Bethel Town Hall is located at 1 School Street, Bethel CT 06801; phone: 203-794-8501.
In 1714, John Read, one of the ablest lawyers in New England and a chronic land speculator, secured from the local Indian sachem Chicken a large grant of land. With a keen sense of humor, Read drew up a formal patent, with Chicken as lord of the manor and himself as tenant. Lonetown Manor or the Manor of Chicken, as it was variously called, did not last long, for the General Assembly proceeded to have the land sold at public auction, a method later used for all the northwestern towns. Actual settlement probably began as early as 1711. A parish of Reading was organized in 1729, and the name changed to Redding when the town was incorporated in 1767. Tryon's force marched through the town in 1777, and two years later General Putnam was in charge of a Revolutionary camp here.