VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF SALISBURY, CONNECTICUT
Salisbury Town consists of::
Lime Rock hamlet
The Weatogue Indians had a settlement here, similar to those at Stockbridge, New Milford and Kent.
1676 -- first known contact of white men with Salisbury (in the northeast corner) were colonial troops under Major John Talcott who were chasing a large body of Indian fleeing west.
1714 -- Robert Livingston of New York, surveying his property boundaries, visited the western part of what became Salisbury.
1717 -- a party of surveyors laid out of Connecticut-Massachusetts boundary. (The surveyors discovered what is now Sage's ravine.)
1719 -- White and Vandusen purchased land from the Indians.
1720 -- a group of Dutchmen from Livingston Manor in New York wandered east to the Housatonic River and later moved their families into what became the town of Salisbury.
The local Indians made no opposition to white settlement.
1732-1734 -- Thomas Lamb built the earliest known iron furnace in the town. Ore Hill opened.
1738 -- first opened to settlement to Connecticut citizens. They came from Hartford and Litchfield. Thomas Lamb was the first English settler here. He purchased Indian rights of land in Sharon and Salisbury from the Indian nation known as Muttapacook. One of the signers of the deed was Tocconoc. The Indians were soon complaining of being defrauded.
1740 -- 11 English and 5 Dutch families.
1741 -- granting of the town charter. From this year the Indians played no further part in Salisbury history. Earlier Salisbury had been known as Weatogue, meaning a "wigwam place." The name Salisbury was taken from Salisbury in England.
1743 -- a company of militia formed to participate in the French and Indian wars.
1744 -- the old grist mill on Factory street in Salisbury built.
1746 -- Thomas Lamb leaves Salisbury and becomes a mariner living in New Jersey, Maryland and North Carolina.
Thomas Lamb purchases 50 acres near Lime Rock and on Salmon Kill builds his forge known as Lamb’s Iron Works. The iron ore came from the Davis Mine Ore. Lamb also gets a 50 acre tract on the Fell Kill (Riga Brook) and goes a long way to making Salisbury the center of a thriving iron industry
1748 -- the village of Lakeville, formerly Furnace Village, was the seat of the most important early blast furnace in Connecticut, the one at the outlet of the Lake near the Bank.
1757 -- Ethan Allen of Cornwall enlisted in the militia to fight in the French and Indian War, but he saw no action. When he returned home, he went to Salisbury.
1762 -- the Lakeville forge was purchased and remodeled into a blast furnace by John Haseltine, Ethan Allen of Fort Ticonderoga fame and Samuel Forbes, in order to produce cast rather than wrought iron.
c. 1765 -- Thomas Chittenden, who became the first governor of Vermont, built his house a little north of the the Appalachian trail in the Mt. Riga area.
1768 -- before the Revolution, the Lakeville forge was acquired by Richard Smith. (He also started the town’s first library.)
c. 1769 -- Ethan Allen and his brother Ira moved to Vermont. To resist New York claims on Vermont, he became the leader of the Green Mountain Boys.
1771 -- the Smith Library established; (named for Richard Smith, the owner of the furnace at Lakeville, who noted a large sum).
1772 -- in Salisbury village, the Stiles House built.
1774 -- population of 1,980.
1774 -- The Salisbury Resolutions declare solidarity with the people of Massachusetts following the Boston Tea Party.
1775-1783 -- Revolutionary War. When the war broke out, Congress took over the plant. It became one of the principal arsenals for the Continental armies, providing employed for about 60 workmen and producing cannon up to 32-pounders, as well as cannon-balls and shells
1775 -- Richard Smith, suspected Tory, flees town. Connecticut Governor Trumbull takes over the Furnace. The Furnace produces cannon and cannon balls for the Revolution. Colonel Joshua Porter was the furnace overseer. (Joshua Porter’s third wife was Jane Ashley, the daughter of Colonel Ashley of Sheffield.) General Knox was often seen at the Furnace.
1775 -- Ethan Allen returned to Salisbury to recruit a force for the capture of Ticonderoga.
1777-83 -- Colonel Elisha Sheldon of Salisbury commanded the Second Light Dragoon Regiment of the continental army. He was responsible for the line of post between Rochambeau in Newport, Rhode Island and his own headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey. His son-in-law, Joseph Whiting purchased the Salisbury Furnace, which soon failed.
1779 -- Salisbury men under General "Mad Anthony" Wayne helped capture Stony Point.
1783 -- a bounty of 40 shillings on wolves.
c. 1795 -- in Lakeville, Gen. Elisha Sterling built the Sterling House.
c. 1795 -- on the north side of main street in Lakeville, the Farnham Tavern built.
1798 -- in Salisbury village, the Palladian windowed Congregational Church built.
c. 1800 -- in Salisbury village, the old Bushnell Tavern (Warner House) built.
c. 1800 -- the White Hart Inn built.
1803 -- Caleb Bingham of Boston, but originally from Salisbury, gave a library for the use of the young.
1806 -- the partnership of Holley & Coffing built the furnace on Mt. Riga.
1808 -- in Lakeville, John M. Holley House built.
1816 -- the Methodist church at Lakeville built.
1822 -- St. John's Church built.
1825 -- a blast furnace added to the original Lamb forge location.
1830 -- Milo Barnum and son-in-law Leonard Richardson started the Barnum, Richardson Company in Lime Rock.
1832 -- Alexander Lyman Holley born in Salisbury. He later designed many of the steel industry mills that eventually sounded the death knell for the iron industry in the Housatonic River Valley.
1832 -- a Methodist Church built at Chapinville.
1833 -- the Academy Building built as a school. (The building survived until 1929.)
