Collinsville (Canton, Connecticut)

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[1]

Collinsville is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Canton in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 2,686 at the 2000 census. The central portion of the village is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Collinsville is located in the southwestern part of Canton. It was built around The Collins Company Axe Factory, a world renowned manufacturer of edge tools, such as axes, machetes, picks and knives.[2] Collins machetes were the brand of choice in South America. Collins tools were used almost exclusively for the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad and axes and picks made their way across the country to be used in the California Gold Rush. Admiral Peary carried Collins tools to the North Pole.[citation needed]

Typical of New England mills, the Collins Company axe factory was sited on a river and their production was powered by utilizing the water's strength to turn turbines and power machines. The numerous old buildings ramble along the riverbanks intertwined by an intricate maze of sluices that run throughout the site. The company closed its doors in 1966, but the factory buildings are now home to an eclectic and constantly changing mixture of tenants, including antique sellers, offices, artists' studios, woodworkers and a dance studio. The ambiance of Main Street reflects period architecture with ornate details from the turn of the century.[citation needed]

Contents

History

According to historian Diana Muir writing in Reflections in Bullough's Pond, it was in Collinsville that Elisha Root invented the important industrial technique of die casting. Root was employed by Samuel W. Collins, whose Collins and Company Works was the largest manufacturer of axes in the nineteenth century.

Collinsville hosts an annual Halloween Parade in the historic town. The Parade is held on the last Saturday of October at 7 p.m. Children's activities begin at 6pm.[3]

Collinsville was voted one of the Top "10 Coolest Small Towns in America" to visit in the U.S. in an article in a September issue of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine.[citation needed]

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