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Hall of Flags – 9th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Battle Flag
210 Capitol Avenue • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

This flag was especially designed for the Ninth Regiment. It and an American flag were presented to the Regiment at Camp Welch on October 31, 1861. The flags were both made of silk. The American flag, or "flag of the Union," was donated by Mrs. Charles DeForest and the regimental flag was donated by a group of "patriotic ladies."  Hartford sign painter and artist, Frederick F. Rice, made the first national flags purchased for Connecticut's troops during the Civil War ... [ more ]

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch
Ford Street, Bushnell Park • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

George Keller, the architect who designed the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, came to Hartford in 1865 when he was 22 years old to design cemetery monuments for James G. Batterson, the man who founded Travelers Insurance Company. Keller was born on December 15, 1842, in Cork, Ireland, where his father owned a wallpaper factory. When the potato famine hit Ireland, the Kellers decided to move to the United States; however, eight-year-old George and one of his brothers were left behind and sent to live ... [ more ]

St. Patrick Church
285 Church Street • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

St. Patrick-St. Anthony parish has played a central role in the rich history of the Catholic Church in Connecticut since its very beginning. Located in the heart of Connecticut's capitol city, it traces its roots back to Holy Trinity parish, the first Catholic Church in Connecticut. Holy Trinity was founded in 1829 to welcome and serve the thousands of Irish immigrants who had begun to crowd into Hartford in the mid-19th century ... [ more ]

St. Peter’s Church
160 Main Street • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

In 1859 St. Patrick's Parish, which had been founded in 1829 under the name of Holy Trinity, was still the only Catholic Church in Hartford. James Buchanan was president, there were 33 states in the United States, and the population of the City of Hartford had by that time risen to the proud total of 28,000, a fraction of who was Catholic. On September 25, 1859, during Sunday vespers at St. Patrick's, the Rt. Rev. Francis P. McFarland, Bishop of Hartford, announced that he was creating a second parish from the southern half of St. Patrick's ... [ more ]

St. Peter’s School
180 Main Street • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

As soon as refurbishing of the new church was completed, construction of a school was started. It was built on the largest area of land available at that time, to the rear of the church. The school was opened in the fall of 1860 with 200 students. The principal and the three laywomen who taught in the school had their salaries paid by the city of Hartford. Father Kelly was the first Catholic pastor in Connecticut to ask for and obtain recognition of a parochial school as part of a city school system ... [ more ]

Thomas McManus Memorial Plaque
657 Maple Avenue • Hartford, CT • Hartford County

The Thomas McManus Plaque is significant historically because it is a memorial to a prominent individual who participated in the Civil War. Thomas McManus was born in Hartford January 20, 1834, four years after his parents emigrated from Ireland. After graduating from Hartford Public High School, he learned the carpenter's trade and plied it for several years in repair shops of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. He then studied law in the offices of Eaton & Collier, being admitted to the bar January 20, 1864 ... [ more ]

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
544 Main Street • New Britain, CT • Hartford County

This is the first Roman Catholic church in New Britain. It was founded in 1848 Rev. Luke Daly and a group of 25 Irish Catholic families. The church was built in 1886 with labor provided by the parishioners, most of whom working in New Britain's many factories. The church burned to its walls in 1902 and was rebuilt under the direction of Keely's firm ... [ more ]

St. Bernard's Church
7 Maple Street • Simsbury, CT • Hartford County

The church is located in the Tariffville Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Saint Bernard's parish was organized and built its first church, c.1850, to serve Irish immigrants who came to Tariffville as laborers. The first Mass in Tariffville was celebrated in 1846 by Father John Brady. Priests from Hartford, such as Fathers Brady and Peter Walsh, served Tariffville until Father Luke Daly of New Britain assumed this duty in September 1848. In 1876 the church was destroyed by fire  ... [ more ]

Rochambeau Monument
1020 Marion Avenue • Southington, CT • Hartford County

The French army led by Comte de Rochambeau crossed Connecticut after landing in Rhode Island, on its way to meet General Washington's army on the Hudson River. They then marched to Virginia to successfully besiege General Cornwallis' British army at Yorktown in the last campaign of the American Revolution. While at Southington, Rochambeau's army was accompanied by an Irish brigade, both on the way to Yorktown and on the way back. Although there were no strictly Irish units in Rochambeau's army itself, there were scattered Irish men, including ... [ more ]

Old Center Cemetery
36 Mountain Road • Suffield, CT • Hartford County

Suffield was established around 1670 as a settlement after John Pynchon paid the Indians 30 pounds for a place called Stony Brooke Plantation. The area connected Windsor and Springfield. Families (mostly from Springfield) settled the area and made their homes there. But in 1675 King Philip's War was raging and the people there (as many other smaller settlements in the region had to do,) were forced to move back to Springfield. The settlement was destroyed by fire by the Indians. Around 1679 they returned  ... [ more ]

