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Sports and Recreation


Ice Skates, ca. 1965

Skating Through Winter

By the 1850s, better-designed skates and interest in healthful outdoor activities made ice skating an increasingly popular leisure activity.

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NFL Great, Andy Robustelli of Stamford

Stamford native Andy Robustelli played professional football for the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants, winning several championships and individual awards over the course of his career.

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Uniform of the first rugby team at Yale

Foot Ball Match: Harvard vs. Yale – Today in History: November 13

November 13, 2019 • New Haven, Sports and Recreation

On November 13, 1875, Yale and Harvard wore the first…

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When the NFL Played in Connecticut: The Hartford Blues

In 1926, the Hartford Blues became the first and only NFL team to call Connecticut home. After a disappointing season, the NFL voted them out of the league.

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Entrance to Steeplechase Island, Bridgeport

A Unique Island Attraction in Bridgeport

When Bridgeport annexed the borough of West Stratford in 1889,…

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Testing the camping equipment on The Gunnery’s campus in Washington

Reading, Writing, and the Great Outdoors: Frederick Gunn’s School Transforms Victorian-era Education

In 1850, this educator, prominent abolitionist, and outdoorsman founded The Gunnery, a school in Washington, Connecticut.

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Connecticut State Park Picture Plan

Preserving Connecticut’s Natural Beauty: Connecticut’s First State Parks

Sherwood Island, Mount Tom, Macedonia Brook, and Kent Falls are among the earliest lands set aside for public enjoyment as the parks movement took hold in the state.

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Bridgeport’s Catastrophic 1911 Train Wreck

In the early morning hours of July 11, 1911, a train derailed in Bridgeport, killing fourteen people. Among the first responders were members of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

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1938 ad for Sperry Topsider

Boat Shoes Have Ties to Connecticut – Who Knew?

…that during a cold Connecticut winter in 1935 Paul Sperry…

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Game ball patent filed Feb. 18, 1954

Wiffle Throws a Curve in American Leisure Time

When Fairfield resident David N. Mullany created the concept for a lightweight ball, he didn’t know his invention would change the way children across the US played backyard baseball.

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Cottages on Beach Road, Fenwick, ca. 1885

Paradise on the Sound: The Summer Colony at Fenwick

The history of this Old Saybrook community includes Stick-style architecture, Katherine Hepburn, and an iconic license plate image.

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Re-creating Our National Pastime

In an era before the Internet, television, or even live…

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African American baseball team, Danbury

Swinging for the Fences: Connecticut’s Black Baseball Greats

In Connecticut, African Americans played organized baseball as early as 1868. In the years that followed, some of the game’s biggest stars played for teams throughout the state.

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The Thimble Islands – Little Islands with a Big History

While initially uninhabited because of their rocky soil, the Thimble Islands in Branford evolved into both a popular tourist destination and an exclusive residential community.

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The Boston Braves playing during spring training

Spring Training Baseball Comes to Wallingford

Spring training baseball is a tradition in the United States…

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Ice Skates, ca. 1965

Skating Through Winter

By the 1850s, better-designed skates and interest in healthful outdoor activities made ice skating an increasingly popular leisure activity.

Read

Amusement Park Rides, Danbury Fair

The Danbury Fair, 1869-1981

For almost a century the Danbury Fair thrilled people from near and far. First showcased for its agricultural achievements, it later hosted a number of popular attractions including rides, races, and entertainment. In 1981, developers purchased the fairgrounds and the land is now home to the Danbury Fair Mall.

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Hammonasset Beach State Park

Hammonasset State Park Serves the State and its Residents

Hammonasset State Park is Connecticut’s largest shoreline park. Located in…

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Battling Bat Battalino: One of Hartford’s Heroes

A tenacious and long-lasting boxer, Battalino went on to win the world professional featherweight championship.

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The “Father of American Football” is Born – Today in History: April 7

A native of New Britain, Walter Camp helped revolutionize the game of American football while a student and coach at Yale and for several years afterward.

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Scrabble tiles

Scrabble Copyrighted – Today in History: December 1

On December 1, 1948, James Brunot of Newtown copyrighted the…

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Horses crossing the finish line at Charter Oak Park

And They’re Off!: Harness Racing at Charter Oak Park

The day was cool and 10,000 spectators crowded the stands at Charter Oak Park to see a come-from-behind victory as Alcryon left the other trotters in the dust.

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A Fair to Remember in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Fair is held annually during the last weekend…

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Mead Memorial Park, New Canaan

Summer Crowds Flocked to New Canaan and Stayed

Like many towns in Connecticut, New Canaan owes much of…

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Rose Arches, Elizabeth Park

Elizabeth Park’s Rose Garden: June is Busting Out All Over

Boasting 15,000 bushes and about 800 varieties of roses, it is the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country—but it was almost plowed under in the 1970s!

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Modified Action in 1969 coming out of turn 4, Waterford Speedbowl

Waterford’s Need for Speed

The Waterford Speedbowl is a 3/8-mile oval racetrack located along…

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Postcard of Charles Island, Milford, CT

A Good Spot and a Healthy Place: A Short History of Charles Island

Before becoming a part of Silver Sands State Park, Milford’s Charles Island served as everything from a luxury resort to the home of a fertilizer factory.

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Mohawk Ski Area

Mohawk Mountain Made Snow for Winter Sports Lovers – Who Knew?

