From the Connecticut Historical Collection
BY John Warner Barbour
Published 1836


M1DDLEBURY was incorporated as a town in 1807. It was formed from a section of the towns of Waterbury, Woodbury and Southbury. It derived its name from the fact of its occupying a middle position in reference to these towns. It is 22 miles from New Haven, and 36 from Hartford, bounded N. by Watertown and Woodbury, W. by Woodbury, S. by Oxford, and E. by Waterbury. It is about five miles in length from north to south, and an average breadth of about four.

The surface of the town is hilly and rocky, and its appearance rather rough and sterile. The rocks are principally granite, and the soil is a hard, coarse, gravelly loam, affording tolerable grazing; rye is cultivated with some success. The town forms one Congregational Society, and a society of Methodists, each of which has a house of worship in the center of the town. The number of inhabitants in 1830 was 816, being 31 less than there were in 1810. Agriculture is the principal business of the inhabitants. A satinet factory has, however, been recently erected at the outlet of Quasepaug pond, or lake, a body of water on the western border of the town, which discharges its waters ixito the Housatonic. This pond in some places is of great depth, and furnishes on its outlet very superior water privileges. There is in the place a pump manufactory upon a new plan, recently invented and manufactured by Mr. Daniel Abbot.

About a mile north of the meeting houses in this town, is a bill of considerable elevation, called Break neck hill. It derives its name from the circumstance of one of the cattle falling and breaking its neck in descending the bill while employed in transporting the baggage of the troops under the command of Gen. La Fayette. The army which was passing from the eastward, to Hudson river, encamped one night on the summit of this hill. La Fayette and some of his officers lodged in a tavern in the valley eastward, then kept by Mr. Isaac Bronson. A new house has been recently erected on the site by his grandson.

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