Monuments & Other Sites

James Henry O’Rourke Monument
500 Main Street • Bridgeport, CT • Fairfield County

It was on April 22, 1876, that Bridgeporter James Henry O'Rourke is credited with making baseball history -- the first base hit in the then-fledgling National League -- while at bat on a Philadelphia ball field in a game celebrating America's upcoming Centennial.  The dramatic instant after ball and bat made contact is captured by West Haven sculptor Susan Clinard -- with O'Rourke frozen in his follow-through swing -- in a life-size bronze statue that was unveiled Friday, August 27, 2010 in ceremonies at Bridgeport's Ballpark at Harbor Yard. ... [ more ]

Town Hill
Town Hill District • Danbury, CT • Fairfield County

The Irish were well established in Danbury by the 1880s. Most of them lived in the Town Hill area, the Fourth Ward, and most of them were Democrats. They were a powerful political force in town. The first known Irishman in Danbury was a man named Flynn, who deserted from British General Tryon's troops during his raid on the town in 1777 ... [ more ]

Dublin Hill Road
Dublin Hill Road • Southbury, CT • Fairfield County

The Dublin Hill neighborhood in Southbury became an Irish farming neighborhood in the mid-19th century. Stephen Collins and his wife Bridget were the first to purchase land, obtaining 14 acres with a dwelling house and other buildings for $600 in 1859. Patrick and Ellen Doolan purchased 8 acres just south of Collins in 1860 ... [ more ]

William Pattison Grave Site
1160 Worthington Ridge • Berlin, CT • Hartford County

About 1740, a young Scots-Irishman named Edward Pattison emigrated from County Tyrone to Connecticut, arriving, according to family tradition, with just 16 cents in his pocket. In what is today the town of Berlin, Pattison established the first tinsmith shop in the American colonies. He cut tin imported from England and beat it into shapes with wooden mallets on wooden patterns ... [ more ]

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 ]

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 ]

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. 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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

Michael Donlon Monument
250 Gypsy Lane • Meriden, CT • New Haven County

Michael Donlon (1876-1909) was born in Galway, Ireland, but by 1909 he was living with his uncle on Pratt Street in Meriden, Connecticut. He had been working as a porter at the Meriden railroad station for about three years at the beginning of 1909. On January 2 of that year, he was moving one of the baggage trucks towards the north end of the station to meet the New York to Boston express train which was due to stop in Meriden at 2:12 pm. As the train was nearing the station, he noticed a woman and child on the tracks in the path of the oncoming locomotive. According to witnesses  ... [ more ]

Farmington Canal
Between New Haven, CT and Northampton, MA • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

Canals were a transportation dream of the early Republic. George Washington called them "fundamental to nationhood" and was president of a canal company in Virginia. By 1790 canal companies had been founded in 8 of the original 13 states. On the heels of the completion of the Erie Canal in New York State, a group of New Haven businessmen met in 1821 with the goal of constructing a canal in Connecticut to facilitate trade. Ground was first broken on July 4, 1825. It was completed in 1835. The canal was dug by hand by mostly Irish laborers ... [ more ]

Ninth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers Monument
46 Sixth Street • New Haven, CT • New Haven County

The Soldiers Monument, 9th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers in New Haven, is significant historically because it honors a Civil War regiment primarily made up of Irish- Americans. Its dedication on August 3, 1903, was held in connection with a national convention of the American-Irish Historical Society of the United States. The monument's cost of $4,500 was paid for with $3,500 subscribed by the Ninth Regiment Veterans Association and $1,000 provided by the State of Connecticut  ... [ more ]

Taft Railroad Tunnel
Providence and Wooster Railroad Tracks • Quinebaug River • Lisbon, CT • New London County

This tunnel was dug by Irish railroad workers as part of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad. It allowed the line to hug the river as it worked its way through northeastern Connecticut. Work on the tunnel required Irish laborers equipped with picks and shovels to slowly chip their way through solid rock in order to create the passageway. The tunnel was completed in 1837 and remains the nation's oldest railroad tunnel still in use ... [ more ]

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