If nothing else, this miserable winter - with its stupidly named weather events - is encouraging me to read more. Next up is A Guide to Historic Hartford Connecticut, published by The History Press and written by Daniel Sterner. I knew I would enjoy this guide because Sterner writes Historic Buildings of Connecticut, which I love and have linked to from this blog quite a few times.
Today I Learned: A lot. This is as much a history book as a guide, and there's a good deal to take in. A few things that stood out: 1. The city of Hartford was once located within the town of Hartford, which it effectively ate by 1896. 2. The consolidation of Connecticut's two old capitals took place in 1875. I really should have known this (or maybe I did know this once?) but that just seems crazy late. 3. Horace Wells, the dentist who first used anesthesia to alleviate a patient's pain, had an office on Main Street. That would be just another Connecticut discovery factoid, but Wells's story involves jealousy, chloroform addiction, incarceration, cruelty to prostitutes, and suicide. But for his efforts, he did get a commemorative plaque.
Amusements: Hookers. Always funny.
Listings: The book consists of twelve tours, each of a different area of the city. Some routes are for pedestrians only, others require a car, and most could be followed either way. Each is accompanied by a basic map. There are photos, too - many are taken by the author, but some are historic and include full-skirted ladies or boxy automobiles driving adorably in all directions or buildings that are, sadly, no longer extant. I haven't tested the book out yet, nor am I an expert on Hartford buildings, but it seems pretty thorough. I would absolutely use it for reference as I walked through the city. (Surreptitiously, though, because I don't want to be that silly-looking guidebook-holding person.)
Quotes: This is not a quote-heavy book, but you can't go wrong with this, from the Reverend Thomas Hooker sermon that inspired the Fundamental Orders: "The foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people."