This route through the Litchfield Hills and the northwestern portion of Connecticut offers much in scenic attractions and forms an important link in the entrances to New England from New York State. It is a continuation of the New York Highway from Poughkeepsie (p 231).
From Salisbury to Hartford is State Highway, marked throughout its course by yellow bands on telegraph poles.
The section from Salisbury to Canaan is on Route 5 (p 243).
From the Village of Canaan (6.5) the macadam State High-way, marked by yellow bands, follows along the terraces on the northern side of the Blackberry river, passing under R.R. to East Canaan (9.o).
In the village is the fine old Stevens place. Samuel Forbes, an early iron master who had erected a forge at Lakeville in which were cast Revolutionary cannon, built a slitting mill here, the third in the country. Limestone is extensively quarried here and burnt in lime as well as dressed for building stone. The State Capitol at Hartford is built of dolomitic marble from these quarries.
The route crosses Whiting River, a tributary of the Black-berry, and continues through West Norfolk (1082 ft), upgrade, with Haystack Mountain to the north, into
14.0 NORFOLK. Alt 1240 ft. Pop (twp) 1541. Litchfield Co. Inc. 1758.
Norfolk is beautifully situated in the midst of delightful scenery and is becoming yearly a more popular resort during both the summer and winter. It has been styled `the Lenox of the Litchfield Hills.’ At the end of the village Green is a fountain of granite and bronze designed by Stanford White, the bronze by Saint-Gaudens. The old village church has a commanding situation on the summit of a hill. There are many fine residences in the town, notably that of Mr. Eldridge, and Fox Hill, the residence of the Hon. H. H. Bridgman, in the style of a French château, designed by J. Cleveland Cady, the grounds laid out by the Olmsteds.
The Litchfield County Choral Union, which has its center at Norfolk, has a chorus of over 400, and, assisted by an orchestra of 75, gives a three days’ festival in a large building erected for the purpose. The golf links on Norfolk Downs are the best in this section. Four miles southeast is Lake Wan-gum, high up on the pine-covered slope of Canaan Mountain.
From Norfolk the highway follows the course of Mad River. This highway across Litchfield County has for centuries been known as the `Great Green Woods Road.’
In 1752 the inhabitants of Simsbury and Farmington joined the settlers of New Hartford in a petition to build this road. It was over this that Ethan Allen marched for Ticonderoga, and patriots traversed it toward Lexington and Bunker Hill. In the Revolution, troops and munitions, and detachments of Burgoyne’s army as prisoners of war passed over the road, and iron and lumber were transported from Salisbury to Hartford.
Yale College received a grant in 1742. Rights to land here were sold at public auction; there was such a prejudice against the site that all the purchasers except one forfeited their rights and thereby lost their first installments of forty shillings each. The Connecticut Legislature, however, offered it for sale again in 1754, and this time settlers were induced to move in.
23.5 WINSTED (R. 7,p 282).
The route follows Main St. with trolley into the New Hartford road, which ascends and then follows the course of Mad River into
30.0 NEW HARTFORD. Alt 419 ft. Pop (twp) 2144. Litchfield Co. Inc. 1738. Mfg. cotton goods, silk, brushes, and planes.
On Town Hill, near the old landmark of Town Hill Church, is the home of Edith Wynne Matthison and her husband, Charles Rann Kennedy; Mme. Clara Louise Kellogg-Strakosch lives on a neighboring hill. Lake Wonksunkamonk is a pretty body of water three miles west of the village, with a summer colony of actors and literary folk. In Howe’s shop, on the site of the New Hartford House, woman first sewed a stitch on a sewing-machine.
From this point the route follows the valley of the Farming-ton river, crossing the striking Satan Kingdom Gorge. Just before reaching Collinsville the road, marked in yellow, turns eastward and away from the river.
36.5 CANTON. Alt 900 ft. Pop (twp) 2732. Hartford Co. Inc. 1806. Mfg. tools.
The State Road continues across the hills through Avon (40.0) and climbs the steep slope of Talcott Mountain (1020 ft) to an elevation of 525 feet and descends the gentler eastern slope. The mountain is a double ridge of basalt formed as a lava flow, which has been tilted and left standing by the erosion of the softer Connecticut river sandstones about it.
49.5 HARTFORD (R. 1,.)