Front Street: Hartford’s original “Little Italy”

May 08, 2015 729

By Brian Spyros

The Front Street that exists in Hartford now is in stark contrast to what it was more than 100 years ago. "I'm a sentimentalist. I like the old style, the old times," said Paul Margolfo, who grew up in an Italian-American family not far from Front Street. He was one of many people who called the capital city home.

"In 1910, 14-percent of the city of Hartford was Italian and 60-percent of people lived in the Front Street neighborhood," said Michael Messina with the Connecticut Historical Society. Italian immigrants began coming to the United States in the late 1800's. French and German immigrants occupied many of the jobs in New York and New Jersey, so many of the Italians made their way to Hartford because of the jobs it offered unskilled workers. The Italians began to settle along Front Street, which was located near the Connecticut River.

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