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1000s

UPCOMING EVENTS

1620s
1625 Indian Trails and Settlements

Tunxis Indians

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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1640s

Settlement of Farmington

“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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Farmington Incorporates

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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1650s

Sawmill at Diamond Glen

A sawmill was built on the brook at Diamond Glen about 1650, followed soon after by a gin still.   Photo by Brooke Martin

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First Church Congregates

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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1670s

Gristmill Constructed

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

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1680s

The Ancient Burying Ground

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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Hornbook. London?, 1630

First Recorded Teacher in Farmington

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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1700s
1704 Deerfield Raid by Walter Henry Lippincott (1849-1920)

Native American Raids

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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1720s

The Farming Town Prospers

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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1770s
Proof Sheet of 1d Stamp Duties for Newspapers, 1765. Board of Inland Revenues Stamping Department Archive, Philatelic Collection, The British Library (34)

First Steps Toward Rebellion

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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The New Meeting House Built

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

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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A Revolution Begins

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

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

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

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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Common Sense by Thomas Payne

Abolitionist Movement Begins

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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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1780s

Washington Rides Through

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”

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

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

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

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”

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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First Library

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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Gridley-Case Cottages

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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1790s
Old Stone Schoolhouse incl 1911 addition

The Old Stone Schoolhouse

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

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

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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Hospital Rock

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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Early Farmington Artists

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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1810s

Sarah Porter Born

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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1820s

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

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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1830s

The Farmington Canal

by Brooke E. Martin 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 …

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Riverside Cemetery

Photos 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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1840s
"Hidey Hole"in basement chimney of Elijah Lewis House, 1 Mountain Spring Road

Underground Railroad

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

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

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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1860s
Farmington River, Farmington, Connecticut
by James McDougal Hart

On the Farmington River

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

Theodate Pope Riddle

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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1870s

Farmington Artists

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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Post- Civil War

Photo by Brooke Martin

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1880s

Meeting House Square

1900s

Round Hill

An important landmark in settling the original deed between the settlers and the Tunxis tribe in the 1640’s, this large mound was located on the northern side of the bend …

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F.L. Scott Store

The Village of Beautiful Homes Published

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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1950s
Flood of 1955

Flood of 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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1970s
Farmington Bicentennial Quilt at Main Library. Photo by Nicholas Schaus.

The Farmington Quilt

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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1990s

Connecticut Freedom Trail

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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