Episode Information

Talcott Mountain State Park
Media Lab member Nate Newton on location at Talcott Mountain - Photo by Sarah Krauss
Aired:
08/12/2009
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Talcott Mountain is located in Simsbury, CT.  A main attraction of the park is the Heublein Tower. The tower was built in 1914.  It is special because it has remained mostly unchanged since its' construction.  The tower became apart of Talcott Mountain State Park in 1974.  Vistors can reach the tower after a 45 minute hike.  On a busy day, up to 2,000 people can visit the site.  Activities at the park include hiking trails, sight-seeing, grounds tours, and school tours.  The hiking trail also includes a hanggliders' pad that is located directly above King Philip's Cave.  According to legend, the Metacomet chief hid in the cave as he watched a nearby town burn during a battle between colonists and the Metacomet Tribe.  There are great views of Connecticut from the top of the mountain.  Visitors can see Simbury's Iron Bridge and Hamden's Sleeping Giant Mountain in addition to the cityscapes of Hartford, Bloomfield, and Wethersfield.

The amazing views from the top of Heublein Tower made our 1.25 mile treck up Talcott Mountain worth the effort. Department of Environmental Protection's Amanda Davis, took the Media Lab Staff up the yellow trail and explained the sights and sounds and history of the area. The trail began with a steep, quarter-mile climb, but once we got past that section of the trail, the path leveled out. Amanda brought us to a section of the trail that overlooked Avon and Farmington. Even though we were there on a foggy day, the views were breathtaking. Once we got to Heublein Tower, Amanda took us on a tour of the grounds. She told us that the tower, which stands today, was the fourth tower to be built in that spot. Heublein Tower is named after Gilbert Heublein, a Hartford hotelier and restaurant owner who began building it in 1911. Heublein intended to use the tower as a summer getaway for his family and used to entertain his guests at the top of the tower. The tower was completed in 1914 and remained in the Heublein family's care until Gilbert Heubline's death in 1937. The tower was sold in 1943 to the Hartford Times in order to repay Heublein's debts. The Times intended to use the tower as an antenna but never installed the technology. Instead, the tower was used as an executive playground. The Times sold the tower in 1962. The tower fell into disrepair. According to Amanda, the tower was looted and vandalized. The tower had one of the states' first elevators, but vandals destroyed the elevator during the 1970s. It wasn't until 1974 that the area was incorporated into a state park. Since then, the tower has been restored. When we got to the top of the tower, we could see Simsbury, Sleeping Giant Mountain, Hartford, Bloomfield, and Wethersfield. -Julia Kwon 


 
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