Colt Park

The Colt Memorial Statue nestled beneath an oak tree on a cloudy summer day.
The Colt Memorial Statue commissioned by Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt for her husband Samuel Colt.

Photo Credit: NPS Digital Photo

Quick Facts
Hartford, Connecticut
Industrialist, Samuel Colt, implemented the concept of paternalistic capitalism within the City of Hartford and in providing for his workers and his family, Colt Park was established. The park provided Colt employees and the Colt family with a place to relax in nature. It became an example of the High Victorian Style in Hartford.
Colt Park is a contributing site to the Coltsville Historic District which is registered as a National Historic Landmark District.
The City of Hartford

Cellular Signal, Parking - Auto, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Picnic Table, Playground, Restroom - Seasonal, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Swimming Pool

Located behind the Colt family home, were expansive grounds that allowed for relaxation and an escape from the urban center, not only for the Colts but also for the employees of Colts’ Firearm Factory.

The grounds of Colt Park, during the residence of the Colts, were extravagant and modeled in High Victorian style. The 105 acres were designed in a way to allow family and guests to escape from the hustle and bustle of the 19th century and reconnect with nature.

The grounds contained many manicured gardens, green houses, a working farm, several conservatories, a large open lawn, a bronze colt statue, Greek Mythology marble sculptures, a deer park, a lake and two ponds. The lake offered various recreation opportunities including row boating, ice skating and fishing. The greenhouses contained rare plants but also tropical fruits such as pineapples, oranges, bananas and figs. Exotic animals could often been seen wandering the grounds.

At the Western Entrance of the Park, off of Wethersfield Avenue and Morris Street, the Samuel Colt Monument stands as a reminder of Samuel Colt’s legacy. Here, nestled under an oak tree, stands a testament to the man who greatly impacted Hartford and the United States through his technological innovations and the development of an industrial village. The memorial was commissioned by Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt and was completed in 1906.

The memorial statue consists of four different depictions of Samuel Colt throughout his lifetime, each representing a significant moment in his life. Sitting at the front of the memorial is that of a young Samuel Colt whittling a revolver barrel during his time as a sailor. The story, as told by Samuel, is that as a sailor on the Corvo, he developed his idea of a revolving barrel, allowing for multiple shots, by observing the helm of the ship.

Behind him, standing tall, overlooking the park entrance is Samuel as an adult, a man of success, and on either side of the memorial base are relief's cast in bronze. One showing an interaction with the Russian Czar and the other of Samuel showing his new invention, the revolver, to the British House of Commons. Both relief's refer to Colt's Tour of Europe in 1854 where he was acclaimed for perfecting the revolver.

Elizabeth deeded Colt Park to the City of Hartford after her death for the grounds to be used for future generations. Today while the park doesn’t look the same, but it serves the same function allowing individuals to reconnect with nature and the outdoors.

In 1976 the Colt Park was designated as Historic Place and in 2008, and it became a contributing site to the Coltsville Historic District which is registered as a National Historic Landmark District. In 2014, the United States Congress authorized creation of the Coltsville National Historical Park which includes the Colt Park. 

Colt Park, today, now has basketball and handball courts, soccer, baseball, softball, and football fields, two swimming pools, a playground and a walking path. The Park is managed by the City of Hartford and is open to the public from dawn to dusk. 

Coltsville National Historical Park

Last updated: April 9, 2021