Old Town Hall, Killingworth (1881)

November 15th, 2011 Posted in Colonial Revival, Italianate, Killingworth, Organizations, Public Buildings

Behind the Congregational Church in Killingworth is a building known as the Old Town Hall. It was built in 1881, as described by William H. Buell in the chapter on Killingworth in the History of Middlesex County, Connecticut, published in 1884:

Several of the farmers of Killingworth, about eight years since, formed themselves into an association […]. In 1880, Deacon L. L. Nettleton, Washington E. Griswold, R. P. Stevens, Francis Turner, Nathan H. Evarts, and all others who had subscribed to the articles of association, petitioned the Legislature that they be constituted a body politic and corporate by the name of the “Killingworth Agricultural Society.” The petition was granted, the society organized under their charter […]

As the society had no building in which to hold their meetings and their fairs, they at once made arrangements to build an Agricultural Hall, and to this end appropriated their share of the State bounty to agricultural societies towards paying the expenses of the building their hall. But some evil minded persons brought the subject before the Legislature, and the society was debarred from having any further benefit of it for that purpose, and they, instead of letting the State have it, divided it among the rest of the agricultural societies. How rich it must have made them!

But the hall was built, and it is 33 by 56 feet, with basement, and by dint of perseverance and their annual fairs (without any further State aid), the society have paid their bills. The basement is now thoroughly cemented, and the society expect to pay this bill as they have their former ones.

Unfortunately, the Agricultural Society later failed and the building was sold in 1910 to the Killingworth Grange. The building became the Town Hall when the town purchased it from the Grange in 1923 for $1.00, with the Grange reserving the right to have its meeting in the building for a reasonable rental fee. In 1965, the town bought a new building to use as Town Hall and in 1966 sold the old Town Hall to the Congregational Church. Today, the restored building is used for various public functions, performances and events.

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