The more enthusiasm Connecticut can show for having a national park in Coltsville, the better its chances of being approved.
That fact has not been lost on the many scholars, historians, planners and politicians who have been working for years toward a national park designation. Some of them, along with the Hartford Preservation Alliance, have collaborated on an entertaining series of lectures and tours to enlighten the public about the fascinating Colt legacy.
If you missed the first few installments of "Rediscovering the Worlds of Sam & Elizabeth Colt," there's plenty of rich history ahead. The Tuesday night series of talks by experts, running through June 10, will examine each facet of the Colt story, from the development of industrial technology to the ethnic reshaping of Hartford.
As a bonus, there will be 5:15 p.m. tours of the Church of the Good Shepherd, the landmark church on Wyllys Street where the 6 p.m. talks will take place over the next month. The church, just one of many buildings in the proposed park area, was built by Elizabeth Colt as a memorial to her late husband and the children they lost. A tour of this architectural gem is by itself worth the $5 price of a ticket to benefit the national park initiative.
If you think the Colt story begins and ends with guns, this is an opportunity to learn otherwise. The story is one of ingenuity, persistence, generosity, community involvement, cultural refinement, personal tragedy and industrial triumph.
Now is the time to show the National Park Service that Connecticut is proud of its heritage and eager to show it off.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at