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Old Mill Green (aka Pembroke Park)

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Old Mill Green or Pembroke Park was set aside as common land in 1685 when the town act which established King's Highway (presently Boston Avenue) was passed which stated that "all the uplands and marshes lying southward of the road leading to Fairfield, between the physical spring and the uppermost cartway over (Pan) Brook shall be left for a perpetual Common, and twenty rods in breadth shall be left for a road to Fairfield bounds." Town proprietors later sold much of this land reducing the width of the highway. However, Theophilus Nichols who lived on the Old Mill Green around 1700, was influential in preserving what remains of the green today.

It is named after Mill Brook upon which a mill was constructed in 1654. By the time there were enough people settled along the road to form a community, the first mill had become old; hence the name, Old Mill Hill and Old Mill Green. By the late 1790s, a bark mill and tannery had joined the grist mill. The last one situated along the brook was a wool carding mill in 1818.

The Old Mill Green was a flourishing and aristocratic part of the Town of Stratford from about 1700 into the 19th century. Most of the townspeople resided at the green including the three person committee in charge of oversight of the New Pasture, a point of land south of the green reaching to the Sound. The green was formally deeded to the town in 1740 by nine townspeople for use as a perpetual common.

The green is the site of a Benjamin Franklin milestone ("17 miles to N.H") which is associated with the oldest mail route in the United States established along the King's Highway. The green is also associated with General Washington and Lafayette who are said to have stopped at Harpin's Tavern located at the southwest corner of the green. The house was built by William Pixlee c. 1700, occupied by many generations of Pixlee's, and dismantled in the late 1970s and moved to Southport.



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