History of Wolcott – Mural

Something Old, Something New ~ Somewhat Legend,

Somewhat True…

The History of Wolcott

 1684   MATTATUCK

1684   Inhabitants of early Mattatuck (now Waterbury) acquire what is the western half of modern Wolcott from 11 members of the Tunxis Indian tribe for 11 pounds sterling

1.  1690   Thomas Judd erects a log cabin on Southington Mt. near present junction of  Farview Ave. and Meriden Rd

2.  1731   Potoccus Ring- The Indian Potucko, a signer of the first Waterbury deed, is said to have kindled a ring of fire around this hill when hunting deer and he perished within it

3.  “The Long Wigwam”- The Tunxis Indians would retreat here when warned of Mohawk raids and also assemble here on special occasions. Located in the area over which present day Coe Road passes

4.  —–    Harvey Upson homestead – stood  near present east entrance of Garrigus Court and here we have the Tame Buck Legend- a hungry, injured fawn was befriended by one of the family’s children

5.  1778   Timothy Upson Inn- General LaFayette and his troops spend the night en route to Newport

6.  —–    Today’s Meriden-Waterbury Tpk. and Pierpont Rd. were part of the military highway from the Hudson Valley to Hartford to Newport. American and French Armies and probably George Washington used this route

7.  1780   The French army numbering 6000 under Count Rochambeau encamps at the bottom of the Southington Mountain and are brought much needed provisions and home-cooking by the early settlers of Wolcott

8.  1913   “Green Lines Trolley”- officially The Waterbury-Milldale Tramway Co., Inc. ran electric cars from Waterbury to Milldale starting at “The Birches” between present Todd Rd. and Shelton Ave.

 1770   THE SOCIETY OF FARMINGBURY PARISH

 The 49 families of this area become a distinct Ecclesiastical Society separated from Waterbury and Farmington by an act passed by the Colonial General Assembly held at New Haven. They were given the right to erect a meeting house, establish school districts, and elect officials as prescribed by Colonial law.  Note that the new parish name, Farmingbury, is a combination of the first and last parts of Farmington and Waterbury.

9. —–    Boundline Road was the established boundary line between Waterbury and Farmington

10. 1678  Great Gray Rock or The Ordinary- the northeast corner bound of ancient Waterbury dating back to when the original settlers purchased the land from the Tunxis Indians- located south of Episcopal Church today

11. 1724   Josiah Rogers’ small farm in western part of town- possible site

12.  1729   Jacob Benson builds log cabin on “Benson’s Hill”, now Wolcott’s center town green. He operated a grist mill on the river at Great Falls ( Mad River) and a store in the center

13.  1731   John Alcock purchases 117-1/2 acres of land on Spindle Hill Road ( ancestor of Amos Bronson and Louisa May Alcott)

14.  1737   Benjamin Harrison’s 111 acres with house and barn- possible site on the easterly side of Benson’s Hill

15.  1773   Farmingbury parish meeting house is completed on the site where present Wolcott Congregational Church stands.  The “bound line” passed right through the middle of the building.

16.  —–    Abraham Wooster, “Boss carpenter” for the new meeting house, lived in the old house next to what would become the site of town hall according to historical accounts

17.  1773   Judah Frisbie was an early settler who served under Gen. Washington in the Revolution. While working to establish his dwelling, he put his coat down on a stump at the end of the day and found it covered with ticks!  Legend says that this is how Woodtick Road got its name

18.  1764   The Burying Ground, now known as Edgewood Cemetery was established

 1796   THE TOWN OF WOLCOTT

 On May 12, 1796,   Farmingbury Parish was incorporated as a town by virtue of an act passed by the General Assembly. The new town’s representatives voted to call their town Wolcott in grateful recognition of the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Oliver Wolcott, who cast the tie-breaking vote. Wolcott became the 104th Connecticut town.

