Search results for: disaster flood

Torrington Recovers after the Flood of ‘55

…and a new housing authority provided homes for those displaced by the flood and the local redevelopment. Flood damage on Main and East Main Street Torrington, August 21, 1955 –…


Sandbagging at the Stanley P. Rockwell Co

The Flood That We Forget: October 15 and 16, 1955

…the resulting flooding that some still consider the greatest natural disaster in the state’s recorded history. People forget that only two months later, Connecticut was hit again. Parts of the…


Byram River, Pemberwick, October 16, 1955

Byram River Flood – Today in History: October 15

…by Byram River Flood, October 16, 1955. L. E. Gotch, photographer – Greenwich Historical Society Worst Flood in Greenwich History Police, firefighters, civil defense workers, and Red Cross worked together…


Video – When Disaster Struck: The Flood of 1936, Part I

YouTube – CPTV   – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “The Flood of 1936, Part I” is excerpted from the program When Disaster Struck Connecticut and is part of a…


Video – When Disaster Struck: The Flood of 1936, Part 2

YouTube – CPTV – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “The Flood of 1936, Part 2” is excerpted from the program When Disaster Struck Connecticut and is part of a collection…


Video – When Disaster Struck Connecticut: The Flood of 1955

YouTube – CPTV – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “The Flood of 1955” is excerpted from the program, When Disaster Struck Connecticut, and is part of a collection of CPTV…


Connecticut River and Mt. Holyoke Range from Mountain Park, Connecticut

The Connecticut Valley Authority That Never Was

…(CVA) found themselves swept away in the political tide that followed a disastrous flood in 1938. The Tennessee Valley Authority was one of the crown jewels of the New Deal,…


Hard Times: Governor Wilbur Cross and the Great Depression in Connecticut

…winds and coastal flooding. The Connecticut River flooded once again, inundating Hartford and other towns along its course. Downed trees and wires littered the streets. During both disasters, Governor Cross…



From natural to manmade, disasters in our state’s history help define who we are as a community. In Connecticut’s early centuries, fires were among the most frequently occurring manmade disaster….


Barkhamsted Hollow Church

A Valley Flooded to Slake the Capital Region’s Thirst

…Residents built small bridges to ford the river which flooded its banks in the spring and kept both people and farm wagons close to home. The children loved the flooding:…


Sandbags in Rockville. September 22, 1938

Hurricane of 1938: Connecticut’s Worst Disaster

By Nancy Finlay for Your Public Media Flooding in Middletown. September 22, 1938 – Connecticut Historical Society At 4:00 p.m. on September 21, the great Hurricane of 1938 made landfall…


Lithograph depicting two steamboats crashing into each other with people jumping over the sides into the water. There is text at the bottom.

Disaster on the Sound: The Collision of the Steamboats Stonington and Narragansett

…depicting John Reilly, first baseman for the Cincinnati Stars, who survived the disaster – Wikimedia Commons Terrified passengers crowded the decks of both steamboats, while both crews attempted to launch…


Middletown, Main Street

Video – When Disaster Struck: King Blizzard

YouTube – CPTV – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “King Blizzard” is excerpted from the program When Disaster Struck Connecticut and is part of a collection of CPTV original documentaries….


Video – When Disaster Struck: The 1938 Hurricane, Part 3

YouTube – CPTV – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “The 1938 Hurricane, Part 3” is excerpted from the program When Disaster Struck Connecticut and is part of a collection of…


Video – When Disaster Struck: The 1938 Hurricane, Part 2

YouTube – CPTV – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “The 1938 Hurricane, Part 2” is excerpted from the program When Disaster Struck Connecticut and is part of a collection of…


Video – When Disaster Struck: The 1938 Hurricane, Part I

YouTube – CPTV – Created by Connecticut Public Television. “The 1938 Hurricane, Part I” is excerpted from the program When Disaster Struck Connecticut and is part of a collection of…


Ruins of the Upper Dam of the Kohanza Reservoir in Danbury

Frozen Reservoir Destroys Danbury – Today in History: January 31

…Lake and Lower Kohanza Lake. While other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes, have threatened the area throughout the centuries, the 1869 deluge remains the town’s single worst disaster….


Piling sandbags, Colt dike

The Hurricane of 1938 Rocks Connecticut

…absorbed with the Munich Conference and impending war in Europe, to comprehend fully the enormity of the disaster. It is even more difficult for present generations to appreciate what William…


Flood damage to railroad tracks, Derby, 1955

Hurricanes Connie & Diane Deliver Double Hit – Who Knew?

