East Haddam Connecticut Homes for Sale and Real Estate
Mysterious noises, the home of “the greatest detective ever” as well as America’s most famous spy and an idyllic location for renowned musical theater - that’s East Haddam. Spread out over nearly 57 square miles along the eastern bank of the Connecticut River, East Haddam is home to slightly more than 9,000 residents and a fascinating history.
Friendly and family-oriented
Varied and mostly suburban, with wooded areas.
Casual, commuting, country.
The Goodspeed Opera House, state parks, the Connecticut River, Gillette’s Castle
Families, arts lovers, nature lovers, commuters.
Around the Area
A fun and historic community with many activities here and nearby. East Haddam has a strong connection with the American theater: the Goodspeed Opera House, which, since 1959, has been home to the Goodspeed Musicals. It was there that both “Annie” and “Man of LaMancha” were birthed, and it remains an important venue for classic American musical theater. The building itself, situated on a bluff overlooking the river, has become a symbol of East Haddam. The Sunrise Resort was for years home to a successful jazz festival. It is now a state park. In the early 1900s, a man arrived on the scene bearing a reputation as the great detective. It was the actor William Gillette, a playwright and actor who, later in his career, was hugely successful portraying Arthur Conan Doyle’s master detective, Sherlock Holmes.
Gillette created many of the mannerisms and props that have become associated with Holmes.
In 1914, Gillette began building a home of his own design. Opened in 1919 as his home, Gillette’s Castle was bought by the state in 1943 and has been maintained ever since as a state park
Other attractions include the Devil's Hopyard State Park and Machimoodus State Park as well as Lake Hayward.
Three tribes - Wangunks, Mohegans and Nehantics - called the area home prior to the arrival of English settlers in the mid-17th century. It was known then as Machimoodus - “the place of noises” - for the loud underground growlings associated with a series of earthquakes that continued to rattle the region up until 1899. In 1662, English settlers purchased the land on both sides of the Connecticut River which ultimately became East Haddam and Haddam.
The area that became East Haddam gave birth to agricultural and timber farming as well as shipbuilding.
There was even ferry service, which began in 1695 and lasted until 1913, when the swing bridge was built.
When the American Revolution began, hundreds of East Haddam men left home and hearth to fight for the rebel/American side. The most famous man from East Haddam who died in the war was a schoolteacher turned soldier who volunteered for a hazardous mission - as a spy for George Washington. Just how dangerous the mission was was borne out when the spy, Nathan Hale, was captured by British and subsequently hanged. He was just 21. Although born in Coventry (and later buried there), Hale remains a presence in East Haddam. Both the middle school and the high school bear his name. The children of East Haddam are, by and large, educated in the town’s three-school school system.