouth Colony to the Connecticut Valley, where they established Windsor, a few miles north of the Dutch trading post.

The English population of the area exploded in 1636 when clergyman Thomas Hooker led 100 settlers, including Richard Risley, with 130 head of cattle in a trek from Newtown (now Cambridge) in the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the banks of the Connecticut River, where they established Hartford directly across the Park River from the Old Dutch fort.

Hooker and Company Journeying through the Wilderness from Plymouth to Hartford, in 1636

Old Connecticut in Photos