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Watertown Public Green

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At least a portion of Watertown's public green was set aside in 1772 when the second Congregational meetinghouse was built on the present site of Town Hall. Services were held there until the present church was constructed. It was erected on land purchased from members of the Woodward family in January 1839.

(The first meetinghouse was built in 1741 about a mile to the south at the corner of the burying ground located there. John Trumbull was the first minister. Both the first and second churches were built for him. His home still stands facing the green from the top of the hill on the west, next to the present Congregational Church (1839).

As it exists today, the Public Green is a composite of several pieces of property which form a visual whole surrounded by civic and religious institutions. The Congregational Church still owns a large portion of the green (Lot 1); Trinity Lutheran Church, built in 1883, is located at the extreme western corner and its lawns form the visual western boundary of the green (Lot 2); the town owns the large triangle south of Route 6 on which the gazebo, built in 1980, is located (Lot 3); and, as of 1942, the town owns the north side of the Green on which the Munson House (c. 1850) is located (Lot 4). The latter was given to the town for use as a public park and is designated "The Munson Memorial Park." The lawns to the south and east of the Munson House are contiguous with the Public Green. The Munson House now houses the Board of Education offices. The local Fire District also owns a small parcel and nineteenth century building facing the green between the Congregational Church and the Munson House. The Historical Society museum and archives are on the second floor of the Fire District building. The Methodist Church also faces the green. It is located east of the triangle portion, across Main Street.

Between 1932 and 1935 the State of Connecticut cut through the Watertown Public Green when constructing Route 6 to Woodbury. The road to Woodbury had formerly followed the lane in front of the Congregational Church and joined Main Street behind the Munson House.

Although the Watertown Public Green has changed its shape over the years, it is historically important as the location of the second and third (present) Congregational Church and the civic and religious center of the community as it was established in 1772.



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