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1625 Indians

Tunxis Indians - 1625

Farmington’s history begins in the meadows by the Farmington River — fertile land that the Native Americans called Tunxis Sepus (“at the bend of the little river”). The Tunxis Indians, …

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"Bend of the Pequabuck," by Robert Brandegee, 1898

Settlement of Farmington - 1640

“Bend of the Pequabuck,” by Robert Brandegee, 1898.  Courtesy of the Farmington Village Green and Library Association (FVGLA).   In 1640, a group of about a dozen English settlers from …

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2014-01-07 07.18.44 - Copy

Farmington Incorporates - 1645

The land was incorporated in 1645 as the town of Farmington by an act of the Connecticut General Assembly. In 1650, a deed was executed confirming the original sale, and …

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January 7, 2007

First Church Congregates - 1652

The settlers formed a church congregation in 1652, and the first services were held in townspeople’s homes. By 1666, the Congregational Church had built a meetinghouse, which was the center …

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Gristmill Constructed - 1673

In 1673, a gristmill was constructed by the Farmington River, and then a fulling mill for processing homespun wool.  

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December 20, 2006

The Ancient Burying Ground - 1685

We call it “Memento Mori,” that tree-shaded hill of grave markers visible behind a dark picket fence and Egyptian Revival gate with its papyrus columns. Thousands pass it daily in their …

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First Recorded Teacher in Farmington - 1685

The first school in Farmington was most likely established about the same time as the church. Puritan codes required one teacher for every settlement of fifty households —  so children …

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Ancient Highways - 1700

Ancient Highways Town of Farmington Map showing location of ancient highways and land divisions. Drawn by E. F. Reuber in 1951

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Native American Raids - 1704

In 1704, news of the French and Indian massacre of English colonists in Deerfield, Mass., led Farmington townspeople to fortify seven houses. After rumors of an Indian attack from Canada, …

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The Farming Town Prospers - 1720

The first homes of the settlers in Farmington were rough-hewn log huts, but as the town became more established the huts gave way to wooden frame houses. A rare surviving example …

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First Steps Toward Rebellion - 1770

Proof Sheet of 1d Stamp Duties for Newspapers, 1765. Board of Inland Revenues Stamping Department Archive, Philatelic Collection, The British Library (34) During the years leading up to the Revolutionary …

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January 7, 2007

The New Meeting House Built - 1771

The present Congregational Church, known for its graceful spire, was built in 1771. The spire, which can be seen above the treetops for miles around, has become a symbol of …

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Little Red Schoolhouses - 1772

The town continued to grow, and by 1772 there were numerous “little red schoolhouses” in town, each named after their districts, including: East District, Middle District, Union District, Great Plain …

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1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier "The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor"

A Revolution Begins - 1773

1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier “The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor” While the town began as a self-reliant farming community in the peaceful Farmington River Valley, its history has always been interwoven …

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Farmington’s Population Grows - 1774

In 1774, Farmington’s population was the tenth largest in the colonies, after Boston, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, Charlestown, Salem, Baltimore, New Haven and Norwich. The town claimed the third largest …

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Farmington Protests Intolerable Acts - 1774

The town was one of the first in the Colonies to respond to the British blockade of Boston harbor in 1774. A crowd of 1,000 gathered in Farmington for the …

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Tunxis Tribe Begins to Disband - 1775

In 1775, some made plans to move to another tribe in Stockbridge, Mass., and some to Oneida, N.Y. Others moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin. A few never left Farmington. Susan …

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Abolitionist Movement Begins - 1775

Slavery was legal in the thirteen colonies before the Revolution, but antislavery sentiment grew after the war. The first article published in America that called for the abolition of the …

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Farmington Mobilizes - 1775

On April 19, 1775, British and American soldiers exchanged fire in Lexington and Concord, Mass., and the next day Fisher Gay is said to have closed his store in Farmington …

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Colonel Fisher Gay and Other Freedom Fighters - 1776

“Feby. 2, 1776. Set off for headquarters to join the Army under the command of General Washington before Boston, and arrived at Roxbury 6th of said month. Stationed at Roxbury …

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Farmington Fights - 1776

Several hundred patriots joined Farmington’s three regiments in 1776 and 1777, fighting at Boston, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and West Point, Stoney Point, and Morristown, N.J. After the British evacuated Boston …

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African Americans from Farmington Join the Fight - 1776

Some of the African American soldiers from Farmington were free men, but others were slaves. In Speaking for Ourselves, published by the Farmington Historical Society in 1998, Barbara Donahue wrote that Pharoah …

