The Riverton Merchants
What Riverton CT Has to Offer
Pick up breakfast, lunch, or a snack at the Riverton General Store. Stop by the Royal Coachman Tavern for lunch, dinner, and cold beverages! Or if you are on your way through town, swing by Orchard Hill Baking for fresh bread and baked goods to go.
The Riverton General store will now be carrying all of your fishing and tackle needs in the Riverton, Barkhamsted area. The Riverton Store will be taking over for Uncle Aaron’s Tackle Shack selling bait during normal business hours and fishing gear while supplies last.
Plan your weekend getaway at the Riverton Inn right in the heart of Riverton. This bed and breakfast features comfortable overnight accommodations, all with private bath, and cable t.v. Banquet facilities available for up to 100 people, country weddings and rehearsal dinners, holiday or private parties and celebrations and a full dining room available downstairs. The Inn is under new ownership and is now serving hot breakfast for all guests!
Riverton offers breathtaking views of the Farmington River. Whether avid fisherman, hiker, nature enthusiast or an adventurer looking to conquer tubing, kayaking or canoeing the Farmington, stop by Riverton while you’re in town for some lunch and take in nature and the scenic landscape. Maybe even spot a bald eagle soaring along the river, a flock of ducks or a heron!
The Hitchcock Chair Company put Riverton, CT on the map! In 1818, Lambert Hitchcock founded an innovative chair company in the northwestern hills of Connecticut, where he produced his beautiful hand stenciled furniture. By 1928, the elaborately stenciled chairs and cabinets made in Riverton became famous throughout America. In 2006, the famed Hitchcock Chair Company closed its doors. For four years, the name lay dormant. Those who recognized its unique quality and craftsmanship were able to find fully restored Hitchcock furniture through Still River Antiques, owned and operated by Rick Swenson. In the spring of 2010, Rick and his business partner, Gary Hath, purchased the Hitchcock name, plans, and artwork. Their goal is to continue the Hitchcock legacy, bringing Hitchcock furniture into the 21st century while maintaining the quality and integrity of Lambert Hitchcock’s original dream.
About the 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 losing 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
GET IN TOUCH WITH US
To get in touch with us please fill out the form to send us an email regarding any questions or feedback about Riverton and the Merchants. Or call the Riverton General Store (Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm EST) at (860) 379-0811. We will be sure to respond to any email requests within 24 hours. Thank you!