…Ribicoff called the floods, reported in the August 20, 1955, edition of The Hartford Courant, “the worst disaster in the state’s history” and immediately declared a state of emergency. The…


Collision on the Housatonic Railroad near Bridgeport

Horror on the Housatonic: The Railroad Disaster of August 1865

By Richard C. Malley for Your Public Media Railroads rode the cutting edge of transportation technology in the 19th century and, as with any new development, certain limitations soon became…


Tariffville Train Wreck

The Tariffville Disaster – Today in History: January 15

On January 15, 1878, at about 10:00 in the evening, a span of the Tariffville Bridge gave way, plunging a Connecticut Western Railroad train into the Farmington River 20 feet…


Chamberlin Mill: A Woodstock Survivor

…history. Surviving Natural Disasters The Great Flood of 1936 permanently altered how the mill functioned. Although the building itself survived, the flood surged through the mill, damaging its penstock and…


A fire swept through the tent at the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, July 6, 1944

Hartford Circus Fire: “The Tent’s on Fire!” – Who Knew?

…that the Hartford Circus Fire may be the worst human-caused disaster ever to have taken place in Connecticut. Thursday, July 6, 1944, was hot and humid but a fine day…


New England burst its boilers off Essex, October 8, 1833

The Steamboat New England: “The shock was dreadful” – Today in History: October 8

One of Connecticut’s worst steamboat disasters occurred on the dark and stormy night of October 8, 1833, on the Connecticut River. According to Steamboat Disasters and Railroad Accidents, the New…


Rescue Scene, Hurricane, September 1938

The Great Hurricane of 1938 – Today in History: September 21

…a parked truck, September 1938 – Greenwich Historical Society Floods caused by the record rainfall of more than 8 inches put some town residents in peril. Police, fire, Red Cross…


Corporal Thomas Fox , Second Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery, B Company with his regimental flag

Disaster at Cold Harbor: Connecticut’s Second Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment

by Richard Malley Connecticut’s response to the firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln’s call for three-month volunteer troops was immediate and significant. Throughout the state, men of military age enlisted…


The boiler that fed the machinery at the Fales & Gray Car Works in Hartford exploded

Today in History – Fales & Gray Explosion Underscores Need for a Hartford Hospital

…arm was found “at some distance from the body.” Other victims were “horribly mutilated, and in some instances the bodies could scarcely be recognized.” Ellsworth Grant, in Connecticut Disasters, relates…


Combined Telegraph Key and Sounder

Learning about the Lusitania: How Hartford Heard the News

…not release information about the disaster until nearly four hours after the event. Almost 12 hours after the ship sank, the Cunard office learned that lives had, in fact, been…


Two people standing next to a large printing press

Charlton Publications: Song Lyric Printing Business to Major Player in the Comic Book Industry

…the land did not start until the 1940s. One of the first businesses to take a chance building on this flood-prone strip of land was Charlton Publications. By the late…


Bursting of the Staffordville Reservoir

Bursting of the Staffordville Reservoir – Today in History: March 27

On March 27, 1877, the Staffordville Reservoir Company’s dam burst, flooding the valley for a distance of five miles and causing the loss of two lives. The dam, on the…


Eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death: 1816, The Year Without a Summer

…season, as now.” By the end of the month frost had killed much of the corn crop. The low temperatures of the summer months of 1816 spelled disaster for Connecticuters….


Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: Connecticut Lessons from a Tragedy

…The young garment worker had not been killed in the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist fire. The disaster occurred in the New York City garment factory on March 25, 1911. One hundred…


“Appalling Calamity”: Loss of the Steamboat Lexington – Today in History: January 13, 1840

…13, 1840″ from Steamboat Disasters and Railroad Accidents in the United States by S. A. Howland, 1846. Only two miles off Eaton’s Neck, Captain George Child turned the boat toward…


Preserving an All-American Downtown in Torrington

disasters, including the Naugatuck River flood of 1955, and its ability to prosper in a time when shopping centers and strip malls lure residents into outlying areas. Torrington overcame these…


Hitchcock chairs

Built on Innovation, Saved by Nostalgia: Hitchcock Chair Company

flooded areas. Though the factory reported $100,000 in damage and lost turnings and machines, disaster assistance helped the company get back on its feet. By October 1955, Hitchcock had returned…


Bridgeport’s Catastrophic 1911 Train Wreck

…was a disaster, with twisted and crushed metal strewn about and flames shooting from several parts of the wreck. Illustration of the Federal Express Train Wreck, July 11, 1911 from…


The Collapse of the L’Ambiance Plaza

…corporation. No Charges Filed in L’Ambiance Disaster In the end the federal prosecutor in Connecticut recommended no charges be filed, stating that there was insufficient evidence on which to bring…


Detail of the Bethany Airport Hanger from the Aerial survey of Connecticut 1934

A Busy Airfield in Bethany

…at aviation regularly ended in disaster. In 1932, a plane piloted by Irving H. Merriman of Waterbury crashed near the airport—luckily the pilot escaped with little more than “a shaking.”…


Firemen work to douse the last flames of a fire that swept through Gulliver's Restaurant

Deadly Fire at Gulliver’s – Today in History: June 30

…of the American Red Cross sent an emergency unit with a fully trained Red Cross first aid disaster team as well as a canteen service to provide food and coffee….


