Tuesday, August 19, 2014

East Haddam, Where Republicans Once Reigned

Marya Repko. Memories from Hadlyme: A Personal History of the East Haddam, Connecticut Area. Everglades City, FL.: ECity Publishing, 2013.

Pilgrims settled in central Connecticut in the 1630s. Haddam was purchased from local Indians in 1662. A militia was formed in Haddam. The Haddam Congregational Church was organized in 1704.

In 1710, Haddam and East Haddam legally became separate societies. In 1734, the town of East Haddam incorporated. East Haddan could then elect one Connecticut Assembly Representative. In 1778, East Haddam could then elect two.

A ferry was first licences in East Haddam in 1695. The first Hadlyme (in East Haddam) - Chester Ferry was licensed in 1769. The State of Connecticut took over its operations in 1917.

East Haddam is 54 square miles. Its 1776 population was about 3,000. It included outlying villages of Moodus, Leesville, Johnsville, Millington, and the northern part of Hadlyme.

The southern part of Hadlyme is the northwest part of Lyme.

Hadlyme petitioned Congregationsal society in both East Haddam (its First Congregational Society) and Lyme (its 3rd Congregational Society) and created its own ecclesiastical group in 1742. It gathered its fist pastor in 1745. It established a cemetary in 1750.

Other churches in Hadlyme are an Episcopal Chapel which was constructed in 1890 through 1891 and a Baptist Church which was there from 1820 to 1865.

Irish and Polish people moved in East Haddam and established the St. Bridget of Kildare Catholic Church in the 1890s.

The Town Hall was built in 1857.

Gillette Castle in East Haddam was biuilt as a home by author William Gillette. The state government bought it after his death in 1937.

The Hadlyme Fire Station was built in the mid-1950s.

Edith Hamilton, who wrote the famous book “Mythology” and her sister Alice Hamilton, who in 1919 became the first femae of the Harvard Medical School faculty, lived in East Haddam.

The seciton of East Haddam known as Moodus derived its name from the Native American word Machamoodus which means “place of noiss.” Mysterious noises found to be from tremors originated in Moodus.

A cotton mill began in Moodus in the 1820s yet its business was ruined during the Depression.

The mill owner built the Rathburn Free Memorial Litbrary in 1934.

Redevelopment in 1967 tore down the mill. The editor write this destroyed “the heart of Moodus”

The Nathan Hale Ray School in East Haddam holds grades 1 through 12 in the same location.


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