Historic Sites in Hartford
The Founders Monument
The original brownstone monument erected in 1837 was replaced by this one in 1986. It stands in the Ancient Burying Ground, which is located to the rear of the First Congregational Church at the corner of Main and Gold Streets in Hartford. This cemetery is also known as Old Center Cemetery. It lists the original Founders of Hartford.
The Adventurer's Boulder
The plaque reads:
In Memory of the Courageous Adventurers Who Inspired and Directed by Thomas Hooker Journeyed Though the Wilderness from Newton (Cambridge) in the Massachusetts Bay to Suckiaug (Hartford) - October, 1635
- Matthew Allyn William Lewis
- John Barnard Mathew Marvin
- William Butler James Olmsted
- Clement Chaplin William Pantry
- Nicholas Clarke Thomas Scott
- Robert Day Timothy Stanley
- Edward Elmer Thomas Stanley
- Nathaniel Ely Edward Stebbins
- Richard Goodman John Steele
- William Goodwin John Stone
- Stephen Hart John Talcott
- William Kelsey Richard Webb
- William Westwood
From the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, To the People of Hartford
October 15, 1935
Samuel Stone Monument
He came to New England with Cotton, Hooker, and other men of note, in the “Griffin,” arriving at Boston, Sept. 4, 1633 ; chosen Teacher of the church at Cambridge, Oct. 11, 1633 ; freeman, Mass., May 14, 1634 ; removed to Hartford in 1636, where he was an original proprietor, and in 1639 his home-lot was on the north bank of the Little River, between those of Rev. Thomas Hooker and Elder William Goodwin. He served as chaplain to the troops under Capt. Mason in the Pequot War, 1637.
Thomas Hooker Statue at the Old State House
The Statue and Plaque Reads:
Founder of Hartford Pastor - Statesman - "The foundation of authority is laid firstly in the Free Consent of the People."
"The choice of public magistrates, belongs unto the people, by God’s own allowance. And it is in their power, also, to set the bounds and limitations of the power and place, unto which they call them."
Leading his people through the wilderness, he founded Hartford, in June 1636. Two years later he preached the historic sermon, which inspired the Fundamental Orders, and sowed the seeds of free Constitutional government in America.
"As God has given us Liberty, let us take it."
To the People of Hartford from the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, October 1950.
Meeting House Yard Plaque at the Old State House
The actual where abouts of this historic plaque are currently unknown. It's last known location was at the Old State House.
The 'Yard' was the center of the religious, military, and civil life of the community. There, in the little meetinghouse, the settlers worshipped God and justice was admitted by the court. Offenders of the law were punished at the pillory, the stocks, and whipping post. After 1694 the signpost was also the 'Yard.' To such was the open public market, with stalls. In 1643 a market day was authorized and on Wednesday's all kinds of salable articles were brought there.
The plaque indicates Main Street, the First State House 1730 (now the Old State House), the Town Meetinghouse 1638-1787, and the Brick School 1758-1766.
The Approach Plaque
The Plaque reads:
This approach to Hartfords Ancient Burying Ground which was set apart in 1640 and contains the graves of Thomas Hooker and the other Founders of Hartford, was completed by the generosity of Edward M. Day and other members of the First Church of Christ and citizens of Hartford. Who believed that the faith and courage of those who founded this city would endure the better in surroundings which add to the beauty of their last resting place and to the city they loved.
Thomas Hooker Plaque at the First Church
The Plaque reads:
- Center Church
- Organized 1632
- Founded Hartford in 1636
- First Minister, Thomas Hooker
- Served 1633-1647
John Haynes Plaques at the Ancient Burying Ground
The Plaque reads:
1594 - 1654
In memory of John Haynes, first governor of the colony of Connecticut. Gateway is given to Hartford by two of his descendents 1900.
The Tercentenary Plaque
The Plaque reads:
That part of "Suckiaug now" Hartford where in 1636 lived four of its founders
- William Goodwin Elder
- Samuel Stone Teacher
- Rev. Thomas Hooker Leader
- John Haynes First Governor
Errected by The Connecticut Chapter of the National Society, daughter of founders and patriots of America in recognition of the Connecticut Tercentenary 1635-1935.
Erected 1971 by the City of Hartford, by the Connecticut Historical Commission and by the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford.
The Sign Reads:
Hartford was named in 1637 after the English town of Hertford. The Indian name was Suckiaug. The first colonial settlement, called House of Good Hope, was made by the Dutch in 1633. The Reverend Thomas Hooker arrived overland from Newtown (Cambridge) Massachusetts with his congregation in 1636. At first the settlement was called Newtown. In 1639 the Fundamental Orders were adopted, often considered the first written constitution creating a government. Hartford served as capital of Connecticut Colony until 1701, when after absorption of the New Haven Colony there were two capitals, Hartford and New Haven. In 1875 Hartford became the sole capital.
Erected by the City of Hartford the Connecticut Historical Commission and the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford 1971
The Ancient Burying Ground
The Ancient Burying Ground is the oldest historic site in Hartford, and the only one surviving from the 1600s. From 1640 until the early 1800s, anyone who died in Hartford, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnic background, economic status, or religious faith, was interred here. The oldest gravestone is believed to be that for Timothy Stanley, who died in 1648.