Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian Feast

The greased pole contest is a popular feature at the annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian Feast, held every summer in Enfield. The prizes at the top for the winners included Italian cheese, meats, and cash. (PATRICK RAYCRAFT/THE HARTFORD COURANT / August 27, 2010)

HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: Said to be named after the Middlesex suburb north of London. The area was previously called Freshwater.


ORIGINS: The area was settled about 1680 by people from Salem, Mass., and made part of Springfield. It was named and incorporated by Massachusetts in 1683. Enfield was annexed to Connecticut in 1749 after it was determined that a surveyor's error had put the land under Massachusetts jurisdiction.


DID YOU KNOW? The country's first packaged seed business was started in 1802 by the Shakers, a religious sect who had established a village in Enfield in 1792. The Shaker community had more than 200 members at its peak. Numbers dwindled in the late 19th century, however, and just eight members were left when the group disbanded in 1917. Today, Enfield Correctional Institution occupies some of the old Shaker land.


SOURCES: Connecticut Place Names; Connecticut Firsts; Enfield Historical Society website