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Woodbury North Green

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The land on which Woodbury was laid out was purchased by residents of Stratford, Connecticut in 1659 from Native Americans of the Pomperaug tribe. Woodbury was founded in 1673 when fifteen Stratford Families settled on home lots laid out along Woodbury's Main Street (Route 6) which roughly follows Pomperaug trail and represents a primary route of colonial travel through Connecticut. The original green was 200 feet wide and followed Main Street through the entire length of the town from the South Green to the North Green and westward along Judson Avenue at the Center Green and along Hollow Road at the South Green. Private Property lines, often indicated by fences, reveal the configuration of this original common. Today, South Green at the intersection of Main Street and Hollow Road; Center Green at the intersection Main Street and Mountain Road; and the North Green at the intersection of Main and Pleasant Streets are all that is left of the original 200 foot wide swath.

Of the three greens, the South Green best represents the colonial development of the town. The first meetinghouse was built south of the South Green on the west side of Main Street in 1681. No part of the green exists at that location today. However, parishioners were called to church by the town drummer who was stationed on a large rock on the South Green. The rock is still there. The second meetinghouse was erected on the South Green in 1747. It no longer exists but one of the earliest surviving houses from this era (built c. 1660) is on the west side of the green on Hollow Road. The area east of Main Street is more indicative of later 19th century development of Woodbury, where modest Queen Anne-style houses border the green on the east side north of Park Road.

While the South Green bears evidence of having been the center of civic activities of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Center Green bears evidence of having been the 19th century civic center. It is bordered on the north and south by 19th century churches and across from the green facing Mountain Road is the early 19th century town hall, now used as a community center. The c. 1970 re-routing of Washington Avenue around the Center Green rather than through it clearly restored a previously lost sense of the historic form of the original town and common in this area. The green's clearly designed function as a focal point for nearby civic institutions also preserves the historic integrity of the area.

The North Green retains a high degree of historical integrity in that the structures along its borders are representative of the evolution of Woodbury from colonial times to the present. It is bordered by several late 19th century commercial structures still in use as commercial structures, and by 18th and 19th century dwellings and a 19th century church.

The three greens in Woodbury are remnants of the original 200 foot wide parcel along Main Street set aside as common land when the town was established in 1673. Although together they are much smaller than the original tract, they are unusual in that Woodbury is the only community in Connecticut that has preserved three separate greens all originating from the same plot set aside as common land.

 

 
 

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