The Turnverein was a German gymnastic/athletics movement. German immigrants to America founded Turnvereine in many communities, including the Rockville Turnverein, which was established in 1857. Members of the club (called Turners) built a Turn Halle on Village Street (a street that had strong associations with the German community) in Rockville in 1897. The building, which has been much altered, was later used by the Polish American Citizens Club.
The first Talcottville Congregational Church was built in the Vernon village of Talcottville in 1866-1867 by the Talcott Brothers Co. to serve their workers. The building served other functions as well, containing the company store, offices and post office. The old church burned down in 1906 and was replaced by the current Gothic-style church building. It was designed by Russell F. Barker.
Talcottville in Vernon was once a mill village based around the Talcott Brothers Company’s cotton-spinning mills. In mill villages, like Talcottville, the company would provide its workers with housing, as well as other services, like a library, a store and a school. The Talcott Brothers built a Romanesque Revival-style one-room school house in 1880 at 97 Main Street in Talcottville. It replaced the company’s earlier school house of c. 1860, which according to tradition, was moved across the street and became a residence. The Talcott Brothers School became part of the Rockville school system in the 1950s.
Built around 1840, the Elam Pearl House is a Greek Revival-style residence on the Hartford Turnpike in Vernon Center. According to the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, Elam Pearl of Vernon married Lovinia J. Merrick of Willington on October 10, 1832.
Five generations of the Strong family have operated Strong Farm in Vernon, one of the last farms to continue in the suburban town. The farm was established by Nathan Morgan Strong, who built the farmhouse at 274 West Street (at the corner of Peterson Road) in 1878. Originally a dairy farm, after 1965 Strong Farm switched to turkeys, pumpkins, and other crops. Norman Strong, who died in 2010 at the age of 93, was known as the “turkey man” of Vernon. He was happy to show local school children the working of the farm, a tradition continued by the Strong family today, who are working to transform the farm into a non-profit historical agricultural education center. In September, the house sustained damage when a car crashed into it.
The church at 401 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon, now home to the Vernon United Methodist Church, was originally located in Bolton. As written in A Historical Sketch of Bolton, Connecticut (1920), by Samuel Morgan Alvord,
The Methodist Church began its work at an early date in Bolton with the first camp meeting ever held in a New England town. The noted itinerant preacher Lorenzo Dow was the leader and great crowds were attracted to his meetings which were held May 30 to June 3, 1805, near the Andover town line directly east of the South District School house. [...] The first Methodist Church was built at Quarryville in 1834 near the present edifice. This building was sold to the Universalists in 1851 and moved some distance west and a new church was built the following year.
The Universalists moved the church nearer to Bolton Lake, where it remained until the 1860s, when the Methodist Church in Vernon began. As described in A Century of Vernon, Connecticut, 1808-1908 (1911):
The Vernon Methodist Episcopal Church started from small beginnings, as most of the Methodist churches do, from class meetings. This was in the early sixties. The meetings were held mostly in the Dobsonville schoolhouse and the increasing numbers demanded preachers and the society was supplied by students from Wesleyan University at Middletown. One of the men was Rev. W. W. Bowdish, who at present is district superintendent in the New York Evangelist conference. About 1865 the congregation had increased to such numbers that a house of worship became imperative and the church at Bolton was purchased and moved to Vernon, cut in two and lengthened and is the building now used for worship. Somewhat later the building was improved and a belfry added with a fine bell installed, mainly by the generosity of S. S. Talcott, a prosperous manufacturer, who for many years was the motive power of the society.