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The Metacomet Ridge, Metacomet Ridge Mountains, or Metacomet Range of southern New England, United States, is a narrow and steep fault-block mountain ridge known for its extensive cliff faces, scenic vistas, microclimate ecosystems, and communities of plants considered rare or endangered. An important recreation resource located within 10 miles (16 km) of a population corridor of over 2.5 million people, the ridge is home to four long distance hiking trails and over a dozen parks and recreation areas including several state and nationally recognized historic sites. Because of its natural, historic, and recreational value, the ridge has been the focus of ongoing conservation efforts involving municipal, state, and national agencies as well as nearly two dozen non-profit organizations. The Metacomet Ridge extends from New Haven and Branford, Connecticut on Long Island Sound, through the Connecticut River Valley region of Massachusetts, to northern Franklin County, 2 miles (3.2 km), short of the Vermont and New Hampshire borders, a distance of 100 miles (160 km).

Hurricane Gloria1985.jpg

Hurricane Gloria was a powerful Cape Verde-type hurricane that formed during the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season and prowled the Atlantic Ocean from September 16 to September 28. Gloria reached Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale near the Bahamas, but weakened significantly by the time it made landfall on North Carolina's Outer Banks. Gloria closely followed the Mid-Atlantic coastline and made a second landfall on Long Island, and, after crossing the Long Island Sound, it made a third landfall in Connecticut. Overall, the storm caused extensive damage along the East Coast of the United States, amounting to $900 million ($2 billion in today's terms), and was responsible for eight fatalities. The storm was the first significant system to strike the northeastern United States since Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and the first major storm to affect New York and Long Island directly since Hurricane Donna in 1960. It was the last storm to hit the northeast until Hurricane Bob in 1991.

Damage to a school from the 1878 Wallingford tornado

Although Connecticut is not known for tornadoes, more than 100 of these powerful storms have affected the state in modern history, resulting in at least 48 deaths, 780 injuries, and more than $500 million in damage. This list of tornadoes in the state is likely incomplete, as official records date back only to 1950 for tornadoes in the United States. As with most of the northeastern United States, the number of tornadoes peaks in the summer months; specifically, July and August. Hartford County has had the most recorded tornadoes in its history, although since 1950 Litchfield County has reported the most tornadoes. Several areas have been struck more than once, and Waterbury has been struck by no less than four tornadoes since 1955. From 1953 to 1991, Connecticut recorded an average of about 1.3 tornadoes per year, ranked 43rd in the United States. Although Connecticut tornadoes are typically weak, isolated events can be violent. Three tornadoes of F4 intensity have affected the state in its history, as well as at least 27 "strong" tornadoes (F2 or greater). Outbreaks of three or more tornadoes in a single day occurred in 1786, 1787, 1878, 1973, 1989, 1998, and 2001. The year 1973 was particularly active; eight tornadoes occurred on six separate days.


There are currently eight counties in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Four of them were originally created in 1666, during the first consolidation of the colony of Connecticut from a number of smaller colonies. Two more counties were created during colonial times, and only two counties, Middlesex and Tolland counties, have been created since American independence, both in 1785. The majority of Connecticut counties are named for locations in England, where many early Connecticut settlers originated. Although Connecticut is divided into counties, there is no county government in Connecticut and local government consists of cities and towns. County government was abolished in Connecticut in 1960, although the names remain for geographical purposes. Counties are, however, still used by the state to organize its judicial and state marshall system. Connecticut's court jurisdictions still adhere to the county boundaries, except for Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven, which have been further subdivided into several jurisdictions.

House of Mark Twain.jpg

The Mark Twain House and Museum was the home of Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Langhorne Clemens) from 1874 to 1891 in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Before 1874, Twain had lived in Hannibal, Missouri. The architectural style of the 19-room house is Victorian Gothic. The house is also notable for the major works written during his residency, including The Gilded Age, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn, A Tramp Abroad and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Bad financial investments caused the Twain family to move to Europe in 1891. When they returned to Connecticut in 1900 he lived in a house built for him in Redding, Connecticut named Stormfield, where he died on April 21, 1910. His home in Hartford functioned as a school, an apartment building, and a library after that. In 1962 it was declared a National Historic Landmark. Since 1974 it has had a multi-million dollar renovation and an expansion dedicated to showcasing his life and work.

