Signs showcases New Britain's history - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Signs showcases New Britain's history

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Signs across New Britain are helping showcase the city's rich history. (WFSB) Signs across New Britain are helping showcase the city's rich history. (WFSB)

Signs are popping up all across the city of New Britain and it’s part of an effort to make the city more historical.

The city of New Britain was incorporated in 1871. Now, new signs are the city’s latest effort to make it more attractive for history enthusiasts.

Each day after work, Southington resident Gordon Belcher said before heading home he takes a walk in walnut hill park. But recently he noticed something different on the walking path.  

“About 3 weeks ago, they actually started popping up,” Belcher said. “I actually went on vacation, came back and all of the signs seems to be there.”  

Those historical signs are part of the city’s effort to showcase its deep and rich history.

“We want to make this a tourist attraction. The industrial museum is downtown,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said. “Our visitor center is downtown.”

There are three historical paths throughout the city.  There are called the red loop, gold loop and green loop.

“The green loop focuses on the Walnut Hill Park and the New Britain Museum of Art,” Stewart said.

The gold focuses on the downtown area.  

“The red loops focuses on Broad Street and little Poland,” Stewart said.

Each sign has several different historical facts about the city.

“Fun fact about New Britain is that the first coat hanger was invented in the city of New Britain,” Stewart said.

The city hall wasn’t always a government building at one point, it was actually a hotel.

“I didn’t know that,” New Britain resident Rebecca Lender said.  “That’s pretty surprising.”

The tours are free and self-guided.

“Eventually you’ll be able to scan a QR code on one of these signs, it will pull up something right on your smart phone that will be able to help direct you through the tour,” Stewart said.

Eventually the city is hoping to include these historical tours as part its curriculum for local public school students

“We thought the signs were kind of interesting,” Lender said.

“I think New Britain is advertising themselves very well,” Belcher said.  

There are 25 signs in total. City officials said the signs were paid through a series of grants.

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