A Brief History

By Nora Oakes Howard

One thousand years ago, the Tunxis people of the Algonquian family of tribes settled the area, and in 1640 they sold their land to the English. The 31 families of Avon, then known as the Northington Parish of Farmington, built their meetinghouse in 1754.

From 1835-1847 the Farmington Canal carried freight and passenger service from New Haven, CT, through Avon, on to Northampton, MA.

"Eastern View of Avon" (1834) by John Warner Barber. The artist stood on Avon Mountain on October 7, 1834, and sketched the view looking east along Albany Turnpike (today’s Route 44) for his book on CT towns. He showed four large buildings (l-r): the Farmington Canal Warehouse, Baptist Church, Canal Administration Building, and Avon Congregational church. Print reproduced with permission from Nora O. Howard (click image to enlarge).
On May 5, 1830, the Connecticut General Assembly incorporated Northington into the town of Avon. The new town had 192 families, 1,025 residents, four school districts, two Congregational meetinghouses, the Baptist Church, the Farmington Canal and its warehouse, and several inns. The 1799 Talcott Mountain Turnpike (Route 44) linked Avon with Boston, Hartford, and Albany. Town meetings were held at the West Avon Congregational Church (1818) and the Avon Congregational Church (1819), until the first town hall was built in 1891.

Avon’s families worked their dairy, poultry and tobacco farms. Men and women from Italy, Ireland, Eastern Europe, and Germany came to work on the farms, at the Climax Fuse factory, and at Avon Old Farms School.

In 1972, the Pine Grove Historic District and the Avon Congregational Church were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1996, the Town and the Gildo T. Consolini Post 3272, Veterans of Foreign Wars, dedicated the Avon Veterans Memorial on the Town Green.