DAY TRIPS: Come visit the ‘Crossroads of Connecticut’

day trips come visit the crossroads of connecticut - DAY TRIPS: Come visit the 'Crossroads of Connecticut'

The small but mighty town of Plainville obtained its name in 1831 when the Federal Government opened the first post office. Before that time we were called the Great Plain of Farmington, home to the Tunxis Indians who resided in the area and created the first trails, one of which is known today as the Blue Trail. In 1869 we separated from Farmington to become a town in the heart of the Farmington River Valley. The town covers about nine-square miles and became known as the “Crossroads of Connecticut” when the Farmington Canal was put into service in 1828.

Manufacturing has been a major factor in the business and industrial development of our town from the earliest farmers, tinsmiths, and clock shops, to the building of a huge textile mill called the Plainville Manufacturing Co. Built in the 1850s it provided employment to 10 percent of the town’s population until the 1920s and was a big employer of women which made a definite impact on the lifestyle of the families. During the war eras 1899-1940s Trumbull Electric was one of the town’s biggest employers and remained so until it was purchased by General Electric in 1918.

From its infancy Plainville has been a pathway for travel through the valley from all directions beginning with the early construction of the Hartford New Haven Turnpike, now known as Route 10, and forward to today’s Route 72 and I-84. The town is conveniently located to service surrounding areas with the recent acquisition of the Robertson Airport and now are able to reach out to the world.

Interesting places

Plainville Historic Center. The site was built in 1890 as Plainville’s first Town Hall. It has eight display rooms which include the Tunxis, Farmington Canal, Barn, Mill, Victorian Kitchen and Parlor, Genealogy & amp; Research, and Children’s rooms. Office hours are Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. to noon year-round. There is also the Hepworth Gallery in the old Town Court Room. Summer Display hours on Saturday, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. from June 1 to Nov. 1. Docent and group tours by appointment year-round. 29 Pierce St. 860-747-6577

Plainville Campgrounds. A religious revival of the 1800s brought Methodists by train to a campground area in the northwest section of town on Camp St. Worshipers came each summer to hold meetings at the Tabernacle surrounded by small Victorian homes that were built by area churches and individuals. The buildings have been restored and serve as summer and year round homes.

Burial Grounds. Located on Route10 where lie the soldiers of the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian Wars. Contact Historic Center for entrance. 860-747-6577

The Charles H. Norton Park. It was gifted to the town by the Norton and Hoerle Families. It hosts a Balloon Festival every August. It also has a restored portion of the old Farmington Canal. On Norton Park Road off South Washington St.

The Tomasso Nature Park. It was given to the town by the Tomasso brothers to be kept as a nature preserve located off Route 177 on Granger Lane.

Paderewski Park on Cook St. and Memorial Park on Whiting St. in Plainville Center.

Robertson Airport. It was founded by Stan Robertson in the 1940s on the property where Nels Nelson made his first flight in 1911 making it Connecticut’s oldest airport. 62 Johnson Ave. Interstate Aviation. 860-793-1052

Historic Homes of Plainville. Can be found traveling up Broad St. to Red Stone Hill and along East Street, Route 10 where a few lovely homes remain.

The Plainville Congregational Church. Founded in 1837 by the Farmington Church members living in Plainville. West Main St. Broad St. School. An early elementary school now known as the Ann Torrant Senior Housing.

Famous people

Governor John Trumbull. Governor in the early 20s

Charles Norton. Inventor/Industrialist

Anna Granniss. International Poet

Alfred Hepworth. (1876-1962) paintings displayed in many U.S. galleries.

Lyman Homer. “Black Governor” (In Colonial times enslaved and free Black Americans elected their own leader).

Doris Disney. Prolific mystery writer

Gert LaCombe and Nancy Eberhardt of the Plainville Historical Society

This is an excerpt from the book, The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport & Guide to Exploring CT. It was written by local residents to encourage people to visit the beautiful 169 towns & cities in Connecticut. The 8.5 x 11 hardcover book contains 368 pages and over 180 illustrations, maps, and photos. It was edited by Marty Podskoch, author of eight books including the Conn. Civilian Conservation Corps Camps, Catskill & Adirondack fire towers, Adk CCC Camps, Adk 102 Club, and Adk illustrated stories. Please specify if you want signed. The travel book can be ordered with free shipping by sending $24.95 plus CT sales tax $1.58 to: Podskoch Press, 43 O’Neill Lane, East Hampton, CT 06424 It is also available at local stores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Information 860-267-2442 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Friday, 15 March 2019 21:10. Updated: Friday, 15 March 2019 21:12.

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