Established in 1825, CHS is the state’s official historical society and one of the oldest in the nation. Its headquarters at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford includes a museum, library, and the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center–all open to the public and funded by private contributions. The CHS collection includes more than 4 million manuscripts, graphics, books, artifacts, and other historical materials. It is a Smithsonian affiliate.
WWUH, the FM radio station operated by the University of Hartford, is marking its 50th anniversary by airing a four-part documentary over four Fridays, at 12:30 p.m. The first installment has aired already; the next three are set for October 26, November 2, and November 9. Listen at 91.3 FM or http://www.wwuh.org/0043-listen-online. The project, produced and edited by WWUH volunteer Brandon Kampe, stems from interviews with more than 90 current and former staff members and a search of archival ta pes.
BTW, longtime WWUH staffter John Ramsey, now the station’s general manager and chief engineer, has created a huge archive of station history at www.wwuhhistory.org.
Ritter, a North Carolina native who came to Hartford in 1969, may be best known outside the city for his three unsuccessful runs for mayor, in 1979, 1993, and 2001. But he was best known around the city as an activist for those who lacked political power, particularly the poor and sick.
For instance, as the Courant notes, “Ritter had long been a voice for those living in Hartford’s public housing, much of it dilapidated, ridden with vermin, and difficult for the elderly and disabled to navigate. In 1977, his Brookfield Street church was ransacked after he spoke at a rally for low income tenants, the sixth time in 12 months his church had been burglarized … Earlier that year, its windows had been shot out after Ritter led a demonstration to rid a housing project of rats and roaches.”
In the 1990s, he pushed for giving those living HIV/AIDS a publicly funded apartment building on Wethersfield Avenue. That failed amid controversy–it was opposed by neighbors and even some HIV/AIDS activists who feared creating something of a leper colony–but Ritter and other clergy eventually opened a building on Homestead Avenue for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families, called Zezzo House.
According to his obituary, a memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, at the Victory Cathedral, at 205 Bellevue Street.
By the way, if you’re wondering where Warburton Community Congregational Church got its name, check out this great article on the Historic Buildings of Connecticut site.
Joe Marfuggi, the man who led Riverfront Recapture for 29 years, died last week at age 77. It’s hard to think of anyone who did more to revitalize Hartford in the past half-century. The Hartford Courant summed up his impact nicely:
Marfuggi, energized by a vision of reconnecting residents with the Connecticut River waterfront in Hartford, ran the nonprofit from 1986 until his retirement in 2015. Under his leadership, the organization built a plaza at Riverside Park that has become one of the state’s major attractions, with more than 800,000 people visiting the area the year he retired.
State Treasurer Denise Nappier, who brought Marfuggi to Riverfront Recapture during her stint as the organization’s executive director, described his style for the Hartford Business Journal:
He was always that kind of person that garnered respect in a way that compelled others to want to be on his team … He was someone you could rely upon to get things done and done well.
According to his obituary, a celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, in the Belding Theatre of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.