The Demon Murder Trial is the first known case in the United States of a lawyer claiming his client was innocent due to demonic possession. It involved the conviction of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a resident of Brookfield, Connecticut, for first-degree manslaughter of his landlord Alan Bono on November 24, 1981. In the year leading up to the attack on Bono, Johnson had been staying with his fiancee whose younger brother supposedly had been possessed by demons and whose family called in the famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Johnson supposedly taunted and was possessed by demons from the boy, and several months later killed his landlord during a heated conversation. His defense lawyer tried to argue in court that he was possessed, but the judge ruled that no such defense existed, and Johnson served 5 years of a 10 to 20 year sentence. The trial attracted media attention from around the world.

The Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol is the highest echelon of the Civil Air Patrol in the state of Connecticut. Headquartered in Beers Hall at the Connecticut Valley Hospital campus in Middletown, Connecticut, the Connecticut Wing (CTWG) has 12 primary subordinate units located throughout the state to help it carry out its missions. The missions include providing aerospace education and training for all of its members, teaching leadership skills to Connecticut youth, and performing various domestic emergency services for the United States of America in a noncombatant capacity. Members were notably instrumental in major events during the Wing's 66-year history, carrying out operations in World War II, 9/11, and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The Wing has received numerous awards and recognitions, including Unit Citations from the Northeast Region Headquarters and National Headquarters, as well as government recognition by local, state and federal officials.

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The 1989 Northeastern United States tornado outbreak was a series of tornadoes which caused more than $130 million (1989 USD) in damage across the Northeastern United States on July 10, 1989. The storm system affected five states with severe weather, including hail up to 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) across, thunderstorm winds up to 90 mph (150 km/h), and 17 tornadoes. Several towns in New York and Connecticut were particularly hard-hit. Several homes were leveled in Greenville, New York and extensive damage occurred in Bantam, Connecticut. A large section of Hamden, Connecticut, including an industrial park and hundreds of homes, was completely destroyed; in some places buildings were flattened to the ground. More than 150 people were injured by the tornado outbreak, and one person was killed by thunderstorm winds. While tornado outbreaks in this area are unusual, this storm was especially rare in that it produced six significant tornadoes, two of which were violent F4s, and featured many tornadoes with tracks of several miles.

Connecticut Highway 190.svg

Route 190 is a state route in the northern part of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It starts at Route 75 in the town of Suffield and proceeds eastward across the Connecticut River through the towns of Enfield, Somers, and Stafford. It ends at Route 171, in the town of Union. Route 190 was established in 1932 as a route between the state line at Southwick and the town of Enfield. The route was later extended eastward to Union but was truncated in the west to Suffield center. The segment of Route 190 in Suffield, from Route 75 to Route 159, is also known as the "Corporal Stephen R. Bixler Memorial Highway", named for a Suffield native who died in the Iraq War. Route 190 starts as Mapleton Avenue. The road then bears right onto Thompsonville Road to connect to Route 159 (East Street). After travelling south on Route 159 for 0.6 miles (0.97 km), it turns eastward again on Hazard Avenue, crossing the Connecticut River from Suffield into Enfield on the Enfield-Suffield Veterans Bridge.

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Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. Founded under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church and with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, the now secular university was the first institution of higher education to be named after John Wesley, the Protestant theologian who was the founder of Methodism. There are about twenty other unrelated colleges and universities subsequently named after Wesley. Wesleyan is one of the nation's most highly ranked colleges and occupies a position in American higher education between the large research universities and the smaller liberal arts institutions. The University emphasizes undergraduate instruction, but also supports and funds graduate research in many academic disciplines. Wesleyan, along with Amherst and Williams Colleges, is a member of the historic "Little Three" colleges.

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Ridgefield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. Situated in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, the 300-year-old community had a population of 23,643 at the 2000 census. In the 2000 census, the town center, which was formerly a borough, was defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place. Other named localities in the town are Titicus, near the New York state line, and Ridgebury, near the border with Danbury. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.0 square miles (90.6 km²), of which, 34.4 square miles (89.2 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.4 km²) of it (1.52%) is water. The town is bordered by the towns of North Salem and Lewisboro in Westchester County, New York to the west, Danbury, Connecticut to the north, Wilton, Connecticut to the south and Redding, Connecticut to the east. Ridgefield was first settled by English colonists from Norwalk and Milford in 1708 when a group of settlers purchased land from Chief Catoonah of the Ramapoo tribe.


