Seaside Park is a historical location in Bridgeport, Ct. It was the original training ground of the 17th Regiment of the Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. The 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was designed by famous architects Calvert Vaux, and Fredrick Law Olmstead (designers of Central Park in New York City). Park of these 325-acres were donated by the famous P.T. Barnum and other contributors.
Backstory and Context
In 1867, after the Civil War, Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux were commissioned to design the park. Frederick was an early and important activist in the conservation movement. He served as a Private in Company D, of the Regimental Postmaster Corps. The 17th Connecticut Infantry Company D was organized on August 28, 1862, under the command of Col. William H. Noble. There is a statue of Elias Howe Jr. just past the front entrance of the park located on Howe Drive. The statue that was left at this site commemorated the fallen soldiers and sailors that helped to mold this country. Its all pieces to a puzzle, and every piece helped to shape our history.
During the conservation movement, also known as the "nature conservation", parks and recreation were seen as important to our environment. P.T. Barnum a famous showman, politician, and devoted resident of the Park City was one of the many who saw the need for more parks due to the growing population. He ,among other contributors, gave their land to expand the site. Thomas Ball an American sculptor and musician sculpted Daniel Webster which is located in Central Park also sculpted P.T. Barnum's monument in 1893.
Lehman, Eric D. "The Planning of Seaside Park", Bridgeport Library. retrieved November 27,2017
Rev. Samuel Orcutt, A History of the Old Town of Stratford and City of Bridgeport Connecticut, Volume 2. Fairfield County Historical Society (1886), p. 795, Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1886
Silliman, Justus M. A New Canaan Private in the Civil War: Letters of Justus M. Silliman, 17th Connecticut Volunteers (New Canaan, CT: New Canaan Historical Society), 1984. ISBN 0-9399-5801-5