Iron Industry (northwest Connecticut)

3000 years ago  --  Woodland Period Indians in nw CT

300 years ago, iron found in nw CT and the iron men came.

1658 -- John Winthrop the Younger’s efforts create the first CT blast furnace, the Saltonstall, in East Haven.

1686 -- patent given to Robert Livingston. Livingston Manor extended eastward into the now western segments of Salisbury and Sharon, CT.

1728 -- during town surveying iron ore found.

1731 -- John Pell and Ezekiel Ashley began exploring w. Salisbury and find iron ore at Old Hill (later named Ore Hill) that become known as Salisbury iron.

1732 -- Thomas Lamb comes to the area from Springfield, MA and purchases land around the Lakeville Lake area.

1734 -- Lamb gets water privileges on the Salmon Fell Kill in Lime Rock. He mines for iron ore, a mine that eventually came to be known as the Davis Mine. 4.4 miles away from Lime Rock.

1735 -- Lamb begins smelting iron at his bloomery forge in Lime Rock’s Furnace Hollow. But the real operators were the Austin brothers of Salisbury.

1738 -- by this time Lamb has control over 5,000 acres.

1739 -- Richard Seymour builds a bloomery forge on the south bank of the Blackberry River, East Canaan. The ore came from Salisbury’s Ore Hill in saddle bags on horses.

1740 -- iron first produced in Sharon at Joseph Skinner’s forge at the dam south of Mudge Pond.

1744 -- after selling a lot of real estate, Lamb leaves the area (going eventually to North Carolina).

1744 -- Iron first made in Kent. The forge known as Morgan’s Forge.

1760 -- the Hutchinson brothers start producing iron from their forge on the east slope of Sharon (on today’s Smith Hill Road).

1760 -- by this date Samuel Forbes (son of John Forbes) owns1/8 interest in the Ore Hill mine of Salisbury.

1787 -- Lamb’s mine in Lime Rock declared to belong to Jacobus Davis (and given the name Davis Mine).

East Canaan

Samuel Forbes and his brother Elisha become big-wig iron producers. They had two East Canaan forges and a third one in Norfolk.

North Canaan

Limestone supplied North Canaan’s first industry. They burned the lime and then carried it in saddlebags to Hartford. Later, with the development of the iron industry in the area the lime was used in the blast furnaces.

Back to the w. Connecticut Page
Back to the Main Page