East Hampton
Connecticut (CT), 06424

Town Hall

East Hampton is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut. The population was 13,352 at the 2000 census. East Hampton also includes the villages of Cobalt, Middle Haddam and Lake Pocotopaug.

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About East Hampton Connecticut:

The southern trailhead of the Shenipsit Trail is in Cobalt, and the Airline State Park (a rail trail) has its southern trailhead in East Hampton, at Smith Street. The 884-acre (3.6 km?) Hurd State Park, Meshomasic State Forest and Salmon River State Forest are located in town. Comstock Covered Bridge, the only remaining covered bridge in eastern Connecticut, spans the Salmon River near Route 16 in East Hampton.


The first settlers of the area arrived in 1739 by sea from Eastham, Massachusetts. They traveled up the Connecticut River to Middle Haddam parish between the two adjacent towns of Middletown and Haddam. Led by Isaac Smith, some of these settlers went on to the hills near Lake Pocotopaug, the present-day location of East Hampton. In 1746, the settlers named their community Easthampton parish after their former home of Eastham. In 1767, the community was separated from Middletown incorporated by the Connecticut General Assembly as the township of Chatham, after Chatham, Medway due to the important shipbuilding industries that both places had in common. In the 1800s, East Hampton became the center of the manufacturing of bells, with the first factory being constructed in 1808. During this period thirty firms were known to have built and ran factories producing these bell products. The four most prominent being Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company, Starr, Hill, and Gong Bell. In 1841, the East Middletown parish, which had been a part of Chatham, separated and became a new township called Conway (later renamed to Portland).

Chatham was renamed to East Hampton in 1915, which had long been a second name for the township. The name "East Hampton", however, is confusing, since the town is many miles southwest of Hampton, Connecticut. The bell companies that dominated the economy of East Hampton continued to flourish until The Great Depression. Today the only remaining company is Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company, at a much reduced scale. Many of the brick factories from this remain untouched in the center of the town while others have been converted into offices, stores, and other small businesses.

Capt. Jesse Hurd was master ship builder in Middle Haddam after the Revolutionary War until his death in 1839. Interest in ship building in Middle Haddam dwindled thereafter. Captain Hurd was also the owner and creator of the New York Screw Dock Company, a "dry dock" facility for ship repairs. Captain Hurd was married to Drusilla Dart. Drusilla's brother, Joseph Dart, Esq. married Sarah Hurd. Hurd's father was Capt. Jacob Hurd, II, who married Thankful Hurlbut, daughter of Capt. Hurlbut of Middletown. Capt. Jacob Hurd held worship services, twice a day, in his home. Perhaps that was done because there was no Methodist Episcopal Church until 1786, though records indicate the Hurds, Darts, Smiths, Higgins, et al. were married at the Congregational Church. He died at the age of 92 due to falling off his horse. His father, Jacob, married Rebecca Higgins, great grand daughter of Thomas Rogers, of the Mayflower. Jacob was son of John Hurd who emigrated to Boston from the Highlands of Scotland.

Capt. Jesse Hurd's son was Capt. Cyrus Hurd, shipmaster. Cyrus Hurd married Belinda Norton Smith, daughter of Capt. Hezekiah Smith. Their daughter Emma Eugenia Smith married Russel Dart, II, Esq. Their son was Russel Dart, III, Esq., who owned the Alfaduct Company whose manufacturing plant was in Jersey City, New Jersey. The office was in Manhattan. His home was a townhouse on the upper west side. Russel renovated the Cyrus Hurd's Connecticut River Valley home, adding a large, stylish addition on the north side. He also renovated the library, with the Hurds, which had been given to Middle Haddam by Cyrus' daughter, Delia. Russel gave the large parcel of property, a few miles south, which is known as Hurd State Park to the State. He also gave his Connecticut River island, known as Dart Island to the State. Russel married Ida Stuyvesant Woodhouse, a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant. Russel and Ida had two children: Russel Stuyvesant Dart and Margaret Stuyvesant Dart, author of Yankee Traders, at Sea and Ashore. Russel S. Dart had two sons: Russel B. Dart and John R. Dart. John had three sons: Ralph, Richard and Christopher. Christopher married Linda and has a son, Jeremiah, Manhattan photographer and daughter Christine, student at Wentworth University in Boston.

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*Some content provided by Wikipedia.org

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