Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Rose by any other name - Hog Hill

Many of our street name origins are reasonably apparent.  Lakeview Street adjacent to Lake View Cemetery overlooks Lake Pocotopaug. Barton Hill was the home of William Barton, the first bell maker.  Miller Hill the farm of an early resident.  You probably won't find the street in any current town road index as it is now Main and South Main Streets, but a "native" would likely know its location.  Hog Hill would be equally evident other than the fact there have been no hogs in recent history.  Located eastward from Middle Haddam along Route 149, the ground rises from the Connecticut River, in some places quite steeply and very boldly.  Here a hill of great natural beauty and enchanting scenery was to become known as "Hog Hill" bearing this unbecoming name with originates from colonial days because of a particular episode.  Shortly after settlement, the General Court (the General Assembly) in 1740 granted Middle Haddam settlers its petition to incorporate as a parish, The first meeting house (the church) was erected on the side of this lovely hill.  The meeting house was stoned up underneath (its foundation) and a small aperture left to access under the church.  As was the practice, hogs belonging to the early settlers were allowed to roam at large, foraging unattended.  During a rather violent thunder and lightning storm the swine took refuge under the church.  Some party, likely some mischievous children, closed the entrance shutting in the swine.  Since they normally roamed free, no one noticed them missing until the Sabbath day.  Worshipers were serenaded by the snorting and sequels of the trapped hogs as services began.  Service was temporarily halted as the prisoners were released.  Hog Hill has retained its name ever since.

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