The city of Bristol, located in Hartford County, is in central Connecticut and has several distinct sections within its boundaries, including Forestville and Edgewood. Originally an agricultural village called New Cambridge, the town was incorporated in 1785 and given the name Bristol. In the mid-19th century, the town flourished with the rise of manufacturing companies like J.H. Sessions and Son and Ingraham Clocks. It incorporated as a city in 1911. Today, Bristol is mostly residential and best known as the home of ESPN, the American Clock & Watch Museum, and Lake Compounce, America’s oldest operating theme park.

More on Bristol from the CT Digital Archive

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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.  …[more]

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“American Clock & Watch Museum,” 2017. Link.
“Bristol Historical Society,” 2017. Link.
Bristol Public Library. “Bristol History Room,” 2017. Link.
“Lake Compounce,” 2017. Link.
“The Carousel Museum,” 2017. Link.


“Bird’s Eye View of Bristol, Conn.” Bird’s-eye Map. New York, NY: Hughes & Bailey, 1907. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
“Bristol Collection.” Connecticut Digital Archive, n.d. Link.
Norris, George E. “Bristol, Conn. Looking North-East.” Bird’s-eye Map. Brockton, MA: George E. Norris, 1889. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Google News Archive. “Digitized Historic Newspapers  - Bristol Herald (1888-1901),” 2016. Link.
Woodford, E. M. “Map of the Town of Bristol, Hartford County, Conn. from Original Surveys by E.M. Woodford, Surveyor.” Philadelphia, PA: Richard Clark, 1852. Connecticut Historical Society. Link.
Jerome, Noble. Patent Number 1,200 - Striking Part Of Clocks. 1,200. Bristol, CT, issued June 27, 1839. Link.
Rockwell, Hugh M., and Stanley P. Rockwell. Patent Number 1,294,171 - Hardness Tester. 1,294,171. Bristol, CT, issued February 11, 1919. Link.


Peck, Epaphroditus. A History of Bristol, Connecticut. Hartford, CT: Lewis Street Bookshop, 1932.
Leach, Gail. Bristol. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 2001.
Russell, Lynda. Bristol Business and Industry. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 2010.
Smith, Eddy, George Benton Smith, and Allena J. Dates. Bristol, Connecticut: “In the Olden Time New Cambridge”, Which Includes Forestville. Hartford, CT: City Printing Company, 1907. Link.
Clouette, Bruce, and Matthew Roth. Bristol, Connecticut: A Bicentennial History, 1785-1985. Canaan, NH: Bristol Public Library, 1984.
Russell, Lynda. Lake Compounce. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 2008.
Beals, Carleton. Our Yankee Heritage: The Making of Bristol. Bristol, CT: Bristol Public Library Association, 1954. Link.