The Brothers of Hartford Division 2 organized and took part in a Memorial Event for the Irish laborers who helped build the Windsor Locks Canal on Sunday, March 21. The event was co-sponsored by the town of Windsor Locks, Conn. and over 200 people attended on a glorious spring day.
The Hartford Brothers were honored with the presence of United States Congressman John Larson of Connecticut’s First District and AOH National Director Richard Thompson.
The event honored the 400 immigrant laborers who left their homeland in Ireland and came to the area between May 1827 and November 1829 to build the canal bypassing the treacherous Enfield Rapids. These hardy souls lived in shanty camps and worked from dawn until dusk in damp and dangerous conditions.
The location of the ceremony overlooked a small parcel of land that is believed to a forgotten Irish-Catholic cemetery – believed to be the burial site of dozens of canal laborers and their family members.
AOH Hartford Division 2 laid a memorial wreath at the park in honor of those buried in the cemetery and all of the Irish laborers and their families. The Division also committed to building some sort of monument/signage so that they would never be forgotten again.