Enfield Canal
Along Connecticut River • Windsor Locks, CT • Hartford County

The Enfield Canal was constructed from June 1827 to November 1829 under the supervision of Canvass White, engineer for the Connecticut River Company. Over four hundred Irish immigrant laborers, many with families, came to Windsor and Suffield, Connecticut to construct the canal. The work was done entirely by hand, using only pick and shovel, and the earth was carried off with wheelbarrows ... [ more ]

Irish Canal Workers Burial Site
Along Enfield Canal • Windsor Locks, CT • Hartford County

Between 1827 and 1829, over four hundred Irish immigrant laborers, many with families, came to Windsor and Suffield, Connecticut to construct a canal bypassing the Connecticut River's Enfield Rapids. This ambitious project came at the beginning of America's canal building era, which began in 1825 and ended about 1845, when railroads made most canals obsolete ... [ more ]

St. Mary's Church
42 Spring Street • Windsor Locks, CT • Hartford County

The church was built to serve the congregation of Irishmen working on the Windsor Locks Canal who had been ministered to since 1827, primarily by priests traveling from the Hartford area. In 1852 Father James Smyth purchased land on which to build a church for the sum of $1. On September, 14 1852, Bishop Bernard O'Reilly blessed the cornerstone of the new church building, and Patrick Quirk became the first infant baptized in the new parish on January 2, 1853 ... [ more ]

St. Patrick Cemetery
76 Dublin Road • Canaan, CT • Litchfield County

St. Patrick Cemetery is one of the earliest sites of the area's Catholic population. Included among those buried there are family members of parishioners of St. Bridget Church. Because the first Church of St. Bridget, located in West Cornwall, sat on barely a quarter acre, deceased parishioners were buried in the Cemetery of St. Patrick, an 8 mile journey from West Cornwall ... [ more ]

St. Patrick Church
24 Beebe Hill Road • Canaan, CT • Litchfield County

St. Patrick Church was the first Catholic parish in northwest Connecticut, established in 1851 in Falls Village. At that time, Masses were said in private homes, in a schoolhouse in Amesville, or outdoors, weather permitting, under an apple tree on Beebe Hill Road. The congregation of mostly Irish immigrant families reached 800 when the local ironworks was at its peak. Rev. Peter Kelly, the first priest ordained in Hartford, was St. Patrick's second resident pastor after Rev. Christopher Moore ... [ more ]

Beckley Furnace
140 Lower Road • East Canaan, CT • Litchfield County

A rich vein of high-quality iron ore runs through the northwest corner of Connecticut and miners began to exploit it in the early eighteenth century. The era of large scale industrial production of iron began in 1825 when Holley & Coffing built a blast furnace in Lime Rock. By 1830, the first foundry for casting the raw pig iron into finished products was opened and the need for workers began to increase. Irish immigrants had already begun to migrate to northwest Connecticut in the 1830s and 1840s for railroad construction jobs and they started working in the iron industry at about the same time ... [ more ]

St. Joseph's Convent
12 Elm Street • Salisbury, CT • Litchfield County

Irish immigrants probably began joining the iron-manufacturing workforce in the greater Lakeville area in the 1830s and 1840s, around the same time they migrated to Northwest Connecticut to take railroad construction jobs. The rise of the Irish population in Connecticut at that time reflected the impact of a mass migration responsible for bringing two million Irish to America in the 1840s alone. One million of these refugees settled in New England--driven to this country both by famine and and by the religious and political strife in their homeland ... [ more ]

St. Mary's Parish School
35 Sharon Road • Salisbury, CT • Litchfield County

The school was dedicated on the same day, September 5, 1882, as the St. Joseph Convent nearby. Dedication day also marked the arrival of four nuns from the Sisters of Mercy, a Catholic order started in the 1820s in Ireland. In 1852 the Sisters of Mercy had founded a Hartford branch devoted to the care of orphans and the destitute and to the religious and moral education of female children ... [ more ]

Jabez Bacon House
30 Hollow Road • Woodbury, CT • Litchfield County

Matthew Lyon, who would become a controversial figure in the U.S. House of Representatives, worked on Jabez Bacon's farm upon his arrival from Ireland around 1764 at the age of 15. He came to America as a "redemptioner", agreeing to be "sold" on his arrival as an indentured servant to pay for his ship's passage. Lyon was "redeemed" by Jabez Bacon, a wealthy country store keeper in Woodbury. In about a year Bacon traded Lyon for a pair of stags  ... [ more ]

Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company
10 Bevin Court • East Hampton, CT • Middlesex County

Bell making in East Hampton began in 1807 with the arrival of William Barton. He had a specialized knowledge of brass metallurgy and a process for making a specialized product. He is credited with inventing a one-piece, sand-mould casting process for brass bells which remained the basic method used by the industry for the rest of the century. The bell industry grew rapidly and by the Civil War it was well established. Twenty-three men were listed in the 1860 census as bell manufacturers and they owned one-third of the taxable wealth of the town ... [ more ]

