chronological history was originally completed up through early 1957 by Doris Addis
Warwick of the New Milford Historical Society. The subsequent years were researched and
compiled by M. Joseph Lillis, Town Historian and former president of the Society.
Native American Deed signed by fourteen Native Americans was given to
the Proprietors of New Milford. Consideration, Sixty pounds current money of the Colony of
Connecticut, and twenty pounds in goods. There were 109 Proprietors who owned Rights. New
Milford was called a Plantation until 1713.
John Read preached a sermon;
the first in New Milford. The inhabitants (about 70 persons) of the Plantation petitioned
the General Assembly for town rights and also the privilege of levying a tax to obtain a
Ensign William Gaylord built
a log house at Gaylordsville. First Grand List made in New Milford; £2,739.lls.7d. Captain
John Warner was the first settler at the "South Farms" (lower part of New
Rev. Solomon Palmer the first
resident Episcopal clergyman, came to New Milford. The second Congregational MeetingHouse
was built. Parish of Newbury (Brookfield) incorporated by the General Assembly. New
Milford contributed 8 sq. miles, Danbury 33/4 sq. miles and Newtown 6 sq. miles.
Nicholas Wanzer deeded land
to the Quakers, it being the same land on which the old Quaker Meeting House now stands
with the burying ground adjoining. The old Quaker MeetingHouse was removed to its present
site from Pickett District.
Town Meeting appropriated
$500 towards the expenses of surveying a route through the town for a railroad. Some of
the residents urged its being put through Main Street but the survey proved that was not feasible.
Housatonic Railroad Station
erected at Gaylordsville and called "Merwinsville" Solomon E. Bostwick set out
first elm trees on the Village Green. Doctor George Taylor and Albert N. Baldwin appointed
a committee to purchase a farm for the Town.
Bank of Litchfield County
organized - with capitalization of $100,000, - Frederick G. Chittenden, President. - Mr.
and Mrs. B. J. Stone took over - "Housatonic Institute"; Mrs. Stone was - a
sister of Henry Ward Beecher and - Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The New Milford Brass Band
organized, Earl Buckingham Leader. Smith & Erwin started manufacture of hats in New
Milford. The New Milford Center Cemetery Association organized. Paper mill for the
manufacture of straw pasteboard established on East Aspetuck River by Roewell H. Parker.
The Village Improvement
Society organized, John P Treadwell, President. 1872 - The Housatonic Ray (newspaper)
established. It was the first newspaper in the county to employ women in the Editorical
Department. Paved watercourse through the Village Green closed over.
The New Milford Water Company
chartered, Charles H. Booth, President. Kindergarten school established by Mrs. Andrew
Bristol, Miss Mary C. Wells, assistant. The New Milford Horse Thief and Burglar Detective
Roger Sherman Hall erected.
Cornet Bandstand erected on Village Green opposite the New England House. Town Meeting
authorized committee to buy New Milford-Sherman Turn- pike Toll Bridge, New Milford Toll
Bridge and Gaylordsville Toll Bridge (except tollhouses) and return them to the town for
free public use.
Water Witch Engine Company
No.2 changed name to Water Witch Hose Company No.2. Public School Building on East Street
completed at a total cost of $11,926.98. Voted at a Town Meeting that notices of Special
Town Meetings be published in some newspaper in the town.
The Bridgeport Wood Finishing
Company erected a large plant at Still River. This company was incorporated at Bridgeport
in 1876. The manufacture of hats by modern methods started by Messrs. J. E. Bates and S.
Upton Post, Grand Army of the
Republic organized with 26 charter members. All Saints Episcopal Church erected by Sarah
Sanford Black as a memorial to her husband William D. Black. Fourth Episcopal Church, St.
John's on the Green, erected on the corner of Whittelsey Avenue and Main Street.
Board of Trade established.
The New Milford Library Association incorporated, George B. Noble, President. Eastern
Lounge Company established. Incorporated in 1903. Housatonic Valley Creamery Company
The Carbonized Stone and Pipe
Company incorporated. Proposition to erect Soldiers' Monument by taxation defeated in Town
Meeting. Superior Court of Litchfield County held its first session in Town Hall.
Memorial Hall and Library
erected on site of Housatonic Institute as memorial to the soldiers and sailors of New
Milford. A bronze tablet to the memory of Roger Sherman was placed on Roger Sherman Hall
by Roger Sherman Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
The Northville Cemetery
Association incorporated. The New Milford Electric Light Company purchased by V.P Staub
and E. J. Emmons who instituted 24-hour service. The New Milford Chapter, American Red
Cross, chartered, Charles N. Hall, Chairman.
