Bristol, Connecticut is located on the Pequabuck River in Hartford County at 41.7° north and 72.9° west. The city has a current population of about 60000. Bristol is set about 10 miles west of Hartford, and is the ninth largest city in the state of Connecticut.
Bristol was originally composed of two separate settlements, West Britain and New Cambridge. The small villages lived mostly on the small farms that covered the area. The government in Hartford decided to incorporate these two settlements together into a town in June of 1785, and named the area Bristol.
Industry began to migrate into this rural setting during the early 1800's, and by the mid 1850 Bristol was manufacturing high quality watches and clocks. Other industries included the New Departure Bell Company, which created the first spring-operated doorbell.
Over the years, the economy of Bristol slowly changed. With the growth of suburbs in the mid 1900's, the population of Bristol expanded, with new residents commuting into Hartford to work. The industry of the town also changed, evolving from manufacturing to high tech and service industries. The largest employer in Bristol today is ESPN, a cable network which broadcasts sports coverage to 50 nations worldwide. Bristol is also home to the Bristol Press, a weekday newspaper, and Nutmeg TV, the public access station for the Hartford area.
Bristol's pride in the old days of the clock industry are represented in the American Clock and Watch Museum, which is located in downtown Bristol. The museum has a collection of over 1500 watches and clocks, most of which were made in Bristol during the golden age of clock manufacturing in the city. The museum is open April 1st to November 30th from 10am to 5pm.
Bristol is also home to the oldest amusement park in the United States, Lake Compounce, located just to the south-east of the city. The park is home to the oldest carousel in the US, two wooden roller coasters, and many other attractions.
A memorial to the Civil War is located in West Cemetery in Bristol. The memorial is built out of brownstone, with an eagle perched on top. It was one of the first memorials to the Civil War constructed, built in 1886. Other memorials are located on Memorial Boulevard. The design for the street was proposed by the New Departure Company, and was approved by the city in the early 1900's. The Memorial Path is a brick walkway that runs the length of Memorial Boulevard, with each brick inscribed with the name of a veteran from Bristol. In 1998, Memorial Boulevard was home to the travelling Vietnam Memorial Wall.
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