July 17, 2014
By ROSA CICCIO | Hartford Courant
HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: It's a combination of Har(tford) and Win(dsor), the two places that provided land for the new town. The "ton" means town.
ORIGINS: Settled in the early 1730s as part of the Western Lands belonging to the Hartford and Windsor plantations. The town was incorporated in 1737.
THE LEATHERMAN'S ROUTE: The town was part of the route that the legendary Leatherman walked in the mid-19th century, taking him from Connecticut to New York and back following a route between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers. The homeless wanderer, dressed in a suit made of leather patches, completed the same 350-mile circuit every 34 days. He slept in caves along the route and subsisted on meals that locals provided along the way. He never socialized or spoke, only pointing to his mouth when asking for food. He was found dead in a cave in Ossining, N.Y. on March 4, 1889, having succumbed to cancer.
DID YOU KNOW? It is the only town named Harwinton in the country.
NOTABLE RESIDENTS: U.S. Reps. Jonathan Brace and George S. Catlin; Elam Luddington, the first Latter-Day Saint missionary in Thailand; clockmaker Luman Watson; and railroad builder Collis P. Huntington.
SOURCES: The Hartford Courant; Connecticut Place Names; harwinhistory.com; cslib.org; rsc.byu.edu; CT State Register and Manual