19.  1773   Beach-Minor House (512 Bound Line Road)

20.  1774   James Alcott(Alcox) House (621 Spindle Hill Road)

21.  1775   James Thomas House (36 Peterson Lane) Birthplace of Seth Thomas, American clock manufacturer, 1785

22.  1777   Josiah Atkins House (49 Center Street)

23.  1777   David Harrison House (228 Center Street)

24.  1780   Thomas Barns House (281 Center Street)

25.  1790   Solomon Alcott(Alcox) House (348 Beach Road) Site of the birthplace of Amos Bronson Alcott 1799

26.  1799   Amos Bronson Alcott- writer, teacher, philosopher, Yankee Peddler and father of Louisa May Alcott

27.  1790   Bishop-Woodward House (205 Center Street)

28.  —–    Small 4 room building to east of Bishop-Woodward House- summer home and servant’s quarters for 2 women teachers from New Haven

29.  1792   Daniel Tuttle House (4 Kenea Avenue)

30.  1797   Darius Wiard House ( 1 Farmingbury Road)

31.  1798   Abijah Fenn Store Building (339 Bound Line Road)

32.  1802   Obed Alcott(Alcox) House (339 Spindle Hill Road)

33.  —–    The West School on Spindle Hill Road was attended by Amos Bronson and William Andrus Alcott

34.  —–    The Center School at the top of Benson’s Hill is today’s Superintendent’s Office

35.  1810   Seth Thomas made his first clocks on Spindle Hill Road – wag-on-the-wall style

36.  —–    Spindle Hill Road- An old Indian trail became the first road running through the territory from Farmington to Waterbury. It is named after the sound of whirring flax wheels spinning cordage for Seth Thomas’ clocks

37.  1830   George G. Alcott House (209 Beach Road)

38.  1830   Episcopal Church built where parking lot of present town hall is

39.  1856   Town Hall- this store was purchased by town Selectmen from Anson H. Smith for $350

40.  —–    Grange Hall

41.  1841   Wolcott Congregational Church (Center Street)

42.  1841   Anson G. Lane House (695 Spindle Hill Road)

43.  1843   Adna Whiting House (210 Spindle Hill Road)

44.  1843   Miles Upson House (1089 Woodtick Road)

45.  1844   David Bailey House (335 Bound Line Road)

46.  1845   Ira H. Hough House (74 Center Street)

47.  1845   Mark Tuttle House (463 Center Street)

48.  1854   Anson H. Smith House (421 Center Street)

49.  1873   Homewood Happyhollow Farm

50.  1902   Constitutional Oak- planted by Evelyn Upson, Wolcott’s Constitutional Convention delegate

51.  1930   Wolcott’s airfield- the Chuchelow pasture was cleared of rocks and obstacles “by hand and the sweat of their brow” for smooth landings and flying lessons. Hot air balloons also took off from the airfield

52.  —–     Wild blueberries – site of present High School

53.  1882    First Wolcott Fair held on site adjacent to present High School

54.  —–     Pritchard’s Mill- saw mill and cider mill at “Great Falls” where Center  Street meets today’s Rt. 69

55.  —–     Route 69 stopped at Center Street. There was a pond where the Pat’s IGA is today

56.  1953    Wolcott’s town seal- motto- ” Spes Mea In Deo”  ( My Hope is in God )

57.  1990    Town Hall

58.  1998    Gazebo- donated to the town by the Farmingbury Woman’s Club, G.F.W.C

59.  MATTATUCK DRUM BAND

  • The oldest fife and drum band with continuous existence in the country
  • 1767   founded as the Farmingbury Drum Band
  • 1796   changed its name to the Wolcott Drum Band
  • 1881   some active members together with a number of Waterbury players formed the Mattatuck Drum Band

 AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY

 60.  Agriculture- Wolcott’s abundance of produce, animals and homemade goods were displayed each fall at the popular Wolcott Fair. Among the exhibits were found: draft horses, pigs, cattle, sheep, chickens, oxen, apples, grains (buckwheat, rye), flax, corn, tomatoes, melons, cabbage, pumpkins, turnips, potatoes, cheese, butter, crochet, tin ware, rugs, embroidery, quilts

61.  Industry- Much of Wolcott’s early industry centered around the water wheel. Among the many mills to be found along the rivers were: saw cider, grist, wooden ware, tannery, carding, fulling, paper, and cloth. Some of the other trades were: blacksmith, clock making, cooper, wheelwright, cobbler, and logging.

 * All of the above information can be found in publications available from the Wolcott Historical Society