Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt (1826-1905)
First woman in America to establish a major art collection; later bequeathed to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Inducted 1997)
Arms manufacturer Samuel Colt and his wife, Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt, built Armsmear in 1857. Colt was widowed in 1862. She remained in the residence, carried on the business and became a civic leader, suffragist and patron of the arts. Her many philanthropic endeavors included the Union for Home Work, Hartford Soldier’s Aid Society and Church of the Good Shepherd. On the second floor of Armsmear, she developed an art collection that she later donated to the Wadsworth Atheneum along with the funds to build a wing for them. According to her last wishes, the grounds became Colt Park; the residence was turned into a home for the widows of Episcopalian ministers. Today, Armsmear is an apartment complex for single women. Armsmear Villa is located at 80 Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford.
The Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame Historic Site Survey project was funded through generous grants from: