July 15: Creating Connecticut’s Largest Lake

  With an area of 8.4 square miles and over 60 miles of coastline, Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in the state of Connecticut. Located in five towns and straddling both Litchfield and Fairfield counties, its shores are also home to some of the state’s highest-priced real estate.  It has served as a recreational…

March 31: The First Statewide Aerial Photography Survey in the US

  In 1933, Connecticut Governor Wilbur L. Cross, determined to move forward with infrastructure improvements in spite of budget constraints caused by the Great Depression, presented the State Planning Board with a formal request for an aerial photographic survey of the entire state.  Governor Cross reasoned that a detailed set of photographs would be an…

March 27: Staffordville Dam Burst Causes Cascading Chaos

  During the second half of the nineteenth century, as more and more mills and factories popped up along the banks of the Willimantic River’s northern branch in eastern Connecticut, a number of factory owners banded together to form the Stafford (or Staffordville) Reservoir Company with the aim of regulating the flow of water that…

December 21: Hartford’s Need for Water Uproots An Entire Community

  In 1929, the Connecticut General Assembly approved the creation of the Metropolitan District Commission, a non-profit corporation designed to help design and implement long-term plans for managing the water supply of the greater Hartford region.  The very next year, the MDC assumed operations of several reservoirs located in the hills in the western part…

December 16: First Connecticut Stretch of Interstate 84 Opens

  By the 1950s, overcrowded highways became an increasingly familiar annoyance to Connecticut commuters as the state basked in post-WWII economic prosperity and the increase in population — and automobile traffic — that came with it.  At the time, most of Connecticut’s inland east-west travel utilized U.S. Route 6, an old and overburdened road that…

November 1: The Wilbur Cross Parkway Opens

  Today in 1949, ten long years after construction first began, the Wilbur Cross Parkway finally opened to the public following a formal ceremony in at the brand-new West Rock Tunnel in West Haven.  There, Lieutenant Governor William T. Carroll proclaimed the newest stretch of Route 15, named after Connecticut’s popular governor who led the…

October 10: “Father of American Civil Engineering” Born in Wethersfield

  Benjamin Wright, the chief engineer behind some of the most famous civil engineering projects in United States history — including the Erie Canal — was born to Grace and Ebenezer Wright of Wethersfield on this day in 1770.   Ebenezer’s accumulated debts had forced young Benjamin to forego most of his formal schooling to take…

July 15: Creating the Largest Lake in Connecticut

  With an area of 8.4 square miles and over 60 miles of coastline, Candlewood Lake is the largest lake in the state of Connecticut.  Located in five towns and straddling both Litchfield and Fairfield counties, its shores are also home to some of the state’s highest-priced real estate and have served as a recreational…