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The Farmington River in Simsbury
|• Type||Town Manager/Board of Selectmen|
|• First selectman||Eric Wellman (D)|
|• Selectmen||Sean P. Askham (R)|
Jackie Battos (R)
Michael Paine (R)
Christopher Peterson (D)
Wendy Mackstutis (D)
|• Total||34.3 sq mi (88.8 km2)|
|• Land||33.9 sq mi (87.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)|
|Elevation||233 ft (71 m)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
06070, 06081, 06089, 06092
|GNIS feature ID||0213506|
Simsbury is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 23,511 at the 2010 census.The town was incorporated as Connecticut's 21st town in May 1670.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the area today known as Simsbury was inhabited by indigenous peoples. The Wappinger were one of these groups, composed of eighteen bands, organized not as formally as a tribe, but more of an association, like the Delaware. These bands lived between the Hudson and Connecticut rivers. The Wappingers were one of the Algonquian peoples, a linguistic grouping which includes hundreds of tribes.One of the Wappinger bands, the Massaco, lived near, but mostly west of what is now called the Farmington River, the area now known as Simsbury and Canton. The river was called the Massaco by the native inhabitants. The term Massaco (pronounced Mas-saco) may refer to the indigenous peoples, the river itself, the village occupied by the indigenous peoples, and the land adjacent to the river.
In 1633, Windsor was the second town in Connecticut settled by Europeans and the first English settlement (the first European settlement being Huys de Goede Hoop, established by the Dutch in the Hartford area as a frontier settlement for the New Netherland Colony ten years earlier). For some time, the area of Massaco was considered "an appendix to the towne of Windsor." Settlers in Windsor forested and farmed in the area, but did not come to Massaco permanently for a number of years. In 1642, the General Court [of the colony of Connecticut] ordered that:
the Governor and Mr. Heynes shall have liberty to dispose of the ground uppon that parte of Tunxis River cauled Mossocowe, to such inhabitants of Wyndsor as they shall see cause.
Despite this order, there is no record that any settlements ensued immediately. Five years later the General Court issued another order:
The Court thinks fitt that Massacoe be purchased by the Country, and that ther be a Committee chosen to dispose of yt to such inhabitants of Wyndsor as by the shalbe judged meet to make improuement therof...
but there is no record of grants of land arising from this order.
In 1643, John Griffin and Michael Humphrey started a tar and turpentine business in Windsor. A few years later, a Massaco Indian named Manahanoose started a fire which destroyed tar belonging to Griffin. The Court ordered the payment of "five hundred fathom of wampum" as compensation. Instead of cash payment, Manahanoose delivered a deed to the land at Massacoe. The deed was agreed to by Manahanoose as well as other Indians, identified as "the proprietors of Massaco". 50 acres (200,000 m2) of meadowland to Lieutenant Aaron Cook, 60 acres (240,000 m2) to John Bissell and 50 acres (200,000 m2) to Thomas Ford, all in Massacoe.In 1653, the General Court granted
Settlers did not build permanent settlements until the following decade. Aaron Cook built one of the early homes in the area now known as Terry's Plain, and John Griffin built a home, possibly in 1664, the date associated with a deed to land in Massacoe.The settlement of Massacoe continued in the late 1660s. The General Court awarded a land grant to John Griffin of two hundred acres in 1663. In 1664, a deed description indicated he had become a permanent inhabitant. By 1669, a survey revealed that there were thirteen permanent residents of Massacoe. One of those residents, John Case, was appointed to the position of constable. This is the first recorded civil office held by residents of the area.
In 1670, Case, along with Joshua Holcomb & Thomas Barber, presented a petition to the General Court, requesting that Massacoe become a town of the colony of Connecticut. 10 miles (16 km) north of Farmington and 10 miles west of Windsor, although the northern border, subject to dispute with Massachusetts, would be resolved later. This extent covers what is present-day Simsbury as well as Granby and Canton.On May 12, 1670, the General Court granted the petition, and ordered that the plantation should be called "Simmsbury". The boundaries at that time were Farmington on the south and Windsor on the east, with the extent of Simsbury running
The precise origin of the name of the town is not known for certain. The town records covering the first ten years after incorporation were accidentally burned in 1680 and 1681. One possibility is that the name of Simsbury comes from the English town of Symondsbury.Holcomb, one of the petitioners, originally came from Symondsbury. Another possibility is that the name was derived from Simon Wolcott. He was known familiarly as "Sim", and he was considered one of the prominent men of the town.
In 1675, rumors of unrest among the indigenous peoples began to surface. The rumors proved accurate, and in the summer, King Philip's War began, a war between a number of tribes and the New England settlers. The war extended through parts of four colonies, with Simsbury on the western edge of the conflict. At the time, it was seen as a frontier settlement.The conflict was largely over by August 1676, although it did not formally end until a treaty was signed in 1678.
