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Veterans Green

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Veterans Green is the site of the first meetinghouse erected in 1712 by the West Division Society (changed to the West Hartford Society in 1806) on what was originally laid out in 1677 as the John Pantry lot. The Goodman family inherited this lot and deeded a portion of it to the Ecclesiastical Society as a site for the meetinghouse. It was constructed circa 1712 on the west side of what is now Main Street.

A second church was built in 1742 near the site of the first one. It was replaced by a third church in 1834. According to Crofut, the Society exchanged this property for property diagonally across the intersection of Main Street and Farmington Avenue where it built another Congregational Church in 1881. The old church was used as the town hall for a while. In 1943 the present Congregational Church was built and according to a 1930 map, another town building was erected on what is now Veterans Green. The buildings were removed and sometime during the 1960s, the area was landscaped and turned into a park.

Farmington Avenue was opened in 1800 to the immediate south of the meetinghouse and the intersection began developing into a busy crossroads community. A survey of West Hartford Center in 1838 shows the church along with a hotel, school, post office, parsonage, vestry and several residences clustered at the intersection. On the survey, Main Street is wider than the rest of the street, opening up at the corner and continuing to south of the church. This is the area today known as Goodman's Green which was originally used as the militia training ground.

Today, the Congregational Church, town hall and library are still located at the intersection but the intersection has been transformed into a twentieth century civic and commercial center where the automobile predominates.

Veterans Green is the site of the first three meetinghouses in West Hartford. It remains in the heart of the town center with the Congregational Church and town hall nearby even though the streetscape has changed dramatically over the years and dates primarily from the 20th century. The green itself has been transformed into a highly landscaped park that provides no hint of its origin and long history.



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