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The Heublein Tower in Simsbury Offers Stunning Views | Connecting Point | July 25, 2018


>>A VISIT TO THE HEUBLEIN TOWER
IN SIMSBURY, CONNECTICUT, MAY NOT BE FOR EVERYONE — IN FACT
IT MAY BE ONE OF THE TOUGHEST MUSEUMS IN THE STATE OF
CONNECTICUT TO GET TO. THAT’S BECAUSE ONE HAS TO HIKE A
MILE AND A HALF ALONG THE TOP OF TALCOTT MOUNTAIN TO REACH THE
BASE OF THE TOWER. AFTER THAT IT’S ANOTHER 120
STEPS UP TO THE TOP OF THE OBSERVATION DECK. BUT THE REWARD IS BREATHTAKING,
A 360 DEGREE VIEW OF THE FARMINGTON RIVER VALLEY BELOW. THAT VIEW IS MOST DEFINITELY
WORTH THE TRIP, ACCORDING TO CONNECTING POINT PRODUCER DAVE
FRASER, WHO MADE A VISIT THERE RECENTLY AND SHARES THE STORY.>>AS YOU TRAVEL ALONG ROUTE 202
THROUGH THE FARMINGTON VALLEY IN THE TOWNS OF AVON AND SIMSBURY,
THERE’S A TALL STONE STRUCTURE VISIBLE ON THE TOP OF TALCOTT
MOUNTAIN. THIS STRUCTURE IS THE HEUBLEIN
TOWER THAT IS CURRENTLY OWNED AND MAINTAINED THROUGH A
COOPERATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT AND THE
FRIENDS OF HEUBLEIN TOWER. JAY IS PRESIDENT OF THE FRIENDS
OF HEUBLEIN TOWER OR HIEB-LINE TOWER?>>THERE ARE THREE
PRONUNCIATIONS. ONE IS THE FAMILY AND ONE IS THE
BUSINESS AND THE ACTUAL CORRECT PUNCTUATION IS HIEB LYNN.>>HOWEVER YOU CHOOSE TO SAY IT,
THERE’S NO DOUBT THE VIEW FROM THE TOP OFFERS AN AMAZING
360-DEGREE EXPERIENCE.>>ONCE YOU GET TO THE TOP, YOU
LOOK ALL THE WAY OUT TOWARDS NEW YORK CITY MOHAWK MOUNTAIN, UP
INTO MASSACHUSETTS, MT. TOM,
DOWN TO THE NORTH ACROSS SLEEPING GIANT AND HAMPTON AND
YOU SEE HEARTFORD AND SPRINGFIELD.>>MOST PEOPLE ARE EXCITED TO
HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP. ONE OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
IS HOW MANY STEPS, HOW MUCH FARTHER IS IT? ONCE YOU REACHED THE TOWER, YOU
STILL HAVE 165 FEET TO GO AND YOU CAN DO THAT IN 120 STEPS UP
AND ANOTHER 120 STEPS TO GET BACK DOWN.>>GILBERT HUB LINE MOVED TO
HARHARTFORD WITH HIS FAMILY IN THE LATE 80’S’S. HE PROMISED HIS FIANCEE HE WOULD
BUILD HER A CASTLE ON A MOUNTAIN.>>HE WAS HERE WITH HIS FIANCEE
LOUISE AND HE WALKED UP HERE AND SAID SOME DAY I’M GOING TO BUILD
YOU A CASTLE HERE. HE WAS 65 IN 1914 AND STARTED IT
THEN.>>THE HEUBLEINS WERE MEMBERS OF
HARTFORD’S SOCIAL LEET. GILBERT’S FATHER BEGAN A
RESTAURANT AND HOTEL BUSINESS IN 1862 AND THE COMPANY BEGAN
MANUFACTURING A1 STEAK SAUCE AND LATER SMIRNOV VODKA. THE TOWER WAS A SUMMER RETREAT
FROM THE CITY. IT’S LOVELY SUROUS SFLOORS AS
WELL AS RESIDENTIAL ELEVATOR. ON TOP WAS THE BALLROOM KNOWN AS
THE OBSERVATION DECK WHERE THE HEUBLEINS HOSTED PARTIES AND
ENTERTAINED THEIR MANY HOUSE GUESTS.>>THEY WOULD ARRIVE IN THE
SPRING AND BRING ANYWHERE FROM THREE MAIDS, A CHAUFFEUR AND
COOK AS WELL AS THEMSELVES AND THIS WOULD BE — WOULD JUST BE
AN ENTERTAINMENT VENUE. AND THEY WOULD COME UP HERE FOR
THE WEEKENDS OR WEEK HERE AT A TIME. IT REPRESENTS GILBERT’S
DETERMINED HERITAGE FROM BOW VARIA. IF YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE
PICTURES WHERE BACK HE’S FROM, THERE’S A TOWER SIMILAR TO THIS.>>GILBERT DIED IN 1937 AND FOR
SIX YEARS THE POWER STOOD EMPTY. IT WAS LATER PURCHASED BY THE
HARTFORD TIMES NEWSPAPER AND ONCE AGAIN BECAME A PLACE EVER
PARTIES AND SOCIAL GATHERING FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS. THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT’S
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WAS
ABLE TO PURCHASE THE TOWER IN 1966 AND LONG WITH THE FRIENDS
OF HEUBLEIN TOWER THEY DID RESTORATION WORK AND CONTINUING
TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ON THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF THIS
UNIQUE STRUCTURE.>>THE FRIENDS OF THE HEUBLEIN
TOWER WERE FORMED IN 195 BY PAT HEUBLEIN, ONE OF THE FAMILY
MEMBERS. THEY DO SOME OF THE RESTORATION
WORK AND EDUCATE PEOPLE ON THE LIFESTYLE THE HEUBLEIN’S HAD
HERE AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS TO THAT ERA AND WE LIKE TO HAVE
PEOPLE HIKE UP HERE AND ENJOY THE VIEWS AND FOLIAGE AND ALL OF
THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE HAVE GOING ON HERE.>>WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO MAKE
THE HIKE. IT’S VERY DOABLE. I USUALLY TRY TO MAKE AN EFFORT
TO NOT MISS IT. IF I’M HERE VISITING WITH THE
PUBLIC, VISITING WITH MY STAFF, I MAKE POINT TO GO UP TO THE
OBSERVATION DECK MYSELF AND TAKE IN THE VIEW AND APPRECIATE IT
JUST AS THE PUBLIC DOES SO THAT I CAN, YOU KNOW, BETTER
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PUBLIC IS, WHAT THE REWARD IS THEY’RE
SEEING AT THE END OF THE HIKE.

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