Norwalk is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 84,437, making it the sixth largest city in Connecticut, and the third largest in Fairfield County. The city is part of the New York metropolitan area. The name “Norwalk” itself comes from the Algonquian word “noyank” meaning “point of land”, or its Native American name, “Naramauke” (or Norwauke, Norowake, or Norwaake), a Native American chief. The farming of oysters has long been important to Norwalk, which was once nicknamed "Oyster Town." Norwalk is Connecticut's largest oyster producer and home to the nation's largest oyster company, Hillard Bloom Shellfish. Each September, Norwalk holds its annual Oyster Festival. The festival is similar to many state fairs. Residents of Norwalk are referred to as "Norwalkers". They are served by Norwalk Hospital. Norwalk was purchased in 1640 by Roger Ludlow. The original purchase included all land between the Norwalk and Saugatuck rivers and a day’s walk north from the sea.


The Noroton Heights Metro-North Railroad station serves the residents of Darien, Connecticut via the New Haven Line. It is 36.2 miles from Grand Central Terminal. The station is located near Exit 10 on Interstate 95. The highway borders the southern side of the station, which faces Heights Road to the north, Hollow Tree Ridge Road to the west and has access to Noroton Avenue to the east (via Ledge Road). The station is one of two in Darien; the other is the Darien Metro-North train station. The Noroton Heights station building is "unique in that it resembles an overgrown Plexiglass [sic] shelter protected by a metal lean-to," according to a January 2007 state Department of Transportation report. According to the report, the station is a "notable alternative to the downtown Stamford train station. The Noroton Heights station is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


The Merritt Parkway is a limited-access parkway in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The parkway is known for its scenic layout, its uniquely styled signage, and the architecturally elaborate overpasses along the route. It is designated as a National Scenic Byway and is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Signed as part of Route 15, it runs from the New York state line in Greenwich, where it serves as the continuation of the Hutchinson River Parkway, to the Housatonic River in Stratford, where the Wilbur Cross Parkway begins. The Parkway is one of a handful of United States highways listed in the National Register of Historic Places. At the time of its construction, each bridge was decorated in a unique fashion so no two bridges on the parkway looked alike. The Parkway has two lanes in each direction. Due to its age, it was originally constructed without the merge-lanes, long on-ramps, and long off-ramps that are found on modern limited-access highways.

Hurricane Carol Storm Surge in color 1954.jpg

Hurricane Carol was among the worst tropical cyclones to affect New England, United States. It developed from a tropical wave near the Bahamas on August 25, and gradually strengthened as it moved northwestward. On August 27, Carol intensified to reach winds of 105 mph (169 km/h), but weakened as its motion turned to a northwest drift. The well-organized hurricane made landfall on Long Island and Connecticut on August 30 near peak intensity, and quickly became extratropical over land. Hurricane Carol struck Connecticut shortly after high tide, and its combination with 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 m) storm surges from New London eastward produced widespread tidal flooding. The heaviest rainfall associated with the passage of the storm occurred in New London, where up to 6 inches (150 mm) fell. Wind gusts in New London peaked at 110 mph (175 km/h), blowing off a portion of the roof of its city hall. Strong winds left much of the eastern portion of the state without power.

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Besek Mountain also known as Black Mountain, est. 840 feet (260 m), is a traprock mountain ridge located 4.75 miles (7.6 km) southeast of Meriden, Connecticut. It is part of the narrow, linear Metacomet Ridge that extends from Long Island Sound near New Haven, Connecticut, north through the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts to the Vermont border. Besek Mountain is known for its 3-mile (4.8 km) long line of open cliffs, unique microclimate ecosystems, and rare plant communities. The mountain is traversed by the 51-mile (82 km) Mattabesett Trail, and is home to the Powder Ridge Ski Area. According to the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, the word "Besek" is a corruption of "Besett", a Native American word for "black." Besek Mountain, like much of the Metacomet Ridge, is composed of basalt, also called traprock, a volcanic rock.

