Header image of Bushnell Park

Newsletter | May 10, 2023

Facebook  Instagram  Web  Email
Question mark over HartfordHistory.net logo

Trivia question

The Governor’s Residence, known informally as the governor’s mansion, is located at 990 Prospect Avenue. Though built in 1909, it didn't become a state property until the 1940s. Who was the original owner?

See the end of the newsletter for the answer.

Downtown library closed for summer

The Hartford Public Library announced on its Facebook page that the downtown branch, which contains the Hartford History Center, will remain closed through the summer to repair the water damage caused by a burst pipe on Christmas Eve. Some Center resources remain available online, and there's the new Center Annex at the Ropkins branch.

'Goodwin's Wild' called endangered

The Hartford Preservation Alliance has placed "Goodwin's Wild," a rare historic forest straddling the Asylum Hill and West End neighborhoods, on its endangered sites list. "Incredibly," the HPA says, "there are trees in Goodwin’s Wilds* that date to before the Revolutionary War, making it, along with the Ancient Burying Ground and the South Green, one of the oldest historic sites in Hartford." Visit the HPA website for the full announcement and related resources, including maps.

*Is it "Wild" or "Wilds"? You tell me.

'Today in Connecticut History'

This excellent series, run by the Office of the Connecticut State Historian and CT Humanities, has had several Hartford-related items over the past few weeks:

May 4: Landscape Art for an Industrializing Country

Celebrating the birthday of Hartford-born landscape artist Frederic Church.

May 1: The Deadly Pequot War Begins

The war included an attack on Wethersfield and ended with the Treaty of Hartford.

April 30: Trick Play: The Patriots Passed Before the First Kickoff

In 1998, Gov. John Rowland negotiated a deal to build a new stadium for pro football’s New England Patriots. We all know how that turned out...


Graphic designer and illustrator Peter Good created hundreds of logos for organizations around the world, including the Mark Twain House and Museum, the University of Connecticut, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. But when he died at his home in Chester on May 2, at age 80, he was remembered especially for designing the classic Hartford Whalers logo.

More: Legacy.com | Connecticut Public| CT Insider | NBC Connecticut (video)

Trivia question answer

Image credit: State of Connecticut

The Governor’s Residence was built for Hartford physician-turned-industrialist George C.F. Williams, best known as president of the Capewell Horse Nail Company on Charter Oak Avenue. Williams’ wealth supposedly led friends to joke that “C.F.” stood for “Comfortably Fixed.”

Williams died in 1933. Except for some use as a Hartford Hospital convalescence unit, his house went vacant for several years before the state acquired it. Raymond E. Baldwin was the first governor to be handed the keys, in 1945. But Baldwin's wife, Edith, refused to move in, upset with what she found there. For the rest of that story and more about the Residence, visit the state website.

The “C.F.” anecdote comes from “Structures and Styles: Guided Tours of Hartford Architecture,” written by Gregory E. Andrews and David F. Ransom and published in 1988 by the Connecticut Historical Society and the Connecticut Architecture Foundation.

More trivia questions at HartfordHistory.net