East Hartford Town Letterbox  LbNA # 8592 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJun 4 2004
LocationEast Hartford, CT
Planted ByWild Rover    
Found By WWW
Last Found Oct 28 2008
Hike Distance?

Hockanum Linear Park, Town Hall Trail
(Stroller Accessible/Easy)

**Box frozen January 2005; re-planted February 2005.**
***Box drowned 4/16/05; re-planted 05/10/05.**
****Box frozen Winter 2005-06; yet to be re-planted.****

****Box re-planted in new spot on 02/10/2008. Revised clues below. Hope it doesn't flood out again!!! ****

The year is 1886. The land east of the Great River along the fertile Hockanum River Valley was historically inhabited by the Podunk Indians, who peacefully hunted, fished and forested in the area long before English settlers arrived. The Podunks began to have interaction with the encroaching settlers in 1631, and also periodically experienced trouble from the menacing Mohegan tribe. Relations with the settlers continued to deteriorate when in 1657 at an assembly of Chiefs in Hartford the tribe refused to accept Christianity.

The land now known as East Hartford was gifted from Podunk Chief Arramamet to Joshua Sachem, third son of Mohegan Chief Uncas, as a dower when Joshua married Arramamet's daughter Sowgonosk. Joshua Sachem's "five mile tract" east of the Great River was deeded to the Town of Hartford in 1682 pursuant to a provision in his will when he died in 1675. This tract was combined with a three mile tract taken from the Podunks in 1677 by the sitting Court in Hartford, subsequent to the Narragansett War, when the Podunk reservation was disbanded.

The combined tract stretched from the Great River to what is now the Bolton town line, and became known as East Hartford. In 1726 the inhabitants, numbering 2,000 or more, unsuccessfully petitioned the General Assembly to set them off as a separate town. The petition was reviewed from time to time thereafter. In 1781 during the American Revolution, Count Rochambeau and his army of 15,000 strong camped on fields north of Silver Lane while en route to join General George Washington on the Hudson River. Their stay was marked with much good feeling and was a memorable event for the townspeople, who named Silver Lane after the "hard money" used by the French. Rochambeau camped here again in 1782 on his return across the State.

In 1783 the General Assembly granted the inhabitants' request and the Town of East Hartford was created, bounded west by the Connecticut River, east by the Bolton town line, north by the East Windsor town line, and South by the Glastonbury line. The Hockanum River and its many tributaries, including Pewter-Pot Brook and several streams, furnished several fine sources for water power, and many mills of various types were established. The town has flourished, and today in 1886 boasts more than 3,500 citizens.

The East Hartford Town Letterbox pays tribute to the fertile Hockanum River Valley first settled by the Podunks. The stamp was adapted from part of the East Hartford Town Seal, which features a Great Oak (of which you will see many while hunting for this box), as well as a likeness of the First Congregational Church which functioned as the Town meeting house before the formation of the Town in 1783, and as the Town Hall for some period thereafter. It is Wild Rover's fourth in a series of six letterboxes planted in East Hartford.


Park in the rear of the East Hartford Town Hall located at 740 Main Street in East Hartford. In the rear of the lot is a sign for the Hockanum Linear Park Town Hall Trail, where the East Hartford Town Letterbox can be found. {*** Be sure to bring clues to Wild Rover's "Center Cemetery Letterbox" and to May Eve's "Pomp Equality Letterbox" planted in the Centre Burying-Ground just a few blocks up Main Street, and for the "Sammy The West Highland White Terrier" letterbox on the Elm Street Trail.}


In the rear of the Town Hall parking lot is a stairway next to a sign for the Hockanum Linear Park Town Hall Trail. Ascend the stairs and walk to the left along the top of an elevated burm to a second stairway that descends down to the Town Hall Trail. The trail curves around to the left past a pair of wooden benches to yet another staircase that descends to a long, wooden geometric bridge/walkway. Traverse the zig-zag bridge over land that appears to be oft submersed when the Hockanum floods, as the trail runs alongside the Hockanum. It was in this area that the Podunks hunted and fished, and many of the Great Oaks you walk past could surely bear witness to Arramamet and Joshua taking fish and game

As the trail progresses you will come to an uprooted tree on the right, lying close to the ground and showing you its root base, and pointing at the Hockanum to your right. At this point the trail/bridge takes on a strange geometric “hump” like something out of a miniature golf course. At the end of the “hump” is a tree whose limbs cross above the trail. From the apex of this tree arch take 15 paces (every left foot) to a small grouping of three viney trees on the right. The tree on the right is a 5-sister, and the middle tree has a Pooh House big enough for a bear cub to hibernate in -- this Pooh House was the former wet, icy, oft-flooded home of the EHTLB, but it was finally moved and re-planted on February 10, 2008. So now...

Continue along the bridge/trail past a 7-sister tree on your left, past a small set of hand-rails on the bridge, past the first observation deck on your left, then past the second observation deck on your right. After the 2nd observation deck there is another "hump" in the bridge/trail. From the very end of the "hump" where the trail levels off and begins to turn left, take about 30 steps (every foot counts) to see a tall, very dead tree on the left side of the trail -- it looks to have been eaten by bugs, animals and other forms of life and, hopefully, it has not fallen yet (if so, the 30 steps still applies). behind the tall, dead tree, just beyond and to the right of it, is a large 3-sister tree with some vines growing in and on it. Hopefully you are wearing boots, becuase it is within the center of this 3-sister that the East Hartford Town Letterbox is hidden. Please re-hide it well.

If you continue on through the marsh and beyond you will reach the Elm Street Trail near the bottom of Center Cemetery. Good luck, and thanks for looking !!! --WR


Historical text from: "The Memorial History of Hartford County Connecticut 1633-1884," by Joseph O. Goodwin (1886). Special thanks to East Hartford Registrar of Voters Peg Byrnes for her help in identifying the meeting house on the Town Seal. Thanks are also again extended to May Eve for helping me to plant this letterbox. I hope you find it, like it, and enjoy it!!!