Clown with bucket

The Hartford Circus Fire – Today in History: July 6

…almost 7,000 people, a fire broke out and spread through the Big Top. Called the worst disaster in Hartford’s history, the fire killed 168 and injured 487, including many children….


Park Central Hotel disaster

Park Central Hotel Boiler Explosion – Today in History: February 18

…Hartford citizens, insurance company presidents, and politicians arose in common voice to demand stricter building inspection. Hartford hotel disaster, 54 High Street, Hartford, February 17, 1889 – Connecticut Historical Society…


Fire at Cos Cob School, Roberta Lindstrom, photographer

Fire Ravages Cos Cob School – Today in History: July 29

…were treated for heat exhaustion by Greenwich Emergency Medical Services (GEMS). Police regulated the traffic on the Post Road. The Cos Cob Ladies Auxiliary, Red Cross Disaster Service, and local…


New York and New Haven Railroad train bound from Manhattan

Misread Signal Leads to Deadly South Norwalk Train Wreck – Who Knew?

…appeared as part of the article “What a Disaster!” in Connecticut Explored (formerly Hog River Journal) Vol. 9/ No. 4, Fall 2011. Note: does not edit content originally published…


February 2, 1902, a fire broke out at Reid & Hughes dry goods store in Waterbury

Six Cities Respond to 1902 Waterbury Fire – Who Knew?

…2011, and Elizabeth Normen, the magazine’s publisher. © Connecticut Explored. All rights reserved. This passage originally appeared as part of the article “What a Disaster!” in Connecticut Explored (formerly Hog…


Collapse of the Mianus River Bridge

Mianus River Bridge Collapses – Today in History: June 28

…the extent of the disaster. One unnamed hero, a man journeying home to Atlanta with his wife, had, upon spotting the collapse, exited his car and waved traffic to a…


The White Mountain Express, traveling 50 miles per hour went off the track in Greenwich

The White Mountain Express Derails in Greenwich

…strangers by the score and the hundred answered the call.” Throughout its history, the Town of Greenwich has seen many emergencies and disasters. Each experience caused the town to reexamine…


View of the Hartford Civic Center roof, which collapsed on January 18, 1978

Almost a Tragedy: The Collapse of the Hartford Civic Center

By Ben Gammell for Your Public Media Talk about close calls. It could have been the worst disaster in Connecticut history. On January 17, 1978, a Tuesday evening, 4,746 basketball…


Eighty-Five Hundred Souls: the 1918-1919 Flu Epidemic in Connecticut

…of the deadliest natural disasters in history. World War I certainly contributed to the pandemic. The first wave of flu, in the spring of 1918, appeared in Fort Riley, Kansas,…


The Hartford Circus Fire

…No one had any idea they were about to play a part in one of the worst disasters in Connecticut history. Following a performance by the French lion tamer, Alfred…


The Middlesex Quarry, Portland

Portland Puts Its Stamp on an Architectural Era

…US shores during this period. Additionally, such ornate structures as the mansions of Senator James Flood in San Francisco, William H. Vanderbilt in New York, and George Pullman in Chicago,…


The Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. Miss Rose Meers, the Greatest living lady rider

P. T. Barnum: An Entertaining Life

…greatest curiosity in the world,” according to Raymund Fitzsimons in his book Barnum in London. He flooded the New York area with posters and advertisements. When interest in Heth began…


Interior West Cornwall Covered Bridge

West Cornwall Covered Bridge: An Icon of New England Craftsmanship

…for almost 150 years. Attempts to build bridges at the site go back as far as 1762, but local ice storms and floods, like the Flood of 1837, claimed these…


The Danbury Hatters

…years later. This led to the worst flood in Danbury’s history when the icy reservoir broke through the dams in 1869 and poured millions of gallons of water through residential…


Candlewood Lake construction

Creating Candlewood Lake – Today in History: July 15

…months to complete the construction of Connecticut’s largest lake including the building of the dam and the flooding of the 5,420 acres of farmland, forests, and the small community of…


Brass City/Grass Roots: Food Marketing and Processing as Part of Civic Culture

…Main Street – Photo courtesy of Tony Calli, click to enlarge The Becces built this slaughterhouse on their Farmwood Road farm. After the flood of ’55, the Porzios rented and…


The Collins Company Dry Grinding Department, Collinsville

World-renowned Maker of Axes: The Collins Company of Canton

…high-quality axes, new orders flooded in. Soon, the company hired workers from Connecticut and surrounding states to meet the demand. As the number of laborers grew, the company built housing…


Steam tugboat J. W. Coultston, ca.1890s

The Great River: Connecticut’s Main Stream

…Connecticut occasionally posed major challenges: the normally placid river could turn deadly if weather events like annual spring freshets or the occasional hurricane triggered severe flooding. Dikes and other expensive…


