Southbury Historic District
The Southbury Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.Description
The Southbury Historic District consists of all the structures and sites along the old Main Street (now U.S. Route 6) from Woodbury Town line to Old Waterbury Road: among these are the Bullet Hill School built in 1778 which is one of the oldest continuously used schools in New England and the White Oak Schoolhouse which now is an antique shop. The area includes much open space which is fallow field or woods.
The Southbury Historic District Report groups the structures into five categories. The "Pre-revolutionary Group" of houses built prior to 1776 is the largest of these. It has eighteen structures, the majority of which are described as having a two-story frame, a gable roof of about 2/5 pitch, center chimney, and five windows per floor on the facade. The second group the "Post-revolutionary Group includes buildings built between 1777 and 1812. Many of these structures are typical examples of the two-chimney center hall type of house. However, the group also includes the well known Bullet Hill School House a two story brick construction with hip roof, a cupola, and five windows per floor — and a Greek Revival residence with its overhanging front gable supported by four front columns.
The next group is designated the American Empire Group and includes nine buildings built between 1813 and 1860. These include the church which is decorated with motives and forms from the Greek Revival and several buildings with shallow sloped roofs and three windows or piercings at each floor level of the facade. The last group is designated the "Victorian & Twentieth Century Group 1861-1966 and has fifteen structures. These include five good colonial reproductions, four in the colonial style, four with modern detail and some "colonial aspect" and three Victorian buildings. A last category for leftovers — "Non-conforming Buildings" — consists of a new mortuary and a small square frame house.
The Southbury Historic District is significant because it retains the appearance of a residential community of the 19th century which has been unaffected by industrialization and because it has been associated with persons who have made contributions to American culture.
The Southbury Historic District is an attractive strip of buildings which continues about two miles along Route 6 and which includes much open space. The community's awareness of the historical past is revealed by plaques on many buildings and by the restraint of the few local businesses in their displays.
Local persons have made some distinctive contributions to American culture. These include Benjamin Hinman who was Colonel of the 4th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Array, Dr. Anthony Burritt, surgeon of the Continental army, Reverend John Graham who developed the process for graham flour, Samuel Goodrich who wrote American History books under the pseudonym of Peter Parley, David Stiles, the Roxbury iron mine developer, and Duncan Phyfe, the well-known cabinetmaker of the post-revolutionary period who lived for a while in the town.
Report of the Historical District Study Committee, April 7, 1967.
F.S.K. Crofut, Guide to the History and the Historic Sites of Connecticut. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937.