The Robertson Bleachery &
Dye Works incorporated. First Congregational Church celebrated bicentennial (1716). 51st
reunion of 2nd Connecticut Artillery attended by 70 veterans of Civil War at Town Hall.
incorporated. First airplane seen over New Milford, southbound. Under Article 19 of the
Constitution of the United States 684 women were made voters. War Memorial purchased by
popular subscription erected on the Village Green.
The New Milford Hospital
organized. The New Milford Dairymen's League Co-Operative Association incorporated. The
Upper Merryall Cemetery Association formed. First wireless radio in town installed in room
at the rear of the auditorium of the Methodist Church on Elm Street.
Town delivery of mail began.
St. Francis School opened on site of old Ingleside School. United States Geographic Board
gave name "Lake Candlewood" to power project of The Connecticut Light &
Power Company. Mary Weaver first woman to be elected State Senator from New Milford.
One way traffic commenced on
Main and Bank streets. Chamber of Commerce incorporated to advance the commercial,
industrial, agricultural and civic interests and to assist in projects for town
Board of Selectmen authorized
at Town Meeting to employ full-time policeman. Old Home Day sponsored by Andrew B. Mygatt
Post No.1672. First annual Children's Christmas Party sponsored by Chamber of Commerce.
Worst fire since 1902 caused
much damage to Allen Block. Subsequently rebuilt. Hour limit parking went into effect on
downtown streets. Citizens voted in favor of battered M-3 tank presented by Veterans of
Foreign Wars being placed at south end of Village Green.
Admiral Harry Knapp Memorial
dedicated. The bell was from Admiral Knapp's Flagship S. S. Pittsburgh. Erected by Ezra
Woods Post No.31. The Southern New England Telephone Company dedicated new building on
Bridge Street. The New Milford Times purchased property on Boardman Terrace for new
The New Milford Hospital,
Inc. bought the Congregational Church Parsonage for a Nurses' Home. Roger Sherman Chapter,
Daughters of the American Revolution, took over care of famous Gaylordsville Oak under
which General Washington is said to have stopped during his tour of the area in 1790.
Community Center in Merryall dedicated with representatives from 11 countries of United
John Pettibone School,
Pickett District, dedicated. Flood caused $250,000 to $300,000 damage to roads and bridges
in New Milford. Power project of The Connecticut Light & Power Company named
The New Milford Public
Library opened first branch at John Pettibone School. The total assessment for New Milford
First traffic signal light went into operation at Main and Bridge
streets. Knapp property at north end of Village Green acquired by The New Milford
Historical Society by gift of the late Miss Mary Clissold Knapp.
Plans now drafted for a
ten-room addition to John Pettibone School. Town marked its 250th Anniversary Celebration
with a four-day festival in early July. Four Hundred citizens vote at Town Meeting to
endorse continuation of municipal planning.
Harold I. Hunt retired after
forty-two (42) years as New Milford High School director of music. William Blakey,
Planning Chief of the Connecticut Development Commission, warned that New Milford would
soon be a city.
Official opening of the
Circuit Court in New Milford. Kimberly-Clark Corp. announced its intention to buy the
former Robertson Bleachery and Dye Works on West Street to provide manufacturing
facilities for a subsidiary of Kimberly- Stevens Corporation.
service began in New Milford. Cornerstone of the new Trinity Luther- a Church on Route 7
North was laid in place. Andrew 3. Nearing, New Milford Fire Association Chief of Police,
retired after having served as a Constable since 1916.
Water Witch Hose Co. #2
completes first century of service marked by a parade witnessed by 5,000 persons. The new
New Milford High School dedicated on Sunny Valley Road. Board of Education approves
fourteen- room addition to John Pettibone School.
Frank A. Harden leaves an
estate in the Lanesville section to the Town of New Milford as a park (Harrybrooke Park),
and provides one million dollars for upkeep. The town's first sanitary code is enacted.
New Milford becomes the first town to have its lights back on during the great blackout
that struck the eastern United States and Canada. Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance
agree to establish post of Town Controller. Weantinoge Heritage incorporated. A land trust
based in New Milford to p~ serve undeveloped land.
Robert Erva Berry, killed
near Quang Tn, Republic of Vietnam, becomes New Milford's lone casualty of the Vietnam
Conflict. Addition to Town Hall named Howard H. Peck Annex in honor of long-time Town
Clerk. Study Committee appointed to formulate a Building and Electrical Code for the town.
Francis C. Cignoli appointed town's first Controller. Mrs. Norma Lord named town's first
Social Worker. Ground broken for the new Hill and Plain Elementary School.
Town Meeting adopts the state
basic building code. New Milford Hospital launches fund drive to establish six-bed
intensive care unit. First gift of land for park purposes becomes Baldwin Park in
Northville. A gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Baldwin.
