Den Historic District

Aerial view of the district, Ladder Hill Road and Newtown Tpk; Source- Bing
Historic/Common Name:
None
Town:
Weston »
Year of Establishment:
1985
Notes on Establishment:
The historic district originally established in 1985 was expanded in 2003 to includes three more properties towards the north.
Historic Designation:
LHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Rural neighborhood
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

The original Den Historic District and its extension are located in the northeastern part of Weston in an area historically known as 'the Den'. Arrowheads and other native American artifacts found in the area suggest that this area was densely inhabited even before the colonial times. The availability of good water supply was a significant attraction of this area. In the colonial times the water supply was harnessed to power a grindstone mill and a small settlement grew up around the mill. [3]

Significance of the district:

One of the busiest areas in Weston in the mid-eighteenth century, The Den is a tranquil reminder of Weston's past. Here lived Peter Bulkley, Shubal Gorham and John Rowland, prominent early settlers. This area was closed to Redding, a section of Fairfield which developed much earlier than Norfield did. The grist mill which is the center of this settlement reflected the necessity of easily accessible local mills to the 'outlivers' who couldn't be self-sufficient if they had to rely on the mills of Fairfield. The many outbuildings in the district reflect the diversity of the occupations pursued by the first Weston settlers who were millers, blacksmiths and farmers, according to season and need. The Den was also one of the eight school districts within the town from 1795 to 1889, further reinforcing the community identity of this area. The ruins of Den schoolhouse are located on the state property along Newton Turnpike. The historic district is a harmonious group of structures along an ancient, virtually unchanged colonial road. The topography of the land has contributed to the preservation of the sense of an earlier time since the steep, narrow dead road discourages the casual modern visitor. Those who do venture into this area are rewarded with a powerful reminder of Weston's past. [2]

District Boundary:

The linear district includes properties along Newtown Turnpike as described in the ordinance.

Features:

Buildings, Vacant lots

Use:

Residential

Architectural Style:

_

Era:
18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century
Sources:

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.westonct.gov/.
[2] Den Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] Proposal for Den Historic District expansion, 2002, SHPO library, Hartford.
[4] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the website www.visionappraisal.com.

Notes:

None

Links:
Map:

Map of the historic district showing the original district and the 2003 expansion

View photo
Disclaimer:

The street addresses of the designated properties of the original district and its expansion have been obtained from the study reports. For further information on the district, the user is urged to contact the respective Historic District Commission.

Date of Compilation:
12/31/11
Compiler:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation