I am working on a book for Wesleyan University Press on the Hartford neighborhood known as “Frog Hollow,” which is in sight of the state capitol, and it’s slow-going because I am easily distracted by the little anecdotes I keep coming across:
During Prohibition, there was a neighborhood speak-easy named “The House of Three Knocks,” the entry into which required you (duh) knock three times, and then cackle like a chicken.
An early resident owned a newspaper that made it its business to continually attack Thomas Jefferson. That same newspaper owner also owned a water company and became quite wealthy sinking hollow logs underground for pipes through which to run the water.
An African American minister tried to have an outdoor revival, but kept getting interrupted by rude white boys from the neighborhood. Those boys eventually moved the minister to close the meeting when they jumped up, took over the service, and started performing hateful minstrel acts.
I’m hoping I can stop getting so excited about these anecdotes, and write the damn book. But it’s hard.