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A Witch Hanged in Bridgeport
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A Witch Hanged in Bridgeport

A Witch Hanged in Bridgeport By Eric D. Lehman In the middle of the 17th century, Bridgeport was simply a no-man’s land between the growing colonial villages of Stratford and Fairfield. That is no doubt why the citizens of these Puritan communities decided to hang a witch ...

June 11, 2019

Baldwin Plaza in 1974

Directly behind what was then the new state courthouse building, a plaza costing around $1million was built.  Dedicated at a ceremony on October 10, 1974, the plaza was named after former Connecticut governor Raymond E. Baldwin Sr. The ceremony was held in the new plaza, with ...

August 13, 2012
Bridgeport Cultural Arts Center
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Bridgeport Cultural Arts Center

The ABCD Cultural Arts Center was a creative and social hub of Bridgeport in the 1960s and 70s.  The Arts Center occupied a space at the intersection of visual arts and music,  and politics and community activism.  Thanks to a generous grant from the CT ...

January 11, 2017
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Bridgeport Train Wreck, July 11, 1911
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Bridgeport Train Wreck, July 11, 1911

On July 11, 1911 the Federal Express Train wreck, one of the worst railroad wrecks in Bridgeport's history occurred around 3:15 that summer morning.  On board was the St. Louis Cardinals National baseball team, as well as many other passengers. The train, which had been running ...

May 18, 2013
Bridgeport’s Hispanic Community:  Rediscovering Elizabeth Medina, Hispanic Activist and Reporter
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Bridgeport’s Hispanic Community: Rediscovering Elizabeth Medina, Hispanic Activist and Reporter

By Benjamin Ortiz During the late 40's and early 50's, Bridgeport was an important nucleus for the migration of Puerto Ricans and many Cubans. They left their Caribbean homeland in search of better opportunities for their families. These pioneering families such as the Pericas, Faria, Medina, Diaz, Arias, and Batalla, are just ...

Casa Frouge, “Bridgeport’s First Luxury Apartment Building”
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Casa Frouge, “Bridgeport’s First Luxury Apartment Building”

By Andy Piascik When the 84-unit Casa Frouge high-rise on Cartright Street on Bridgeport’s West Side opened in 1955, its developer the Frouge Construction Company billed it as the city’s “first luxury apartment building” and “the outstanding apartment residence in New England.” Located across North Avenue ...

Corbit Studio
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Corbit Studio

By: Mary K. Witkowski, Bridgeport City Historian Corbit Studio, Photograph property of Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library Lewis Corbit Sr. and later his son Lewis Jr. were responsible for documenting almost a century of Bridgeport history. Lewis grew up in South Britain, Connecticut, where he worked as ...

January 04, 2011
Daniel Dash Morgan, 1844-1931:  Bridgeport Entrepreneur, Politician and Self-Made Man
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Daniel Dash Morgan, 1844-1931: Bridgeport Entrepreneur, Politician and Self-Made Man

By Carolyn Ivanoff Daniel Nash Morgan was a prominent Bridgeport personality for many years during his long life.  A self-made and extremely successful entrepreneur and politician, Daniel Nash Morgan served his city, state, and nation.  Interesting to note in these politically polarized times, he was a ...

Father Panik Village:  the Place Where Dreams Refused to Die
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Father Panik Village: the Place Where Dreams Refused to Die

By Britney Murphy On December 22, 1939, Father Stephen J. Panik, proudly addressed the audience attending the groundbreaking ceremony for Bridgeport’s first public housing project. The erection of what would become Yellow Mill Village was the culmination of years of hard work on the part of ...

Igor Sikorsky
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Igor Sikorsky

Igor Sikorsky experimented in building helicopters first in his native Russia and then in the United States.  His first successful launching of a direct lift helicopter was on September 14, 1939, in Stratford.  Sikorsky built his first helicopter assembly line on South Avenue in Bridgeport ...

November 15, 2010
Ives Toys Make Happy Boys
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Ives Toys Make Happy Boys

Everyone knows that Bridgeport was a center of manufacturing of large machinery and other industries, but did you know that this city was also one of the largest manufacturers of toy trains and mechanical toys? Edward Ives started his toy company in Bridgeport and built some ...

January 04, 2011
Jasper McLevy
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Jasper McLevy

It may be surprising to some that Bridgeport operated under Socialist rule for almost a quarter century. Jasper McLevy had stood on street corners for 20 years railing against the greed of political parties, and voicing what he’d do to make life better during the dog ...

Kathleen Moore

 1812-1899 The story of Kate Moore, the lighthouse keeper who kept the lights aglow in Black Rock Harbor is a wonderful tale of the sea of long ago. In 1817, Captain Stephen Moore was injured while unloading goods from a ship.  Stephen then applied for a job ...

January 18, 2011
Featured  Maritime  Women  
Kathleen Moore, 1812-1899
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Kathleen Moore, 1812-1899

By:  Mary K. Witkowski The story of Kate Moore, the lighthouse keeper who kept the lights aglow in Black Rock Harbor is a wonderful tale of the sea of long ago. In 1817, Captain Stephen Moore was injured while unloading goods from a ship.  Stephen then applied ...

June 28, 2018
Featured  Maritime  Women  

Lake Submarine

Inventor Simon Lake believed that the undersea world contained a vast wealth of natural treasures that were waiting to be tapped. Besides the obvious riches of fish, Lake saw a world on which a great abundance of oil could be tapped from the sea as well. Lake ...

