Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam

The town of East Haddam is located in eastern Middlesex County on the Connecticut River and was once called Machimoodus or the place of noises by the native peoples. In 1662, settlers purchased the land for 30 coats, and the first permanent European residents established homesteads in 1685. In 1734 the town of East Haddam broke from Haddam and incorporated. Early commerce and industry included timber farming, shipbuilding, tanneries, and blacksmiths, and by the mid- 1800s retail shops, taverns, and mills proliferated in the area. Today, the town is home to the Goodspeed Opera House, a destination for theater-goers, and Gillette Castle, a Connecticut state park.

More on East Haddam from the CT Digital Archive

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View of East Haddam. Connecticut. And Goodspeed's Landing

A Bird’s-eye View of East Haddam

In 1880, East Haddam was already a popular tourist destination and, despite its small size, boasted two steamboat landings to accommodate visitors. …[more]

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CT Landmarks. “Amasa Day House,” 2016. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Devil’s Hopyard State Park,” 2016. Link.
“East Haddam Historical Society & Museum,” 2017. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Gillette Castle State Park,” 2017. Link.
“Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam,” 2016. Link.
Rathbun Free Memorial Library. “Local History: Historical & Genealogical Collections,” 2013. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Machimoodus State Park,” 2016. Link.
The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. “Nathan Hale Schoolhouse - East Haddam,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut Freedom Trail. “Venture Smith Gravesite,” 2016. Link.


Banks, Dr. Marc L., and Dr. Lucianne S. Swan. “Assessment of the Eight Mile River’s Archaeological Resources,” 2016. Link.
Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. “East Haddam - WPA Architectural Survey,” 2016. Link.
“East Haddam Collection.” Connecticut Digital Archive, n.d. Link.
O.H. Bailey & Company. “View of East Haddam. Connecticut. And Goodspeed’s Landing.” Bird’s-eye Map. Boston, MA: O.H. Bailey & Company, 1880. University of Connecticut Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
O.H. Bailey & Company. “View of Goodspeed’s Landing. Connecticut.” Bird’s-eye Map. Boston, MA: O.H. Bailey & Company, 1880. Connecticut Historical Society. Link.


Field, David. A History of the Towns of Haddam and East-Haddam. Middletown, CT: Loomis and Richards, 1814. Link.
Field, David. A Statistical Account of the County of Middlesex, in Connecticut. Middletown,  CT: Clark & Lyman, 1819. Link.
Beers, F. W. County Atlas of Middlesex, Connecticut: From Actual Surveys. New York, NY: F.W. Beers & Company, 1874. Link.
Beers, J.B., & Company, and Henry Whittemore. History of Middlesex County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men. New York, NY: J.B. Beers & Company, 1884. Link.
Brooks, Lillian. “Life Flows Along Like a River” a History of Haddam Neck. East Hampton, CT: Haddam Neck Genealogical Group, 1972.
East Haddam Historical Society, and Bruce Sievers. Mills Along the River: The History of the Cotton Industry in Moodus, Connecticut. East Haddam, CT: East Haddam Historical Society, 1985.
Niles, Hosford. The Old Chimney Stacks of East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut. New York: Lowe & Company Book and Job Printers, 1887. Link.