By TINA LENDER | Hartford Courant HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: The reason is uncertain, but one theory is that it was named after the town's "L" shape, caused by its panhandle extending to the east. The area was once known as the Great Marsh. The town was incorporated from East Windsor in 1786. DID YOU KNOW? Ellington is home to one of America's oldest roadside memorials. A stone marker on Pinney Street (Route 286), northwest of the intersection with Windermere Avenue, reads: "Killed in this place/ Samuel Field Knight / by a cartwheel rolling over his head in the 10th year of his age/ Nov. 8, 1812." The boy driving alone in an ox cart to buy cider when the accident occurred. The Ellington Historical Society pronounced the marker a historical site in 1969, but lost track of it for several years until it was uncovered in 1994 by state workers cutting down trees. NOTABLE NATIVES: Art Nouveau artist Echo Chernik; U.S. Rep John H. Brockway (1801-1870); and U.S. Solicitor General Orlow W. Chapman (1832-1890). The Rev. Henry Weston Smith, the first preacher in South Dakota's Black Hills during the gold rush, was also born in Ellington. He was portrayed by Ray McKinnon in the HBO series "Deadwood."
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