By TINA BACHETTI | Hartford Courant HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: Named after Wallingford, Berkshire, England, when the town was separated from New Haven and incorporated in 1670. It was previously called New Haven Village. The Indians called the area Coginchaug, which means "the long swamp" or "the thick swamp." OAKDALE THEATRE: Built on an alfalfa field in 1954, the Oakdale started as a 1,200-seat summer venue, hosting musicals with showbiz stars, including Danny Kaye and Ethel Merman. The theater eventually started oBering folk, rock and country concerts. A 5,000-seat building was added in 1997, and the venue today attracts such international acts as Sting and Dave Matthews Band. DID YOU KNOW? The first coBee mill was patented by James Carrington of Wallingford in 1829. NOTABLE RESIDENTS: Singer and composer Morton Downey, father of talk show host Morton Downey Jr. ; Moses Yale Beach, inventor and founder of the Associated Press; and actor D.J. Cotrona of ABC's "Detroit 1-8-7." SOURCES: Connecticut Place Names; The Hartford Courant; New York Daily News; Associated Press website; Oakdale Theatre website
Johnathon Henninger
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