All About: East Hartford

Population: 49,575

County: Hartford

Size: 18.8 square miles

History: The Podunk Indians have once again come up in the history of a CT town. Settled by whities around 1640 and was originally part of (surprise! surprise!) Hartford. Dudes named Goodwin, Pitkin, and Burnham were among the first brave souls to call the East Beat home — and now they have streets and schools named after them (well…I’m just guessing Burnside and Burnham are related). In 1726 a petition was filed to make EH its own town. It was turned down. It wasn’t until 1783 that the town finally got approved. Somewhere in the 20th Century, Pratt & Whitney was built and became the town’s major employer and housing for returning soldiers and PW employees sprung up all over the place. Then that went down the shitter and now East Hartford spends most of its time trying to keep strip clubs from opening up all over town.

Something Weird: Most of my weird East Hartford stories come from this guy who also insisted we hurry up and do “All About: East Hartford”:

East Hartford native, and former baseball legend, cooks corn using weird gloves and open flames.

He claims that when he was a kid riding his bike near his grandmother’s house on Naubuc Avenue he saw a man carry a body rolled up in a carpet into the woods and then toss it into a river. As far as we can tell there was never a body found in a carpet or otherwise, but he swears it happened. I think he just witnessed a really heinous act of littering.

Also, I once heard that East Beat’s Hockanum River (why do so many things in East Hartford have such harsh sounding names?) was so polluted that Cellu Tissue had to stop dumping into it — not just to clean it up, but because it was actually too polluted to keep polluting. My dog used to escape the yard and go swimming in it once in awhile. The animal control officer was so grossed out by the smell that he would just bring the dog back to the house and drop him off.

Oh and… the 1996 East Hartford High School baseball team was crowned the State Champs after a 23-0 season.