The commercial block at 410-416 Main Street in Winsted was erected in 1878 by John G. Wetmore, founder of the New England Pin Company. Wetmore had earlier built two attached buildings, the Winsted Opera House and the Wetmore East Block, the latter of which later became a post office. Neither of these two buildings survives today (the Opera House was gutted by a fire in 1901).
On Whiting Street along the east bank of the Still River in Winsted are the buildings of the former Winsted Hosiery mill. The company, which produced hosiery and underwear for men, was organized in 1882 and become the largest hosiery manufacturer in Connecticut by 1936. In the 1960s, the company switched to woolen manufacturing and moved Asheville, North Carolina in 1965. Building #2, pictured above, was built around 1905. A four-story brick structure, it stretches thirty bays along the Still River and has a six-bay extension added in 1911. The building was later converted into apartments.
The Mechanics Savings Bank of Winsted was established in 1875. A new Beaux Arts/Neo-Classical Revival building (pdf), designed by the firm Hoggson Brothers of New York, was constructed for the bank at 86 Main Street in 1929. The bank became Northwest Bank for Savings in 1979 and Northwest Community Bank in 1996.
The Ecclesiastical Society of Winsted was established in 1778. The name “Winsted” was a combination of the names of the two neighboring towns, Winchester and Barkhamsted, from among whose residents the new society was formed. After some debate, the first meeting house was built between the societies of Winchester and Barkhamsted, near the east-west road between the residence of Harris Brown and the Old Country Road in the Wallens Hill section of the village. With the population soon shifting away from Wallens Hill, a new and larger church was built on the East End Green in 1800. This structure served the congregation until a new church, constructed of granite, was dedicated in 1901. In 1949, the First Congregational and First Baptist churches were merged and the united congregation was called the First Church (Baptist and Congregational). After the Flood of 1955 damaged both the First and Second churches, a merger of these two congregations occurred in 1957, with the new Church of Christ (Baptist and Congregational) utilizing the Second Church building. 119 members of the First Congregational Church, fearing their old church would no longer be used for worship, broke from the new federation and, since 1958, the First Church of Winsted has continued as a separate congregation.
This week, we’ll be looking at libraries again. Our first library is the Beardslee and Memorial Library in Winchester. As explained by Robert S. Hulbert, in Winsted; the Development of an Ideal Town (1906):
The educational awakening of Winsted was also helped in 1874 by Mrs. Delia Ellen Rockwell Beardsley, widow of Elliott Beardsley, who gave into the hands of [seven] trustees $10,000 for the founding of a library [in West Winsted]. For twenty-five years the books were in a pleasant room in the Beardsley building. Before his death in 1897, the late Jenison J. Whiting began the construction of the Memorial Library. The building was completed [in 1898] after his death by Mrs. Whiting, and with the lot on which it stands, representing a total outlay of about $20,000, was given to the town for the reception of libraries. The Beardsley Library, whose funds had been augmented by a gift of $1,000 from Miss Martha Beardsley at her death, and by $600 given by Rufus E. Holmes of Winsted, was placed in the building. The town then voted [in 1899] an appropriation of $1,500 annually, to meet, with other expenses, those for which a small fee had been charged, and the books in the library were made free to the public.
The Church of Christ is a Baptist and Congregational church in West Winsted, Winchester. An Ecclesiastical Society in Winsted was first formed in 1778, half way between the societies of Winchester and Barkhamsted. In 1853, as related by John Boyd in Annals and Family Records of Winchester (1873), a committee was appointed to consider “the organization of a second Congregational church and society to be located in the West Village.” The committee reported “that the large increase of population, and the prospect of a more rapid accession in the future, rendered an increase of religious privileges and accommodations indispensable to the well-being of the community; and recommended an early organization of an Ecclesiastical society, and the location and building of a house of worship.” The new congregation constructed a church in 1857, later replacing it with the current church, dedicated in 1899. With the erection of a new church, the old building, together with an adjoining chapel built in 1860, were purchased and remodeled for business purposes. The dedication of the new church was described in the Hartford Weekly Times of September 7, 1899. The reporter explained that the church was built “of Torrington granite, trimmed with Long Meadow sand stone and is of French Gothic style.” The first and second churches of Winsted, faced with expensive repairs after the Flood of 1955, merged together with the First Baptist Church in 1957. The new federation was called the Church of Christ (Baptist and Congregational). 119 members of the old First Congregational Church, fearing that the use of their church building would be discontinued in favor of using just the Second Congregational Church for worship, left the federation. Their church is now known as the First Church of Winsted (also Baptist and Congregational), while the Second Church building continues under the name of the Church of Christ.
Edit: As noted in the comment below, the church has changed its name to the Second Congregational Church of Winsted.