Spring Hill Historic District

View of Storrs Road, Mansfield Historic District; Source- NRIS 08000500.
Historic/Common Name:
Spring Hill National Register Historic District
Town:
Mansfield »
Year of Establishment:
1971
Historic Designation:
LHD, NRHD, SR
District Authority:
Historic District Commission
Nature of Authority:
Regulatory
District Character:
Rural Village
Eligible for Historic Home tax credits:
Yes
General description:

Spring Hill, a state historic district since 1972, is one in a handful of small villages which developed within the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. The town's large square tract of land is traversed by streams and divided by hills and valleys. Most of Mansfield's villages, such as Mansfield Hollow, Gurleyville and Eagleville, grew where early textile manufacturers built riverside mills. Spring Hill, located at the crest of a big domical hill, did not have sources of water power; rather, its development stemmed from its central location within Mansfield, and its location on the Norwich-Springfield Turnpike (now Rte. 195). Along this roadway and surrounded by farms, the village center condensed. During various periods, it contained the town hall, a Baptist Church, a store, a blacksmith shop, and homes. Twenty-four structures are encompassed in the historic district, whose development occurred in three major phases; 1740-1776, 1835-1852, and 1930-1936. Throughout its development, Spring Hill's buildings have shared similarity in scale and materials, which with the close and regular spacing of structures, has sustained the quiet spirit of a small rural settlement. [NR]

Significance of the district:

Agriculture, Architecture, Community Planning, Economics, Social/ Humanitarian:Spring Hill is significant as a settlement which has retained the ambiance of a small, rural village throughout 250 years of growth. Visual qualities more than exemplary historical associations, make the area worth of preservation. Pleasant, tree-shaded, and having homogeneous buildings, the neighborhood is by these visual properties, an asset to the town of Mansfield. Mansfield is not typical among the remote farm towns of northeastern Connecticut, primarily due to its having the University of Connecticut within its borders. It was founded in 1881 as a land grant agricultural college with land and funds given by town residents Charles and Augustus Storrs. For a short while, Augustus Storrs lived in house #937 Storrs Road. Now a large state university, the school has transformed Mansfield from a rural town to one that is increasingly suburban in nature. The university is less than a mile from Spring Hill, and the effect of its proximity can be seen in the two farms within the district which are now university owned and operated; one as a horticultural station, the other as an animal pathology laboratory. Two of the districts' 20th century houses were built by university faculty.Traces of local historical themes can be tracked in Spring Hill: the town's silk industry, its local builder, and the growing use of governmental funds during the 20th century. The first silk mill in the U. S. was established in Hanks Hill, Mansfield in the early 1800's. Mulberry trees were grown by many residents, and a few trees surviving the blight of 1837 stand on Spring Hill. In Mansfield, as in many rural areas, roads were not commonly paved until the early 20th Century when state governments acquired domain over privately-operated toll routes. Rte. 195 was paved in 1930. Also in the 1930s, federal funds, in various New Deal programs were applied to local projects. The Civilian Conservation Core planted a large stand of pine trees in the north central area of Mansfield; and WPA funds were used for construction of various buildings at the University of Connecticut in addition to the town office on Spring Hill. [NR]

District Boundary:

The boundaries of Spring Hill Historic District coincide with those of the existing state historic district. Bordering a .4 mile stretch of Rte. 195, the district's' west line follows the back lot line of lots 24 through 13, and by continuing along the north line of lot 13, Rte 195 is intersected. The boundary turns north along Rte 195 until it intercepts and follows the north line of lot 12, turns south along the east line of lot 12, and continues south along the east lines of lots 12-37. [NR]

Features:

Buildings, Open Spaces

Use:

Religious, Agriculture, Educational, Government, Religious

Architectural Style:

Greek Revival, Georgian Revival, Gothic

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

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.mansfieldct.gov/.
[2] Spring Hill Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1971, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] GIS information and Parcel IDs retrieved from http://www.mainstreetmaps.com/CT/Mansfield/. [2]
[NR] Paine Anstress, Spring Hill Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 08000500 NRIS, National Park Service, 1979 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/08000500.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/08000500.pdf.

Notes:

The local historic district and the National Register historic district are coterminous.

Links:
Map:

Map of the historic district retrieved from the Historic District Study Committee report, 1971, SHPO Library, Hartford.

View photo
Disclaimer:

The street addresses of the designated properties have been obtained by comparing the historic district map attached with the Historic District Study Committee report, 1970, and the online GIS map retrieved from the website- http://www.mainstreetmaps.com/CT/Mansfield/. 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