In his 1860 History of Harwinton, R. Manning Chipman writes that “Mercantile business, for the greater part of the last fifty or sixty years, has in Harwinton been transacted at from three to five stores under the care of four or more owners.” One of these owners was Truman Kellogg, who worked with various business partners over the years. Kellogg’s Greek Revival-style house in Harwinton was built around 1838 and has two main entrances, one facing Litchfield Road and the other North Road. In 1853, a sermon was published by Rev. Warren G. Jones, the Harwinton Congregational Church‘s seventh pastor, under the title: An Assured Hope: a Funeral Sermon, Preached on the Occasion of the Death of Truman Kellogg, who Departed this Life December 31st, 1852, aged 64 years. At Harwinton, Conn.
Harwinton’s first school was built in 1747 and was soon joined by two others. By the nineteenth century, Harwinton had 12 one-room district schoolhouses. The former First District Schoolhouse, built in 1840, was moved to its current location, across the street from the post office on Route 118, by the Harwinton Lions Club in 1972 and restored the following year by the Harwinton Historical Society. Behind the school is the Society’s barn museum, which displays tools used on farms in the town in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Built in 1915-1916, Harwinton‘s Community Hall off Harwinton Green originally served as the town hall. Consisting of a brick story on a high granite ashlar foundation, this architecturally eclectic building features Greek columns and a very large Gothic pointed arch window. This structure replaced an earlier building from the 1840s, which had served as both town hall and Episcopal Church.
Theodore Alfred Hungerford, the son of a local merchant, was born in Harwinton in 1838. He later became successful in the New York publishing business. In 1903, Hungerford’s nephew, Newman Hungerford, convinced him to endow a library as his memorial in his home town. The T. A. Hungerford Memorial Library, including a tomb for Mr. Hungerford in the basement, was completed in 1909. Although it no longer serves as the town’s public library, it continues to serve as a museum of the town’s history, with a collection of artifacts begun by Newman Hungerford.
Harwinton’s first Congregational meeting house was constructed in the early 1740s, to the south of where the current Congregational Church now stands. Surplus materials from its construction were later used to build the town’s first schoolhouse. Put to municipal use for thirty years after a new church was built in 1808, the old structure became dilapidated and was eventually torn down. The 1808 church, built in the Federal style, continued in use until it burned, after being struck by lightning, in 1949. Groundbreaking ceremonies for a new church occurred the following year and the building opened for worship in 1952. Due to a shortage of funds, the new church remained without a steeple for ten years, until 1962, when the Harwinton Congregational Church acquired the steeple of the Methodist Church in Torrington, which was being torn down at the time.