Hartford, Connecticut: Landmarks ~ History ~ Neighborhoods | Neighborhoods: Frog Hollow
Previous PageNeighborhoods of Hartford, ConnecticutNext PageWest EndUpper AlbanySouth MeadowsSouth GreenSouth EndSheldon/Charter OakParkvilleNorth MeadowsNorth EastFrog HollowDowntownClay/ArsenalBlue HillsBehind the RocksBarry SquareAsylum Hill  
Mouse-over black underlined text for photo. Click on red underlined text for more information.
Frog Hollow takes its name from the marshy conditions in the low land near what is now the corner of Broad and Ward streets. Most of the area was farmland until just after 1850 when the Sharps Rifle Company constructed its factory by the river. Although not the first to be sited along the riverbank, Sharps located there specifically to take advantage of the railroad line that had been constructed along the river in1838, thereby making the introduction of the industrial development of the neighborhood. The Weed Sewing Machine Co. soon was leasing space from Sharps, and later acquired the buildings when P.T. Barnum purchased then moved the Sharps operation to Bridgeport.

The manufacturing empire Colonel Albert Pope created in Frog Hollow rivaled that of Samuel Colt 30 years earlier. His Pope bicycles, electric and gasoline-powered automobiles created hundreds of jobs, inspiring a building boom of multi-family units to house the workers. And like many industrialists of his day, Albert Pope believed that the success of any business was in large part reliant upon the happiness of its employees.

To that end, he donated 90.5 acres of land and hired the renowned Olmsted Brothers landscape architects to create a recreational park for public use. Today, 75 acres of Pope Park remain, though much of the gradeur of its original design is gone. It serves city residents with open space, a public swimming pool and athletic fields.

The industrial development of the neighborhood increased with companies such as Billings & Spencer, Hartford Machine Screw and Pratt & Whitney establishing operations here. The founders of each of these plants had cut their teeth at the Colt Armory and learned well the successful manufacturing practices carried out at Colt's. Those skills were honed in Frog Hollow and helped to make Hartford a machine tool center of some importance.

Street Map of Frog Hollow Neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut


With the expansion of industry came the reduction in farmland. Pastures gave way to rows of brick multi-stories apartment buildings. Hartford was seeing a manufacturing boom with thousands of immigrants flocking to the city for work. Unlike in some other areas of the city, these apartment buildings were primarily constructed of brick with ornamental details, front and rear porches. Today, the neighborhood is virtually devoid of manufacturing but much of the brick housing stock remains.

The Park River, once the force that help drive the factories, was put underground in the 1930s to reduce the inevitable flooding that occurred when the Connecticut River backed up. Access to the river, however, is still able to be achieved and many intrepid explorers and urban speleologists have made the trek by kayak to the Connecticut River from the opening near Pope Park.

Lafayette is the neighborhood's oldest street, appearing on a 1640 map of Hartford as part of the "Road from George Steele's to the Great Swamp." It was called Cooper Lane between 1838 and 1851 and was home to the pre-Civil War African-American community in Hartford. On the street can be found a statue honoring the Marquis de Lafayette, who aided Colonists during the American Revolution, as well as a statue of Christopher Columbus (more).

Park Street was once called Malt Lane. In 1821, it was renamed for Barnard Park at its eastern end, the only park in the city at the time. Today, it is the commercial center of Frog Hollow, with shops and restaurants lining both sides of the street for most of its length.

One newer addition to the neighborhood is Billings Forge. It a community-driven complex of apartments, performance and instructional venues restaurants, garden and farmers' market, with programs for youth and adults alike.

The neighborhood is of mixed use, hosting state office buildings, Zion Hill Cemetery, a major public park, shops, restaurants and residences. It is truly one of Hartford's most varied areas. Ethic groups calling the area home have been diverse, and have included Swedish, Danish, German, Irish, French Canadian, Greek and Puerto Rican.

  Move your cursor over any of the images below for a larger view.

Back | Next

©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2011 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved.
©2011 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2011 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2010 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved.
©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2012 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved. ©2011 Karen O'Maxfield. All rights reserved.

About | City Center | River | Neighborhoods | Burial Grounds | Monuments | Headlines | Resources | Site Map | Contact Us | Home

©2001-2014 Karen O'Maxfield. All Rights Reserved. All photos and graphics on this site are protected under U.S. Copyright laws and may not be downloaded or linked to without written permission of the author.
Should you wish to use a photograph from this site, please contact us.

Site design, hosting and maintenance by Karen O'Maxfield. Please report any bugs or problems to the web administrator.

Disclaimer: All names, dates and information have been derived from several resources. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Privacy Policy