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The Homefront - 1776

After the British evacuated Boston in March 1776, the main route from Newport and Hartford to the highlands above New York City was through Farmington. Troops, equipment, and provisions passed …

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Farmington Loyalists - 1776

Not all town residents rallied to the cause of the Revolution. A few dared to take a stand as Loyalists, or Tories. As Christopher Bickford wrote in Farmington in Connecticut, the Tories …

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Prisoners in Farmington - 1777

In October 1777, General Horatio Gates defeated British General John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga, N.Y., a turning point in the war. Some of Burgoyne’s officers were held as …

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Washington Rides Through - 1780

Washington passed through Farmington at least six times during the war. In 1780 he traveled through the town on the way to Hartford, where he met Rochambeau. On his return, …

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“The Village of Pretty Houses” - 1781

Photo by Brooke Martin George Washington, who traveled through town in 1780 and 1781, is said to have called Farmington “the village of pretty houses.” And when the French army, …

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The French Visit Farmington - 1781

With the American victory at Saratoga, France joined the war against the British. Twice during the war, the commander of the French army, the Comte de Rochambeau, passed through Farmington …

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The Toll of War Brings Peace - 1782

While no battles were fought on Farmington soil, years of war left the town exhausted. At a town meeting in 1782, as the war drew to a close, a resolution …

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Gradual Emancipation of Slaves in Connecticut - 1784

Northeastern states gradually adopted laws abolishing slavery or leading toward emancipation. In 1784, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill for the gradual emancipation of slaves — all slaves born …

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“The Halcyon Days of New England are Past” - 1784

After the Revolutionary War, the town became a trading center, selling Yankee wares in the South and importing goods from as far away as China. Townspeople began wearing silks and …

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The Abolitionist Movement - 1784

  Slavery was legal in the thirteen colonies before the Revolution, but antislavery sentiment grew after the war. The first article published in America that called for the abolition of …

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First Library - 1785

Soon after the war, in August 1785, six young men organized a brief subscription library. No records remain, but some books were passed onto the new 1795 library of the …

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Property of H. W. Barbour in 1906.  Now the Farmington Historical Society

Gridley-Case Cottages - 1787

The small white cottage at 138 Main Street, home to the Farmington Historical Society, and its neighbor at 140 Main Street, are time travelers in a sense — unique 18th-century …

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Old Stone School Building in West District in 1906 it was known as St. Simon's Chapel

The Old Stone Schoolhouse - 1790

The Old Stone Schoolhouse, at Red Oak Hill and Coppermine roads, was a schoolhouse  from 1790 to 1872. From 1875 to 1956, it was used as a chapel and community center. …

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Prosperity Grows - 1790

As the number of industries grew in Farmington in the late 1700s, the town became increasingly prosperous. Factories manufactured linen, hats, leather goods, muskets, and buttons. There were several clockmakers …

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Slavery After the American Revolution - 1790

The new nation that Farmington patriots fought for in the Revolution was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” …

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Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".

Hospital Rock - 1792

Hidden deep in the second-growth hardwood forest of Rattlesnake Mountain is an inconspicuous flat ledge of traprock. On it are carved 66 names of long-ago Farmington residents. This is Farmington …

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1795 Bookplate by Martin Bull

Early Farmington Artists - 1795

Two early Farmington artists were actually engravers: Joel Allen (1755–1825) and Martin Bull (1744–1825). Allen engraved the first American book on musical harmony, and Bull did the Farmington Library’s bookplate. …

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Portrait of Sarah Porter, by Robert Brandegee, 1880

Sarah Porter Born - 1813

Here we must acknowledge a person who profoundly influenced the cultural life of Farmington, and helped develop a small-town intelligentsia. Sarah Porter (1813–1900), daughter of the long-serving pastor Noah Porter …

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Bookplate of the Village Library formed ca. 1817

The Village Library - 1817

During the same period, another library, called the Village Library, was formed. A group of young men met on Saturdays under the church horse sheds (built for those who traveled …

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“View of Monte Video, Seat of Daniel Wadsworth Esq.” - 1828

Hartford Atheneum founder Daniel Wadsworth was the patron of the renowned Thomas Cole (1801–1848), founder of the Hudson River School of landscape painting. When Wadsworth built his estate “Monte Video” …

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Farmington Canal

The Farmington Canal - 1830

  In 1822 the Farmington Canal Company was chartered to build the waterway from New Haven to Northampton, Massachusetts. Construction on the canal, which was inspired by the Erie Canal, …

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April 10, 2008

Riverside Cemetery - 1830

Photo by Brooke Martin Farmington’s Riverside Cemetery lies above and beside the banks of the Farmington River, a tranquil oasis from the traffic on nearby streets. Those who come to …

