Did You Know? Where to Find Connecticut’s Most Surprising History Last Updated 6/17

You probably know Connecticut is a state rich with history. But there are some unexpected stories and hidden secrets here you may not have heard about in the history books. Thanks to connecticuthistory.org, we’ve unearthed a few of the more interesting "Did You Know" tales from Connecticut’s fascinating history here.

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What’s that Noise?

Did you know that a Connecticut town was once home to a fearsome attack — by bullfrogs? In June of 1754, the residents of Windham were awakened to the sounds of what some thought was screaming or moaning of people (or spirits) in turmoil. By morning it was revealed that the town’s watering hole was now the site of hundreds of bullfrog corpses, resulting from a desperate, drought-starved battle for water. Today the Great Windham Frog Fight has been immortalized with the city’s most visible frog residents standing guard at either end of the Frog Bridge.

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Get Ready to Scream

Did you know Connecticut is home to the oldest continuously operating amusement park in America? Not to mention the #1 wooden rollercoaster in the country! Built in 1846, Lake Compounce in Bristol is home to the one and only Boulder Dash. Built into the side of a wooded mountain, Boulder Dash is the longest wooden coaster on the east coast, and has been ranked the #1 Wooden Roller Coaster in the world. Alongside newer coasters, as well as its 1927 sister The Wildcat, Boulder Dash is thrilling new generations of riders every year.

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Anyone Missing a Cannonball?

Did you know that a decisive battle of the Revolutionary War was fought in Ridgefield?  Or that there is still a cannonball lodged in the wall of Keeler Tavern today? This historical event was a turning point in the war because it demonstrated the unexpectedly passionate resistance of the Continental Army. It was also a key milestone in the career of Benedict Arnold, who was considered a hero of the day.

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One House, So Much History

Did you know that one of America’s first female architects lived and worked in Connecticut? Or that she also survived the sinking of the Lusitania? Theodate Pope Riddle was ahead of her time. She turned a small cottage into Hill-Stead, an elegant home for her parents that is today known for its impressionist art collection and annual poetry festivals. (And did you also know that a 12,000-year-old mastodon skeleton was found on the grounds in 1913? Today it remains one of New England’s most amazing paleontological finds!)

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Toss This Around

Did you know that the Frisbee originated in Connecticut?  History has it that the famous flying disk got its start as a 19th-century tin pie plate from the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport—which was tossed by students from nearby universities. Today, a nice place to relax and toss a Frisbee would be in Bridgeport’s Seaside Park, which was laid out by Frederick Law Olmstead, the legendary landscape architect behind New York’s Central Park and developed by famous Bridgeport resident P.T. Barnum.

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A Bewitching Legacy

Did you know the first people to be found guilty in colonial witch trials were executed in Hartford? In 1642, witchcraft was declared punishable by death in Connecticut. Five years later, Alse Young of Windsor was hanged at the Meeting House Square in Hartford, now the site of Connecticut’s Old State House. In nearby Wethersfield, Mary Johnson was executed after allegedly confessing to entering into a compact with the devil, and Joan and John Carrington were executed in 1651. You can find out more about this dark part of our history first-hand at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield.

Be sure to visit connecticuthistory.org to find more stories about the people, traditions, innovations and event that make up the rich history of the Nutmeg State. And remember to Like them on Facebook for new stories!