Here's another great story from a 19th century newspaper. This one is from the June 29, 1898 issue of Connecticut's Naugatuck Daily News.
Late one night, four men from Danbury were walking home from visiting friends. A man named Jerry Wilson was in the lead.
As they passed through a wooded area known as Cotton Hollow a giant sprang up from the underbrush. He was at least twice as tall as any of the Danbury men!
He shouted out to Wilson,"How far is it to the next town?"
Terrified, Wilson managed to stammer out, "About three miles!" The giant ran off into the dark woods, and the frightened men hurried back to their own homes.
The next day they returned to Cotton Hollow and found footprints in the soft soil. They were at least 18 inches long and 5 1/2 inches wide. People who lived in Cotton Hollow told Wilson and his friends they had seen the giant in the neighborhood several times before, and estimated he was nine feet tall and weighed around 500 pounds.
That's the end of the newspaper article.
The people over on Bigfoot Encounters, where I found this story, wonder whether the giant was naked or clothed, and whether or not he had shoes on. They also ask if he was covered in hair. In other words, was this giant really Bigfoot as we know and love him today?
I'm not a Bigfoot expert, but I don't think he usually speaks, and I've never read about Bigfoot asking for directions. The fact he asked Jerry Wilson the distance to the closest town seems to indicate he was not your average Sasquatch.
Interestingly, a town near Naugatuck also has a legend about a giant. A large stone ridge in Hamden, Connecticut is known as the Sleeping Giant. Supposedly it is the Indian deity Hobomock sleeping under a spell put on him by a rival deity. The ridge is part of a state park, so you can hike on the petrified body of a major Algonquian manitou. It sounds risky to me!
Also interesting is that Cotton Hollow in Naugatuck is now conservation land that has an abandoned mill complex on it. You can find some beautiful photos of Cotton Hollow here, which is where I got the one above. Sadly, there are no photos of the giant!
Oops! I want to post a correction. Naugatuck resident Julie has told me the mill photo is actually from a Cotton Hollow in Glastonbury, not Naugatuck. Sorry about that! It's a great photo though.