Enfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 44,654 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Longmeadow, Massachusetts and East Longmeadow, Massachusetts to the north, Somers to the east, East Windsor and Ellington to the south, and the Connecticut River (towns of Suffield and Windsor Locks) to the west.
Enfield was originally inhabited by the Pocomtuc tribe, and contained their two villages of Scitico and Nameroke. Enfield was settled in 1679 by settlers from Salem, Massachusetts. Enfield was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1683. In 1749, following the settlement of a lawsuit in which it was determined that a surveyor's error placed a section of present-day Hartford County (including Enfield) within the boundaries of Massachusetts, the town seceded and became part of Connecticut.
Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", in Enfield. It was part of the Great Awakening revival that struck New England in the mid-18th century and spread throughout Western North American civilization.
The modern town of Enfield was formed through the merging of Enfield, Thompsonville, and Hazardville, named for Colonel Augustus George Hazard (1802–1868), whose company manufactured gunpowder in the Powder Hollow area of the town from the 1830s to the 1910s. In the 1989 film Glory, boxes of gunpowder can be seen with the words Enfield, CT printed on the sides. In an episode in the 1970s police drama Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord's character Steve McGarrett traces explosives back to "The Hazard Gunpowder Company- Enfield, CT". The capacity of the mill at the time of the Civil War was per day. Over 60 people died in explosions in Powder Hollow during the years when gunpowder was manufactured there. The mill blew up several times, but was set up so that if one building blew up, the rest would not follow in a chain reaction. The ruins of these buildings and the dams are open to the public. Powder Hollow is now home to baseball fields and hiking trails.
Enfield Shaker village
In 1793, a historic Shaker village, Enfield Shaker village, one of nineteen scattered from Maine to Kentucky, was established in the town. The Utopian religious sect practiced celibate, communal living, and is today renowned for its simple architecture and furniture. Membership eventually dwindled, however, and the village disbanded. The property has since been redeveloped by the Enfield Correctional Institution, still located on Shaker Road.
The presumption that Enfield was named for the Enfield area of London is incorrect. According to Dr. Frank Taylor, a noted historian of the town, Enfield was named, in a pattern similar to its neighboring towns of Springfield, Massachusetts (once Northfield) and Suffield, Connecticut (once Southfield). The neighborhood of Old Enfield in Austin, Texas is a namesake of Enfield, Connecticut, largely named by the family of Elisha M. Pease. former governor of Texas who was born in Enfield, and whose great-great grandfather helped found Enfield as part of Massachusetts in the late 17th century.