Cows in Hartford

It’s hard to imagine cows grazing in the city of Hartford, but they were a common sight during the 1800s. These urban cows hardly ever show up in photographs, but they are documented in a series of drawings by Edwin Augustus Moore, a local animal painter specializing in pictures of cattle. A number of his drawings depict cows in Parkville, and others show cows on Huntington Street and Woodland Street. The Hartford Courant also documents the existence of cows in the city. In 1897, a Jersey cow was killed by a train near the Parkville Station, and in 1900, a cow was rescued by the Hartford Fire Department after a fire broke out in a barn on Front Street. Other Hartford cows led uneventful lives. A lengthy article from 1915 documents the birth of twin calves to a Jersey-Ayrshire cow belonging to James Greasey of 420 New Park Avenue. The father was a pure Jersey bull from a farm in Elmwood. Both calves were strong and healthy and mother and children were all doing well.

The Connecticut Historical Society has a large collection of drawings, paintings, and artifacts relating to Edwin Augustus Moore and his father Nelson Augustus Moore.


Cows in Parkville, Hartford, Connecticut. Drawing by Edwin Augustus Moore, 1880. The Connecticut Historical Society, 2004.52.9