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Chapin Park (Pine Meadow Green)

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The Pine Meadow Green, known as Chapin Park, represents 19th-century industrial development and prosperity in New Hartford. About 1840 settlements began to grow around manufacturing companies in New Hartford's river valleys. Pine Meadows is one of the settlements located along the Tunxis (now Farmington) River and along the primary route between Hartford and Albany (Route 44). During this industrial era when New Hartford's population center moved down from Town Hill into the river valleys, a new town center was established in North Village, the next settlement north of Pine Meadows. Thus, Pine Meadows remained an independent village for the several manufacturing industries located there.

The green, Chapin Park, is named for its benefactor family, the Chapins, who manufactured planes, rulers and levels in Pine Meadows. The family established the park, built early worker's housing along Route 44 east of the park, erected impressive Victorian homes for themselves facing the green, and donated land and money for a church built in the Carpenter Gothic style built between their houses facing the park.

Industrial development reached its peak in Pine Meadows in 1900. By the time of the Depression, all the industries were gone. Pine Meadows survived the following decades without loss of architectural integrity and Chapin Park and its surrounding streetscapes reflect much of that industrial development.

The Park was owned and maintained by the Chapin family until 1946 when the widows of Hermon M. Chapin and Frank M. Chapin donated the park to the Pine Meadows Fire Company, Inc. in memory of their husbands who had been members of that company. In 1971, the Fire Company transferred the park to the town of New Hartford with certain requirements with respect to its use and maintenance but those restrictions expired in 1991.

Chapin Park is significant in that it is representative of the period of peak industrial development in New Hartford's river communities. At the same time, it possesses the basic components of a typical New England green as well as serving a commemorative function.

 

 
 

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