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Stars Hollow is a fictional town in Connecticut featured on the television show Gilmore Girls. It is a close-knit community with many characteristics, located roughly thirty minutes from Hartford. The town square is located on the Warner Bros. studio back lot, just around the corner from the exterior set for the hospital from ER.
History of Stars Hollow
Stars Hollow was founded in 1779 with conflicting legends regarding how it got its name. Although some within the town doubt the theory, the traditionally accepted legend involves two star-crossed lovers who seemed destined never to be together, until separate cosmological phenomena involving stars led them to each other at the spot where the town now exists. This is celebrated annually at the Firelight Festival, shown in 1st-season episode "Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers" and 4th-season episode "Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels."
Another story of Stars Hollow's founding was presented in Season 5, episode 18, "To Die and Let Diorama." A talking display built in the new Stars Hollow Museum explained that a Puritan family first discovered the area while looking for a place to settle. They named it as such because of "the stars, so bright; this forest, so hollow!"
The Revolutionary War
There was also a "battle" fought in Stars Hollow where 12 men stood and waited for the Redcoats who never came. This battle is re-enacted annually, shown in first-season episode "Love and War and Snow" and in 5th-season episode "Women of Questionable Morals." This second occurrence marked the beginning of the addition of the town prostitute, who slept with the British general to delay the troops.
The bell at Stars Hollow was cast in 1780 to celebrate the first anniversary of the town. The bell cracked the first time it was rung and weighed 2080 pounds. The strike of the bell is E-flat. On June 6, 1944 when Allied forces landed in France, the sound of the bell was broadcast to all parts of the country.
According to the Stars Hollow Historical Society, Third Street is among the town's worst historical landmarks to take your children. In the 18th century, it was known as "Sores and Boils Alley," where sick and suffering people throughout the region came to have sores and boils lanced. A small leper colony is said to have existed there as well. On modern-day Third Street, one will find the newly restored Dragonfly Inn.
Throughout its history, Third Street has also held various other names, aside from the aforementioned "Sores and Boils Alley," including "Constabulary Road," "Crusty Bulge," and a Nipmuc Indian name, "Chargogagogmanchogagogcharbunagunggamog." The Nipmuc Indian name is said to mean, "You fish on your side of the lake, I'll fish on my side and no one will fish in the middle." According to Kirk, it could also mean "Buffalo." This place name is actually based on the local name for a lake in Webster, Massachusetts, which is more formally known as Webster Lake.
Stars Hollow was inspired by and is loosely based on the actual villages of Kent, Connecticut; Washington Depot, Connecticut; West Hartford, Connecticut; and the town of New Milford, Connecticut while the show's writer spent 3 weeks at the Mayflower Grace in Washington, Connecticut. Sherman-Palladino later said, "Now, I've never been there in winter, when you're snowed in and you can't go anywhere, and you and your husband want to kill each other because you can't go to a movie. But at the time I was there, it was beautiful, it was magical, and it was feeling of warmth and small-town camaraderie. . . . There was a longing for that in my own life, and I thought – that's something that I would really love to put out there."
Greg Morago of the Hartford Courant writes, "Unlike the Hartford depicted on Judging Amy, the Stars Hollow of The Gilmore Girls rings true. The town's antiques shops, small businesses, schools, government and infrastructure look the part. But where Sherman-Palladino has truly excelled, despite her Clueless origins, is in her drawing of colorful Connecticut characters. The populace of Stars Hollow, from the town busybody to the town troubadour, is familiar to any Nutmegger who ever attended a town meeting."