Photo Credit: ChiChi Ubiña

By Anastasia Mills Healy

In Connecticut you’ll find America’s smallest Native American reservation, a hotel room with a helicopter inside it, and an underground prison. The state has its own Stonehenge and safari park, and Martin Luther King, Jr. spent two formative summers here.

Travel writer and Greenwich resident Anastasia Mills Healy turned her attention to her own state during the pandemic to uncover the 84 intriguing stories in Secret Connecticut: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure released March 15 by Reedy Press.

Can you guess who inspired the character of Indiana Jones, who was president before George Washington, and who flew before the Wright Brothers? Do you know about the island off another island in Mystic where you can go for a quiet, spiritual retreat?

Under-the-radar museums include one with costumes and props from classic monster movies like Dracula and another with hundreds of brains in jars, part of a record of early neurosurgery.

Do you know what a trobairitz is and why the state employs one? Or that a UConn professor has been building a time machine for 30 years and Spike Lee optioned the film rights to his book?

How about the Roebling-designed bridge in someone’s backyard, the replica of Marie Antoinette’s Versailles palace, and the nun who kissed Elvis?

Other surprising stories include the nudist resort founded in 1934, the quashed plan to build a 10,000-person center for Nazi sympathizers, and the spectacular stained glass church that was unknowingly built in the shape of a fish by a famous architect.

Formerly an editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, and Travel Agent, Stasha Healy has been an award-winning freelance writer and editor for more than a decade for publications including Time Out and Frommer’s. She’s now finishing a novel, doing editorial work for various clients, and planning lots of trips that she hopes to be able to take soon. Stasha has been to 64 countries (goal is 100) and all 50 U.S. states (yes, Connecticut is one of her favorites!).

Secret Connecticut: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure is available wherever books are sold. Support your local bookstore or purchase a discounted copy from https://stashamillshealy.com.

Photo Credit:
Anastasia Mills Healy
Winvian
Robert Gregson
Clan Mother Shoran Waupatuquay Piper – Tribal Leader