Tunk City

By Florence Clowes from Windham County Transcript

August 19, 1976

The Third Society, South Killingly, had a Separatist church by 1755, and this served the small growing village for almost a century.

In the early 1800's the Center consisted of meeting house, tavern, school, general store, church and several homes. Captain Alexander Gaston owned the tavern at the intersection (still standing and being used). He also ran a mercantile operation and would send his wagons to Providence by way of the Pike.

When a discussion began as to repair the church or build a new one, it developed into a feud. The people on Horse Hill (Old Furnace Park Hill), including the minister, The Rev. Israel Day, who owned the tannery there, wanted to relocate the church. The people on Halls Hill (South Killingly Center) wanted to keep the church where it was.

Finally, Capt. Gaston said he would donate a bell to the church if it remained at its present location. This settled the issue, even though the Horse Hill people were disgruntled. And so the bell was delivered, 700 lbs. of it, costing Capt. Gaston $216. When the bell was put in place, however, it was discovered to have a crack, and a true peal was never heard. It only let out a Tunk-Tunk-Tunk! Thus the Horse Hill people were able to take revenge, and called the center "Tunk City." To this day, old timers will delight in telling the story.