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What is the history of Preston, Connecticut, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Preston, Connecticut, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
Preston, New London, Connecticut
In 1687 a tract of land lying east of Norwich between Norwich and Stonington (now North Stonington) was deeded to Capt. James Fitch, Capt Joshua Standish, Thomas Parks, Sr, Jonathan Tracy, Thomas Tracy, Joseph Morgan, and all the rest living in the towns bounds by Oanaco, chief Sachem of the Mohegans (son of Uncas). The town was called “New Preston” in the deed, named after an English town from which some families came. But the name shortly became just “Preston”.

At first, the northern boundary of the town was Plainfield. But in 1815, Griswold separated to form a separate town, reducing the size of Preston by about half. This is why many early Preston town records are found in Griswold. There also were other changes in the town eastern boundaries through the years.

Preston consisted of 3 populated areas, and scattered farms. Each area, Preston City, Poquetanuck, and Long Society, were typical small New England villages, with services such as a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, and a store. Early trades practiced were tanning of leather, shoe making, a silversmith, goldsmith, and a clock maker. Small industries existed, such as shipbuilding in Poquetanuck, a fulling and carding mill,and brick making along Brickyard Road.

As in most of colonial New England, the Congregational Church was the center of the religious, political, educational, and social activities of the town. The earliest church was established in 1698 in Preston City, followed by many other of various denominations in Long Society, Poquetanuck, and Preston City. Schools were built in “districts” to serve the local children, until two central schools, one on Poquetanuck and one in Preston City were built between 1938 and 1940.

Even today, you will see examples of early Connecticut farmhouses dotted throughout the town along with small ponds, brooks, stonewalls and dams. This delightful hamlet continues to maintain its history of country living.

Harriet Rosiene, of the Preston Historical Society, was the primary author of the above narrative. html/ about_preston___.html
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  • In 1686, Thomas Parke, Thomas Tracy, and several others petitioned for and were granted by the Connecticut General Court authority to establish a plantation seven miles square to the east of Norwich and north of New London and Stonington.
    Owaneco, son of the Mohegan sachem Uncas, gave a confirmatory deed for the land in 1687. In October of that same year, the town was formally...Read MORE...

  • Preston, Connecticut, USA
    Old Preston, Connecticut cemetery. Located near the intersection of Rte 164 and Rte 165. Many of the stones are so old that erosion has reduced them to ordinary rocks (without any visible signs of writing on them).
  • 1819 - Preston
    Preston, a considerable post township, 44 miles from Hartford; bounded on the north by Griswold, on the east by Griswold and North-Stonington, on the ...Read MORE...

  • News 1880 - Rats
    A farmer in Preston, Conn., who was troubled with rats, purchased a cat with a reputation as a mouser, and rats were soon among the things that were. ...Read MORE...

  • News 1893 - WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN KILLED.; Crushed by a Tree Weakened by Last Week's Cyclone -- Escape of His Son.
    One of the victims of the cyclone of last week was William E. Chapman, the well-known President of the Chapman Wrecking Company. Early on Thursday,...Read MORE...

  • Preston, Connecticut, USA

  • 1906
    Preston, a post-village in Preston township (town), New London co., Conn., about 5 miles E. of Norwich. The town is bounded on the NW. by the...Read MORE...

  • Preston, Connecticut, USA
    The Loomarwick, New Preston, Conn.

    The Loomarwick on Lake Waramaug New Preston, Conn A Quinlan Resort in Nearby Connecticut American Plan Accommodates 125 Thomas F. Quinlan, Owner-manager
  • Preston, Connecticut, USA
    Post Office, New Preston, Conn.
  • News 1954 - Plane Crash-lands, Burns in Conn.
    PRESTON, Conn., Aug. 3 - (INS) - A skillful, heroic Air France pilot brought 37 persons, 29 of them passengers, to safety Tuesday when he...Read MORE...

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