This Decisive Moment



On the west bank of the Connecticut River, just south of the center of the city of Hartford, sits what is left of Coltsville, a company town created by Samual Colt in the 1800's.

It was a model of assembly line efficiency and an experiment in work-life balance.

Colt did everything he could to keep his employees close to the mill and keep them satisfied. He even built a small Bavarian village as means to recruit German gunmakers to Hartford.


Next to the blue onion dome on top of the main armory, the most striking part of the Colt complex is the glass saw tooth building. It was constructed to let in maximum daylight to make it easier to workers to assemble Colt revolvers and other guns on the factory floor below.

Coltsville has been designated a national park and work is underway to make it ready to accept visitors.

Like many old factories in New England, the Colt factory has been repurposed and now includes housing, office and retail space.

The shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013, which left 26 people dead, has changed the perception of guns in Connecticut. But the Coltsville section of Hartford is a reminder of the connection this state has always had to the arms trade.