Killingly Chronology

 By Margaret Markunas Weave 

1693 - Richard Evans became Killingly's first settler.

1708 - Killingly was incorporated.

1728 - Thompson parish was established in northern Killingly.

1774-1781 - Killingly participated in the Revolution and sent many men to the Lexington Alarm.

1785 - Thompson was incorporated. Killingly's northern bound was situated near Pitkin Road in present-day Putnam.

1786 - Brooklyn was incorporated from parts of Pomfret and Canterbury.

1787 - Killingly native Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in having the Northwest Ordinance passed by Congress. This paved the way for the great westward migration.

1796 - Westfield's original meetinghouse was constructed on the present Oliverson property to the east of Route 12 in Danielson.

1809 - Pomfret United Agricultural Society founded.

1810 - The Danielson factory, one of the first in northeastern Connecticut, commenced operations with a wooden mill adjacent to the Five Mile River not too far from the present brick mill at the junction of Routes 12, 6, and Maple Street.

1836 - Killingly was the greatest cotton manufacturing town in Connecticut.

1840 - The railroad opened in Killingly and spurred the growth of commercial centers in Danielson and Dayville.

1850 - Pomfret United Agricultural Society reorganized as Windham County Agricultural Society. First president - Col. William Alexander, Dayville, CT. Sponsor of the Windham County Fair (aka Brooklyn Fair).

1851 - Quinebaug Mills, under owner Amos D. Lockwood, began to build their new factory on the west side of the Quinebaug River near the 1820 Tiffany mill.

1854 - Under the leadership of Lockwood, the Borough of Danielsonville was chartered and included present Danielson and the Quinebaug Company village on the west side of the river.

1855 - Putnam was incorporated from northern Killingly, part of Thompson, and part of Pomfret. Killingly assumed its present bounds.

1861-1865 - Killingly sent many young men to participate in the Civil War. The monument in Davis Park was erected in their honor.

1868 - The present brick factory at the junction of Maple Street and the rotary was erected for the Danielson Manufacturing Company. This large factory and the Quinebaug mill spurred the arrival of the French-Canadian immigrants who worked in the mills.

1870's & 1880's - This was Killingly's "Golden Age" as great wealth resulted from the prosperity of the factories. Killingly Grammar School (School Street), the Music Hall (Town Hall), and numerous brick commercial buildings were erected in Danielson.

1885 - Quinebaug Valley Poultry Association established. Second oldest Poultry Association in the United States.

1888 - The Great Blizzard of March blanketed the area with enormous snowdrifts.

1895 - The name Danielsonville was shortened to Danielson.

1899 - The west bound of the Borough was changed to the Quinebaug River, and the Quinebaug Factory area was no longer included.

1901 - The People's Tramway Company began construction of a trolley line between Danielson and Putnam. Within a few years a trolley also ran from Elmville through East Killingly to Providence.

1908 - Killingly celebrated the bicentennial of its 1708 founding.

1914 - Killingly's men participated in World War I.

1918 - Factories which had been in severe difficulties were fully operational.

1920 - Powdrell and Alexander commenced curtain manufacturing in Killingly, rejuvenating the sagging economy, and soon had six factories operating in the town. During their heyday Danielson earned the name "Curtaintown U.S.A."

1930's - The Great Depression caused a great slowdown and several mills closed.

1936 - In March the Five Mile River and Quinebaug River caused severe flood damage.

1938 - On September 21 a severe hurricane, unlike any other ever seen, caused extensive damage to the region and toppled the spire on Westfield Congregational Church.

1941-1945 - Killingly residents again reacted to the call to arms in World War II. Once again a faltering economy was rejuvenated with the demand for war-related supplies.

1950's - Killingly's economy was devastated when Powdrell and Alexander closed their curtain manufacturing operations.

1958 - Numerous improvements in the highways and bridges in Killingly paved the way for revitalization. The rotary in Danielson was completed and Route 6 was altered; the new bridge across the Quinebaug River replaced the old iron one. Most important in the terms of future growth, the Connecticut Turnpike was completed and part of the Connector was opened.

1965 - The new Killingly High School opened, replacing the structure on Broad Street which was converted to the Junior High.

1970 - Killingly's first nine-member Town Council was sworn into office.

1974 - Killingly's Industrial Development Corporation purchased land for the present industrial park.

1980's - Killingly has seen the growth of the area near the junction of Routes 101 and 12 and I-395. Businesses have located near this transportation hub just as their predecessors did following the arrival of railroad stations in Danielsonville and Dayville.

1989 - Killingly Intermediate School built.

1994 - Route 6 & 12 reconstruction.

1995 - River Trail dedication.