Buell's Hotel
14 East High Street • East Hampton, CT • Middlesex County

Buell's hotel is significant in Connecticut Irish history because many of its female employees were Irish. By the middle of the nineteenth century East Hampton's bell-making had become such a dominant economic force that East Hampton was known as Belltown. In 1860 half of the workforce was employed in bell factories and many of them were Irish immigrants. Most of the men worked in the factories, but many of the women formed a servant class which worked  ... [ more ]

Veazey and White Bell Company
10-12 Summit Street • East Hampton, CT • Middlesex County

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, industrial competition was intense. With an overcrowded field, trade secrets were no longer shared with competitors, but jealously guarded (the first patents were taken out at this time); smaller undercapitalized firms went out of business. The factory built by Veazey and White on Summit Street in 1860 is the earliest brick mill remaining in the town of East Hampton. Hiram Veazey's career pattern was quite typical. The son of a farmer, he learned the bell trade in one of the early water-powered shops in the 1830s before ... [ more ]

St. John Roman Catholic Church
19 St. John Square • Middletown, CT • Middlesex County

In 1823, Boston's bishop sent the movement stirring. He made a visit to Hartford and said Mass. This was followed by Bishop Benedict Fenwick who had Rhode Island and Connecticut under his care. He assigned the task of visiting the small groups of Catholics in Connecticut to Fr. Robert D. Woodley. In 1829, Rev. Woodley visited New London, New Haven, and Middletown ... [ more ]

Thomas Macdonough Gravesite
Riverside Cemetery • Middletown, CT • Middlesex County

Captain Thomas Macdonough, Jr. (21 December 1783 – 10 November 1825) was an early-19th-century American naval officer noted for his roles in the first Barbary War and the War of 1812. He was the son of Thomas Macdonough, Sr. who lived near Middletown, Delaware. Macdonough's Great Grandfather, also named Thomas Macdonough, lived in Ireland in the Salmon Leap district not far from Dublin ... [ more ]

Church of the Assumption
61 North Cliff Street • Ansonia, CT • New Haven County

The present Church of the Assumption was the concept of Rev. Joseph Synnott, the third pastor of Assumption Parish, who became pastor in April (on Holy Thursday) of 1886. Fr. Synnott immediately saw that the first Church was too small. In August 1888, he secured from Mrs. Charles H. Hill the property where the present Church stands on North Cliff Street at a cost of $25,000. On April 4, 1889, ground was broken by the men of the parish for the new Church of the Assumption. The Church was designed by Irish-born architect Patrick Charles Keely (1816-1896) of Brooklyn, New York. [ more ]

St. Bridget Church
175 Main Street • Cheshire, CT • New Haven County

Early clergy in Cheshire were all Irish or of Irish descent. The first known Mass in Cheshire was offered in 1843 at the Booth homestead on Meriden Road by Father Bernard Tevin of St. Mary, New Haven. The priest also celebrated Mass from 1852 until 1854 at the Main Street home of Michael Garde (currently the site of the Hull Memorial Baptist Church). In 1854, Cheshire passed to the care of St. Rose, Meriden, whose pastor, Father Hugh O'Reilly, said Mass on Main Street at Baldwin Hall and later at the home of Martin Brennan. In 1855, Father O'Reilly bought an acre of land at Highland Avenue on Route 10 for $200 and presented it to  ... [ more ]

St. Mary the Immaculate Conception
212 Elizabeth Street • Derby, CT • New Haven County

On September 10, 1833, the first Irish Catholics landed on the Derby docks. A late nineteenth century history of Derby states that, "A son of Erin at that time was rather a curiosity for the denizens of the town. Michael Stokes, Patrick Quinn, John Regan, Farrell Reilly, and others soon followed the first until their numbers were legion."  ... [ more ]

New Haven Gaelic Football and Hurling Club / Irish-American Community Center
9 Venice Place • East Haven, CT • New Haven County

The Gaelic Football and Hurling Club (NHGFHC) started in 1949 as an informal group of recent immigrants wanting to play their traditional games of Gaelic football and hurling. The Irish-American Community Center was founded in 1982 as a non-profit organization for the promotion and preservation of Irish Culture in South Central Connecticut ... [ more ]

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
3011 Whitney Avenue • Hamden, CT • New Haven County

The mission of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is to collect, preserve, exhibit and study its collection of art, artifacts and literature relating to the Irish Famine/Great Hunger that occurred from 1845–52. In doing so, it seeks to educate audiences of all ages about the underlying political, social, economic and historic causes to the Great Hunger, and the magnitude of the disaster on Ireland and its people. The museum contains the world's largest collection of Great Hunger-related art by noted contemporary Irish and Irish American artists as well as  ... [ more ]

Patrick and Annie Kelly Farmstead
890 Evergreen Avenue • Hamden, CT • New Haven County

At the time of construction of the farmhouse, c. 1875, a 19-acre property was owned by Jared Dickerman, a well-to- do farmer in Mount Carmel Village, just north along Whitney Avenue. Dickerman mortgaged the property to Patrick and Annie Kelly in 1876 and title was transferred in 1881. The Kellys farmed the site for almost 30 years, and eventually sold it to the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1910 ... [ more ]

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