Amazing Tales from Off and On Connecticut‘s Beaten Path
Connecticut’s Fairytale Land: The Last Green Valley

Connecticut’s Fairytale Land: The Last Green Valley

November 23, 2022

It may be one of Connecticut’s best-kept secrets. There’s a land area in rural eastern CT (and south-central MA) that’s half the size of Grand Canyon National Park, still 85% undeveloped and where you can’t hear anything resembling civilization. It features huge expanses of open space hiking, clean rivers, historic villages and bald eagle nests. This paradise land shows up on nighttime East Coast satellite photos as the only dark spot between D.C. and Boston. It’s the National Heritage Corridor called The Last Green Valley (TLGV), that features huge expanses of open space hiking, clean water, historic villages and bald eagle nests. The history of collaboration and partnership between 35 communities, land trusts, preservationists and other organizations is told by TLGV’s Assistant Director Fran Kefalas and Chief Ranger Bill Reid.

A British Revolutionary War Raid that Bears Remembering

A British Revolutionary War Raid that Bears Remembering

November 16, 2022

The only invading British solider buried with honors in the United States rests in West Haven, CT. William Campbell has a monument and a parcel of land dedicated to his memory, with the British Union Jack flag flying next to it. The question is: why would he be buried with honors after 3,000 British soldiers had just committed numerous atrocities during the raid on New Haven in 1779? West Haven expert and author Peter Malia is an expert on the question, and he has the answer.

Connecticut’s Cold War Secrets

Connecticut’s Cold War Secrets

November 9, 2022

Underground, reinforced bunkers (built on springs to withstand 2-3 feet shakes from a nuclear blast), an Army death train (removing highly radioactive nuclear fuel rods passing close to a CT college dorm and elementary schools), Nike Hercules nuclear missiles (as powerful as those over Hiroshima) positioned in three CT towns without the residents’ knowledge). These are just a handful of CT’s cold war secrets as documented by engineer John Ramsey that will be discussed in this episode.

Aerospace is Connecticut’s Middle Name

Aerospace is Connecticut’s Middle Name

November 2, 2022

Connecticut has made quantum leap contributions to aerospace in the past 125 years. The first helicopter. Technology-leading jet engines. One of the nation’s first hot air balloonists. Possibly the person who achieved powered flight even before the Wright Brothers. Aerospace is also a critical component of the state’s economy. Hear the Curator of Windsor Lock’s New England Air Museum, Nick Hurley, talk about the fascinating back story of the state’s myriad contributions to aerospace.

When Stagecoaches Were How You Got Around

When Stagecoaches Were How You Got Around

October 26, 2022

It’s hard to overstate the role that stagecoaches played in transforming the United States from 13 colonies, reliant on Great Britain for trade, into an independent economic powerhouse. Starting in the late 1700s, stagecoach routes stitched together Connecticut and brought it closer to the other new states, making the new country viable. For more than 50 years, before trains arrived, stagecoaches were the way to travel, even though they were cramped, bumpy, subject to breakdown and had no temperature control. Hear about life in the stagecoach era from experts Richard DeLuca, author of Post Roads and Iron Horses and Brigid Guertin, Executive Director of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society.

The Day 4 Trains Collided in 10 Minutes

The Day 4 Trains Collided in 10 Minutes

October 19, 2022

One of the worst train crashes in U.S. history occurred in eastern CT in 1891 – 4 trains collided within a matter of less than 10 minutes. Asides from the death, injuries and property damage, this story includes an unbelievable premonition about the incident by a railroad worker that wound up saving his life, as well as a local legend surrounding the mystery of the third supposed death from the crash. Hear the story with the President of the Thompson, CT Historical Society, Joe Iamartino.

Identifying Four Unearthed 250-year-old Skeletons, Buried in a Mass Grave

Identifying Four Unearthed 250-year-old Skeletons, Buried in a Mass Grave

October 12, 2022

Imagine digging in your dirt floor basement and uncovering four, 250-year-old skeletons buried in a mass grave. Who are they? How did they get there? Hear the latest on the investigation in Ridgefield from the Connecticut State Archeologist Emeritus Nick Bellantoni, who shares the incredible investigative techniques he and his team are using to help answer those questions.

When Dinosaurs Roamed Connecticut

When Dinosaurs Roamed Connecticut

October 5, 2022

These days, Connecticut residents have to contend with a lot of deer and black bear. Some 200 million years ago, it would have been dinosaurs – both meat-eating and vegetarian. Thankfully, they left behind thousands of tracks which have been found and preserved, allowing incredible insights into what life was like back then. Hear the story with Michael Ross, Environmental Education Coordinator for Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill.

The First State Prison Ever in the U.S. was in CT - and it was Like a Dungeon

The First State Prison Ever in the U.S. was in CT - and it was Like a Dungeon

September 28, 2022

Was it a copper mine, a dungeon or a prison? Actually, it was all three. Connecticut’s Newgate Prison was the first state prison ever built in the U.S. The East Granby facility, opened before the Revolutionary War, saw prisoners held in dungeon-like conditions 40-feet below ground in an abandoned copper mine. The incredible details are shared by Morgan Bengel, Site Administrator and Curator at the former prison.

Is a Pickle That Doesn’t Bounce Illegal in Connecticut?

Is a Pickle That Doesn’t Bounce Illegal in Connecticut?

September 21, 2022

It’s the age-old question in Connecticut: is a pickle that doesn’t bounce illegal? Precedent was set in 1948 when two men were arrested when their pickles didn’t bounce. This episode is dedicated to not only the Connecticut Pickle Law, but other oddities on the books in the Constitution State.

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