The state of Connecticut is located in the north-east of the USA on the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of 14,357 m² and around 3.5 million inhabitants, Connecticut is the third smallest state in the USA and is partly located in the New England region . As the longest river in New England, the Connecticut River flows through the state of Connecticut.
Its capital is the city of Hartford, but better known in this state is the city of New Haven, where Yale University is located.
According to citypopulationreview.com, the state is nicknamed ” The Constitution State ” and ” Provision State “. During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was supplied with provisions from Connecticut, which is how the nickname came about.
Connecticut is one of the 13 founding states of the United States. On January 9, 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state in the United States.
Connecticut is bordered by Massachusetts to the north, Rhode Island to the east, Long Island Sound to the south, and New York to the west.
Connecticut is divided into eight counties: Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, and Windham.
Connecticut ‘s most famous landmark is Yale University in New Haven.
Things to do in Connecticut
Yale University Art Gallery
Cities and places of interest in Connecticut
Old Newgate Prison & Copper Mine the first state prison in the United States
Old Newgate Prison Historic Site was a Colonial American prison in what is now East Granby, Connecticut , USA.
Originally, the site in what was then the British colony was established to start a copper mine. It is believed to have been the first copper mine in America. It was opened in 1705.
The mine was abandoned in 1750 when it was found to be unprofitable because the ore was of poor quality and the copper was difficult to extract.
After that, the copper mine was converted into a prison in 1773.
The prison was named after Newgate Prison in London, one of the most notorious prisons in English history.
During the Revolutionary War, Newgate was used as a prison for political prisoners. The first prisoner was John Hinson, he was imprisoned for burglary in 1773. He escaped 18 days later. Other prisoners were added for acts such as theft, burglary and forgery.
At that time, escaping from prison was easy. Between 1773 and 1775 virtually every prisoner had managed to escape.
The prisoners slept on straw about 70 meters underground. As punishment for your actions, you had to work in the mine every day.
In 1790, Old Newgate Prison was converted into an impregnable prison and opened as the first state prison in the United States. The prison was nothing more than a damp, gloomy cavern with a single ladder leading down into it.
The Old Newgate Prison was primarily built for men, and it was not until 1824 that the first woman was admitted.
When the prison was closed in 1827 because it became too expensive, attempts were made to resume mining at the copper mine for a short time. But this did not work.
After several years of inactivity, the site was made available as a tourist attraction in Connecticut in 1860. Owned by the State of Connecticut, it is managed by the State of Connecticut.
In 1972, the United States government designated the Old Newgate Prison site as a National Historic Landmark for its historical significance.
Today the grounds of Old Newgate Prison are used as a park and museum. There is also a guard house with exhibits, a visitor center with a gift shop and the remains of the prison buildings on the site. Part of the copper mine can be viewed via a modern staircase.
You should wear good shoes in the mine, as the stones can be slippery and there are some deeper puddles. The ceiling height is sometimes very low and there are narrow places.
Visitors to the mine see about half of the existing tunnels. Access to the other areas is blocked for security reasons. Some are flooded, others have very low ceilings or end in dead ends.
Tragic events claim that the mine is haunted. One reason is the story of Abley Starkey in 1827. Abley Starkey tried to escape by climbing a rope, fell and died.
But there are also rumors about ghostly voices in the tunnels.
Across the street from the prison is the unrestored Viets Tavern. Home of John Viets the first jailer at Old Newgate Prison in the mid 18th century.
The museum is currently being restored and will therefore be closed until May 2014.
Directions & Getting to Old Newgate Prison & Copper Mine
About a mile north of Route 20 in East Granby is Newgate Road, which leads to Old Newgate Prison. Coming from Colebrook just before entering East Granby there is a junction with Old Newgate Prison signposted on the left.
From the intersection of Routes 187 and 20, Newgate Road is about half a mile away.
Entry into Old Newgate Prison
Adults pay $10 admission. Seniors (60 years+) and students must pay $8 and youth (6-17 years) pay $6. Children up to 5 years are free.
Reduced admission is available for schools and groups by prior arrangement.
With the admission ticket you can also visit one of the four state museums (Eric Sloane Museum & Kent Iron Furnace; Henry Whitfield State Museum; Prudence Crandall Musuem & New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine) for half price.
On-site parking is free.
Address of the Old Newgate Prison point of interest in Connecticut
National Historic Landmark
State Archaeological Preserve
115 Newgate Road
(mailing address: P.O. Box 254)
East Granby, CT 06026