Gypsies are not usually associated with Connecticut history. However, an article in the Winsted Citizen from 1947 reported that in the late 1800’s gypsies did visit the region on a routine basis. There was a large horse market in Hartford that was operated by the gypsy ‘King’. During the winter, the gypsies went south. During the summer, there was apparently an encampment on the upper reaches of the Greenwoods Pond on the line between Barkhamsted and New Hartford. Here the men would trade horses while the women would peddle lace, fabric, baskets, and jewelry. The gypsies travelled in covered and open wagons, pulled by horses and usually with several spare horses in tow.
“The gypsy men wandered far afield, sold, and traded horses. The women cooked over open fires, sang and laughed as they maintained a kind of family life with the big covered wagons as homes. Pleasant afternoons certain of the women would emerge. Dressed in bright colors, full flowing skirts with contrasting blouses, many necklaces and bracelets, big ear rings, black shining hair parted in the middle, their bright bold eyes flashed warily as they kept a look-out for possible customers. They carried baskets and laces over their arms and went door to door selling their wares and soliciting business in fortune telling.”