The Devil’s Kingdom

6 December, 2005 at 4:14 am (doric)

Map of Satan's Kingdom in New Hartford, CT

I was quite shocked to pass a sign for “Satan’s Kingdom State Park” in the midst of Connecticut. I had thought at first that I had dyslexed some word; perhaps it was “Santa’s Kingdom”, much like the infamous Santa’s Village in Jefferson, NH. However, upon the passage of a second sign, I realized that my eyes and brain were not, in fact, playing tricks on me. But a search of Google Maps produced no results (above right), which further surpised me. Was this perhaps not an official name?

But the map of Nepaug State Park (above left) did confirm that there was a region with such a name, and an article from Legendary Connecticut informs me that there are many places in New England that bear the name or the title of the Devil. How strange that Puritan culture would have been so frequent to apportion the land to the Adversary.

An excerpt from the above link follows:

Unlike the traditions associated with places named for the Devil, legend and history blend together in the accounts which explain the origin of Satan’s Kingdom and Satan’s Ridge, both in New Hartford. According to legend, Satan once used the rocky gorge of the Farmington River bearing his name as his exclusive playground. Here, he and his band of lesser demons gamboled away their days and nights, until the day finally came when the Angel Gabriel blew them all away with one blast from his golden trumpet. …[A]ccording to the historical record, the Satan’s Kingdom district did, in fact, once serve as a refuge for a scattering of human beings who might easily have been mistaken for devils. Either attracted by the place’s name, or — more likely — its isolated and inaccessible location, a notorious group of “Indians, Negroes and renegade whites” settled in the Kingdom, in the last years of the eighteenth century.

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