The colony formed a Council of War. In the days leading up to the war, they ordered settlers to keep night watches, and to work in the fields in armed groups of at least six.By the time of the colony's General Court meeting of October 14, 1675, the situation was considered serious enough that the court ordered the residents of Simsbury to move to safety in Windsor. The order read:
This Court orders, that the people of Simsbury shall have a week's time to secure themselves and their corn there, and at the end of the week from this date, the souldiers, now in garrison at Simsbury, shall be released their attendance there.
In March 1676, the town of Simsbury was first pillaged, then burned to the ground. This destruction is described as the most extensive of any event of any Indian War in New England.The settlers remained in Windsor until the spring of 1677, at which time most moved back to Simsbury, although some never returned.
In 1707, Daniel Hayes, then aged twenty-two, was captured by the indigenous people and carried off to Canada. The capture was witnessed, and a rescue party raised, but the group did not catch up with the captors. He was tied up each night, and bound to saplings. It took thirty days to reach Canada, where Hayes was forced to run the gauntlet. Near the end of the gauntlet, he hid in a wigwam to avoid an attempted blow by a club. The woman in the wigwam declared that the house was sacred, and having lost a husband and son to a war, adopted Hayes as her son. He remained for several years, attending to the woman. Eventually, he was sold to a Frenchman, who learned that Hayes had skill as a weaver, so put him to work in that business. Hayes managed to earn enough to buy his freedom after two years. He then returned to Simsbury, settled down on a farm and married. He became prominent, both in civil affairs as well as the church at Salmon Brook (now Granby).
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On Tuesday, December 20, 1859 the two-story Patent Safety Fuse factory - located near the center of town - exploded, killing seven women and one man. The blast also injured several other people, including the factory owner. The factory made cord fast-burning fuses used for blasting, which resulted in the explosion. Two days later, on Thursday, December 22, 1859, the New York Times ran a story about the explosion.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.3 square miles (88.8 km2), of which 33.9 square miles (87.9 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2), or 1.09%, is water.
Simsbury lies in the northern end of the Farmington Valley. The east side of Simsbury is flanked by Talcott Mountain, part of the Metacomet Ridge, a mountainous trap rock ridgeline that stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. Notable features of the Metacomet Ridge in Simsbury include Heublein Tower, Talcott Mountain State Park, Penwood State Park, and the Tariffville Gorge of the Farmington River. The 51-mile-long (82 km) Metacomet Trail traverses the ridge. At the western foot of the mountain, near the Farmington River, grows the Pinchot Sycamore, the largest tree in Connecticut. Simsbury also has some patches of old growth; Belden Forest, a 40-acre site with public hiking trails near the center of town, was inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network in October 2019.
The town is often considered a bedroom community for the nearby city of Hartford, Connecticut, a 20 to 25 minute drive from Simsbury Center, however many residents also commute to other towns and cities within the west-central Connecticut region.
After the complete destruction of the town in 1676 during King Philip's War, there were three late 17th to early 18th century nucleated resettlement communities: East Weatogue (also called East Simsbury), Simsbury Center and Terry's Plain.
There are four census-designated places in Simsbury: Simsbury Center, Tariffville, Weatogue, and West Simsbury.
|Climate data for Simsbury, Connecticut|
|Record high °F (°C)||72|
|Average high °F (°C)||34|
|Average low °F (°C)||18|
|Record low °F (°C)||−26|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.23|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the censusof 2000, there were 23,234 people, 8,527 households, and 6,591 families residing in the town. The population density was 685.7 people per square mile (264.8/km2). There were 8,739 housing units at an average density of 257.9 per square mile (99.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.3% White, 1.17% African American, 0.09% Native American, 2.12% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.54% of the population. The ethnic make-up of the town in terms of percentage of total residents (the five most common, ordered from most-reported to least) is Irish (23.0%), English (17.4%), German (15.6%), Italian (13.7%), and Polish (7.6%).
There were 8,527 households, out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.1% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.7% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 29.5% under the age of 18, 3.6% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
In 2018, the median household income was $119,588 and the per capita income for the town was $60,453.About 1.0% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
According to Simsbury's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|1||Simsbury Board of Education||643|
|2||The New McLean||450|
|4||Ensign-Bickford Aerospace and Defense||226|
|5||Hoffman Auto Group||197|
|6||Super Stop & Shop||164|
|7||Town of Simsbury||157|
|8||Mitchell Auto Group||102|
|9||Hopmeadow Country Club||100|
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Hartford County is a county located in the north central part of the U.S. state of Connecticut. According to the 2010 census, the population was 894,014, making it the second-most populous county in Connecticut. In 2019, its population declined to an estimated 891,720. Hartford County contains the city of Hartford, the state capital of Connecticut and the county's most populous city, with an estimated 122,105 residents in 2019. Hartford County is included in the Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown metropolitan statistical area.
Bloomfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 20,486 at the 2010 census.