James Mancusi becomes New
Milford's first Chief of Police. Marathon House, Inc, a drug addiction rehabilitation
center, opens in Gaylordaville. An appropriation approved at Town Meeting for the
restoration of the historic Gaylordsville School.
Howard Peck retired as Town
Clerk after serving 32 years. Richard Gebhardt was sworn in on January 5. Golden's
Department Store, a New Milford landmark on Bank Street, closed after 70 years of
business. Railroad passenger service was discontinued effective May 25, 1970. Zoning in
New Milford approved by a narrow margin on May 2, 1970. Ground broken for Temple Sholom
Synagogue on Route 7 on June 19, 1970.
Town zoning effective 12/1/71.
Mental Health Clinic established at New Milford Hospital. Kimberly-Clark water cleansing
sys- tem installed to protect Housatonic River. Shopping Center permit issued - would
contain Grant's and Barker's on Route 7 South. Dedication of new Roman Catholic Church,
St. Francis Xavier, on Route 109. Set of new bleachers, to seat 750, built at Young's
Field. Edward Dolan of South Kent donated old Merwinsville Station Hotel to Gay-
lordsville for restoration.
New Milford's first Day Care Center established. New Christian Science
Church construction to start on Main and Bridge streets. New Milford Historical Society
acquires Brown's Forge, Gaylordsville, donated with 1A acre of land by Mrs. James
Anderson. New Milford added to Housatonic Valley Planning Region. New Milford population
up to 14,601.
First zoning enforcement
officer hired by town. In April, town voted in plans to build a new sewage treatment
plant. Adult Education Plan enacted by the School administration. New Milford featured in
the December issue of Redbook Magazine. Story was on a "Charming New England Town:'
Design presented for new
Lover's Leap Bridge. Cable TV came to New Milford. Lee House on the Green purchased by
Ruth Henderson for restoration. New Milford Bank & Trust buys St. Francis Xavier
Church parking lot on the corner of Bennett and Main streets. Bill passed allowing private
operation of railroad line from New Milford to Canaan, CT. Route #25 becomes Route #202
from Danbury to Avon, CT. Former St. Francis Xavier School used for religious instruction.
Ground broken for new
Kimberly-Clark Corporation paper mill in Pickett District. New Milford celebrated our
country's bicentennial from April 24-September 12, climaxing with the largest parade in
the town's history.
Charles H. Marsh Memorial
Bridge dedicated at Lover's Leap in Still River district. Jeanne Garvey announces
candidacy on Independent ticket, the first woman to ever run for First Selectman.
Republican Clifford Chapin sworn in as Selectman and would be the last to serve in that
capacity. Board of Selectmen unanimously approved plan for addition to Public Library
amounting to $664,000.
Nestle's plant was second
largest in town to unionize; Century Brass was the first. New Milford Hospital opens new
wing, including intensive care unit. Kimberly-Clark plans to expand local mill. First
blizzard in 20 years struck New Milford.
Commission on the Arts
contemplates buying the New Milford Railroad Station. Five local churches reach out to
help relocate Vietnamese refugees (boat people). $4.85 million voted for building and
equipping an elementary school on Hipp Road, Northville.
Merryall Heritage Committee
formed to preserve the character of the Merryall section of New Milford. James Terrell
resigns from the Board of Selectmen, due to ill health. He was the first black man to have
served on Board.
Two bandits robbed Colonial
Bank and Trust Company, Park Lane Branch, $15,969.00 was taken. A new weekly newspaper,
The Litchfield County Times, is established with offices in New Milford. Town purchases
Railroad Station and 6.5 adjoining acres for $160,000 and plans to restore Railroad
Station as a center for the arts.
New Milford Shopping Plaza
sold to FNM Trust of Boston for $4,840,140. New Northville Elementary School opened
1/5/82. 275th anniversary of town, month of July, celebrations and special events.
"New Milford Past & Present;' a one- semester elective course offered at New
Milford High School. Housatonic River flood forces residents of Spring Street and
Housatonic Avenue to evacuate homes; worst flooding since 1955. Old Marsh house at corner
of Bennitt Street and Aspetuck Avenue completely gutted by fire in January. Administrative
offices of New Milford school system moved to East Street building, formerly the New
Milford High School and later used for elementary grades. Blizzard - the worst since the
1978 storm. Remodeling and restoration of stores and business buildings on Bank, Railroad
and Main streets. HART (Housatonic Area Regional Transit System) bus system established
within town and to Danbury area. Nonwoven factory shutdown.
The Humeston Hall Gallery
Tuesday, March 28 Starts at 1:00 PM
After five years of restoration, the gallery has been remodeled as an exhibit space.