Park River (Connecticut)

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Coordinates: 41°45′36.1″N 72°39′52.7″W / 41.760028°N 72.664639°W / 41.760028; -72.664639

The original course of the Park River is visible in this 1824 survey map of Hartford

The Park River, sometimes called the Hog River, since 1940 has been a subterranean urban river that flows through and under the city of Hartford, Connecticut. The 2.3-mile (3.7 km)[1] river was buried by the Army Corps of Engineers, to prevent the spring floods regularly caused by increased surface runoff from urban development.


The confluence of the Park River and the Connecticut River

Before European settlement, the Suckiaug people (their name derived from the word sucki-auke, meaning "black earth") lived on the fertile banks of the Connecticut and Park rivers.[2] In 1633, fur traders from the Dutch West India Company set up Fort Goede Hoop at the rivers' confluence. The Dutch referred to today's Connecticut River as the "Great River", and called its tributary, the Park, the "Little River".[3]

The first English settlers arrived in the area in 1635; the following year, the Reverend Thomas Hooker led 100 of his congregation to form a new settlement north of the Dutch fort. The first mill in the settlement was built on the Little River by Matthew Allyn to grind local corn.[4] During industrialization, the Little River became known as Mill River because of the numerous mills built to use its water power.

North Branch Park River watershed[edit]

The North Branch Park River watershed is a 28.6 square-mile basin within the Park watershed. Four major tributaries — Beamans Brook, Wash Brook, Filley Brook, and Tumbledown Brook — drain from Bloomfield and northern parts of West Hartford, converging near the University of Hartford to form the North Branch of the Park River. Upstream drainage from the entire watershed flows between the West End, Blue Hills, and Asylum Hill neighborhoods of Hartford, Connecticut’s capital city, before pouring into an underground conduit north of Farmington Avenue. This carries the river into the Connecticut River.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
  2. ^ Love, William DeLoss. The Colonial History of Hartford. Hartford. 1914. Page 82
  3. ^ Alberta Eiseman, "The Industrialization of the Great River, New England's Longest," New York Times, 30 August 1998
  4. ^ Caruso, Nicholas. "Timeline", Park River website, 2005

External links[edit]