Canton is a town, incorporated in 1806, located in the Farmington Valley section of Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,840 at the 2000 census and 10,292 as of the 2010 census. It is bordered by Granby on the north, Simsbury on the east, Avon and Burlington on the south, New Hartford on the west, and Barkhamsted on the northwest. Running through it is the Farmington River. The town includes the villages of North Canton, Canton Center, Canton, and Collinsville. In September 2007, Collinsville was ranked in Budget Travel magazine as one of the "Ten Coolest Small Towns In America".
East Granby is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 5,148 at the 2010 census.
East Windsor is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 11,162 at the 2010 census. The town has five villages: Broad Brook, Melrose, Scantic, Warehouse Point and Windsorville.
Farmington is a town in Hartford County in the Farmington Valley area of central Connecticut in the United States. The population was 25,340 at the 2010 census. It sits 10 miles west of Hartford at the hub of major I-84 interchanges, 20 miles south of Bradley International Airport and two hours by car from New York City and Boston. It is home to the world headquarters of several large corporations including Otis Elevator Company and Carvel. The northwestern section of Farmington is a suburban neighborhood called Unionville.
Granby is a town in far northern Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 11,282 at the 2010 census. The town center is defined as a census-designated place known as Salmon Brook. Other areas in town include North Granby and West Granby. Granby is a rural town, located in the foothills of the Litchfield Hills of the Berkshires, besides the suburban natured center, the outskirts of town are filled with dense woods and rolling hills and mountains. From the 1890s to the 1920s many immigrants from Sweden came to reside in the town.
Tariffville is a neighborhood and census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Simsbury in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,324 at the 2010 census. It is a popular location for whitewater paddlers who use the Farmington River.
Windsor is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, and was the first English settlement in the state. It lies on the northern border of Connecticut's capital, Hartford. The population of Windsor was 29,044 at the 2010 census.
Simsbury Center is a census-designated place (CDP) that consists of the central settlement, and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding it, in the town of Simsbury, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 5,836. The core area of the CDP is listed as the Simsbury Center Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Farmington River is a river, 46.7 miles (75.2 km) in length along its main stem, located in northwest Connecticut with major tributaries extending into southwest Massachusetts. The longest route of the river, from the origin of its West Branch, is 80.4 miles (129.4 km) long, making it the Connecticut River's longest tributary by 2.3 miles (3.7 km) over the major river directly to its north, the Westfield River. The Farmington River's watershed covers 609 square miles (1,580 km2). Historically, the river played an important role in small-scale manufacturing in towns along its course, but it is now mainly used for recreation and drinking water.
Greater Hartford is a region located in the U.S. state of Connecticut, centered on the state's capital of Hartford. It represents the only combined statistical area in Connecticut defined by a city within the state, being bordered by the Greater Boston region to the northeast and New York metropolitan area to the south and west. Sitting at the southern end of the Metacomet Ridge, its geology is characterized by land of a level grade along the shores of Connecticut River Valley, with finer-grained soil than other regions in the state.
The Hartford Electric Light Company (HELCO) is a defunct electrical company that was located on Pearl Street in Hartford, Connecticut. It was merged with the Connecticut Power Company in 1958 and later these became Connecticut Light & Power. Its former corporate headquarters building and main facility are in the Ann Street Historic District.
The Captain Elisha Phelps House is a historic house museum at 800 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, Connecticut. The colonial-era house was built by David Phelps in 1711. His son Elisha Phelps received the land from his father and expanded the house in 1771. Elisha Phelps along with his brother Noah Phelps and others took part in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. Capt. Phelps was appointed as commissary of the Northern Department by the Continental Congress.
Connecticut Route 10 is a state highway that runs between New Haven and the state line near Granby.
The Simsbury Center Historic District is a 75-acre (30 ha) historic district located in the town center area of Simsbury, Connecticut. It encompasses seven blocks of Hopmeadow Street, as well as the cluster of commercial, civic, and residential buildings along Railroad, Station, and Wilcox Streets, and Phelps Lane. Although its oldest element is the cemetery, most of its buildings were built in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
The Horace Belden School and Central Grammar School are a pair of architecturally distinguished Late Gothic Revival occupying a single campus at 933 Hopmeadow Street and 29 Massaco Street in Simsbury, Connecticut. The Belden School was built in 1907 as the first Simsbury High School, and now serves as Simsbury Town Hall. The Central Grammar School, built in 1913, is now called the Central School. The buildings were listed as a pair on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993 for their architecture and their role in the town's educational system.
The Terry's Plain Historic District is a 325-acre (132 ha) historic district in the town of Simsbury, Connecticut that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The district is significant as a preserved rural landscape. It included 27 contributing buildings of various architectural styles, including Greek Revival, Federal and Late Victorian architecture, and 17 non-contributing buildings.
The Nathaniel Holcomb III House is a historic house at 45 Bushy Hill Road in Granby, Connecticut. It is locally significant as the residence of Nathaniel Holcomb III, a prominent resident, and as a well-preserved example of early 18th century residential construction.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Simsbury .|