Belltown Historic DistrictBelltown Historic District - East Hampton, Connecticut
Village of East Hampton, CT
A view of down town East Hampton looking northward with the Carrier Block building and Barton Hill Rd. on the left. This historic East Hampton Photo from the 1940s was taken from the Air Line Railroad bridge that crossed over Main Street. Some of the more notable historic landmarks located in the center of the Belltown National Historic District include: Hitchcock’s Pharmacy was as well as the Buckland and Barton General Store, the Post Office, Siebert’s Opera House, Barton Drug Store, and Louis James’ Candy Kitchen.
Buckland – Barton General Store
Barton Drug Store and Soda Shop
The National Register Of Historic Places
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Belltown Historic District is roughly located on Main Street in the center of East Hampton, Connecticut between West High Street, CT 16, and portions of West High St, Barton Hill, Summit, and Skinner Street. The Historic District contains an exceptionally large concentration of contributing historic buildings: 147 of the 176 buildings in the District. Once known as the Town of Chatham, settlement in this area dates from the early eighteenth century, ninety-four percent of the contributing historic buildings were built after 1800, the period associated with the industrial development of the town as a bell-manufacturing center.
The Belltown Historic District, which encompasses the industrial center of East Hampton, Connecticut, is historically significant as the only mill town in the nation known to be exclusively devoted to bell making, a highly specialized industry which prospered for over 100 years. A significant cohesive and distinguishable entity, the Belltown Historic District contains a full range of historic resources which illustrate in their diversity of scale, function, or level of architectural style the social and economic development of the town. Exceptionally well-preserved buildings of all types dating from 1748 to 1935 can be found in the district.
The Town of East Hampton, Connecticuts economy was at first largely driven by shipbuilding and related interests, centered at Middle Haddam on the Connecticut River, but these were in decline by the early 19th century. William Barton, a native of Bloomfield, Connecticut, arrived in East Hampton in 1807, bringing with him the specialized knowledge of working brass for the manufacture of bells. He established a foundry, where he trained a whole generation of bellmakers whose work would fuel the town’s economy. The Bevin Brothers, among those he trained, were the first to apply water power to the process, damming Lake Pocotopaug Brook for the purpose. Their business continues to be a major presence in the town. By 1860, Belltown had 23 men listed as bell manufacturers.
The historic district has a spider-like configuration, anchored by a stretch of Main Street between West High and Edgerton Streets. Fingers of the district extend off of a number of side streets, which are typically lined with residential and industrial buildings. The district covers 145 acres (59 ha), and includes 145 contributing buildings, in a diversity of 19th-century architectural styles. Prominent elements include the surviving mill complexes of the bell makers and associated businesses, as well as four churches. There are also several industrial archaeological sites in the southern part of the district, where early and failed bellmaking businesses were once located.
Comstock Covered Bridge
The Comstock Bridge, also known as the Comstock Covered Bridge is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the three remaining covered bridges left in the state of Connecticut – the other two being the Bulls Bridge in Kent and the West Cornwall Covered Bridge overlooking the Housatonic River in West Cornwall, Connecticut.
The Comstock Bridge is located on 14 Bridge Street at the junction of Colchester and East Hampton crossing the Salmon River.
Upcoming East Hampton, CT Events
Saturday, February 23, 2019 @ 1pm. The Chatham Historical Society and East Hampton Library are co-sponsoring a talk by Dr. Stephen Soreff who will share stories about his father Dr. Louis Soreff who was a general practitioner in East Hampton, CT for 45 years from the...read more
John Cilio - Guest AuthorSaturday, February 9, 2019 at 1:00 The East Hampton Public Library and The Chatham Historical Society will be co-sponsoring a “Cabin Fever History Series” featuring John Cilio author of Women’s Work in WWII. John tells the epic story of an...read more
Cabin Fever History SeriesThe East Hampton Public Library and The Chatham Historical Society will be co-sponsoring a “Cabin Fever History Series” featuring local CT Author's discussing history during the months of January, February, and March 2019. The programs will...read more
Welcome to the Official East Hampton, CT Historical Society Website. This site intends to provide information to the public about the Chatham Historical Society’s upcoming Calendar Events and Programs with the purpose of bringing together people interested in the History of Cobalt, Middle Haddam, and East Hampton, Connecticut.
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