Suffield Trivia

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1. H. Meade Alcorn, Jr. of Suffield was an important political figure who chaired the Republican National Committee. Which of the following is an unsubstantiated statement?

a. Richard and Pat Nixon slept in his house.
b. Alcorn was instrumental in stopping Bradley Field from expanding further into Suffield.
c. Because of Alcorn, the I-91 highway did not pass through Suffield.

2. The October 1979 tornado, categorized as an F-4 or violent tornado, left a swath of destruction through Windsor, Windsor Locks, East Granby and Suffield. Three people were killed, 300 people were injured of whom 100 were hospitalized and 700 had to move to emergency housing because their homes were destroyed or severely damaged. How long was the tornado estimated to be on the ground?

a. 15 seconds
b. 45 seconds
c. 30 seconds

3. True or false. Before there was Bradley Field, Dexter Coffin leased land from the American Sumatra Tobacco Company to build an airport.

4. True or false. A POW camp was established at Bradley Field during WWII.

5. A significant feature of Bradley Field when it was a military base was:

a. A huge underground bomb shelter capable of holding two small planes and military personnel
b. Its design, which camouflaged it from the air
c. Its training of women pilots

6. There was a problem when the airport was being built. What was it?

a. There was an underground reservoir on the site which had to be pumped out.
b. One of the construction workers was murdered.
c. The large number of construction workers created a housing shortage.

7. True or false. Newgate Prison was first used to house men loyal to the British government during the Revolutionary War.

8. Select which of the following are true. In 1904, Almon P. Phelps bought the Newgate property from Samuel D. Viets. It became a popular spot because:

a. Phelps held dances in the guardhouse and gave tours of the property.
b. Phelps established a hotel and restaurant in the Viets homestead across the street from the prison.
c. Phelps allowed people to mine the copper available on the property.

9. In the 1650s, the New Haven colony had a law which referred to tobacco. What was it?

a. Ministers could not grow tobacco.
b. Colonists could not smoke in public areas, the streets or the meeting house.
c. Colonists could not sell tobacco to the Native Americans.

10. In the 1600s, many colonies, including Connecticut, created Family Rule laws. What did the laws say about men?

a. Men who could trace their family line back to English royalty were chosen as community leaders.
b. When a male reached the age of 16, he could vote.
c. Young, single men had to live with their family until they married.


1. c. Despite rumors that Alcorn was able to divert I-91 from Suffield, there is no known substantiation that he did.
2. b. 45 seconds
3. True. When Coffin heard that he could no longer fly into Hartford’s Brainard Field because the military had commandeered it at the start of WWII, he leased land in Windsor Locks and sought a grant from the Civil Aeronautics Commission to build an airport. The military was also interested in the same land, known as Bull Run Corner. Connecticut Governor Hurley passed an emergency bill to purchase the land and leased it to the federal government, and Bradley Airport (then known as the Windsor Locks Air Base) was born. Coffin didn’t get his airport.
4. True. It was located on land now occupied by the Air National Guard.
5. b. Its design, which camouflaged it from the air. Structures were painted to match the natural surroundings and barns were kept to make the land look like a working farm.
6. c. The large number of construction workers created a housing shortage which led to price gouging.
7. False. It was first created to house burglars, highwaymen, forgers, counterfeiters and horse thieves. Imprisonment was a more civilized punishment than branding and mutilation, which were common at the time.
8. a. and b. are true
9. b. Colonists could not smoke in public areas, the streets or the meeting house.
10. c. Young, single men had to live with their family until they married, otherwise they incurred fines and possible imprisonment.

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