Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.


Connecticut RiverMark TwainHarriet Beecher StoweWadsworth Atheneum Museum of ArtSamuel ColtBushnell Park

ORIGINS: Settled in 1633 as a Dutch trading post called House of Hope. Founded in 1635 by a group of settlers from Massachusetts led by the Rev. Thomas Hooker.

NAME: Originally called Newtown, it was named Hartford in 1637 after Hertford, England.

DID YOU KNOW? Hartford is home to the country's oldest state house (1796), the oldest public art museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum (1844), and the oldest insurance company, known today as the Hartford Financial Services Group.

FAMOUS RESIDENTS: Samuel Colt, father of the modern revolver; Horace Wells, who pioneered the use of anesthesia; the authors Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe and the actress Katharine Hepburn.

MORE HARTFORD HISTORYIn 1614, Dutch mariner Adriaen Block, who was employed by the Dutch West India Co., sailed up what is now called the Connecticut River and explored an area the Indians called ``Suckiaug.'' But it was not until 1633 that another Dutchman, Jacob van Curler, bought the tract from the Pequots and established a fort and trading post, called ``House of Hope,'' at the present-day Dutch Point.

The English established a settlement at the site in 1635, calling it Newtown, and the next year, the Rev. Thomas Hooker led a group from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to settle there. The English, in 1637, renamed their settlement Hartford, after Hertford in Hertfordshire, England.

The city of Hartford, which became the capital of Connecticut, was not incorporated until 1784. The city and town were consolidated in 1896.

Hartford's form of government consists of a strong mayor as chief executive and a court of common council. One of Hartford's leading industries, insurance, started locally in the 18th century, when ship captains and merchants agreed to share risks and profits on ships' cargoes. The city's oldest active insurance concern, The Hartford, was founded in 1810. In addition, Hartford was a leading manufacturer of guns and was once known as a manufacturing center for such products as typewriters and bicycles. About 124,000 people live within Hartford's 18.4 square miles.

Among the city's landmarks are: The Old State House, Travelers Tower, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Bushnell Park, the state Capitol, the library and Legislative Office Building, the Governor's Residence, City Hall, First Congregational Church & Ancient Burying Ground, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Trinity College, Nook Farm, the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses and the Connecticut Historical Society. The Connecticut Convention Center opened in June on the banks of the Connecticut River.

Links To Your Hartford
 From The Courant• Articles By Readers
• Things To Do In Hartford
• Real Estate Listings
• Hartford Births
• Hartford Obituaries

Other Media• Hartford Magazine
• Hartford Advocate

Local Blogs• Undercurrents - Independent Media Center
• Mira Hartford
• Real Hartford
• The 40-Year Plan
• Scenic Root
• Beat Bike Blog: Riding Bicycles in Hartford Municipal Government• City of Hartford Web site
• City of Hartford Development Directory
• Hartford City Council Meeting Minutes
• Hartford Tax Assessments
• Hartford Police Department
• Hartford Fire Fighters Association
• Hartford Public Library

Schools• Hartford Public Schools
• Greater Hartford Magnet School

Clubs and Organizations• Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce
• Metro Hartford Alliance
• Wadsworth Antheneum
• The Bushnell
• Hartford Elks Lodge

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Connecticut RiverMark TwainHarriet Beecher StoweWadsworth Atheneum Museum of ArtSamuel ColtBushnell Park
  • Hopkins picked to create Ebola training tool
    Hopkins picked to create Ebola training tool

    Federal health regulators picked Johns Hopkins Medicine on Friday to lead development of a Web-based tool to train doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the protocols they should follow when treating patients with, or at risk of contracting, Ebola.

  • Retailers get ready for a brighter holiday season
    Retailers get ready for a brighter holiday season

    Consumers may be thinking more about buying candy for Halloween than gifts for the holidays right now, but food-themed tree ornaments already sprout from a display at Sur La Table in Towson Town Center.

  • Police search Towson U office of rabbi
    Police search Towson U office of rabbi

    Police searching the Towson University office of a prominent Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly recording women in a ritual bath found a backpack with an assortment of tiny cameras hidden in everyday household objects, including a computer charger, a clock and a tissue box, according to a...

  • In rare move, hands-on Ulman seeks job as No. 2
    In rare move, hands-on Ulman seeks job as No. 2

    Democrat Ken Ulman, dressed in Lucky jeans and a polo shirt, strode to the entrance of Robinson Nature Center, excited to give a tour of one of his favorite accomplishments as Howard County executive.

  • Rutherford known for 'making the trains run on time'
    Rutherford known for 'making the trains run on time'

    Boyd Rutherford was raised in a Democratic family in Democratic Northeast Washington, but the running mate of Republican Larry Hogan says he decided early on that the GOP was closer to his values.

  • Sun endorsement: Brown for governor
    Sun endorsement: Brown for governor

    Our view: The race presented a difficult choice, but we believe the lieutenant governor would be better able to enact the changes needed to maintain Md.'s prosperity