EARLY HISTORY
OF THE

TOWN OF
NEW HARTFORD
LITCHFIELD COUNTY, CONNECTICUT


The township of New Hartford was granted to the Hartford patentees. The settlement commenced about the year 1733, and it appears to have been incorporated soon after. The first settlers were from Hartford. Their names were John, Cyprian and Zachariah Watson, Joseph Gillet, Noah Merril, deacon Martin Smith, Thomas Olcott, Stephen Kelsey, Matthew Gillet, John Andrus, Jonathan Marsh, Daniel Shepherd, Samuel Douglass, Eleazer Goodwin, and others. The first minister in the town was the Rev. Jonathan Marsh, son of the Rev. Jonathan Marsh of Windsor, ordained October, 1739. He continued in the ministry between fifty-four and fifty-five years. As this was a frontier town, some fortifications were erected for the defense of the inhabitants.

New Hartford is 20 miles northwest from Hartford. It is bounded north by Barkhamsted, east by Canton, west by Torrington, and south by Burlington and Harwinton. It is six miles in length, and averages about the same distance in breadth. The township is hilly and mountainous, containing a range of mountains of considerable elevation, consisting of granite and other primitive formations.

In the northern part of the town, the perennial or evergreen region of Connecticut commences. Here several years since was an extensive tract of forests, called "Green Woods," but they are now reduced, roads having been opened through them, and considerable portions cleared. The Farmington river passes through the northeastern section of the town, affording good sites for mills, etc. The town is also watered by numerous small streams, running in various directions. The lands are best adapted for grazing.

The following engraving shows the appearance of the village, as it is entered from the north, upon the Albany road.

Northern view of New Hartford, (North village)

It consists of about 30 dwelling houses, 1 cotton factory, 1 machine shop, and 4 mercantile stores. The village is mostly on the west side of the Farmington river, situated in a deep valley, the hills and mountains rising immediately on every side, excepting the valley through which the river and turnpike passes. The Congregational church is seen on the extreme right of the engraving. The mountain is sometimes called Bare Spot Mountain, from the circumstance of a bare spot, destitute of trees and shrubbery, being found on its summit. This village is about 2-1/2 miles north of the old Congregational church and town house, 20 miles from Hartford, 16 from Litchfield, 45 from New Haven, and 75 from Albany. About three fourths of a mile to the southeast is another village, about the size of the one described, which has been built up in the course of five or six years past, called Kellogg, or lower village; it has a woolen factory, and an establishment for manufacturing machinery for making woolen cloth. Besides the two Congregational churches, there is one for the Baptist denomination, situated in the southwest part of the town.

In the eastern part of this town there is a rough and mountainous district, formerly designated Satan's Kingdom, and the few inhabitants who lived here were in a measure shut out from the rest of mankind. An inhabitant of the town invited one of his neighbors, who lived within the limits of this district, to go and hear Mr. Marsh, the first minister who was settled in the town. He was prevailed upon to go to church in the forenoon. In the course of his prayer, Mr. Marsh, among other things, prayed that Satan's kingdom might be destroyed. It appears that the inhabitant of this district, took the expression in a literal and tangible sense, having probably never heard the expression used but in reference to the district wherin he resided. Being asked to go to meeting in the afternoon, he refused, stating that Mr. Marsh had insulted him; "for blast him," said he, "when he prayed for the destruction of Satan's kingdom, he very well knew all my interests lay there."


Reference: Connecticut Historical Collections......History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut......2D Ed.; John Warner Barber, 1798-1885; Publisher: Durrie and Peck and JW, 1837.


Mountain Laurel
State Flower of Connecticut


If you have any historical information that you would be willing to add to this page, please contact me with the details


RETURN TO THE TOWN OF NEW HARTFORD MAIN PAGE


This page was created by Linda Pingel on May 30, 2000
copyright 2000 - all rights reserved
This page may be freely linked but not copied

e-mail

Thank you for visiting New Hartford's Past

 

Mountain Laurel Floral Image Courtesy of The Santalady

 

This page was last updated: May 30, 2000