EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s no secret that the University of Mississippi has a diverse population of students from across the United States and around the world. In fact, there are students from every state in the nation, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico comprising the total of 20,827 (U.S. students) on the Oxford and regional campuses including UMMC, according to University of Mississippi Institutional Research. Mississippi holds the largest share (58.11 percent), but the remaining states share the other almost 42 percent. There are 63 Ole Miss students from Connecticut (0.32%).
Starting this week, I will be counting down the ten most beautiful state capitol buildings (in my opinion) starting with number ten, Hartford, Connecticut. We’ll provide a history of each as we proceed to the most beautiful of all. You will want to follow our selections as each state is well represented within our current student body. In this case, according to the Ole Miss Institutional Research department, there are 63 students from Connecticut. (You might be surprised when we get to number one, although Hollywood discovered its beauty many years ago!)
Hartford was the third state capitol building since the American Revolution and was still competing with New Haven following the Civil War. I first visited this striking structure in 1984 and have never forgotten its magnificence. The Capitol was built at a cost of $2.5M and took eight years to construct, finishing in 1878. It is categorized as an “Eastlake Movement” style with French & Gothic Revival styled elements. In January 1879, the Capitol opened for the session of the General Assembly of Connecticut.
At the time the Capitol was completed, the New York Times described it as a vast mass of white marble. Continuing, the newspaper said that it appeared as a fairy palace of frost work in the noon dazzling sunshine. The building is adjacent to Bushnell Park and its site was the original location of the old Trinity College.
There are some galleries of historical artifacts on the building’s main floor, principally battle standards of Civil War units. The flags deposited with the state originated from 10,000 of the state’s veterans who deposited 30 regimental flags on September 17, 1879. In 1971 the Capitol was designated a National Historic Landmark.
The building is roughly rectangular with the facades displaying several statues of politicians and others important to the state’s history. Included within this group are Rev. Thomas Hooker (1586-1647), Major John Mason (1600-1672), Governor John Winthrop, Jr. (1605-1676), Revolutionary War Governor Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785), Noah Webster (1758-1843), Civil War Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles (1802-1878) and Connecticut’s first female Governor, Ella T. Grasso who died in 1981.
The central domed tower is quite distinctive with the overall height of the tower reaching 257 feet. The cupola is 55 feet in height.
One of those 63 Ole Miss students from Connecticut is Meggie Carter, a senior Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) major from Old Lyme, Connecticut. Meggie’s parents were surprised when she wanted to visit Ole Miss all the way from the northeast, but once they arrived they all were sold. Meggie says her parents now take every opportunity to visit her in Oxford and have learned their way around town quite well. Nonetheless, she’s proud to say she’s from Connecticut and was proud to provide the photo you see accompanying this story.
(A special credit to Wikipedia for providing the historical information.)
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at email@example.com or call him at 985-852-7745.