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Bridgeport, with the largest population in Connecticut, was settled in 1659. Originally a farming and fishing community, it branched into shipbuilding and with the advent of the industrial age it became heavily industrialized. This industrial center drew Elias Howe and his Singer Sewing Machine company, the Remington Firearms Company, and many other important companies during the 19th and 20th centuries. During World War II, it was referred to as an “Arsenal of Democracy.” Although hurt during the de-industrialization of the late 20th century, it has made serious progress on redevelopment of blighted areas, especially its waterfront. ...

Bridgeport, with the largest population in Connecticut, was settled in 1659. Originally a farming and fishing community, it branched into shipbuilding and with the advent of the industrial age it became heavily industrialized. This industrial center drew Elias Howe and his Singer Sewing Machine company, the Remington Firearms Company, and many other important companies during the 19th and 20th centuries. During World War II, it was referred to as an “Arsenal of Democracy.” Although hurt during the de-industrialization of the late 20th century, it has made serious progress on redevelopment of blighted areas, especially its waterfront. Perhaps it is best known for circus magnate P.T. Barnum and some of his proteges, such as Tom Thumb, who lived here. P.T Barnum served as the city’s mayor for a year. Seaside Park and Beardsley Park are well-maintained examples of the work of landscape designer Frederick L. Olmstead, and a number of fine old neighborhoods have been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Arena at Harbor Yard is a sports and entertainment center that draws audiences to Bridgeport with more than 140 major events yearly, including games of the AHL Sound Tigers.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    In June for the Barnum Festival