Greenwich travel writer shares CT’s quirky history in new book
What do the first president of Indiana Jones and helicopters have in common?
For starters this is a great way to get word out in Connecticut.
When the COVID-19 pandemic relied on Greenwich travel writer Anastasia Mills Healy, she began exploring history and curiosity in her backyard. She has since shared her findings in her new book, Secret Connecticut: Guide to Weird, Wonderful and Obscure, published March 15.
The book contains 84 stories about the eclectic history of the state. Connecticut is home to an occult museum, a Stonehenge-style structure and a Boom Box parade. The hero of the World War Cynic St. Stubby, pediatrician Dr. Spock, Martin Luther King Jr. and author F. Scott Fitzgerald all share a relationship with Nutmeg State.
“I know a lot about this situation, since I’ve lived here most of my life, and if something made me say, ‘Oh I didn’t know,’ I put it in the book,” Healy said.
Speaking of stories that people will find most surprising, Healy said many people were shocked to learn that Martin Luther King Jr. spent time in Simsbury.
“He worked on a tobacco farm as a teenager,” Healy said. “It was his first time from the divided South, and it was also his first time ever preaching. I thought it was so wonderful and interesting to learn that many people do not know it. “
Healy said she was surprised to learn of Bridgeport’s “amazing community,” Little Liberia, a 19th-century pocket made up of liberated blacks and Native Americans. Mary Freeman, whose brother founded the community, was the second richest person living in Bridgeport at the time. (The first was PT Barnum.)
Lewis Latimer, a black engineer who worked with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, also lived in Little Liberia. “These are some of the stories that Connecticut belongs to,” Healy said.
Hailey, a fan of The Great Gatsby, said she was surprised to learn that Scott Fitzgerald had spent time in Westport.
Healy said she hopes people will enjoy the rich history of the state and know that Connecticut is more than just “preppy, white and rich” stereotypes.
On a more bizarre note, Healy said she enjoyed learning about the Boom Box parade at Willimantic that began in the 1980s.
It all started when the organizers of the parade for the July 4 parade could not find a marching band, so they said: “Just take the box with the boom and tune in to the radio station so we can all play the band’s music.” “Halle said. “Then it became a tradition and now I really want to go.”
For more information about Healy and her book, visit stashastravels.blog.