Reeling Warp, Silk Industry, South Manchester

Picture This: Seeing Connecticut in 3-D

…An entire series taken in 1914 shows the process of weaving and dying silk at the Cheney Silk Factory in Manchester. Natural disasters were popular, with many pictures of events…


Ruins of commercial buildings on Grand Street, Waterbury

Waterbury Burns – Today in History: February 2

High Winds Whipped Waterbury Fire On the evening of February 2, 1902, and into the morning of February 3, nearly all of Waterbury’s downtown district was destroyed by one of…


An Orderly & Decent Government: Searching for the Common Good, 1965-Now

Cities in Transition Hartford’s Front Street neighborhood is leveled to make way for Constitution Plaza In the late 1950s an alliance of legislators, urban planners and corporate leaders lobbied successfully…


Thomas Jefferson and the Embargo of 1807

Connecticut and the Embargo Act of 1807

…They had opposed Jefferson from the beginning and considered the embargo both a mistake and a disaster. Some sought to evade the unpopular act, smuggling British goods from Canada using…


Ruins of North College, Wesleyan University, Middletown

Fire at Wesleyan’s North College – Today in History: March 1

On March 1, 1906, North College at Wesleyan University in Middletown was destroyed by fire. Built in 1825 by the American Literary, Scientific, and Military College established by Captain Alden…


Computer generation of a hurricane over the northeast United States

Hurricane Gloria: “Storm of the Century”

On September 16, 1985, a Cape Verde tropical storm originated off the African coast. By the time it reached the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center labeled it a Category 4…


Climax Fuse Company, 1899

Avon Industry: From Underground to Outerspace

…new enterprise the Climax Fuse Company and made Albert Andrews its first president. Growth, Disaster, and Diversification Climax Fuse Company, 1908 – Avon Free Public Library and the Treasures of…


Red Cross Headquarters, Hurricane of 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane Hits Connecticut

By Patrick J. Mahoney In September 1944, ongoing news of World War II gripped headlines across the United States. On eastern shores, coast watchers and residents remained vigilant in their…


Aetna Helps Make Hartford “The Insurance Capital of the World”

By Patrick J. Mahoney During the 19th century, a number of insurance companies established their headquarters in the city of Hartford, earning it the nickname, the “Insurance Capital of the…


The Surprising Prevalence of Earthquake Activity in Connecticut

While often not associated with the typical West-Coast imagery that comes with reports of earthquake activity, Connecticut has a surprisingly under-appreciated history of seismic disturbances. The majority of significant earthquake…


Civic Center Collapse

Civic Center Roof Collapses – Today in History: January 18

On January 18, 1978, at about 4:20 in the morning, the Hartford Civic Center roof collapsed. Ten days of bad weather coupled with a snowstorm the prior evening were responsible…


Aunt Polly and Its Preservation

Screen actor, director, and playwright William Gillette owned a houseboat he named Aunt Polly, supposedly after a woman who once cared for him when he was ill. The 144-foot steamship,…


Fire at G. Fox & Co., Main Street, Hartford

G. Fox & Co. Destroyed by Fire – Today in History: January 29

On January 29, 1917, at about 11:00 pm, watchmen discovered a fire on the ground floor of the G. Fox & Co. building complex located on Main Street in Hartford….


Smoke billows from Hartford Hospital

The 1961 Hartford Hospital Fire

By Elizabeth Correia On December 8, 1961, the casual disposal of a cigarette spread raging flames and deadly smoke through Hartford Hospital. The fire ravaged the ninth floor and killed…


Second Congregational Church, Greenwich

Bucket Brigade to the Rescue – Today in History: September 12

On September 12, 1873, the bell in the Episcopal Church rang the cry—Mr. Bailey’s carriage house, located in the center of town, was on fire. It soon became clear that…


Waterbury, Bank Street. After the Great Blizzard

The Blizzard of 1888 – Today in History: March 11

On Sunday, March 11, 1888, a blizzard came unexpectedly to the northeastern United States. A cloudy and rainy day toward the end of winter took a turn for the worse…


Waterbury Tornado – Today in History: May 24

On May 24, 1962, a tornado hit the towns of Waterbury, Wolcott, and Southington. One person was killed by a falling tree and at least 39 others were injured. The…


Detail from a map of Hayt

Ebenezer Bassett’s Historic Journey

…Haiti, the former Pearl of the Antilles, had fallen into a pattern of disaster after disaster, facing revolution, revolt, and civil war followed by famine, disease, earthquake, and hurricanes. When…


Greenwich Emergency Responders: On the Move Overtime

1779 General Putnam rides down today’s Put’s Hill to rally support in Stamford in an effort to rescue the Town of Greenwich from the invasion of British troops. 1903 Glenville’s…


Height of the fire on Greenwich Avenue February 22, 1936

The Greenwich Avenue Fires of 1908 and 1936 Sparked Upgrades to Town’s Emergency Services

By Karen Frederick and Anne Young On July 17, 1908, the day following the White Mountain Express train wreck, the most disastrous fire on Greenwich Avenue since 1900 broke out….


