Doug Roberts, town historian, has lived here his entire life.
We love Riverton and want you to experience our little hamlet.
That is why we want you to come to Riverton and experience our fantastic restaurant and businesses. See you soon!
Riverton Merchants Association
- Leslie DiMartino, The Riverton General Store
- Inez Hazen, Rose’s Kitchen
- Peter Greenwood, Greenwood Glass
- Aaron Bishop, Uncle Aaron's Tackle Shack
- Cheryl Havel, Riverton Self-Storage
- Paul Panettiere, Sweet Peas
- Rick Swenson, Still River Antiques, Antique Restoration
- Rick Swenson, Hitchcock Chair Company, Hitchcock Funiture
- Mark and Pauline Telford, The Old Riverton Inn, Elyse Harney Real Estate
Early History and Settlement of Barkhamsted where Riverton resides.
Barkhamsted was one of the last Connecticut towns to be occupied by white settlers. Many towns, with excellent coastal locations or with superior farmland or on major rivers, were settled between 1635 and 1700. With none of these advantages, Barkhamsted was not settled until the mid-1700?s and was not formally incorporated as a town until 1779.
In 1732 the land making up Barkhamsted was assigned to the town of Windsor, ending a quandary that started almost 50 years earlier. The issue involved not only Barkhamsted but the entire northwest portion of the colony of Connecticut. In 1686 the colony was fearful of loosing control of these unoccupied and unassigned lands. This fear was a real possibility with the creation of the Dominion of New England by King James and the arrival of the new royal governor, Sir Edmund Andross. In an effort to prevent the loss of these lands, the Connecticut General Assembly hastily deeded all the unassigned lands over to the towns of Hartford and Windsor. The crisis was over after a few years, with a new King and with the demise of the Dominion of New England. It was expected that the emergency remedy would be undone, that Hartford and Windsor would not actually retain the large tract of land. For years, the issue was overlooked until some areas of the northwestern lands began to be settled in the early 1700?s. The ownership question had to be resolved. Probably realizing their claim was weak, Hartford and Windsor nonetheless fought for years to retain rights to the land, in the hope of possible compensation. Their hopes were realized. In a compromise adopted in 1726, the General Assembly allowed half the land to stay with Hartford and Windsor. The other half reverted back to the colony.
In 1732 the Hartford and Windsor land was divided up and the boundaries set. Hartford would own Winchester, Hartland, New Hartford and the eastern half of Harwinton. Windsor got Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Torrington and the western half of Harwinton. The settlement stipulated that each taxpayer (called proprietors) would receive land in those towns in proportion to the amount of taxes he paid in 1720. Hence, Windsor needed to allocate the lands of Barkhamsted among the 108 proprietors who paid taxes in 1720. Imagine if you were one of these lucky proprietors! You now had rights to what would be a number of parcels of land in four towns including Barkhamsted.
The land forming Barkhamsted was allocated to the Windsor proprietors in five divisions or lots. The first division included lots running up the center of the town, from south to north, as well as lots running up along the eastern border. Much of the central land in the first division fell between the present Center Hill Road and the East Branch of the Farmington River and therefore lies under the Barkhamsted Reservoir today. Of this division, each proprietor received a lot containing one acre for each pound (sterling) he paid in taxes. Which lot he received was determined by lottery.
Each proprietor was granted one acre of the second division for every ten pounds he paid in taxes, or one-tenth the amount of land he received in the first division. This small division was located in south-central portion of the town, primarily along the West Branch of the Farmington River.
For more history on this region of Connecticut please visit the Barkhamsted Historical Society