Responding to Tragedy

Hospital leaders and community members (past & present) tell the story of Hartford Hospital's history.
On the afternoon of March 2, 1854, a steam boiler exploded at the Fales and Gray railroad-car factory, located near Dutch Point in Hartford. Nine men died at the scene, ten would die later of their injuries and 23 others were seriously injured.  

Hartford, a city of 15,000 inhabitants at the time, had no general hospital. City doctors visited the injured in their homes. The disaster underscored the city’s inability to treat serious injuries.

The physicians of the Hartford Medical Society, community leaders and the editorial voice of The Hartford Courant combined to urge legislation creating a general hospital for Hartford and to raise the necessary funds from private donations

The hospital was founded out of humanitarian concern for all of the citizens of Hartford, and was envisioned as a place where the finest medicine would be made available to those in need.

The hospital that was founded in 1854 celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004. Hartford Hospital today is both a place that its founding fathers would recognize, and a place where they would encounter medical marvels not even dreamt of in their lifetimes.