Fire Bucket

Firefighters Answer the Call in Greenwich

By Karen Frederick and Anne Young In 1879 Greenwich’s first fire department was organized—Amogerone Engine, Hook, Ladder and Hose Company, No. 1. (Prior to 1879, residents and businesses relied on…


Detail of the Town Hall, Public Library, and Fire Department and the Bristol Manufacturing Company

The Plainville Town Hall Catches Fire

Built in 1890, the three-story Plainville Town Hall quickly became the center of daily life in town. Housing the library, police department, and fire department, as well as offices for,…


Steamer City of Hartford

A Night to Remember: When the Steamboat Took on the Railroad—and Lost

By Richard C. Malley for Your Public Media Steam power captivated the popular imagination in the 19th century. Regular steam navigation on the Connecticut River dates back to the early…


Union Station during the Fire of February 21, 1914

Fire and Ice: A Very Bad Week in 1914

By Bethany Gallant for Your Public Media Hartford’s Union Station, completed in 1889, acts as downtown’s western boundary and is the visual transition point between the business district and the…


East Thompson train wreck, December 4, 1891

The Day Four Trains Collided in East Thompson

Thompson, Connecticut, was the site of one of the most horrific railway accidents in American history. The catastrophe claimed the lives of two railway workers, injured hundreds of passengers, and…


Blizzard of 1888 - Hartford, corner of Main Street and State Street

Blizzard of 1888 Devastates State

By Jeannine Henderson-Shifflett Sunday, March 11, began as an unseasonably warm day but, as the day turned to evening, the weather turned colder. As the snow started to fall, optimistic…


Hamilton Wrecks Aeroplane – Today in History: April 22

On April 22, 1911, aviation pioneer Charles Hamilton crashed his brand new, all white, biplane the “Moth” at Andrews Field in New Britain. Hamilton, a New Britain native, began his…


Armory Fire

Colt Armory Burns – Today in History: February 4

On February 4, 1864, most of Colt’s East Armory burned to the ground. Located in Hartford on the Connecticut River, the Armory complex covered 260 acres and consisted of forge…


Meriden town hall during renovation, 1890

Meriden Town Hall Burns Down – Today in History: February 14

On February 14, 1904, Meriden’s town hall burned to the ground. In total, the fire caused $130,000 in damages and injured 6 firefighters. Started by what authorities think were crossed…


The New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1979

New Haven Coliseum Imploded – Today in History: January 20

On January 20, 2007, the 35-year-old New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum—better known as the New Haven Coliseum—met its end at approximately 8 o’clock in the morning as crews imploded the…


Hazard's Electric Gunpowder, Hazard Powder Company

Colonel Augustus G. Hazard, Gunpowder Manufacturer – Who Knew?

…that Connecticut resident, Augustus G. Hazard owned and operated over 100 gunpowder mills in the Hazardville section of Enfield. Born in Kingston, Rhode Island, at the turn of the 19th…


Downed tree after the tornado at Wallingford

The Great Wallingford Tornado – Today in History: August 9

On August 9, 1878, a tornado swept from west to east across the northern part of Wallingford. The most destructive tornado to ever have struck the state, it cut a…


Fuller Brush building following collapse of tower

Fuller Brush Tower Collapses – Today in History: March 31

Fuller Brush building following collapse of tower, 1080 Windsor Avenue, Hartford – Connecticut Historical Society On March 31, 1923, a 56,000-gallon water tank dropped through 4 concrete floors of the…


The City of Hartford steamboat after collision with railroad bridge

Steamboat Accident – Today in History: March 29

On March 29, 1876, the steamboat City of Hartford, of the New York and Hartford steamboat line, hit the Air Line Railroad Bridge on the Connecticut River at Middletown carrying…


Ensign, Bickford & Company fuse factory campus, ca. late 1800s

The Steady Evolution of a Connecticut Family Business

By Dawn Byron Hutchins Joseph Toy, his wife, and their three children arrived in New York City from England on a mid-August day in 1839 on a mission for his…


An Orderly & Decent Government: A Clash of Cultures, 1888-1905

In the last decades of the 19th century, Connecticut was transformed by a massive flood of immigrants fleeing the political and economic instability of Europe in search of a better…


Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company

Samuel Colt: From Yankee Peddler to American Tycoon

…spring flooding, and considered of little value. Eventually Colt acquired 250 acres of property there and erected an armory of Portland brownstone. On top of the armory he raised an…


Mayor's Council Armenian Group, Hartford, 1920

Building an Armenian Community in New Britain

…Headline from the Hartford Courant, Jan. 13, 1924 – Connecticut State Library In many ways, New Britain’s Armenians were like other immigrants who flooded Connecticut’s cities in the late 19th…


Bridge on the grounds of Gillette's Castle

A Public Responsibility: Conservation and Development in the 20th Century

…The need for such work was pressing. The Connecticut River flood in 1936 and the Great Hurricane of ’38 devastated vast parts of a landscape already scarred by decades of…


Portland Passenger Bridge, ca. 1906

The Longest Highway Drawbridge – Who Knew?

