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First District School, Harwinton, CT

Harwinton First District School, Harwinton, CT


Harwinton is a town in Litchfield County, CT. The population was 5,283 at the 2000 census.  The name of the town is partly a blend of Hartford and Windsor, plus the suffix “-ton.  In 1680 the Colony of Connecticut was concerned that its charter would be taken away by the British Government, and that the “Western Lands” (now most of Litchfield County) might be lost. Consequently the entire northwest corner of Connecticut was given to the Hartford and Windsor plantations for safekeeping. When the threat passed, the General Assembly asked to have the land back. Hartford and Windsor refused and they claimed ownership based on the fact that the land was given to them.  In 1726 the dispute was settled through arbitration. The Colony was given back the western portion of the entire area, while Hartford and Windsor retained the eastern section. Hartford became sole owner of “East Harwinton” and Windsor sole owner of “West Harwinton”.  In 1732 the Towns settlement began with Daniel Messenger being the first to settle here.  As more people migrated the two halves were put back together in anticipation of being declared a single township by a vote of the General Assembly.  In 1737 the approval was given and the first town meeting was held. The 32 square mile area once known as Hartford’s town and Windsor’s town would become Harwinton. Nowhere else in the world is there another place named Harwinton.  Here is the Harwinton First District School House, built in 1840, moved to its present location by the Harwinton Lions Club in 1972, and restored by the Harwinton Historical Society in 1973.




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