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Milton Green

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Settlement of Milton, a village within the town of Litchfield, was underway by 1759. The settlers were drawn to the water power potential of the Shepaug River that flows north through the village in two branches. The east branch is near the northwest corner of the present Milton Green.

Inhabitants of the area petitioned the Assembly in 1768 for winter privileges. It was not until 1791 that a meetinghouse was erected on the common by the Litchfield Parish. Four years later, in 1795, Milton became an independent parish of Litchfield.

By the early 19th century, many mills and factories had developed in association with the water power and Milton became a thriving community. Trinity Episcopal Church and the Milton Academy are associated with this period. A Methodist church constructed in 1844-52 was also facing the green during part of this time. It was replaced by the Milton School (1896). The Congregational Church was moved from its original site on the green to across the river where it is now located to the northwest of the green.

With the advent of the steam engine and railroad, Milton's water-based industry began to decline in the middle of the 19th century. Evidence of this industrial past is difficult to find today, but the civic and residential community in the center near the green has remained essentially intact. The absence of commerce and industry gives the center a rural agrarian appearance. The green has remained completely open and undeveloped since the meetinghouse was moved in 1828.

The first meetinghouse was erected on the green in 1791 and served as the religious and educational center of the community during the 19th century. The green remains relatively unimproved as it must have looked since the late 18th century.



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