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Newsletter | May 3, 2024

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Trivia question

How did Tower Avenue get its name?

For the answer, see the end of this newsletter.

Events calendar

Tomorrow, May 4, many history organizations will participate in Jane’s Walk, a global festival of free, volunteer-led walking conversations inspired by community activist Jane Jacobs. He are three Hartford walks:

10 a.m.

Tracing the Steps of Hartford's First Black Church

Center Church, 675 Main St.

Designed to create a conversation about the lives and rights of African Americans in Hartford, this tour will begin at Center Church, where the African Religious Society formed in 1819, and follow the Society’s progress through an itinerant existence in the Front Street neighborhood to its eventual home at the corner of Talcott and Market streets, as the Talcott Street Church. The walk will take an estimated 60 to 75 minutes. Parking on Main Street and surrounding streets is free on weekends.

10 a.m.

Discover Cedar Hill

Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Ave.

Explore Hartford’s rural cemetery with Cedar Hill Foundation Director Beverly Lucas. The hour-long tour will showcase the art, history, and natural beauty that makes this urban oasis so special. It begins at the flagpole at the end of the entrance drive. It’s free, though registration is encouraged.


Hartford Changes Around the Atheneum

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main St.

This walk around the block that contains the country’s oldest public art museum will reveal much about the city's history, from its leaders to the effects of such forces as suburbanization, shifting densities, and the influx of diverse cultures. The walk will begin at the corner of Main Street and Atheneum Square. Parking on the surrounding streets is free on weekends.

Preservation Connecticut has a list of all the other walks in Connecticut.

If you’d like to add your event, send the “who, what, when, and where” to Kevin@HartfordHistory.net.


Jamaica’s ambassador hails founders of the West Indian Social Club

– Jamaica Information Service


Shuttered Sacred Heart Catholic Church becoming Puerto Rican cultural center

- CT Insider*

Tradition and transformation define Hartford’s Jewish community

- ConnecticutHistory.org

April 30: Trick play: The Patriots pass before the first kickoff

- Today in Connecticut History

* Requires paid subscription, usually after a certain number of free articles.

Trivia question answer

Tower Avenue was “named, probably, on account of the view of the old Talcott Tower on the mountains to the west,” according to "History of Hartford Streets," published in 1969 by what is now the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History.

The "old tower" does not refer to the current Hueblein Tower, begun in 1911 and completed in 1929. Rather, it refers to a previous tower, built several hundred yards to the south in 1867 by Matthew Bartlett. In a letter to the editor published in the Hartford Courant on February 16, 1911, Bartlett himself wrote, "When Tower Avenue was laid out and built (either by accident or on purpose) it was found to be in an exact line with the tower built in 1867."

Learn more about the history behind the Heublein Tower from the Friends of Heublein Tower.

More trivia questions at HartfordHistory.net

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