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Salisbury Public Green

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Settlers were beginning to move to the area, today known as Salisbury, in about 1720. Despite at least two petitions by the inhabitants in 1731 and 1736 to allow for some form of worship in the area, it was not until 1738 that the land was actually divided into "25 rights" and sold at auction. The town was incorporated three years later, in 1741.

In December 1743, the town voted to build a "logg house" on land originally granted to the minister. This was a temporary structure, however, and in 1747, it was decided to build another meetinghouse. The construction was postponed, however, because of differences of opinion regarding the site. Town records show that in 1750, Robert Walker of Stratford deeded .75 acres to the town to be used as a site for the burying ground, meetinghouse and training ground on either side of present Main Street at the junction of Washinee and Liberty Streets.

The meetinghouse was constructed in 1749-1751. Fifty years later at the turn of the century the second one was built. (According to Kelly, early town records indicate that it was built on the same site as the earlier one, but the HABS Inventory for the site purports that it was erected across the street from the original on the town training ground just south of the center of the original lot.) In 1833 the Academy was erected on the north end. The green was further diminished in the early 19th century when Liberty Street was cut through the training ground from west to east, and again in 1891 when the portion south of Liberty Street was deeded to the Scoville Memorial Library Association.

While this remnant of the original town common has the appearance of a vacant corner lot or as a side yard belonging to the church, it, along with the spacious grounds around the library and the entrance to the burying ground across the street, is significant as a reminder of the original town common. Today, the area which was originally the town common is the location of many of the institutions historically associated with town greens and with the civic center of the community.

 

 
 

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