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The Church of the Good Shepard-Hartford

The thing about the USA and especially my area of it is that we have a forgotten history. People forget to mention things because it doesn’t fit nice and easy into our preferred narrative. Anyways in Connecticut our best industries have been things like tobacco farming, cloth production (from cotton grown by southern slaves), and gun making…. So you see why we try and forget?

The thing about the USA and especially my area of it is that we have a forgotten history. People forget to mention things because it doesn’t fit nice and easy into our preferred narrative. Anyways in Connecticut our best industries have been things like tobacco farming, cloth production (from cotton grown by southern slaves), and gun making…. So you see why we try and forget?

The Colt family were kings of gun making, selling cheap guns to pioneers and soldiers out shooting native Americans in the west, selling to both union and confederate soldiers in the civil war so they can kill each other, oh boy. Sam Colt invented the 6 shooter and more importantly figured out how to use interchangeable parts and the assembly line to make lots and lots of high quality low cost guns. But you know him and his wife also did a lot for their employees … they built them nice houses, parks, a baseball stadium, 1860s style like cricket meets rounder’s.

They also built them a church, Elizabeth wanted Sam to build it for their 3 little babies who died in infancy, so they started building that but then Sam died so change of plans, it now is to honor Sam and the 3 babies. I have been wanted to tour this church for years and the other day I got my chance. I brought my holga filtered pop9, the supersampler, and my vintage Konica auto-s with redscale along for the ride. I figured that the Konica was appropriate since it was a Connecticut made camera and was the most popular cam for American soldiers in Vietnam and the colt factory of Hartford Connecticut made all the ak47s that those same GIs used in that same war. Inside you see carved images of water lilies and cattails since the coltsville area was a swamp before Sam drained it, stained glass in honor of Sam, statues in honor of the dead babies, and the most expensive artwork that could be bought in 1860s America. The tour guide told me that they colored slate roof was leaking and the estimate they got to fix it was 3 million dollars.

There are tiffany chandeliers in random coatrooms, a pipe organ that is insane in scope, and carved wood, stone and marble everywhere. But the best part and thanks for reading all this, is that the factory employees’ entered through a doorway all carved up with images of crosses constructed from all the parts of the famous revolvers. Elizabeth wanted people to know where this money came from and wanted to remind the workers that God approved of their career choice, she wasn’t like that Winchester riffle lady who was tortured her entire life with the thought of all those killed by guns. Elizabeth was a woman running a huge company before women in America could even vote and she was unapologetic… that being said guns kill people but Pratt and Whitney, the guys who built all the engines for the US Airforce in WWII learned their trade as workers in the Colt factory and I guess without them maybe the Allies loose WWII and that would have sucked, I don’t know life is complicated I guess. To make it even more complicated this church now has 3 congregations, Old Fashioned Church of England, a Puerto Rican all Spanish speaking yelling in tongues Pentecostal congregation, and a gay church—- voodoo United States all thrown in together making it hard to keep the line between the past and the present. Oh and the Church is now in an area basically surrounded by crack cocaine 24-7, wow… if you need even more history check out: http://www.cgshartford.org/id19.html

written by kylethefrench

1 comment

  1. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    cool church... cool photos...

    almost 5 years ago · report as spam

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