Vernon/Rockville Historic Walking Tours (2)

Full disclosure: I’m not excited about this one. Taken directly from this site. It should be fun following that map.


Starting Point

Rockville’s remaining nineteenth century mill buildings span the century from 1834 to 1906 This picturesque group of three mills, located on the second and third water privileges, marks the transition to masonry construction that occurred in the 1860s. These mills were originally powered by a huge water wheel 55 feet in diameter.

1. gelding Silk Mills (1867 and 1890), now Amerbelle Corp.
2. Samuel Fitch’s Mill (1865) now, Daniels Management, Inc.
3. Dart Stone Mill (1868), now Amerbelle Corp.
Middle Road walkway, bordered by an original iron fence, leads to the center of the former City of Rockville.
4. St. Bernard Church (1905).

The Talcott Park Neighborhood:

Elm Street, Park Street, and one block of Prospect Street surround this small city park. The houses represent a variety of Victorian architectural styles ranging from early nineteenth century Greek Revival through the Gothic and Italionate styles down to the high Victorian eclecticism of the 1880s and 1890s. Here on narrow city lots adjacent to the downtown, the mill owners chose to build their stately homes. The neighborhood still retains a remnant of its late nineteenth century elegance.

5. Rockville High School (1892) and East School (1870).
6. James I. Regan House (1860), 60 Prospect St.
7. Phineas Talcott Homestead (1846), 68-70 Prospect St.
8. Arthur T. Bissell House (1880), 74 Prospect St.
9. George Sykes House (1893), 76 Prospect St.
10. Charles Phelps House (1905),1 Ellington Ave. Architect: Hartwell, Richardson & Driver, Boston, MA
11. #10 and #12 Ellington Ave. (both 1885), Architect: Palliser, Palliser & Co., Bridgeport, CT.
12. Francis T. Maxwell House (1904) Gardens facing Ellington Ave. Architect: Charles A. Platt, New York City.
13. Caleb Tefft House (1848), 60 Elm Street.
14. David Sykes House (1901), 37 Elm Street.
15. Elbridge K Leonard House (1892), 30-32 Elm Street. Architect: J. Henry McCray, Rockville, CT

Downtown and Central Park:

In this area eight buildings dating from 1867 through 1904 survive. Grouped together adjacent to Central Park, they present a pleasing and harmonious streetscape. Similar in scale, design, and period of construction, they are a reminder of the wealth the woolen industry produced and an expression of Rockville’s nineteenth century aspirations to become one of the leading cities in the state.
Downtown East:

16. Rockville National Bank (1889), now Union Church Annex.
17. Union Congregational Church (1889) Architect: Warren K. Hayes; Minneapolis, MN
18. Citizens Block (1879) Architect: S.W. Lincoln; Hartford, CT
19 Methodist Episcopal Church (1867), now the Senior Citizen’s Center.
20. Memorial Building (Town Hall) (1889) Architect: Richmond & Seabury; Springfield, MA

Downtown West: Begin Tour B

21. Fitch Block (1889).
22. William and Alice Maxwell House (1905), now Rockville General Hospital. Architect: Charles A. Platt; New York City. 23. George Maxwell Memorial Library (1904), (Architect: Charles A. Platt.)
24. I. Kellogg House, now Verville Care Center.

Village Street:

This street was developed during the Civil War expansion period, 1860-1875. Of the original two blocks, one has been lost to the growth of Rockville General Hospital; the remaining block of thirtyseven houses remains intact. Historically the street has strong ethnic associations. It was settled when German immigrants were just beginning to come to Rockville to work in the woolen mills. On Village Street one could find stores which catered to German tastes, social halls with facilities for flourishing German societies, and several convivial lager beer saloons. The multi-family homes, owned and occupied by the workers in the woolen mills created a dense and lively urban community in the midst of what had previously been a rural New England village.

25. Turn Halle (1897), now the PkC Club.
26. Brautigum House (ca. 1850), 38 Village St.
27. Erhardt Linck’s Hall (1862), 62 Village St.
28. 70 Village St. (ca.1865), typical example of multi-family housing
29. William Randall House and Store (ca. 1865), 72 Village St.
30. Otto Schrier House (ca. 1875), 77 Village St.
31. Chauncey Winchell Jr House (1882), 103 Village St.

West Main Street:

This neighborhood remains as a record of how the village might have looked when this really was Rockville’s single main street. The river, the mills, the houses of mill owners and workers; the buildings that housed the stores, the restaurants, the saloons; all are . represented. Most date from 1830 up to the Civil War period. The cluster of houses near the Springville Mill and New England Yard i recall the 1830s when the only settlement in this area was the mills and buildings housing the owners and workers, surrounded on all sides by the forest.

32. George Sykes House (first) (ca. 1875), 7 Orchard St.
33. Hockanum Mills (1849 and 1881), now Shepard Plumbing Supply.
34. Saxony Mill (1836), now Plastifoam Corp.
35. Chauncey Winchell Homestead (1830),174 W. Main St.
36. Alonzo Bailey House (1837),162 W Main St.
37. Springville Mill and Offices (1886 and 1909), now Springville, Apartments.
38. Florence Mill (1864), now Florence Mill apartments
39. Henry Huhnken’s Saloon (ca 1850), now Olde Rockville Tavern.
40. New England Yard (1837 through 1885), now Linden Place. A representative collection of mill buildings and housing once associated with the New England Company. Further information on individual buildings may be obtained from A Survey of the Architectural and Cultural Resources of Vernon, Connecticut, Volume I, on file at the Rockville Public Library and the: Vernon Historical Society Museum.

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