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Colchester Town Green

The Colchester Green is a large triangle about 750 feet long and 320 feet wide at its base. There is a much smaller triangle at its tip. The larger portion is bounded by Hayward Avenue on the east, Norwich Avenue on the south and Main Street on the west. It is simply and elegantly landscaped with a gazebo in the center as the focal point and a few shade trees planted about, many of them along the western edge (including sugar maple, Norway maple and oak). To the north of the gazebo is a Norway Spruce, decorated during the Christmas season. The green is mostly flat but drains to the south. A worn dirt path follows the western edge from north to south. In the southwest corner is a baseball diamond with bleachers and benches. Behind it and along Norwich Avenue is a graveled parking strip along the edge of the green.

The green is the focal point of the town and is surrounded by commercial, residential and civic buildings, most of them built during the 19th century. The Colchester Federated Church in the Greek Revival style and Bacon Academy (1803) to the south at the southwest corner are the most dominant buildings. The Hayward House (1767; built by Captain Dudley Wright who at one time owned the property that includes the present-day green and was once lived in by Nathaniel Hayward who eventually deeded a portion of the green to the town), is still standing across Hayward Avenue from the green and used as a bed and breakfast.

The commercial buildings are located primarily along Linwood Avenue where there is an attractive grouping of late 19th-century structures. Unfortunately, here also is a large-20th century grocery store set back on an asphalt parking lot. The old town center to some extent is suffering from economic disinvestment in that most of the money is being invested in development along the arteries leading into town where it is easier to build structures that conform with society's dependency on the automobile. As a result, the maintenance on some of these buildings has been deferred. Despite this, the streetscape is a charming mix of structures that provide a comfortable enclosure for a simple, yet elegant, green.

There are three memorials on the green including a Civil War monument (1875; a Union soldier on top of a tall stone pedestal); a World War One memorial (a boulder surmounted by a bronze eagle); and a World War Two and Korean conflict memorial (a smooth granite marker with bronze plaques).

Information and Maps:
Survey Data - View detailed physical and historical information about this green.

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