…River on April 12, 1896, the day that the bridge officially opened. Badly damaged in the 1936 flood, the Arrigoni bridge, opened in 1938, replacing the Middletown and Portland Bridge….


Dr. Sheffield's creme dentifrice box

Aristocratic Dental Cream Gets Squeezed

…of oral hygiene. In the late 19th century, numerous companies flooded the toothpaste market with products available in a variety of different jars—into which all members of a family might…


Panoramic view of Bushnell Park, Hartford

Land Purchase Becomes Bushnell Park – Today in History: January 5

…others, and continued well into the 20th century. In the 1940s, after years of flooding and damage to the city, municipal engineers buried the Park River in underground channels and…


Elizabeth W. Coe Demands the Right of Jury Service

…urged attendees to flood their representatives with messages demanding women be allowed on juries and reminded all that the ballot was a powerful weapon in the fight to change the…


Nurses getting water at Base Hospital No.21, Rouen. This unit supported the British Expeditionary Force

Ruth Hovey: Heroic Battlefield Nurse

…patients. This young nurse relied on the expertise she gained from her months near the Western Front, skillfully treating the injured who flooded the busy operating room throughout the night….


Sign for the Temperance Hotel, ca. 1826-1842

Hope for the West: The Life and Mission of Lyman Beecher

…prosperity, is coming in upon us like a flood; and if anything shall defeat the hopes of the world, which hand upon our experiment of civil liberty, it is that…


Grey plaque dedicated to Moses Wheeler with the names of the Connecticut governor and state highway commissioner in 1962

Moses Wheeler: Legendary Housatonic Ferryman

…He had to ably carry passengers through a half-mile channel, often consisting of strong currents, floods, and stormy winds. His ferries—which he built himself to accommodate up to four people…


View of the Colt Factory from Dutch Point

The Colt Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company

…very low price (because of its susceptibility to flooding) and built a two-mile-long dike to protect his operations from the river. Samuel Colt’s London factory on the banks of the…


Barn, West Hartland, Hartland


…in the Hartland Hollow area and neighboring Barkhamsted. In time, the MDC built the Saville Dam, flooded the valley and created Barkhamsted Reservoir. Hartland natives who’ve made history include Asher…


John Brown: A Portrait of Violent Abolitionism

…voters to decide whether they wanted to make slavery legal or illegal in those territories, sparked a flood of migration to the area by both pro-slavery and “Free State” supporters….


Little-Laurel Lime Ridge, Seymour


…pens. The Day Company eventually became the Bic Pen Company. Largely destroyed by the flood of 1955, Seymour has evolved from an active factory town to a quiet residential community….


Ida Tarbell: The Woman Who Took On Standard Oil

…her graduation. After returning to Pennsylvania, Tarbell met Theodore L. Flood, editor of the Chautauquan, a magazine published in nearby Meadville, Pennsylvania as part of the educational and social movement,…


“’No Taxation without Representation’: Black Voting in Connecticut

…the new state constitution of 1818, Connecticut enacted laws that restricted voting to white adult males. Petitions protesting these restrictions flooded the state General Assembly, but all were summarily rejected….


Constitution Plaza Then and Now

…supported these projects. Considered a slum due to damage from flooding in the 1930s and a lack of general maintenance, Hartford’s East Side (which included the Front Street and Market…


Detail from Puck magazine, "It costs money to fix things" - C P Huntington

Collis P. Huntington: The Boy from Poverty Hollow

…of his mother fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1960. At about the same time, the Army Corps of Engineers acquired Poverty Hollow for a flood control project….


Postwar United States 1945-1970s

…over women’s reproductive rights, while racially charged riots brought life in major cities, such as Hartford, to an alarming standstill. Despite a terrible flood in 1955, Connecticut expanded its infrastructure…


Advertisement for Isaac Doolittle's bell foundry

Early Church Bell Founders

…during this period: to summon the worshippers to weekly church services; announce births, weddings, deaths, or executions; indicate the time of day and curfew; sound alarms for fires, floods, and…


James Trenchard, View from the Green Woods towards Canaan and Salisbury, in Connecticut

Dynamic Tensions: Conservation and Development up to the 1920s

…year for shelter, furnishings, clothes, and fuel, often in open fireplaces. Forest clearing increased flooding and altered stream flows, creating droughts in other areas. Without leaves to catch rainfall, swampy…


Hat-factory With Hose-house On The Hill, Danbury

Rivers of Outrage

…as their millponds filled up with sewage. Farm fields were fouled when rivers flooded, and cattle developed rashes after wading into polluted streams. Odors carried far downstream, crossing town boundaries….


