Wednesday, April 28, 2004

First Thursday Walking Tour: Discovering Hartford’s Main Street

What: Learn how Hartford has evolved over the last three centuries by viewing some of Main Street’s most well known and important buildings, including City Hall, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Travelers Tower, the Old State House, Center Church, and the Ancient Burying Ground. Conducted by the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society (

When: Thursday, May 6, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Where: Tour begins at the Butler-McCook House & Garden, 396 Main Street

Registration: Call (860) 522-1806 to make reservations. Cost: $6 for A&L members, $8 for non-members

Since English settlers first laid out Hartford in the seventeenth century, Main Street has been lined with homes, churches, businesses and public institutions. Hartford, established along the Connecticut River, was divided by the Little (Park) River, which extended westward from the Connecticut. The Little River bisected Main Street, which runs north to south, just north of the Butler-McCook House. For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the southern part of Main Street was primarily residential in nature, with single-family homes lining the street. The northern half of Main Street was more thickly settled, however.

Many of Hartford’s retail businesses and public institutions were found alongside residences on Main Street north of the Little River. Developing from a market town to a leading manufacturing center, Hartford underwent significant changes in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Butler-McCook House is the only eighteenth-century residence remaining on Main Street. Discovering Hartford’s Main Street highlights the eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth century-buildings the Butlers and the McCooks frequented and watched be constructed over their lifetimes.

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