July 4: A Canal for Connecticut

  On July 4, 1825, surrounding a canal-boat-on-wheels specially created for the occasion, thousands of Connecticans  gathered at Salmon Brook Village in Granby for ground-breaking on what was then the largest transportation project in Connecticut history – the Farmington Canal. Governor Oliver Wolcott spoke briefly before digging the ceremonial first shovel of dirt, officially kicking…

March 15: Who Owns the Connecticut River?

  In the late 19th century, the city of Boston, like most of New England’s other cities, experienced a period of incredible growth thanks to increasing industrialization and a rising tide of European immigration.  By the early 20th century, Boston city officials realized they were only a few decades away from a full-blown crisis if…

October 8: Hartford’s Record-Setting Stone Arch Bridge

  For most of the 19th century, travelers passing between Hartford and East Hartford crossed the Connecticut River over a wooden covered bridge, constructed in 1818 and expanded several times to include additional lanes and, eventually, room for trolleys.  In 1895, the entire structure burned down in a spectacular fire that, according to newspapers, some…

September 26: Connecticut’s First English Settlement

  On this day in 1633, a small band of English settlers from Eastern Massachusetts sailed past an openly hostile Dutch trading fort near modern-day Hartford and defiantly staked their own claim on the shores of the Connecticut River.  There, at a site that would soon be known as Windsor, they built a trading post…

July 27: The Connecticut River Becomes an “American Heritage River”

  On this day in Connecticut history, twenty years ago, Vice President Al Gore officially designated the Connecticut River as an American Heritage River, one of fourteen such waterways to be labeled as such.  In his remarks, Gore recognized the central role major waterways like the Connecticut played in shaping not only the environment and…

June 2: Protecting Connecticut From Devastating Floods

  Today in 1943, only a few years after a series of catastrophic floods devastated dozens of towns across Connecticut, the Army Corps of Engineers presented Congress with a comprehensive plan to implement flood control projects along the entire Connecticut River valley.  Attached to their proposal was an price tag of 56 million dollars —…