1840 -- William H. Barnum, whose father was Milo Barnum, joined the Barnum, Richardson Company just as it started to diversify into making railway equipment. William was the third cousin of famed P. T. Barnum.
1841 -- first train steams into Litchfield County.
1844 -- Holley establishes the Holley Manufacturing Company that specialized in producing cutlery.
1845 -- a Methodist church built at Lime Rock.
1856 -- Holley elected lieutenant governor of Connecticut.
1857 -- the School for Imbeciles founded by Dr. Henry Martin Knight.
1857 -- Holley became Connecticut Governor. His wife, Mary Holley, was a trustee and strong supporter of Dr. Knight’s School for Imbeciles.
1858 -- Connecticut School for Imbeciles, a home and school for the feeble-minded, started in Lakeville by Dr. Henry M. Knight.
1861-1865 -- Civil War. Civil War cannon made at Ames Iron Works (Horatio Ames owner).
1864 -- William H. Barnum becomes the president and general manager of the Barnum Richardson Company.
1871 -- the newspaper Connecticut Western News published in Salisbury. It moved to Canaan several years later.
1871 -- The Connecticut Western Railroad (later the Central New England) arrived in Salisbury on its route from Hartford to Poughkeepsie. .
1872 -- the Barnum Richardson Company provides a "company church" for the "company town" of Lime Rock.
1873 -- in Lime Rock, Trinity Church built.
1875-1876 -- St. Mary's Church (Methodist) erected at Lakeville.
1880 -- Harriet Church gave the "Church Library" to the town.
1881 -- centered in Lime Rock, the Barnum Richardson Company owned eight blast furnaces, as well as the Ore Hill Mine.
1887 -- death of Holley.
1889 -- death of William H. Barnum.
1891 -- Hotchkiss School above Lake Wononscopomuc, an endowed preparatory school, established.
1892 -- Hotchkiss School started through the generosity of local native Maria Bissell Hotchkiss.
1894 -- the Scoville Memorial Library built, a gift of Jonathon Scoville and the family of Nathan C. Scoville.
1894 -- the town's first Kindergarten started in the street level of the Academy Building.
1895 photo -- shows a bucolic scene at a stream at the Frink Farm (where the Salisbury School is now).
1897 -- The Lakeville Journal began publication in Salisbury.
1898 photo -- shows women gathered on the front porch of Mame Conklin's camp building on Mt. Riga.
1899 -- Taconic School for Girls opened. (It is now Wake Robin Inn.)
turn of the century -- Lakeville was the main commercial center of the town.
1900 photo -- shows the railroad trestle at Twin Lakes, Salisbury.
1900 photo -- shows a band concert at the Holley Grove in Lakeville.
1901 -- Salisbury School founded. It is a four-year independent college preparatory school for boys in grades nine through twelve.
1902 -- the Salisbury Association formed and headed by Robert Scoville (the town's leading citizen).
1903 -- the great fire destroyed eight buildings on Main Street.
1904 -- gas lights installed.
1905 -- telephone service came from Canaan.
1906 picture -- shows the Barnum Richardson Company band with their musical instruments.
1912 -- the Riggs School founded. (It later became Indian Mountain.)
1912 -- the Connecticut Power Company formed.
1915 -- the annual agricultural fair attracted some 8,000 people. A photo caught a high-wire walker at mid-point on the cable.
1916 -- the Lamb furnace finally closes.
c. 1916 photo -- shows the laying of the sewer line.
1917 -- American joins World War I. 164 men from the area fought in the war.
1919 -- Barnum Richardson failed to keep up with advancing technology and went bankrupt.
post WWI -- three families formed the Mt. Riga Corporation to buy thousands of forest acres on Mt. Riga no longer need to make charcoal.
1921 photo -- shows men on horseback with their hunting dogs in front of the White Hart Inn.
1923 -- operations on Ore Hill ceased.
1924 photo -- retrieving a car that fell through the Lake Wononscopomuc ice.
1925 photo -- ice fishing on Mt. Riga.
1927 -- the end of railroad passenger service.
1928 -- a class photo shows the last class in the Academy Building.
1928 -- David Hunter buys an old mill on the Salmon Kill and produces paper of the finest quality.
1929 -- the Salisbury High School built. (It was used for only 10 years.) (The building is now the lower building of Salisbury Central School.)
1930s -- J. G. Kimmerle owned the Salisbury Market.
1939 -- the regional high school opened in Falls Village. (Most of the district schools closed.)
1939 -- the Holley Manufacturing Company (pocketknives) closed.
The town acquired three boarding schools, Hotchkiss, Salisbury, and Indian Mountain.
second half of the 20th century -- many or most of the great race drivers of this period raced at Lime Rock Park at one time or another.
1951 -- the town acquired the Holley Grove on Lake Wononscopomuc for a town park.
1955 -- disastrous flood.
1957 - Lime Rock Park for car racing opened.
1965 -- the end of freight service from Canaan to Lakeville.
1971 -- gift of the Holley-Williams House to the Salisbury Association.
1970s -- the Salisbury Association formed the Land Trust.
1981 -- major renovation of the Scoville Memorial Library.
1985 -- a fire destroyed the Town Hall.
1988 -- the present Town Hall built.
1991 -- the population exceeded 4,000.
Salisbury, Connecticut. From the Connecticut Guide, 1935. http://members.skyweb.net/~channy/CTGuideSalis.html
Salisbury Association. 2002. Salisbury Historic Impressions. In Celebration of the Salisbury Association Centennial. (Written by Malcolm Day Rudd, 1899 and Norman Sills, Town Historical, 2002.) Salisbury, CT: The Salisbury Association.
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