District Overview Inventory List District Map

Collinsville Historic District

LHD boundaries as described are approximate and subject to change. Consult the LHD Study Report on file with the relevant local district commission or municipal authority to verify district boundaries and whether a specific property, particularly one in proximity of a boundary line, is within the district. Also note that LHD boundaries may differ from those of State or National Register Districts.

Year of Establishment:
District Authority:
Collinsville Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Industrial Community


Architectural Style:

Second Empire, Italianate, Greek Revival, Renaissance Revival and various eclectic and vernacular building interpretations.

18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century

The Collinsville Historic District is a compact nineteenth century mill town in the southern end of Canton, Connecticut. Mill buildings, workers' housing and public places dating from the 1830's to the present were built predominately by the Collins Company, an axe and tool manufactory established in 1826.

Collinsville's core, the mill complex, is on the east bank of the Farmington River amid a highly articulated system of reservoirs and waterways. From the factory complex, two distinct building clusters climb from the river banks up the steep sides of Huckleberry Hill on the east and Sweetheart Mountain on the west. The streets follow the contour and fall lines of these hills. The wooded hills and the surrounding undeveloped countryside provide the Collinsville Historic District with natural visual boundaries.

There are five distinct modes of development in Collinsville which are defined by the types and functions of buildings within them. The modes are: the mill complex; the village center immediately east of the mill; and three residential clusters first, a group of workers' houses and tenements on the west side of the river; second, a strip of private and company houses for middle class residents farthest from the factory on Maple Avenue; third, a mixture of company and private housing for both workers and middle class on the east side of the Farmington River uphill from the village center. [NR]

Architecture, Community Planning, Economics, Engineering, Industry, Invention, Social/ Humanitarian: Collinsville is significant as an almost totally intact nineteenth century mill town which has retained historic and architectural integrity of both individual structures and their setting. Of the over 200 manufacturing villages established in Connecticut during the nineteenth century, Collinsville is one of the few that survive. Collinsville displays great architectural diversity. In addition to more sophisticated interpretations of popular eighteenth to twentieth century styles, Collinsville contains significant provincial interpretations of these styles and vernacular buildings.

The singular character of Collinsville's built environment grew from the omnipresent influence of the Collins Company on the town's development. Collinsville was a one-company town which owed its roots and sustenance to the Collins Company. [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://www.townofcantonct.org/.
[2] Collinsville Historic District, Report of the Historic District Study Committee, 1987, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[3] The list of the designated properties retrieved from the online historic district ordinance accessed in the town website, http://www.townofcantonct.org/filestorage/6800/6417/8184/Ordinance_190-Collinsville_Historic_District.pdf.
[4] GIS information and Parcel IDs retrieved from http://www.cantonassessor.com/ and http://www.crcog.org/gissearch/Default.aspx.
[NR] Paine Carole Anstress, Collinsville Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 76001994 NRIS, National Park Service, 1976 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/76001994.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/76001994.pdf.

The boundaries of the local historic district are similar to the boundaries of the National Register historic district, except that property lines are used more consistently as the boundary of the local historic district. [2]

Date of Compilation:
Manjusha Patnaik, CT Trust for Historic Preservation