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Clinton Town

Clinton Town Hall is located at 54 East Main Street, Clinton CT 06413; phone: 860-669-9333.

Beginnings [1]

The European settlement of Clinton began in the 1660s when Bryan Rossiter of Guilford surveyed the land and laid out houselots and pastures along the road between New Haven and Old Saybrook, reserving some of the area embraced by this district as common land for a burying ground and meetinghouse site. By 1667 several families had moved in, enough to form a church society, and that year the town, then named Killingworth, was formally established by the General Assembly. As in most coastal Connecticut towns, the settlers were primarily interested in agriculture, rather than maritime pursuits, so the initial settlement occurred some distance from the water. However, the harbor, formed by the confluence of the Indian River with Long Island Sound, did offer some advantages, so it is not surprising that the road laid out toward the water (now Waterside Lane) became built up with houses.

As the 18th century progressed, the area represented by the district assumed the character of a village and took on the role of a central place for the whole town. The Congregational meetinghouse served the entire community until the late 18th century, when a second society was established in the north part of the town; this north part became its own town in 1838, keeping the name Killingworth, at which time the older portion was renamed Clinton in honor of Dewitt Clinton, the popular governor of New York and Erie Canal proponent.

  1. Bruce Clouette and Maura Cronin, consultants, and John Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, Clinton Village Historic District, nominaion document, 1994, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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