Driving into Connecticut’s Capitol City you will undoubtedly notice the bright blue and white, onion shaped dome on the side of I-91. This well-known local architecture marks an area known as Coltsville in Hartford, where Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company once thrived. Coltsville includes Colt Park, the former home of Samuel and Elizabeth Colt, housing used by factory workers, armories where firearms and other products were manufactured and more.
After its founding in 1855, Sam and Elizabeth Colt created a community around manufacturing in Hartford, widely recognized as one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution. Following the death of her husband, Elizabeth Colt became the first woman to lead a top five manufacturing company, one of the first to implement firewalls and developed an apprenticeship program that spawned the typewriter, the automobile and ultimately the airplane engine.
In Washington, Congressman Larson is working to designate Coltsville as a National Park. Designating Coltsville as a National Park not only helps us preserve a crucial piece of Connecticut history, it also benefits the entire community through economic development, tourism and subsequent job creation.
In recent studies, the National Park Service has pointed to these benefits, highlighting over $12 billion dollars spent in 2011 in regions surrounding National Parks with more than 177,000 jobs supported by visitor spending nationally. A recent Connecticut Economic Resource Center study has also pointed to current development at Coltsville already accounting for more than 1,000 annual jobs in Connecticut and an economic impact of over $177 million along with the potential for 2,500 annual jobs and an economic impact of over $350 million through 2016, efforts that would be bolstered by the tourism and continued development associated with this designation.