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Winsted Green (East End Park)

East End Park, located within the Winsted Green Historic District, is a long, narrow park at the northeast corner of the commercial downtown area of Winsted. It is bounded by Main Street on the south, a busy commercial highway. The park is slightly higher than Main Street and extends northward away from it. Two one-way streets, Park Place East and Park Place West border it on either side. It is set off from the surrounding streets by a low fence made of concrete masonry posts and iron rails (evident in a photograph taken at the turn of the 19th century). The park is shaded by many maple and oak trees and provides a lush contrast to the busy commercial area along the four-lane highway at its south end. Buildings along the east and west sides of the park are dense; 19th century dwellings and commercial structures, a church, a synagogue, and a 20th century three-story school building.

The park is crossed north to south through the middle by a long concrete walkway. Along its path, from south to north, are a memorial drinking fountain, Civil War monument, bandstand, a late 19th century fountain, and Vietnam War Memorial. Other concrete paths cross the park from east to west. The east/west walkway nearest the southern end of the park is asphalt rather than concrete. At the south end of the park near Main Street is the Connecticut Historical Commission sign as is the monument for the flood victims who died in 1955. To the west of the Vietnam Memorial, three maple trees have been planted side by side commemorating the lives of three Winsted men killed in the war.

The park serves an important commemorative function as indicated by the number and placement of memorials in East End Park. The masonry Civil War Monument, a Union Soldier on top of a square pedestal base, was erected in the early 20th century "in honor of the patriotism and to perpetuate the memory of the 368 brave men who went forth from this town from 1861 to 1865 and periled their all that the nation might live..." The Vietnam War memorial is of polished granite and includes the names of those who died. The existing bandstand on a raised masonry platform with railing is a recent addition and replaces an earlier one of much different design.

Winsted's green, East End Park, is representative of Winsted's settlement in the last years of colonial America in its location of the grounds of the original public parade grounds. Yet today its park-like layout and surrounds reflect the town's rapid growth and prosperity in the industrial era. Winsted followed a trend popularized in the mid-19th century by converting the colonial parade ground into a shaded public park. With all the factories along Main Street, it would have been a welcome oasis then as it is today.

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