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Valour Green

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The Upper Houses, the first settlement in that portion of Middletown that eventually became Cromwell, was settled in 1651. A small settlement developed north of it on Nooks Hill around several small mills and a ferry that was established in 1759 offering services across the Connecticut River to Indian Hill Avenue in Portland. In 1715, Nooks Hill Road (today's Prospect Hill Road) was surveyed, providing access to the area and establishing the western and eastern boundaries of present-day Valour Green at the intersection of Main Street and Prospect Hill Road. Sometime in the mid-18th century, a school was erected on the green "at the apex formed by Main Street and Prospect Hill Road." A Beers Map from 1874 shows a school on what would be the northeast corner of today's green. It was moved sometime after 1902.

Thus, Valour Green was created by virtue of its being located at an intersection where a public school was erected. It was initially referred to as "Upper Green," because of its relationship to the "Lower Green" south of it and at a lower elevation in the town center.

In 1856, a three-story, octagonal-shaped structure was built as a private house north of the present green. In 1858, it became a boarding house. Photographs indicate that the lawn of this house once merged with the green and was used by the boarders for picnics and passive recreation. The flagpole in the center of the green was dedicated during a large July Fourth celebration in 1918. There is reference to there being an "honor roll" on the green at that time although it is not there today. In 1973, it was dedicated as Valour Green in honor of Korean and Vietnam veterans. Each year it is included in the Veterans and Memorial Day observances.

Valour Green was set aside in the 18th century as a site of a grammar school. It evolved into a park used by the local residences and a gathering place for the larger town celebrations. Although it is one of Cromwell's three secondary greens, it is a welcome open space and serves an important commemorative function.



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