BarkhamstedNamed for Barkhamsted in Hertfordshire, England, this area was part of the Western Lands granted by the proprietors of Windsor to 108 persons of that town in 1732. The first highway through the town was the New Country Road, better known as the Old North Road, ordered by the General Assembly in 1760. Early settlements included Barkhamsted Center, Wallens Hill (Winsted), Ratlum, Pleasant Valley, Riverton (Hitchcocksville), and Shawtown. Among early industries was the manufacture of axes, scythes, rakes, bricks, lumber, chairs, and pyroligneous acid for use in the textile industry. Farming was also important.
The town suffered a severe decline in its population during the late 1800's when better farmland became available in the Midwest. Metropolitan District Commission reservoirs and three state forests now provide open space and recreational land. The book Barkhamsted Heritage, Culture and Industry in a Rural Connecticut Town offers further information.
Erected by the Town of Barkhamsted
The Barkhamsted Historical Society
and the Connecticut Historical Commission