1793, under State law, as specific tax was laid on the various
trades and professions, and from the grand list of that year
we may gather accurate knowledge of the number of tradesman,
artisans, and professional men in the town of Redding, Connecticut
at the time. The following table is prepared from this list:
Thaddeus Benedict $60.00, S. Sam Smith $50.00
Thomas Davies $10.00, Thomas Peck $10.00
James Rogers $25.00, Benj. Sanford & Co. $25.00, Stephen
Betts & Co. $25.00, William Heron $25.00, Ezekiel Jackson
& Co. $25.00, Abijah Parsons $25.00
Justus Whitlow $5.00, Joel Bylington $5.00
Elisha Bradley $5.00
Joel Gray $5.00
Stephen Grey $5.00
Eli Lyon $5.00, Stephen Lyon $5.00, Daniel Perry $5.00
Aaron Barlow $5.00, Thaddeus Abbott $5.00, Enoch Merchant
Chauncey Merchant $5.00
Edward Starr $5.00
Asabel Salmon $5.00
Stephen Betts $15.00, Ezekiel Sanford $15.00, Ezekiel Jackson
$15.00, Abel Burr $15.00
Ephraim Wheeler $3.00, Stephen Burr & Daniel Perry $6.00,
Seth Meeker & Co. $4.00, Crawford & Sanford $5.00
Stephen & John Fairchild $4.00, Oliver Sanford $4.00,
Barlow & Sanford $6.00, Enos & Seth Wheeler $4.00
Oliver Sanford $10.00
1793 to 1850 the town made a very credible advance in manufactured
you know Grape Vine Cultivation was patented in Georgetown
(1868) by George Perry?
patents issued in Redding and Georgetown at this website:
Enter "Redding" or "Georgetown" as the
town to bring up the list of patents for each. The rest of
the form can be left blank.
The iron smelting works of Oliver Sanford in Sanfordtown were
one of its earliest and most prominent industries. Ore was
brought from Brookfield and Roxbury in great wagons and smelted
at the mills, and after smelting was conveyed in the same
manner to Westport or Norwalk, and shipped to various points.
This enterprise was the pioneer of its kind in America, and
proved quite profitable to its projector. The works were entirely
destroyed in the great freshet (flood) of 1805, and never
afterward rebuilt, the business being removed to Valley Forge.
Fulling-mills were early erected, the first, probably, by
Abraham Fairchild about 1742, near Nobbs Crook, on the
Saugatuck River. The first woolen-mill was erected in 1812,
near the site of the old fulling-mill, by Comstock, Foster
& Co. It did a prosperous business through the war and
for some years afterward. It was later bought by Mr. Joel
Foster, one of the members of the factory in 1843, or 1844.
Carriages began to be built in Sanfordtown as early as 1800,
and the business soon became one of the leading industries
of the town. Ephraim Sanford built the first carriage factory
in the rear of the house on the corner now owned by Mr. George
Treadwell. He was succeeded in 1820 by his two sons David
and Enoch A. Sanford. David Sanford died in 1834, and the
business was continued by Enoch A. Sanford, the surviving
partner. A few years after, Daniel Sanford was admitted a
partner, and the firm entered largely into the Southern trade.
In this they proved unfortunate, and failed. Subsequently
Mr. E.A. Sanford formed a partnership with Charles Duncomb,
and later with G.A. Sanford, by whom the business was conducted
with varying success. In its palmiest days this firm did a
large business, employing from twenty-five to thirty men,
and maintaining a depot for their goods in New York. Mr. Aaron
Bartram built a carriage factory in 1840, and in company with
Mr. Eben Wilson did large business for term of years. Mr.
Bradley Sanford began the manufacture of carriage axles in
Sanfordtown in 1833, and continued it until 1838, when he
was succeeded by Mr. G.A. Sanford.
Hat making was at one time a prominent industry in Redding.
To Mr. Billy Comstock is due the credit of erecting the first
hat manufactory, which stood near his house in the Boston
District. Mr. Daniel Gould had a large hat shop in Lonetown,
and later Mr. Jesse Banks carried on the business somewhat
extensively in Sanfordtown. He employed at one time twenty-five
to thirty men, and supplied the Southern and West India market.
Mr. Milo Lee also carried on the business for a number of
years, first with Mr. Banks, and afterward in a factory near
Bricks were made at one time by Mr. Alanson Lyon, on Redding
Ridge; and in the same district a large shirt manufactory
was once in successful operation, under the management of
Mr. Curtis Fanton, and his son, Henry Fanton.
In 1856 the Redding Manufacturing Company was organized in
Sanfordtown for the manufacture of pins, and other small articles
of brass. The large building in Sanfordtown still known as
the pin factory was built by this company; for a time its
prospects for a successful career were excellent, but owing
to some mismanagement on the part of the directors, it soon
proved a failure.
The Hill Limekiln in Lonetown is perhaps the oldest lime-burning
establishment in the State. It was probably opened at an early
day by Colonel John Read, who was the owner of the tract of
land in which the quarry is situated. In 1810 it came into
the possession of John R. Hill, a grandson of Colonel Read,
who conducted an extensive business and acquired a fortune.
Mr. Hill retired in 1823, and was succeeded at different period
by his sons: Aaron S. Hill, Moses Hill, William Hill, and
John L. Hill. These gentlemen conducted the business with
the same energy and success that had characterized their father's
management. Since Mr. John L. Hill's retirement, the business
has been conducted, successively, by Messrs. Ames & Osborne,
Barnes, Smith, and Philo Wood.
In 1842 Squire James Sanford built a foundry on the Aspetuck
River in the Foundry district, and entered largely into the
manufacture of agricultural implements. He had before invented
an improved hay-cutting machine, in which the cutting was
done by revolving cylinders furnished with knives, which he
manufactured here, and which had an extensive sale throughout
the country. This foundry is almost the only one of the old-time
industries of Redding that remains in successful operation
to this day.
The Aspetuck River, dashing through a gorge in this district,
furnishes abundant water-power this the skill and energy of
the Sanford brothers has utilized in the manufacture of buttons.
Their three button factories have a capacity of between three
and four hundred gross of buttons per day, employ twenty-eight
hands, and have made this districts one of the busiest and
most prosperous localities in the town.
The pleasant village of Georgetown, in the western part of
Redding, owes its existence largely to the establishment in
its midst of the Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Company's
works. This firm is largely engaged in the manufacture of
sieves, iron wire, wire cloth, galvanized wire netting, ash
sieves, and cheese and meat safes. They have a warehouse in
New York, and at present employ a force of one hundred men.
Until 1877 they were also engaged in the manufacture of glue
and curled hair, but at that time this part of their business
was purchased by the J.P. Gage Manufacturing Company, of New
York, who still continue the business, having added to it
the manufacture of sand paper.
origin of the Gilbert & Bennett Manf. Co. dates from the
year 1818, when Benjamin Gilbert commenced the manufacture
of sieves and curled hair. Afterward, his sons, Sturges Bennett,
and E.O. Hurlbut formed in co-partnership under the name of
Gilbert, Bennett & Co., for the manufacture of the above
named articles, including glue. In 1874 a fire destroyed the
main factory, together with a large amount of manufactured
stock and machinery, causing a loss of over $100,000.00
the fire the concern was incorporated under the name of the
Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Co., with Sturges Bennett
as president, David H. Miller, secretary, and W.W. Beers as
treasurer. The work before the fire employed a force of 125
men, and its manufactured products amounted to $500,000.00
full history of Gilbert and
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