1789: George Washington Visit

George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart.
George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart.

On this day, George Washington visited Middletown while traveling through New England.  The president noted in his diary: “At one we arrived in Middletown, on the Connecticut River, being met 2… or 3 miles from it by the respectable citizens of the place and escorted by them.  While dinner was getting ready I took a walk around the town from the heights of which the prospect if beautiful.  Belonging to this place, I was informed (by General Sage) that there were about 20 sea vessels….The country hereabouts is beautiful and lands good….”  Though his visit lasted just about two hours, it made a great impression on Middletown citizens.  Shortly thereafter, the city changed the name of “Boston Road” to “Washington Street” to honor the first president and mark his visit here.

Story contributed by Deborah Shapiro.

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