Salisbury, Connecticut

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Salisbury is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The town is the northwest-most in the State of Connecticut. The MA-NY-CT (Massachusetts-New York-Connecticut) Tri-State Marker is located just on the border of Salisbury. The population was 3,977 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Salisbury was incorporated in 1741, and contains several historic homes, though some were replaced by larger modern structures in the late 20th Century. Historian Ed Kirby tells us that traces of iron were discovered in what was to become Salisbury in 1728, with the discovery of the large deposit at Old Hill (later Ore Hill) in 1731 by John Pell and Ezekiel Ashley. Beginning before the Revolution, during the Federal period, and until around 1920 Salisbury was the seat of an important iron industry. (See: Ed Kirby, Echoes of Iron in Connecticut's Northwest Corner, Sharon Historical Society, 1998 p. 6).

Additional iron mines were opened, mostly in the Western end of the township, although historian Diana Muir dismisses them as "scarcely big enough to notice," with the further disadvantage of not being near a river large enough to ship iron to market at a reasonable cost. The solution, according to Muir, was to pour labor into the iron, working it into a quality of wrought iron so high that it could be used even for gun barrels. This fetched a high price and made Salisbury iron the celebrated choice of Connecticut's early nineteenth century arms industry (See: Diana Muir, Reflections in Bullough's Pond, Economy and Ecosystem in New England, University of New England Press, 2002, p. 126.) as well as the preeminent source of cast iron railroad car wheels until they were superseded by steel wheels. Peter P. Everts, an agent of the mid 19th Century mines, however, stated the quality of Salisbury iron varied[1].The iron industry in Salisbury became inactive following World War I, a plan to revive it during World War II was never implemented, and the mines remain under water.[2].

Scoville Library in Salisbury was the first in the United States open to the public free of charge[3].

Salisbury is home to the oldest Methodist Church in New England, The Lakeville Methodist Church, which was constructed in 1789[4].

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