New trivia question

Trivia question photo

Where is this building located? The symbol affixed to the top is a big clue. For the answer, along with previous questions and answers, go to the Trivia Questions page of HartfordHistory.net. And please: no wagering.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off on New trivia question

History made at the Hartford Fire Department

In a ceremony last week, the Hartford Fire Department promoted 74 people–the largest group in department history, according to the latest issue of the city’s newsletter. Congratulations to all the new assistant chiefs, deputy chiefs, captains, lieutenants, and drivers, along with their families.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off on History made at the Hartford Fire Department

Capital Community College hosting local history lectures

Capital Community College will kick off its Hartford Studies Lecture and Discussion Series on Thursday, January 25, with a public talk by historian William Hosley, who will outline how local art, architecture, and archives can “attract talent and foster innovation and teamwork” in Hartford.

The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Centinel Hill Hall Auditorium of the college, which occupies the former G. Fox & Co. department store at 950 Main Street. The auditorium is on the 11th floor.

Hosley’s talk will be the first in a series of four lectures on city history, with the other three held on the last Thursdays of February, March, and April. The series, curated by Hosley, is co-hosted by the Hartford Heritage Project and College Foundation as part of  Capital’s 50th anniversary commemoration.

Hosley is a cultural resource development and marketing consultant, historian, preservationist, writer, and photographer. He was formerly director of the New Haven Museum and Hartford-based Connecticut Landmarks, where he cared for a chain of  house museums, including Hartford’s Butler-McCook and Isham-Terry houses. Prior to that, he served as curator and exhibition developer at Wadsworth Atheneum, where his exhibit “Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt’s Empire(1996) helped spawn the Coltsville National Park.

More information

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off on Capital Community College hosting local history lectures

Nice publicity from the capital city next-door

The Providence Journal had a nice article recently on Hartford’s historical attractions. Sure, it’s a got a chamber-of-commerce bent, but we’ll take it. Besides, it’s nice to be reminded every once in while of all the attractions we locals take for granted. If you’re coming to the city for the first time and want to know what there is to see, this isn’t a bad place to start. The line about Aetna moving its headquarters to New York City might be premature, however.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Nice publicity from the capital city next-door

Stowe Center’s Kane interviewed

The Hartford Business Journal has a nice Q&A with Katherine Kane, who will retire next spring after 20 years as executive director at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. The Center has grown and improved vastly on her watch, becoming among other things a great resource for community groups, despite mounting pressures (mostly fiscal) on organizations like hers. She sums up nicely the mission of museums in the 21st-Century:

Museums are not repositories for old ideas and objects, they are vibrant community anchors helping people understand how history informs today and shape a positive future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on Stowe Center’s Kane interviewed

David Ransom, Hartford historian

Hartford lost one of its best historians with the recent death of David Ransom, at age 100.

Visitors to HartfordHistory.net may recognize Dave as the co-author, with Gregory Andrews, of  “Structures and Styles: Guided Tours of Hartford Architecture,” an indispensable (though, sadly, out-of-print) book that gave thumb-nail sketches of every significant building in the city, including ones even most Hartford denizens took for granted. I had the great pleasure of interviewing him for this article on the book.

Dave also wrote a biography of Hartford architect George Keller and worked closely with just about every preservation group in the region. But in reading his obituary, I’m struck most of all by the fact that Dave turned his focus to architectural history relatively late in life. He had been international sales manager for M. Swift & Sons Inc. of Hartford when, at age 50, he retired and embarked on a new life. The accomplishments after that move speak for themselves:

He was the author of “George Keller, Architect”, the definitive biography of the celebrated Hartford architect. This book is also the acknowledged study of Keller’s vast architectural legacy, which included designs for monuments, houses, institutional buildings and bridges. Dave also wrote “Structures and Styles: Guided Tours of Hartford Architecture”, co-authored with Gregory Andrews. He worked closely with The Connecticut Historical Commission, and was instrumental in establishing historic districts in Hartford, particularly the areas of Congress Street and Lewis Street. In addition, he was a visiting lecturer at Trinity College and served as a board member with several organizations, including Cedar Hill Cemetery, The CT Historical Society, CT Preservation Action, and the West Hartford Historic District Commission. He received the Harlan H. Griswold award, Connecticut’s highest award for historic preservation, from the Connecticut Trust for History Preservation in 1991.

A life well-lived.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Comments Off on David Ransom, Hartford historian