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The Farmington Library Company - 1839

In February 1839 the Village Library/Phoenix became the Farmington Library Company and moved to the old Academy building with William Porter as librarian. In his 1890 address at the opening …

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Underground Railroad - 1840

Beginning in the late 1700s, many slaves sought freedom by fleeing north to “free” states and Canada. Independent groups of abolitionist sympathizers together formed a network of secret routes and …

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The Amistad Captives - 1840

From March through November 1841, Farmington was home to the African Mendi captives who had rebelled and overtaken the slave-ship, La Amistad. The 53 captives, mostly Mendi from what is now Sierra …

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Tunxis Monument - 1840

Photo by Brooke Martin A brown sandstone monument, erected in 1840 at Riverside Cemetery, honors the Tunxis tribe.  Inscribed on it are the lines of Hartford poet Lydia Huntley Sigourney: Chieftains …

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Farmington landscape, by James MacDougal Hart

On the Farmington River - 1862

Farmington River, Farmington, Connecticut by James McDougal Hart The Civil War brought change to American aesthetics, and demand for art of a different style – perhaps to help heal the …

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Emancipation Proclamation - 1863

Theodate Pope Riddle by Robert Brandegee

Theodate Pope Riddle - 1867

Theodate Pope Riddle was an American architect. She was one of the first American women architects as well as a survivor of the Lusitania. A graduate of Miss Porter’s School, …

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"The Grist Mill", by Daniel F. Wentworth, 1884

Farmington Landscape Artists - 1870

Other nineteenth-century landscapists worked in Farmington. Aaron Draper Shattuck (1832–1928) painted “Farmington River and Shore Foliage” in 1879. Daniel F. Wentworth (1850–1934) painted the Grist Mill in 1884, Allen Butler …

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Fisk Jubilee Singers - 1871

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an African-American a cappella ensemble, consisting of students at Fisk University. The first group was organized in 1871 to tour and raise funds for college. …

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April 10, 2008

Post- Civil War - 1872

Photo by Brooke Martin

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Meeting House Square - 1880

Portrait of Robert Brandegee, by Cecilia Beaux, 1917

Robert Brandegee - 1880

Portrait of Robert Brandegee by Cecilia Beaux, 1917. Courtesy of FVGLA Robert Brandegee (1849-1922) was hired by Sarah Porter in 1880 and succeeded Tuthill as art teacher at the school. …

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D. Newton Barney’s photograph of Julia Brandegee’s Tunxis Library,
 from Farmington, Connecticut: The Village of Beautiful Homes, 1906.

Julia Brandegee’s Library - 1882

Eight years before the Town Hall was built, Julia Brandegee, the younger sister of Sarah Brandegee Barney (a Miss Porter’s School graduate) took a precedent-breaking step. She opened her own …

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In 1890, the Farmington Library Co. was housed in the newly built Town Hall,  located
 where the fire station is now, at 76 Main Street. From Farmington Magazine, 1901.

Tunxis Library Merger - 1890

When the new Town Hall was built in 1890 on Main Street (where the fire station is now), Julia Brandegee’s Tunxis Free Library merged with the Farmington Library Co. from …

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F.L. Scott Store 1892

F.L. Scott Store - 1906

This building formerly “Deming’s” which housed the Amistad captives in 1841, is now the Post Office and a general store.  It is later moved to Mill Lane and is currently …

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The Village of Beautiful Homes Published - 1906

In 1906, “Farmington, Connecticut, The Village of Beautiful Homes” was published by Arthur L. Brandegee and Eddy R. Smith, celebrating the history and beauty of the community, with “Photographic reproductions, …

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Flood of 1955 - 1955

In August 1955, two separate hurricanes, Connie and Diane, inundated Connecticut with heavy rainfall and unleashed a devastating flood, the worst natural disaster in the state’s recorded history.  Thirteen Farmington …

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The Farmington Quilt - 1976

The creation of the Farmington Quilt was an extraordinary community project involving 120 volunteers who donated their time and talent over a two-year period. Three quilts were made; two were raffled …

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Farmington Bicentennial Quilt at Main Library

Farmington Bicentennial Quilt, 1976 - 1976

The Farmington Bicentennial Quilt, 1976   The creation of the Farmington Quilt was an extraordinary community project involving 120 volunteers who donated their time and talent over a two-year period. …

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Connecticut Freedom Trail - 1995

The Connecticut Freedom Trail was authorized in 1995 by an act of the Connecticut General Assembly. Farmington sites on the trail include Amistad sites and Underground Railroad safe houses where fugitive slaves were hidden by abolitionists. …

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