Nautilus (SSN 571) Groton CT 2002 May 08.jpg

USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine and the first vessel to complete a submerged transit across the North Pole. In July 1951 the US Congress authorized the construction of a nuclear-powered submarine for the U.S. Navy, which was planned and personally supervised by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy." On 12 December 1951 the U.S. Department of the Navy announced that the submarine would be called Nautilus—the fourth U.S. Navy vessel officially so named—and would carry the hull number SSN-571. Nautiluss keel was laid at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut by Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, on 14 June 1952, and the ship was designed by John Burnham. She was christened on 21 January 1954 and launched into the Thames River, sponsored by Mamie Eisenhower, the wife of Truman's successor Dwight D. Eisenhower. Nautilus was commissioned on 30 September 1954, under the command of Commander Eugene P. Wilkinson, USN.


Ellington is a rural town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States. Ellington was incorporated in May, 1786, from East Windsor. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 12,921. Ellington is a rapidly growing community, and is going through the process of Suburbanization. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.6 square miles (89.6 km²), of which, 34.0 square miles (88.2 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.4 km²) of it (1.59%) is water. Ellington is bordered by the towns of East Windsor, South Windsor, Vernon, Tolland, Willington, Stafford, Somers, and Enfield. The town has a panhandle extending to the east that extends to the Willimantic River and encompasses Crystal Lake. A large portion of the town's eastern portion is occupied by the Shenipsit State Forest which is bounded on the south by Shenipsit Lake and on the north by Soapstone Mountain. As of the census of 2000, there were 12,921 people, 5,195 households, and 3,470 families residing in the town. The population density was 379.4 people per square mile (146.5/km²).

Connecticut Highway 361.svg

Route 361 is a state highway in the northwestern section of the U.S. state of Connecticut, running from the town center of Sharon to the New York state line in Salisbury. The route was a former alignment of Route 4 from what is now Route 41 to the New York state line, where it continued as New York State Route 361. Route 361 in Connecticut was assigned when Route 4 was truncated in 1966. In 1980, New York decommissioned the continuation of Route 361 and reassigned it as Dutchess County Route 62. Route 361 begins in the town center of Sharon, at an intersection with Route 41 (Gay Street) near Hillside Cemetery. It proceeds west on West Main Street then turns north on New Street, which later becomes Millerton Road. Millerton Road heads north and northwest through woodlands to the south of Mudge Pond. After intersecting with Mudge Pond Road, a local road running along the western shore of Mudge Pond, Route 361 turns west until it intersects Sharon Valley Road. At this intersection, Route 361 turns north, still following Millerton Road.

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New Britain is a city in Hartford County, Connecticut, U.S.. It is located approximately 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Hartford. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 71,254. The city's official nickname is the "Hardware City" because of its history as a manufacturing center and as the headquarters of Stanley Works. Because of its large Polish population, the city used to be playfully referred to as "New Britski". In 2008, citing its efforts to end blight, economic redevelopment and the city's support of local business investment, New Britain was designated as "Connecticut's Most Business Friendly City" by the Polonia Business Association. New Britain was settled in 1687 and then was incorporated as a new parish under the name New Britain Society in 1754. Chartered in 1850 as a township and in 1871 as a city, New Britain was separated from the nearby town of Berlin, Connecticut. A consolidation charter was adopted in 1905.

Connecticut underway sometime before World War I

USS Connecticut (BB-18), the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after the state of Connecticut, was the lead ship of her class of six. Her keel was laid on 10 March 1903; launched on 29 September 1904, Connecticut was commissioned on 29 September 1906 as the most advanced ship in the U.S. Navy. The battleship served as the flagship for the Jamestown Exposition in mid-1907, which commemorated the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony. She later sailed with the Great White Fleet on a circumnavigation of the Earth to showcase the United States Navy's growing fleet of blue-water-capable ships. After completing her service with the Great White Fleet, Connecticut participated in several flag-waving exercises intended to protect American citizens abroad until she was pressed into service as a troop transport at the end of World War I to expedite the return of American Expeditionary Forces from France. For the remainder of her career, Connecticut sailed to various places in both the Atlantic and Pacific while training newer recruits to the Navy. However, the provisions of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty stipulated that many of the older battleships, Connecticut among them, would have to be disposed of, so she was decommissioned on 1 March 1922 and sold for scrap on 1 November 1923.