Welcome to the Old Connecticut Path!!
You are invited to learn more about the history of the Old Connecticut Path and its route across Massachusetts and Connecticut in the video "Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path" (4 min 38 sec). Click on the picture (right) or link: Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path
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Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path is an ongoing project. I hope that you will enjoy what you find today and come back again to follow our progress.
Best wishes to all who enter,
ABOUT THE OLD CONNECTICUT PATH PROJECT
The project to rediscover the
Old Connecticut Path began as a family history project to find the route of the Old
Connecticut Path from Cambridge to Hartford followed by my ancestors, Reverend
Thomas Hooker and his family along with Reverend Roger Newton who married Mary
Hooker to begin the Newton family in America.
Reverend Thomas Hooker and his congregation set out on a journey from Cambridge, MA to Hartford, CT in May 1636 along what came to be known as the Old Connecticut Path. This group was among those who followed the trail west through the unsettled wilderness to build a new life in Connecticut. Later generations descended from them continued their forefathers' tradition of migration west across the country. The Old Connecticut Path served as one of the the first trails followed in the nation's westward expansion.
While the Old Connecticut Path served as the gateway west for almost a century, it has now largely vanished from view. In places, the Path is hidden in plain sight. In others, only dim traces remain. Over the course of 375 years, the journey of two weeks is now two hours. Our “need for speed” has contributed to the dimming almost to darkness of the Old Connecticut Path. That which is slower and obsolete, we discard and soon forget. Over the span of almost four centuries, new routes were found to make travel more “efficient”. Finding the Old Connecticut Path is an opportunity to slow down, reconnect and see genius anew.
Rediscovering the almost forgotten route of the Old Connecticut Path has required many hours over the past three years exploring the woods and forgotten byways along the way to find traces of the Path and to confirm markers described in histories.
You are invited to come along on the search to rediscover the Old Connecticut Path that has been guided by three questions:
1. Can the route of the Old Connecticut Path be reconnected all the way from Cambridge to Hartford?
2. After 375 years of human settlement and modern development, are there still wild places along the Path where it is possible to experience the wilderness as it might have been seen during the of the migration of the earliest travelers?
3. Are there artifacts left by the earliest travelers and settlers that mark their passage along the Path?
Answers to these questions along with the history of the Old Connecticut Path, the people and places along its route are shared with you within this site using pictures, video, historical maps and documents, and computer animation.
Why is it important to rediscover the Old Connecticut Path? Finding the Old Connecticut Path renews a connection with the Native peoples of Massachusetts and Connecticut who created the path and lived along its course for centuries. Finding the path connects us with the settlements and the people that took root along the path. Finding the path connects us to the families whose faith and vision of community and a better life lead them to take the first steps in our country’s westward expansion. Finding the path reveals the changes that man has made to the environment over 375 years. Finding the path provides us with opportunity to renew ourselves by getting outdoors to travel through time as we drive, walk, bicycle, and camp along the way. Finally, finding the path gives us the opportunity to preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.
Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path provides real treasures to be enjoyed in our time and worthy of preservation for future generations. For the multitude of descendants of those who first traveled west along the Old Connecticut Path, a gateway will be opened to allow you to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.
Rediscovering the Old Connecticut Path is an ongoing project. I hope that you will enjoy exploring this site to see the progress made thus far, and that you will return from time to time to see future additions to the chronicle of the Old Connecticut Path.
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ENTER THE OLD CONNECTICUT PATH: Rediscover the Old Connecticut Path
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