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Falls Village Green

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Falls Village did not exist before 1840 and had reached its peak development by 1870. The railroad came through Falls Village about 1840 and built a spur across the Housatonic River to Ames Iron Works. Trains stopped at the spur to accommodate traffic and freight to and from Amesville and other forges and ironworks on the other side of the river. The village grew along the tracks near the spur.

The village was built upon farmland originally owned by Deacon Charles Beebe. The parcel which is now the Village Green was originally a part of the parcel on which an Inn now stands at the south end of the green. Early deed transfers of the Inn parcel indicate that there were several buildings on the land. As the lot is situated at the intersection of two primary streets in the village and near the railroad station, it would have been a desirable building lot; however, that a building actually stood precisely on this one-half acre on the corner has not been verified. The lot which is now the Village Green was separated from the lot on which the Inn stands in 1853 and sold to the Falls Village Water Power Company as part of a two-acre parcel containing a house and other buildings. In 1906 when the Falls Village Water Power Company was taken over by the Connecticut Power Company, the presently one-half acre village green was referred to in the deed transfer as the "Hotel Park." (A fire destroyed the buildings north of the "Hotel Park" in 1901; any structure that might have existed on this lot at that time would probably have been destroyed in the fire.)

Falls Village prospered in the first three decades. After the railroad arrived the Inn was constructed, a large three-story frame building in the Italianate style. The Iron Bank was formed in 1847 and the Savings Bank in 1854. In 1869, the Iron Bank moved to its headquarters on Main Street across the street and just east of the green where the building still stands.

In the 1950s there were as many as three general stores. One of them employed 24 clerks and stayed open 24 hours a day to accommodate the Ames iron workers and the railroads. The company was particularly busy during the Civil War manufacturing cannons. After the Civil War, the iron industry declined, and Falls Village declined with it.

In 1957 "Hotel Park" was transferred to the Town of Canaan and it became the Village Green officially, as it had been functionally for decades.

Village Green in Falls Village is intact as developed in the mid-19th century with the exception of the post-1950 auto service garage on Railroad Street.

 

 
 

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