Strong Rooted in History.

Charter Oak Tree – Learn About Its History & Significance

A Landmark of Living History

Explore Charter Oak: A Historic Community with Plenty to Offer

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union

Learn the incredible story of the Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, a remarkable symbol of American history and heritage. From its mysterious origin to its bustling role in America’s struggle for freedom, discover why this is more than just a tree.

Start from

bing maps


Planet Ecology

Agriculture Facts

Essential Agriculture Facts & Information to Know Today

Foundation farms

Sustainable Organic Produce from Foundation Farms | Fresh & Healthy Foods

Forest Protection

Protecting Forests: Solutions and Strategies for a Greener Tomorrow

Climate Protection

Effective Climate Protection Strategies to Combat Global Warming

Our Mission

At Charter Oak, our mission is to preserve and promote the rich history of our community. We strive to engage and educate individuals of all ages by providing access to historical resources, creating engaging exhibits and programs, and fostering a sense of pride and appreciation for our shared heritage. Through our work, we aim to inspire a deeper understanding and connection to the past, present, and future of our community.

Preserving History

The Charter Oak neighborhood, originally established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was envisioned as a residential haven for Hartford’s burgeoning middle class. Characterized by its Victorian-style homes, adorned with ornate decorations and intricate details, the area boasts a rich architectural heritage. Notably, the First Church of Christ, constructed in 1794 and one of Hartford’s oldest churches, stands as a historic landmark within the neighborhood. The church holds historical significance as it played a pivotal role in the abolitionist movement and served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Over the course of the 20th century, the Charter Oak neighborhood experienced various transformations. In the 1960s and 1970s, an exodus of residents led to disinvestment and neglect, leaving the area in a state of decline. However, in recent years, the neighborhood has witnessed a remarkable revitalization, with efforts to restore historic homes and the emergence of new businesses.

Today, Charter Oak is a thriving and diverse community that takes pride in its rich history and cultural heritage. The neighborhood boasts several cultural institutions, such as the Charter Oak Cultural Center, which provides arts education and cultural programming for people of all ages. Additionally, the area features numerous parks and green spaces, including the beloved Charter Oak Landing, a waterfront park offering recreational activities like boating, fishing, and hiking. Charter Oak is also home to esteemed educational institutions like the River Street School, which offers specialized education and support for children with special needs.

In summary, Charter Oak is a unique and vibrant neighborhood that seamlessly combines its storied past with modern amenities and a diverse community. Its well-preserved historic architecture, thriving cultural institutions, and natural beauty make it a sought-after destination for both residents and visitors. The neighborhood continues to evolve and flourish through ongoing initiatives aimed at preserving its history while promoting its future growth.

I always used to find it quite fascinating to hear the stories of the Charter Oak tree. It used to be a giant oak tree that was located in Connecticut, near Hartford. It was considered as a national shrine by the people of Connecticut as it played an important role in saving the Colonial Charter of 1662 when it was captured by the British. The story goes that when British soldiers entered town, they demanded that the charter be handed over to them. Nevertheless, the colonial leaders refused and hid the charter in a hollow oak tree called the Charter Oak. After much pleading for over 10 hours, the British soldiers went away empty-handed, although they confiscated all other documents with them. In what I thought was quite ironic, this beautiful old tree was eventually destroyed by strong winds during a violent storm one day in 1856. But luckily enough for us, its history and legacy live on today throughout Connecticut as its citizens proudly pass it down from generation to generation with new memories.

Salena Smith

It's a mild day in early bicentennial autumn and I, a historian had come to Denton, Connecticut to visit and explore the famous Charter Oak. A cherished symbol of independence and courage for the citizens of Connecticut and beyond, this particular spot telling the story of how their courage triumphed over colonizer’s greed for almost three centuries. As I arrived at the location, it felt like a magical portal back in time to Colonial America. A majestic tree pepped up from behind a grassy hill with an old wooden bench under it with an array of artifacts on display. It was evident that it had seen enough tales to fill up several books as its leaves trembled whenever the wind blew or perhaps that was just my imagination operating on overdrive.

Jacob Thompson

The little Charter Oak was an old, gigantic oak tree that grew near the banks of the Connecticut River near Hartford. It was known as a sacred symbol of freedom among local residents who used it as a hideout to rebel against the British government. One day in 1662, Charles II issued a Royal Charter that granted certain rights exclusively to England and was to be directly governed. The colonists of Connecticut protested this charter as they would no longer have autonomy over their own land; they no longer had their freedom. They hatched a clever plan - to smuggle the charter away and hide it in the small hollow of the Charter Oak. Almost immediately afterwards, British soldiers arrived in Hartford demanding the charter- but there was nothing for them to find. News of this event soon spread - inspiring other colonies to stand up against tyranny and seek independence. For many years after that, people from all over used The Charter Oak as inspiration for embracing their freedom and pushing for change whenever

Emily Davis