Newington’s first settlers were from Wethersfield, Connecticut. Sometime before 1665 the Wethersfield colonists bought a parcel of land, which now comprises Wethersfield, Glastonbury, Newington, Rocky Hill and a part of Berlin.
In 1677 Wethersfield granted four men the right to build a sawmill on the pond (Mill Pond), making use of the natural waterfall for the purpose of manufacturing pipe (barrel) staves, and also granting each man twenty acres of land. Here Newington, as a part of Wethersfield, had it’s start. The wood was very good for making pipe staves and this first industry in Newington lasted about one hundred years until the wood dwindled and caused its demise.
In 1708 the settlers petitioned for a separate parish. Two years later the Town Meeting allowed them the right to worship by themselves from December through March because of the difficulties in traveling across the mountain from Newington to Wethersfield in the winter months. Again in 1712 they petitioned to be a separate parish and have their own minister. This time it was granted.
Travel between Newington and its parent community remained a difficult task through the eighteenth century and until the establishment of the Hartford-New Haven Turnpike around 1800, no direct route to Hartford existed. Thus Newington continued to grow in relative isolation, forming the strong family and community bonds that are still evident today.
In the early 1970’s there were two historic organizations in Newington. The Newington Historical Society, established in 1971 and the Newington Historical Trust, Inc., established in 1974. These two important groups merged in 1977 creating the Newington Historical Society & Trust, Inc.
It’s goals are the perpetuation of the history, memory and spirit of the Town of Newington, the encouragement of research into Newington’s earliest historical records and archaeological resources, and the development of education programs which serve to increase public awareness and appreciation of our heritage.
Mill Pond Waterfall