THE township of Goshen was sold at New Haven, in December, 1737, and its settlement
commenced in one or two years afterwards. The first inhabitants were principally from New Haven, Wallingford, and
Farmington. It is stated that the houses of Gideon Thompson and John Beach, who were among the first settlers,
were palisadoed in, for a defense against the Indians. Mr. Beach's house was situated on East Street, about 2 ½
miles from the present South Congregational church; the house of Mr. Thompson, stood on West street, near a mile
to the southwest. Goshen was incorporated as a town in 1749. It is bounded N. by Norfolk, E. by Torrington and
Winchester, w. by Cornwall, and s. by Litchfield it is 9 miles in length and 4 ½ in breadth. The central
part is 6 miles from Litchfield, 32 west from Hartford and 42 from New Haven. It is the most elevated township
in the state, but not generally mountainous; the surface being undulating, affording an interesting diversity of
hills and vales. The soil is a gravelly loam, deep, strong and fertile, admirably adapted for grazing. This is
one of the best towns for the dairy business in the state. Large quantities of cheese are annually made, the fame
of which is widely and justly celebrated, and the inhabitants are generally in prosperous circumstances. In neatness,
in and about their dwellings, and in the appearance of general comfort and prosperity, they are not exceeded, if
equalled, by any town in the state.
The above is a representation of the Congregational church and some other buildings in the central part of the
town. The building seen on the right, with a small spire, is the Academy, where the higher branches of education
are taught. The common district school-house is of brick, the first building seen in the engraving south of the
church. The other Congregational church in the town, is four miles northeast from this. There was formerly an Episcopal
church, situated about 2 miles to the northeast. About the time of the American Revolution, the Episcopal society,
becoming very much reduced in numbers, sold their house to the north Congregational society; but while they were
endeavoring to draw it towards their section of the town, it was blown down by the wind. The first meeting house
in the town was built of logs; it stood about 80 rods below the church seen in the engraving. The elevated ground
seen beyond the houses in the engraving, is called Ivy mountain. This is considered the most elevated point of
land in the state. It affords a most extensive and interesting prospect, in almost every direction ; to the west
is a view of the Catskill mountains for a considerable extent, their rugged features, and high and disorderly hills;
and to the east is a view of the elevated country east of Connecticut river. There is this rare and peculiar circumstance,
with respect to what is called the East street, in Goshen; that the rain which falls on the front of the houses,
descends into the Housatonic river, and that which falls on the back
side into the Waterbury river. About one mile and a half west from the central pa.rt,.is a collection of several
mills, and some manufacturing establishments, around which is collected a cluster of houses; this place is called
Canada village. The Methodist church is built in this place. The stream which passes this village is fed from a
large pond in the vicinity, and is admirably calculated for water works, having an adequate supply of water, characterized
by great uniformity, being neither affected by droughts nor heavy rains.
The first minister in the town, was the Rev. Stephen Heaton. He was buried about a mile south of the Congregational
church. His monument, with a few others, stands at present in an open field, near the Litchfield road; tbe following
is the inscription.
In memory of the Rev. STEPHEN HEATON, V. D. M. primus de Goshen, who was born at New Haven, 30th of Novr. 1710,
ordained Nov. 1740, departed this life the 29th of Deer. 1788, AE 79. In his charater appeared Friendship, Patriotism,
Sociability, Kindness and Charity, Benevolence, Virtue and Religion.
Pa;;ida Mors aequo pulsat Pede pauperum Tabernas Regumque Turres.
This is a copy of another in the same place.
In memory of MOSES LYMAN, Esq. who died 6th of Jany. 1768, in his 55th year.
LYMAN SO fam'd, so meek, so just, and wise;
He sleeps ! in hope, Then cease from tears, when Christ appears, his dust shall rise.