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New Preston Hill

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The New Preston Ecclesiastical Society was established in 1753 and included part of the Towns of Kent and New Milford. In March of 1954 the Society voted to build a meetinghouse which was erected on New Preston Road southwest of the present common. In 1766, it was decided to build a second meetinghouse "west of Jacob Kinnes" on the site of the present church on the northwest corner of the common. The community at the crossroads became the center of a larger farming community that prospered through the first quarter of the 19th century. In about 1800, Newton's Tavern was built across from the church to serve the population. The community reached its peak just about the time the third and present church was constructed in 1824. Twenty-five years later, in 1850, the school house to the north of the church was built. These three stone buildings form the core of the community presently centered on the green. In 1853, it was decided to build another church a mile east along New Preston Hill Road in New Preston Center where industry had developed based upon the availability of water power. As a result, there was no further construction immediately facing the common and the site remains much as it appeared in the second half of the 19th century. The church is presently being used only during the summer months.

This tiny crossroads community with the green at its center flourished until the second quarter of the 19th century when water power in New Preston Center attracted further development in the area. As a result, the stone church, school house and tavern remain clustered at the western edge of the green as a testimonial to a once thriving farming community.



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