Southington, CT - 06489 

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About Southington Connecticut:

Southington is situated about 10 miles east of Waterbury and about 20 miles southwest of Hartford, and about 80 miles North of New York City. Southington includes the areas of Plantsville, Marion and Milldale, all of which have their own post offices and distinct architecture. The town rests in a valley of two mountains on its east and west sides.The town is located along exits 28 through 32 of Interstate 84, exit 4 of Interstate 691, and bisected by Route 10. Southington has the nick name of The Apple Valley, due to the many orchards that still dot its landscape. The Quinnipiac River flows through the town. It is home to Mount Southington Ski Area, and ESPN which straddles the Bristol/Southington town lines. Southington is also known for their high school sports teams the Southington Blue Knights, the Briarwood College, and a branch of the Branford Hall Career Institute.

Although Southington was formally established as a town in 1779, its roots go back to a much earlier time. Samuel Woodruff, Southington's first white settler, moved from Farmington to the area then known as Panthorne that was settled in 1698 (now recognized by Southington's "Panthorn Park"). The settlement grew, prospered, and came to be known as South Farmington and then later, the shortened version, Southington.

Southington originally was a small rural farming community. In the early 1900's, southington developed as a manufacturing center, but still maintained a very small population of a few thousand residents. Some of the products invented there include cement that was able to harden under water, the carriage bolt machine and a new tinware process. With the overall decline of industry in New England, and the construction of Interstate 84 in the mid 1960's, Southington developed into a bedroom community of which the town saw explosive growth and a population that has surged to over 42,000 today. 28% of the workers in Southington are still employed in manufacturing, most of them in the production of fabricated metal and aircraft.

Each year, Southington is home to the Apple Harvest Festival, an effort to bring together local businesses and denizens from the area and surrounding cities. This has been a tradition of the town since 1968, generally spanning six weekdays and two weekends. Its highlights include a town parade, carnival rides and games, musical performances, and a wide selection of unique recipes and foods served by community cornerstones including the Boy Scouts of America, local churches, the Fire and Police Departments, the Southington Rotary Chapter, and the Southington Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce), who provide leadership development through community service.

As with the decline of industry in the area, many old factories and buildings were left vacant. The latest to close was Ideal Forging, which filed for bankruptcy in 2001. This factory is located in the town center in the central business district. Meridian Development Partners (www.meridiandp.com) of New York City became interested in the property in late 2003. This project, which has been in the works for over three years, will create upscale homes, condominiums, store fronts, and parks on the former factory site. The factory parcel is contaminated and must be remediated before construction can begin. As of late, Meridian has accomplished adding zoning text to the towns regulations, rezoning the land, acquiring ownership of the property, applied for permits, and received approval for demolition from the Wetlands Commission.

Southington has taken initiative to spur its own revitalization. In 2002, the town completed the downtown renaissance project. This project replaced the sidewalks on Main St. and Center St. with granite curbing and brick pavers. Life-long resident philanthropist, Robert Petroske donated $50,000 to the revitalization effort, which lead to the installation of decorative iron lamp posts, benches, and rubbish bins. Flowering trees were planted and a former fountain and light fixture was restored and returned to the town center. A renaissance zone was created to where private business owners in the zone could apply to the town to continue the project of granite, brick pavers, and lamp posts, of which the town would pay the difference of replacement concrete sidewalks versus the more expensive brick.

The town water department, which has since built a new facility, has received approval to demolish their former facility and turn it into a landscaped park, along with a continuation of the sidewalks, iron fences and decorative lamp posts. The old water facility abuts the former Ideal Forging site and the linear walking trail.

The linear trail was opened in 2003. This trail was built over the town's old rail line which had ceased operation decades prior. Dubbed the Farmington Canal Greenway, when completed it will stretch from New Haven, CT to North Hampton, MA. The town has only completed 1.9 miles of the trail, running from Hart St. to the center of the village of Planstville. This trail has brought landscaping, iron benches, and intersections of brick pavers where the trail crosses roads. This is seen as a major link for the further revitalization of downtown Southington and the town's village of Plantsville. Southington is in the process of expanding the trail further to the Cheshire, Connecticut town line, of which Cheshire will have to expand their trail to connect to Southington.  

Most content provided by Wikipedia, "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southington%2C_Connecticut"

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