An Orderly & Decent Government: Significant Events & Developments, 1905-1929

…on to Washington. War in Europe greatly stimulated the Connecticut economy as contracts from the European combatants flooded into the state’s brass industry and arms makers. American entry in the…


Globe Onion

The Many Layers to Onion Farming in Westport

…from Westport and the surrounding area once flooded the markets of New York. By Ship and Rail, Connecticut Onions Head to Market Around the time of the Civil War, the…


Late 19th century Christmas postcards

Sending Season’s Greetings: Christmas Cards in Connecticut

…this little Connecticut town was renowned as the Christmas-card center of the world. American printers faced constant competition from German and English Christmas card manufacturers whose lower-priced products flooded the…


Lake Pocotopaug, East Hampton

Lake Pocotopaug Shapes the Growth of East Hampton

…heavy rains and melting snow caused an entirely different problem, as the lake flooded downstream manufacturing facilities. Throughout much of the 20th century, hotels and casinos along the waterfront drew…


Squantz Pond State Park, New Fairfield

New Fairfield

…early residents farmed and maintained small enterprises. The heavily wooded terrain of its Big Basin area supported a modest timber industry until the 1920s when Connecticut Light & Power flooded…


Vegetable cart in Charles Street Market, Hartford

Hartford’s “Little Italy”

…the stoops of their buildings and interacted with one another. However, major floods in the 1930s brought destruction to the neighborhood. Soon, city planners saw the Front Street neighborhood as…


Elm Arcade, Temple Street, New Haven

A Beautiful and Goodly Tree: The Rise and Fall of the American Elm

…elm is native to eastern North America and grows naturally in flood plains and other wet areas. By the early 1900s, elms were being widely planted throughout the state as…


Naugatuck Railroad Station

Henry Bacon Helps Beautify Naugatuck

…classical marble railings for the shallow arched span were lost in the 1955 flood. Henry Bacon’s railroad station now houses the Naugatuck Historical Society Museum. Editor’s Note: A similar version…


Moor's Charity School, Columbia


…Industry also created Columbia Lake to fuel its power needs when, in 1865, the American Linen Company of Willimantic flooded meadowland it had purchased from Columbia. Today, this water shed…


David Bushnell and his Revolutionary Submarine

…experienced artisans and crafters. Bushnell’s American turtle – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division To raise and submerge the vessel, the operator flooded the air-filled chamber with water, making…


Hammonasset Beach State Park

Hammonasset State Park Serves the State and its Residents

…rash of hurricanes and flooding brought significant damage to the area; so in 1955, the state appropriated $50,000 for cleaning and restoring Hammonasset State Park. That same year, trucks carrying…


HMS Resolution and Discovery in Tahiti

John Ledyard, Connecticut’s Most Famous Traveler

…a journey of about 4,000 miles. Extreme heat, bitter cold, dust, and flooded roads didn’t stop him, but the Russian authorities did. They were suspicious that his real purpose was…


Mead Memorial Park, New Canaan

Summer Crowds Flocked to New Canaan and Stayed

…in 1897. With all these modern amenities in place, the flood of New Yorkers arriving in New Canaan reached a crescendo in the late 19th century. In the early 1900s,…


Anna Louise James seated, with a cat on her lap

Miss James, First Woman Pharmacist in CT Right in Old Saybrook

…hospitality, and compassion. When she retired in 1967 she closed the pharmacy but continued to live upstairs until her death in 1977. Condolences flooded in to her nieces along with…


David Humphreys

David Humphreys, Soldier, Statesman, and Agricultural Innovator

…industry faltered when British imports again flooded the market after the close of the War of 1812. Sleep values depreciated and many fledgling mills failed. But Merino sheep endured in…


Spillway and bridge near Saville Dam, Barkhamsted

Barkhamsted Reservoir Construction Washes Away a Community

…1940 and named after chief engineer Caleb Mills Saville, held the water in place. A two-story frame house in the Hartland Hollow area which was flooded when the Barkhamsted Reservoir…


Shipbuilding at Gildersleeve Ship Construction Co., Portland

The Gildersleeve Shipbuilding Legacy in Portland

…of other occupations ensuring that when the Connecticut River flood of 1936 brought devastation to local industries—and thus an end to the Golden Age of shipbuilding in Portland—the Gildersleeve name…


University of Connecticut, Commencement

UConn and the Evolution of a Public University

…march toward a vast expansion of public universities throughout the nation. Veterans flooded the halls of academe and, from 1946 to 1950, the school opened a special campus for them…


Bigelow Tea–A Connecticut Tea Party

…caused by the Flood of 1955. Today, R. C. Bigelow Inc. operates out of Fairfield, Connecticut, and is a widely recognized leader in the specialty tea market. Learn More in…


Lantern Hill

Breaking the Myth of the Unmanaged Landscape

…cleared, irrigated, tilled, pruned, transplanted, selectively harvested (hunted, fished, trapped, and gathered), sowed, weeded, dammed, and burned. These management techniques are human replications of natural disturbances—flooding, wind shear, erosion, and…


