The city of Hartford, Connecticut is one of the oldest in the United States. It was first settled in 1623, and named Hartford in 1637. Since then it has grown in size and population, and is now the capital city of the state of Connecticut. Due to its interesting and lengthy history, Hartford has plenty of historical sites to visit that range from government buildings to cemeteries.
1) Butler-McCook House and Garden Museum, 396 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103
The Butler-McCook House and Garden is a museum run by the Connecticut Landmarks Organization. The house was built in 1782, and over the years, housed 4 generations of the same family. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum consists of two parts: one with artifacts and other items ranging from the Colonial Era through the Victorian Era, and several exhibits on the history of the city of Hartford.
2) Center Church (First Church of Christ in Hartford) and the Ancient Burying Ground, 60 Gold Street, Hartford, CT 06103
The First Church of Christ in Hartford was founded in 1632. Four different structures or “meeting houses” were built on the site – the last and current building, in 1806. However, the most interesting thing on the Center Church property is the Ancient Burying Ground, which has over 6,000 graves, some of which date back to the mid 1600s. Among those buried in the cemetery are Timothy Stanley, who is believed to be the first person buried there, and Samuel Stone, one of the first settlers in the area.
3) Department Store Historic District, 884-956 Main St. and 36 Talcott St., Hartford, CT
Downtown Hartford has so many different historic properties that it’s broken down into different districts. This one – the Department Store Historic District – has three different former department stores, all of which were built between 1877 and 1918. The buildings include the former G. Fox & Co store, which was built in 1918; the Brown Thomson Building, built in 1877, also home to the former G. Fox & Co. store; and the Sage-Allen building, constructed in 1898. It housed the flagship store of the Sage-Allen department chain. All three of these buildings are on National Register of Historic Places, and all are restored (at least on the outside) to look the same as they were when they were new.
4) Colt Armory, Industrial District and Coltsville Historic District, Sheldon-Charter Oak Neighborhood, Hartford, CT
The Colt Armory and Historic District is a series of buildings all belonging either to the original Colt Firearms Company, its workers, and founding family – Samuel Colt and James A. Colt. Their original houses, the company armory, several factory buildings and other related properties are still standing. All of the buildings date back to the mid-1800s, making the area very interesting to wander through.
Hartford, Connecticut has a number of interesting historic buildings and locations. These four are some of the over 130 in the city itself that are on the National Register of Historic Places. With so many to choose from, it can be tough to decide, which is why we narrowed it down for you!