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Kenea Park and Cannon Park

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The community of Plymouth Hollow grew up in the first half of the 19th century around the factories owned by Seth Thomas. Originally part of the town of Plymouth, it was incorporated as Thomaston in 1875. Seth Thomas remained Thomaston's largest employer until it closed in the early 1980s.

The history of Thomaston's green is a bit unclear. It is made up of two small triangles: the northern one properly called Kenea Park and the southern one called Cannon Park. The town historian thinks Kenea Park was established in the 1950s or 60s, but Rosa Gangloff's The Story of Thomaston it's [sic] History and Development (1975) shows it to have existed at least since the middle of the 19th century: maps from 1852 and about 1870 show an open triangular space at this intersection, and photographs show the space as landscaped and containing a bandstand since before the turn of the century. Gangloff reports that there was a proposal to pave over this small green for parking in 1961, but the plan was abandoned when Edith Kenea donated money to the town for its upkeep. The green was then named Kenea Park in her honor.

The smaller triangle, sometimes called Cannon Park, is thought by the town historian to be older than Kenea Park, but the opposite seems to be true. On the 1852 map it appears to be part of the property now occupied by the Methodist Church. It became a park no later than 1902, when the Civil War monument was erected on it.

The assessor's records have no reference to deeds for either of these plots of land. The records call Kenea Park simply 'park,' and Cannon Park 'village green.'

Kenea and Cannon Parks together form Thomaston's green, though their history as the green seems not to be a part of the town's consciousness. They continue to serve as Thomaston's memorial focus, as well as to mark the northern end of Thomaston's business district, as they have done historically. Traffic is busy, and there has been some loss of historic commercial structures on Main Street, but at least the first floors of the remaining buildings are still occupied, and the town seems to have committed itself to maintaining these parks well. The major threat to their historic character is clutter, particularly in Cannon Park, which scarcely has room for another monument.



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