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Huntington Center Green

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Huntington Center was initially settled as the Ripton Parish in 1717. The first meetinghouse was built in 1723 northeast of the present church (on Fanton Hill, today the corner where Beacon Hill Terrace meets Shelton Avenue). The green was established on Okenoque Plain initially as a military training ground. In about 1744, the second meetinghouse was erected at its north end. It joined the Episcopal Church which was built on its present site in 1740, thereby establishing the strip of common land as the focal point of the community. The meetinghouse was built next to the Jediah Mills House (1734, listed on the National Register of Historic Places). Mills was the first Congregational minister. His house was also used as a parsonage and later as a general store.

In 1833 the third church was erected across the street from the present Episcopal church (1812) on the site of the present Congregational Church on property deeded to the parish by Hezekiah Rudd. A few years later, in 1839, a town hall was built on the site of the present fire station.

A drawing of Huntington Center by Barber at about this time shows the two churches on either side of Church Street, with what is probably the Jediah Mills House in the background. Church Street amounts to a wide path between the buildings. A small building is next to the Episcopal Church on the present day green and a fence surrounds the burying ground very much as it does today, but there is no sense that a formal space has been established as the green.

The Congregational Church was destroyed by fire and the present one was erected c. 1890. In 1915, the green ceased to be the focus of civic activity when the town hall functions were moved to the town of Shelton. In 1911, the district elementary school was built and later enlarged. Recently it has been converted to a very successful community center. With the activity generated by it and the commercial strip on the other side of the green, the green remains the focus of Huntington Center.

The Huntington Center Green has been the focal point of the community at least since the meetinghouse was erected at its northern end in 1744. Although the civic functions were moved in 1919, the green remains the focal point of Huntington Center although much of its historic character has been compromised by the construction of a 20th century commercial strip on its east side.

 

 
 

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