January 04, 2011

Merritt Canteen

 When the Merritt Parkway first opened all the way to the Housatonic River in 1940, it was immediately considered one of the most beautiful roads in the United States.  Horse and buggies, bicycles, and pedestrians were banned; this was a tribute to the new road ...

January 05, 2012

Monuments Everlasting – Bridgeport’s Monumental Bronze Company

By Carolyn Ivanoff The industrial powerhouse that was Bridgeport during the 19th and 20th centuries made its mark world-wide with many, many products.  Bridgeport manufactured everything: sewing machines, cars, phonographs, typewriters, corsets, submarines, machine tools, munitions, every product imaginable.  Many of these products were common to ...

December 17, 2019
Mount Trashmore
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Mount Trashmore

On December 20, 1991, representatives from the Coalition to Rebuild Bridgeport loaded a pickup truck with trash and drove to the Connecticut state capitol. Once there they delivered a letter to Governor Lowell Weicker demanding that he use Connecticut’s Emergency Spill Response Fund to remove ...

Neighborhoods
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Neighborhoods

Bridgeport  has often been called a "City of Neighborhoods."  There are commonly used designations for the various areas of Bridgeport, each neighborhood historically attracting immigrants from a variety of ethnic groups.  What has become the city of Bridgeport is the mixing of citizens who moved here ...

Newfield Park

Newfield Park: Home to One of New England’s Most Sacred Baseball Sites by Michael J. Bielawa Of all the lost stadia across the long history of New England’s minor leagues, Bridgeport’s Newfield Park is certainly one of this region’s most sacred sites. Located in the city’s East ...

Olympia Brown
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Olympia Brown

By Mary K. Witkowski Birth:  January 5, 1835, Prarie Ronde, Michigan Died:  October 23, 1926, Baltimore, Maryland August 18th, 1920.  Olympia Brown smiled to herself with satisfaction.  After working diligently for the rights of women since she was young, she could at last take a deep breath.  She ...

Pembroke City Historic District
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Pembroke City Historic District

By: Charles Brilvitch, Architectural Historian The Pembroke City Historic District is a 266-building Victorian residential neighborhood in a general two-block radius of Washington Park. Located on the east bank of the Pequonnock River opposite the city’s Downtown, the district is bounded on the North by Arctic ...

May 10, 2011
Remembering Seaside Park
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Remembering Seaside Park

By Richard Sattanni  10/29/18 Join me now as we literally take a trip back in time and share some history of Seaside Park.  Yes, our own Seaside Park offers more than swimming, fishing, and boating. The very first part of our trip begins at the entrance way ...

July 06, 2018
Featured  Parks  
Sam Liskov
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Sam Liskov

Sam and his brothers Kiev and Elliot owned a radio shop located at 746 Madison Avenue, Bridgeport in 1932.  An oral history with Sam Liskov can be read on the website http://bridgeporthistory.org/            

February 09, 2015

Solidarity Bridgeport Style

by Andy Piascik On July1, 1979, 400 members of United Steelworkers Local 7201 employed at the Handy and Harman precious metals factory in Fairfield went on strike. There was nothing particularly unusual or exceptional about that; workers at factories in Bridgeport and the surrounding area regularly ...

March 10, 2016
Strikes for the Eight-Hour Day in Summer 1915 Bridgeport
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Strikes for the Eight-Hour Day in Summer 1915 Bridgeport

by Cecelia Bucki, Professor of History, Fairfield University On Monday, August 16, 1915, one thousand women corset workers struck the Warner Corset Company, demanding the eight-hour day, elimination of fines and other work rules, and recognition of their union shop committee. “Chaos reigned in manufacturing circles,” declared ...

August 18, 2015
The Legend of Pleasure Beach
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The Legend of Pleasure Beach

By Eric D. Lehman  When the growing city of Bridgeport annexed the borough of West Stratford in 1889, it included a triangular island of thirty-seven acres which would become the stuff of legends in Bridgeport history. Playing up the legend that Captain Kidd had buried treasure on ...

February 09, 2011

The Planning of Seaside Park

By Eric D. Lehman Before the Civil War, no one in town gave much thought to the stretch of rocky land between Bridgeport Harbor and Fayerweather Island at the mouth of Black Rock Harbor. Barely good enough for cows, the land remained inaccessible to horse and ...

January 25, 2011
Three Women
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Three Women

By Michelle Black-Smith In the spring of 2018, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with three unique, creative, and insightful people.  These individuals inhabit all four spaces – Black, Woman, Artist, Bridgeport Native – and they do so with great pride, expression and articulation ...

June 27, 2018
Art  Featured  Women  

When the Army Recruiter Came to Call 1862

By Carolyn Ivanoff Loyal war governor of Connecticut, William A. Buckingham. Image author’s collection.  In 1862 our nation was embroiled in a desperate Civil War.  The war was not going well for the Union. In June General McClellan was beaten back from Richmond by General Lee ...

December 03, 2019
World War II Ration Books
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World War II Ration Books

Think times are tough now? Imagine what it was like during World War II, when rationing meant you couldn't always buy the goods you wanted. Many of the commodities we take for granted today were in short supply during World War II, because of the needs ...

June 20, 2018