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Connecticut (CT): State Guide and Fun Facts


When was Connecticut Founded? 1635

Who Founded Connecticut? Thomas Hooker

First settlers: Algonquin Indian tribes, followed by Dutch explorers in 1614.

Square Miles: 5,544

US Rank: 48th largest state

State Flower: Mountain Laurel

State Bird: American Robin

State Motto: Latin: “Qui transtulit sustinet”. Translation into English: “He who transplanted still sustains”

Capital City

Hartford – Hartford is the capital city of Connecticut and is located centrally in the state. The city was founded in 1635 originally by English settlers and was given the name of Hartford in 1637. It is not Connecticut’s largest city with a population of 121,578 but rather comes in third after Bridgeport and New Haven.

Historically, Hartford’s position on the Connecticut River allowed it to be a large center for manufacturing. Many of these original factories have been closed, and now Hartford’s main industry is insurance. Many of the country’s top insurance companies have their headquarters located in Connecticut’s capital and it has been referred to as the “Insurance Capital of the World”.

 

What is Connecticut famous for?

1. Yale University – Founded in 1701, Yale University is the third oldest college in the country. It has achieved Ivy League rank and is known as one of the most prestigious academic institutions worldwide. Since its founding, the school has expanded to include the Yale School of Medicine, School of Divinity, Law School, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Sheffield Scientific School and the School of Fine Arts, School of Music, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Drama, Physician Associate Program and School of Management.

Many of Yale’s original Gothic style buildings still exist at the New Haven campus. Several newer buildings such as the Beinecke Library and Ingalls Rink were constructed more recently and bring stunning architecture to well-established New Haven, Connecticut.

2. Insurance Capital of the World – Connecticut is home to a large number of insurance companies such as Aetna, CIGNA, Phoenix Companies, Travelers, MetLife, MassMutual and The Hartford. As such, it has been given the name “Insurance Capital of the World” and the majority of its economy is due to revenue generated from these companies.

3. Rich Residents – Connecticut held the title of richest state in the nation for a long time. It has recently been surpassed by Maryland and New Jersey, but it still holds third place, with a median annual household income of $63,422.

What is Connecticut’s economy?

1. Insurance – As mentioned previously, insurance companies are responsible for the highest percentage of state revenue in Connecticut. Many have recently moved to smaller suburbs outside of the insurance mecca of Hartford in order to save on real estate leasing costs, but most are remaining within state lines.

2. Casinos – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos opened their doors to gamblers and visitors in the early 90s. Since their grand openings, they have grown to become one of the largest employers of Connecticut residents in the state.

3. Manufacturing – Today, Connecticut’s industry focuses on the manufacture of jet engines, electrical machinery, computer equipment and helicopters for the military. Federal spending has decreased in recent years and many of the submarine and helicopter building facilities have been forced to slow their production.

 

Connecticut Historical Landmarks

1. Connecticut Hall (Yale University) – Connecticut Hall is the oldest building on Yale University’s campus. It was built in 1752 by Thomas Clap, and originally functioned as a dormitory, home to well-known residents such as Noah Webster, Eli Whitney, and John Trumbull. Today, Connecticut Hall houses the university’s philosophy department.

2. Litchfield Historic District – Litchfield Connecticut is home to a quaint historic district that remains much as it was in the 1720s when the town was first established. Within the district is the Tapping Reeve House and Law School. The one building institution was established in 1773 and was the first law school in the United States. Famous alumni of the school include Aaron Burr Jr. (the third vice president of the United States) and John Calhoun (the seventh vice president of the United States).

3. Old State House – Located in Hartford, Connecticut, the Old State House was likely designed by Charles Bulfinch, a noted architect of his day. The building was completed in 1796 and the exterior reflects the Federal style of architecture. The building is no longer used for political purposes, but is open for tours

4. Portland Brownstone Quarries – The first storey of the Old State House in Hartford is constructed of Portland Brownstone. The quarries that produced this stone are located in Portland, Connecticut. Their production lasted from 1690 when James Stanclift began to excavate the quarry, until 1938 when flooding and a hurricane made it impossible to gather any addition stone from the site. In recent years, the quarry was purchased and renovations began in order to turn the area into a Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park, an area for visitors to explore and learn about the history of Portland Brownstone.