July 23, 2014
By TINA BACHETTI | Hartford Courant
HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: The name was suggested when the town was incorporated in 1835 by abolitionist and U.S. Sen. Francis Gillette, who was born in the area in 1807. The name may have been inspired by the orchards in town. The area was previously called Wintonbury, a combination of Windsor, Farmington and Simsbury, all of which included sections of the present Bloomfield.
GILLETTE HOUSE: Francis Gillette's 1834 Greek Revival house in Bloomfield was a stop for fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. After being vacant for years, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, then rehabilitated and moved to Bloomfield Avenue in 1990.
DID YOU KNOW? Charles Kaman, who founded Kaman Aircraft Co. (now Kaman Corp.) in Bloomfield in 1945, introduced the first helicopter powered by gas turbine in 1951 and the first helicopter fully operated by remote control in 1954. Kaman and his late wife, Roberta, founded The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation in 1960.
SOURCES: Connecticut Place Names; Connecticut Firsts; The Hartford Courant; Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum