Through words and photographs, vivid images emerge of the people, places and events that chronicle the history of East Hartford. Podunk Indians farming, fishing and hunting along the fertile banks of “The River,” innovative entrepreneurs developing sawmills and gristmills to meet the needs of early settlers, and visionary leaders providing the social framework that eventually established a community.
Thus begins the history being recaptured in the soon-to-be released book Images of America: East Hartford, Conn. Authored by town historian, Raymond Johnson, partnered with East Hartford Rotary Club, the book is 128 pages with over 220 pictures.
Descriptions of the effort set forth to declare the town’s independence from Hartford, the never-ending struggle to fight the elements of Mother Nature through floods and storms, the transition from an agricultural community to one that embraced the industrial revolution poignantly recapture the heart and spirit of its citizens. Homes of the 18th, 19th, and 20th century, early school houses, the many modes of transportation, as well as long-forgotten landmarks such as the velodrome , the alms house, and the town’s two railroad stations, all portray the changing faces and landscape of East Hartford.
Recounting the town’s growth throughout the 20th century, the ingenuity, ambition and altruism of its townspeople jump from the pages. With a population approaching 50,000 people, East Hartford is now home to UTC/ Pratt & Whitney, UConn Huskies football stadium, and Goodwin College, whose new campus sits on the very banks of “The River” that has been so much a part of the history of East Hartford.
Images of America: East Hartford, Conn. will be on sale Friday, Aug. 21, at Raymond Library (840 Main St., East Hartford) in conjunction with the farmers’ market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Priced at $21.99, all proceeds go to East Hartford Rotary Club Scholarship Fund. With a release date of Aug. 17, orders are being taken now at 860-644-1822 .