[ front ]ColebrookThe last town in colonial Connecticut to be settled, Colebrook was named after a town in Devonshire, England. The reason is now unknown, The year 1765 saw Benjamin Horton, leader of a trickle of settlers, arrive amid virgin forests. Samuel Rockwell, among those who shortly followed, two years afterward built one of the outpost's first houses. Here, before long, was born Colebrook's first child, a boy whose parents fittingly named him Alpha. Iron forges soon developed, ore being drawn by oxen from Salisbury for smelting with the plentiful local wood. Cannon for use in the Revolution were made and lugged where needed. A story connects one of these with the piece on exhibit in Quebec whose label states: "Taken by the British at Bunker Hill."
Notable structures from the past crowd about this marker. Northward, on the left is the Samuel Rockwell House (1767); below it is the Colebrook Store (1812), a Greek revival gem and a federally registered historic building.
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To the left stands the combined Historical Society quarters and Town Hall (1816), built as the Colebrook Tavern to serve the needs of travelers on the old New Haven Turnpike, the road just to the right. On the west side of the church in front of the viewer is the Martin Rockwell House (1793); and, lastly the church itself rises serenely above the nearby conifers and maples. Its measurements precisely like the one attributed to Charles Bullfinch, an architect of the United States Capitol. The whole forms a setting that has been declared the best-preserved example of a small post-Revolutionary village center that has survived in the State of Connecticut, and perhaps in all New England.
The Town's population peaked just before the Civil War. So did its commercial importance, which was marked by mills, a scythe factory, tanneries, and woolen and wooden-ware works. Today its cool, airy climate and rural quiet each year attract a sizeable summer colony.
Erected by the Town of Colebrook
The Colebrook Historical Society
and the Connecticut Historical Commission