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North Canaan Town


North Canaan Town Hall is located at 100 Pease Street, North Canaan, CT 06018; phone: 860-824-7313.

Beginnings [1]

The Town of North Canaan, in which the village of Canaan is located, was created from the Town of Canaan in 1858. Initially little more than a settlement of scattered farms located north and west of the population center of the part of the Town of Canaan known as North Canaan, which achieved parish status in 1767, Canaan village did not begin to take on the character of a community until after 1836, when the right-of-way of the Housatonic Railroad was established. The Housatonic Railroad was chartered in 1836 to run from Stamford to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and thus capitalize on the fact that it could serve as a winter route to Albany when the Hudson River was frozen. It also would serve as a means of transporting iron and lime out of northwest Connecticut.

Willian Adam, a large landowner, persuaded the railroad to route its line across his property, bypassing the then-established settlement on the Blackberry River known as Lower Corners. In return for utilizing his land, which he subdivided into building lots, Adam agreed to construct a station at his expense, and it was adjacent to that station that the village began to develop. Growth of the village exacerbated the local rivalry between the Town of Canaan (south of North Canaan) and the growing population and business center at Canaan Depot, as Canaan village was then known. In 1858, North Canaan successfully petitioned to become a town with the village of Canaan as its center.

  1. Mary E. McCahon, architectural historian, Canaan Historical Society, and John Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, Canaan Village Historic District, North Canaan, CT, nomination document, 1990, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C., nrhp.focus.nps.gov, accessed August, 2010.
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