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A Brief History of Mansfield

Incorporated in 1702, the Town of Mansfield was part of a tract of land acquired from the Mohegans by a group of settlers in Norwich. Most of the first settlers were farmers, and Mansfield has remained largely a rural town. Rivers powered saw mills and grist mills from the early days, and during the nineteenth century mainly textiles, but also steel products, bits and augers, bells, bronze cannons, gunpowder, and organ pipes, were manufactured in Mansfield. The first silk mill in the United States was built at Hanks Hill in 1810, and for many years, Mansfield led the country in silk production.

The Storrs Agricultural School was established in 1881 and became the University of Connecticut, now one of the largest employers in eastern Connecticut. The University is the flagship university for the State of Connecticut with a local student population of close to 17,000. U.S. News and World Report has named the University of Connecticut as the number one public research university in New England, and in the top 25 in the nation.

Today, Mansfield serves as a regional cultural center with its many theater, music, and museum programs. Come and enjoy the beauty and historic traditions that the Town of Mansfield has offered for more than 300 years!

For more information, check out our Mansfield Facts Webpage and contact the:

Mansfield Historical Society (http://www.mansfieldct-history.org)
954 Storrs Road / P.O. Box 145, Storrs, CT 06268-0145
Phone: 860-429-6575
E-mail: contact form

"The Mansfield Historical Society, founded in 1957, preserves and interprets over 300 years of Mansfield history through its museum exhibits, programs, research library, and publications."

Major Moses Mansfield: Namesake of the Town of Mansfield

(Article from the November 2011 issue of the Mansfield Historical Society Newsletter)

            Sometime before 1692, the first settlers put down roots in the area that is now Mansfield Center. They called their new settlement Ponde Place, a translation of Naubesatuck, the Native American name for the area.  It was one of three village settlements established in the town of Windham.  The early settlers of Ponde Place soon complained about the distance and difficulties of traveling to Hither Place (now Windham Center) to attend church and sought to become a separate town.  Read more...

 

A Description of the Town Seal of Mansfield

The town seal takes the form of a round plate, the center of which is emblazoned with the old 1935 Town Office Building. Trees surround the building, while below it stretches a ribbon banner bearing the words "office building". On the border of the plate is inscribed the name of the town and the date of its incorporation, October 1702.

Signposts

When Mansfield did not have TV, phones, or newspapers, its residents were informed of Town legal notices and events by reading notices tacked on town signposts. Over the years these signposts have deteriorated and fallen down. One of the original signposts is in the Mansfield Historical Society in the Old Town Hall.

  • Route 195, Spring Hill (Old Town Hall)
  • Intersection of Gurleyville & Chaffeeville Roads (on island at the intersection)
  • intersection of Mount Hope & Wormwood Hill Road (on island at the intersection)
  • Juniper Lane (opposite the bridge)
  • Jude Lane (at circle)
  • Intersection of Mansfield City and Browns Road
  • Mansfield Old Town Hall
  • Additionally the notices are placed on boards inside the following locations:
    • Mansfield Fire Dept - Station 107 & Station 207
    • Mansfield Senior Center
    • Thompson's General Store in Mansfield Depot
    • Audrey P. Beck Building (current Town Hall)