A Brief History of Milton

milton_7This year’s house tour will feature the quaint community of Milton.

This beautiful section of Litchfield, CT was originally settled about 1740. In its earliest days it was known as the “Northwest Section,” but soon was called “Blue Swamp” because of the blue gentian wild flowers that grew beneath the many tamarack trees which flourished in the swampy area. The name Milton was chosen in 1795, probably in honor of John Milton, the English poet.

Milton is situated on the Shepaug River, an ideal location that provided water power and encouraged industry. Early in the 19th century there were 5 saw mills, 2 gristmills, 2 iron works, 2 wood turners, a wheelwright, 2 shoemakers, a maker of wooden clocks, a carriage maker, a cheese industry, and 6 school districts in the idyllic area. But by 1891, the railroad no longer served nearby Litchfield and industry began to shift to other towns. At the end of the nineteenth century only the Hinchcliff Shear Shop survived.

This beautiful section of Litchfield continues to have a sense of timelessness about it. At its center is the unspoiled Milton Green that is bordered by some of the first homes, one of the former schoolhouses, Trinity Episcopal Church, the Congregational Church, the Milton Public Hall, and the Milton Academy building.

Source: Historic District Study Committee Report, Milton, CT, January 1975

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One thought on “A Brief History of Milton

  1. Long ago when I was living in a broken home in Meriden a social worker changed my life forever. At the time I hated her. You see she had me declared a ward of the State of Connecticut because my Mother who worked a full time job as a Southern New England Telephone Company and liked to party and drink did not have the time to raise me. Mt Father had moved to St. Louis, Missouri and would have loved to have me there. My Mother had sole custody however and hated him so much she would not hear of it. As you can tell by reading this my life was full of hate. I was sent to the Connecticut Junior Republic. I stayed there for two years which seemed like a lifetime to me. The people there transformed me into a responsible citizen. After a 18 year career in the US Army, now a disabled Vietnam Veteran and a solid work history after that I am now comfortably retired in beautiful Palm Coast Florida. I drive new cars every three years, live in a modern very low balance mortgage Home only ten years old. I am married for the last 24 years to a loving wife and our Daughter lives in Atlantic Beach Florida where she owns her own business. She is a College Graduate and since she was ten years old has studied the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do in which she is third degree Black Belt. At one time I would have been swallowed up by the system and lost in the prison system for my entire life. The choices I made and the people I called “Friend” were all wrong. I did have to make a decision to loose contact with my family except for my Father. But until the day I die I will always ask that support for the Connecticut Junior Republic always exist. Thank you for allowing me to repay in a small way what they did for me. CJR, you guys rock dudes! Do-Wa-ditty! A phrase of the times while growing into a responsible adult at the CJR!

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