Hartford, Connecticut: History in the City

Hartford, Connecticut: History in the City

If there is one thing I love to see when I travel, it would be architecture. Not the modern contemporary type, I prefer red brick old houses and white pillars with turrets and chandeliers.
It does give you that old regal princess and castles feel of royalty and fantasies.

Me in Hartford, CT
Me in Hartford, CT

For those who aren’t aware or not really into history, Connecticut is the state where the British migrants landed to seek a new and better life. It was called New England in the hay days.

A lot of American history began in this state. One may be familiar with the “Boston Tea Party” or the stories from the Templar Knights with part of their historical locations in Connecticut.
A famous poet and writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens has called Connecticut his home. If you aren’t sure who Samuel Clemens was, you should be familiar with his pen name Mark Twain. He wrote the classics Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Another affiliation rarely people know is that the Mystic Marine rescue and research institute is also in this state, and so is the base point for research on the infamous Titanic.

Aunt Nancy was very kind to have taken time off to spend some time with us as we explore the city. We didn’t really plan out any routes, but we did picked out some visitor brochures at the visitor’s centre and took off from there.


Old State House
Old State House

We first arrived at the Old State House.

A town hall back then, this silent giant stood the test of time and finally, a historical site smack in the heart of the city. It was very interesting to see that one red brick colonial house in the midst of humongous steel skyscrapers. It was as if the skyscrapers were its guardians, protecting it and respecting its presence. The old state house still retains much of the layout of what the room looks like back in the hay days for educational and historical significance.

While sometimes I would procrastinate on the so called ‘National Education’ trips we have in Singapore during my teens, I didn’t really appreciate any historical stuff back home in Singapore until I have became an adult and understood its importance to our identity, either national or personal.

Me in Old State House
Me in Old State House

Here in the old state house, I see young kids and teens taking their history tours.

I do wonder how many of them really understood the true meaning of all these tours. In the slow glow of the orange chandeliers, I could imagine the people in the olden days taking a seat listening to the council proceedings  the latest rulings and the new policies set out to maintain the city social structure.

Soldiers Memorial Arch
Soldiers Memorial Arch
Similar to Singapore, most of the historical architectures in Hartford congregated in an area which they had built like some parks and gardens around them and I could pretty much stroll from monument to monument in the city.
Capitol Building
Capitol Building
The building behind me in this above picture is Connecticut’s State Capitol.
Declared as a national historical landmark in 1972, this building was commission in 1871 and built in 1879.
I loved how it just looked like a castle.
I guess in those days, and with Connecticut called New England in those days where migrants landed here from England, all the architecture built then would pretty much have a very heavy European influence.
Connecticut State Capitol houses the State Senate Chamber, Hall of the State House of Representatives and offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of the State; pretty much like the Parliament House in Singapore.
The house of representatives were in session when I was visited. And since I did not sign up for any tours, I did not toured much.
Flags Room |  Photo credits to Jack of hartforddailyphoto.blogspot.com
Flags Room | Photo credits to Jack of hartforddailyphoto.blogspot.com
 However, at the ground floor of the building, there is a gallery where they have kept many mementos and artefacts of the American history and I love the flag room where many different kinds of flags were displayed in the wooden ornate cases.
In there, I could imagine a soldier in the time carrying these flags with respect marching smartly down the hallway.
State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building
Another interesting thing about the building is that the dome at the top is covered with gold leaf. Yup! Pure gold leaf!
It was said that a replacement of that dome will cost them $200 million dollars.
Wow much!
River in the city
River in the city
Strolling in the city is much a pleasure as there is the Connecticut river right next to the city and it brings a nice breeze along the walkway.
Mark Twain's House
Mark Twain’s House
On one of the weekends when my cousin was free, she drove us to the Mark Twain house to sightsee. We joined in the scheduled tour of the house with a curator who told us stories of the house.

I love to visit famous people’s houses. They were always luxuriously designed and carefully designed and built. Mark Twain’s house was one such example.

His house was heavily influenced by the Victorian style and designs of plants, flowers. Mother Nature can be found on the wood carvings on the pillars and walls. The interior walls were hand-stencilled designs to create a “mother of pearl” feeling in the foyer, taking in considerations of how the lights lit the room.

Mark Twain was very passionate about Science and Technology. His house was the most advanced in his time with flushed toilets and burglar alarms. He also had his weirdness. He sleeps facing the carved angels headboard at his feet simply because he felt that he had paid so much for the headboard so he better look and appreciate it every night before he slept. However so, he has lived up to his goals. “to remain indestructible in a perishable world.”

Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the house.

Mark Twain's House Compund
Mark Twain’s House Compund

“To us, our house was not unsentiment matter — it has a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals, and solitudes, and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction. We never came home from absence that its face did not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome — and we could not enter it unmoved.”
— Mark Twain.


Besides all the historical facts and stuff, Mark Twain house is also famous for its paranormal activity.
Check it out below:

I kinda enjoy the paranormal survey of the house.

No wonder the house is always so gloomy and different.
Who knows? The author may still in there writing his books!

For more information about the Mark Twain house, visit www.MarkTwainHouse.org


More Stories soon!


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