Camp of the 13th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

What’s in a Number? Connecticut’s Thirteenth Regiment Goes Off to War

By Richard Malley Following the Union disaster at Bull Run in July 1861 additional regiments were raised throughout the north to continue the struggle. Among these was Connecticut’s Thirteenth Volunteer…


Map detail of an island

The “Welcoming Beacon” of Sheffield Island Lighthouse

…tenure as lightkeeper, the island’s residents witnessed one of the worst marine disasters in history. In January 1840, when the steamship Lexington cruised toward the Sheffield Island lighthouse, gusts of…


ARRL station W1MK at Brainerd Field

Amateur Radio Comes of Age in Connecticut

…such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, town disaster teams, and Connecticut Light & Power. QSL card 1AW – Hiram P. Maxim’s radio callsign was…


Total eclipse of the sun, Willimantic vicinity, January 24, 1925

A Total Eclipse of the Sun – Today in History: January 24

…eclipses are no longer regarded, as by the ancients and savages, as auguries of war and disaster, but as opportunities for scientific research, fraught with the possibilities of new fields…


Trolley interior, Branford Electric Railway - Trolley Museum

Branford Gets On the Trolley

…of damaging natural disasters proved prohibitive to cost-effective operation. The combination of all these factors led the Connecticut Company (owners of the Branford line) to discontinue service in 1947. The…


Winter: Connecticut Valley by Dwight William Tryon

An Artist’s Life in Hartford: The Early Career of Dwight Tryon

…a garret.” Twitchell, too, predicted disaster if Tryon gave up business for art, but the young man persisted. The Cheney family, owners of Cheney Brothers Manufacturing Company, a vast complex…


The Thimble Islands – Little Islands with a Big History

The Thimble Islands are a chain of 365 islands in Stony Creek Harbor off the southeast coast of Branford in Long Island Sound. This archipelago was first recorded as “Thimble…


John Warner Barber, Public square or green, in New Haven

A Separate Place: The New Haven Colony, 1638-1665

…essentially confirmed Connecticut’s Fundamental Orders and established very broad territorial boundaries for the colony. From the New Haven point of view, the Charter of 1662 was a disaster: by its…


Digging out from the Blizzard '88

Blizzard of ’88 Shuts Greenwich Off from Outside World

…strangers by the score and the hundred answered the call.” Throughout its history, the Town of Greenwich has seen many emergencies and disasters. Each experience caused the town to reexamine…


Crew of the Whaling Schooner, Margaret

Crew of the Whaling Schooner Margaret 1907

…Civil War and various arctic disasters were discouraging. In addition, there were clearly a declining number of whales in accessible waters. Because of the combination of these factors, the industry…


Policeman, ca. 1905

Enforcing Law and Order in Greenwich

…needs, disaster response coordination, and terrorism prevention. Many of today’s recruits have a four-year college degree as well as additional graduate education. The police of the Town of Greenwich work…


Francis Ingals, Chaffinch Island, Guilford

Guilford’s One-Man Fire Department

By Gregg Mangan In the early decades of the 20th century, the town of Guilford had a fire department stationed on Chaffinch Island. Credited by the Chief of the New…


Warren Congregational Church

Warren Congregational Church, a Longstanding Community Center

…does not fall into the dilapidated state of its predecessor, while other fundraising activities support families affected by natural disasters, provide educational opportunities for women, and support famine-relief efforts worldwide….


Contagious Ward, Greenwich General Hospital, 1916

Health Department Fights Unseen Enemies During World War I

…1918: Spanish Influenza In 1918 Spanish influenza, a major disaster in world history, hit Greenwich. The first notice appeared in The Greenwich News and Graphic on September 20, 1918: “Health…


The southeast block of West Street, Litchfield as it looked in the Civil War era, 1867

The Peace Movement in Litchfield

…into the Federal Service . . . the reports of Hospital Surgeons and the medical press have shown the disasters which have resulted from mustering men having ‘Hernia, Varcicle, [sic]…


Laboring in the Shade

…placed an ad in the New York World in December 1915 for 500 girls to work as sorters, offering free transportation. This led to a public relations disaster. Emmett J….


Detail from View of Essex, Centerbrook & Ivoryton, Conn. 1881

The British Raid on Essex

…vessels that had been destroyed. The prevailing local attitude was that the disaster had resulted from the federal government’s total neglect of its duty to protect this important shipbuilding community….


Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station

The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918

By David Drury The greatest epidemic in human history, the so-called Spanish flu of 1918, killed tens of millions of people worldwide. Some recent estimates have placed the death toll…


Section of a handwritten document

Black Loyalist Refugees: Toney Escapes During the Burning of Fairfield

By Alec Lurie When English warships landed at Fairfield’s Kenzie’s Point in July 1779, townspeople knew disaster was in store for coastal Connecticut. Some, however, saw British flags as a…




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