…that in the early 1950s innovative Connecticut minds created the…

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Rockwell Park Lagoon, Bristol

Mr. & Mrs. Rockwell’s Park

In 1914, bell and ball bearing manufacturer Albert Rockwell donated 80 acres of land to the city of Bristol for the creation of a public park.

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Pachaug Trail, Wiclcabouet Marsh, Voluntown

The Story of Connecticut’s Largest State Forest

Pachaug State Forest is the largest state forest in Connecticut….

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The Connecticut History Sports Challenge

Here’s a game for the truly competitive: Flex your mental…

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Horse race, Goshen Fair, 1911

Goshen Fairs Well with Agricultural Enthusiasts

The town of Goshen plays an important role in connecting…

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Pier at Savin Rock, West Haven, 1905

Savin Rock Park: “Connecticut’s Coney Island”

Savin Rock Park was a seaside resort constructed in the…

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A Pie Tin’s Soaring Sales

Tins used to hold pies at William Frisbie’s pie company in Bridgeport in the late 1800s reportedly provided the inspiration for Wham-O’s most popular toy, the Frisbee.

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The Entrance to Pope Park

Pope Park – Yesterday and Today

Once the proposed site of Albert Pope’s industrial village, Pope Park has served the recreation needs of the Hartford community for over one hundred years.

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Summer Hot Spots of Yesteryear

Sun, sand, amusements, and more lured residents and visitors alike to these destinations, many of which are still popular getaways.

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Hartford Jai Alai players, 1976

“The Basque Game in Town”: The Heyday of Jai Alai in Connecticut

Organized jai alai came to Connecticut in the 1970s, but charges of corruption, along with the emergence of Connecticut casinos, soon brought the sport to an end in the Nutmeg State.

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Video – Free-for-all Race at Charter Oak Park

A crowd of some 25,000 to 30,000 people turned out to see John R. Gentry compete for a $6,000 purse.

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Postcard of the Parking Area, Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme

Abundant Wildlife Drives the History of Rocky Neck State Park

Rocky Neck State Park is located on Long Island Sound…

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Oakdale Musical Theatre, Wallingford

The Story of the Oakdale Makes Great Theater

The legendary Oakdale Theater in Wallingford reflects over 60 years…

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Eolia, Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford

Harkness Memorial Park Offers a Glimpse into Early 20th Century Wealth

Harkness Memorial Park is a beautifully landscaped recreation area along…

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Daniel J. Hoffman, St. Louis Browns

A Real Connecticut Yankee’s Baseball Career Cut Short

Danny Hoffman’s story reminds sports fans of the fragile nature…

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Team Photo of the Danbury Alerts

Danbury Baseball History Covers All the Bases

April 4, 2016 • Danbury, Sports and Recreation

From the hometown teams to the 1903 World Series, Danbury has surprising connections to America’s favorite pastime.

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Andover Lake: A Lesson in Social Change

Constructed in the early 20th century, Andover Lake is a…

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Andrus Field 1831–1911: Athletics and the Environment

The building of Andrus Field on the campus of Wesleyan University demonstrates changes made to the built environment to meet the changing needs of a local community.

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Main Street, During Fair Week

The Great Danbury State Fair & Early 20th-Century Outdoor Advertising

In 1909, the Danbury Agricultural Society called attention to its upcoming fair in a most creative manner.

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Savin Rock Amusement Park, 1930s

Connecticut’s Youngest City – Who Knew?

… that the city of West Haven, incorporated in 1961,…

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Photograph of the Hartford Dark Blues

Diamonds of the Past: Hartford’s Lost Ball Parks

Erected in 1874, Hartford’s earliest baseball stadium was the Base Ball Grounds in Colt Park, on the corner of Wyllys Street and Hendricxsen Avenue.

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Keney Park Meadow, ca. early 1900s

The Park Movement in Hartford

The Hartford City Parks Collection comprises a rich archive, documenting Hartford’s pioneering effort to establish and maintain a viable system of municipal parks and connecting parkways between them.

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Sharon Baseball Team

Semi-Pro Baseball in Sharon – Who Knew?

…that from the 1930s until about the early 1970s, Sharon…

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Puerto Rican Festival, Hartford

Park Street Festival, Hartford 1978

Despite the exodus to the suburbs, Connecticut’s cities still retain…

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The Hermitage, Peter's Rock

Peter’s Rock: North Haven History with a View

Peter’s Rock, reaching a height of 373 feet above sea…

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Carousel

Quassy: One of the Last of the Old-Time Trolley Parks

Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury has been a staple in…

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Lake Compounce entrance, Bristol

Lake Compounce: Bringing Amusements to the State’s Residents Since 1846

Bristol’s Lake Compounce is the oldest continually operating amusement park in the US and has been open every summer since 1846.

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Lake Pocotopaug, East Hampton

Lake Pocotopaug Shapes the Growth of East Hampton

East Hampton is home to one of Connecticut’s largest inland…

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The Hartford Wheel Club, Hartford

The League of American Wheelmen and Hartford’s Albert Pope Champion the Good Roads Movement

How the 19th-century cycling craze led to improved roads and paved the way for future federal highway construction.

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Robertson Field, also known as Robertson Airport, Plainville

Plainville Has Been Flying High for Over 100 Years

The town of Plainville claims a special relationship with aviation…

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Clock tower and Sharon Inn, Sharon, ca. 1930s

The Rise of the “Second Home” Community in Sharon – Who Knew?

…that after the Civil War and through the 1930s, recreational…

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Postcard of Luna Park, Hartford

Luna Park: A 20th-century Story of Amusement and Morality

The story of Luna Park in West Hartford provides insight…

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