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Wolcott Green

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The Wolcott Green at first appears to be a simple triangle bounded by Center Street, Bound Line Road, and Kenea Avenue in Wolcott Center. But that simple shape hides a more complicated history. The northern portion was acquired in 1772 as the site for the meetinghouse of Farmingbury parish, established in 1770 in outlying regions of Farmington and Waterbury. After Wolcott was incorporated as a town in 1796, three more pieces of land were added to the green in 1801 and 1808. In 1830 the town voted to give part of this land to the fledgling Episcopal congregation for their church, but after the church failed later in the century, the town regained ownership of the land. The current layout of the roads does not follow the property lines, so that, in addition to the triangular land that is obviously The Green, there are narrow strips on at least two sides, in addition to the current sites of the town hall and the Congregational Church. According to a history of Wolcott published in 1874, the land north of Center Road belonged to the Ecclesiastical Society, and that south of Center Road belongs to the town. Presumably this is still true, with the substitution of the Congregational Church for the Ecclesiastical Society.

A very cursory search of the town records turned up deeds for the 1801 additions to the green: Michael Harrison to the Town of Wolcott, v. 1, p. 287, dated 26 January 1801; and Charles Upson to the Town of Wolcott, v. 1, p. 378, dated 24 May 1801. The 1772 deed should be recorded in Farmington and Waterbury.

The Wolcott Green is a well-maintained focus for the town center. Stores that stood facing it in the 18th and 19th centuries have disappeared, but the green has maintained its residential and civic functions. The usual late-20th century tendency to clutter has begun to show itself, and the placement of the recent plantings, including ornamentals not historically characteristic of town greens, do not show much logic. Most of the buildings surrounding the green are historic and well-preserved, and the single new house is unobtrusive. Wolcott's green is also a good example of the changes that could take place in the shape of a town's green over time, and the way that a green's apparent shape may not match its true shape.



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