District Overview Inventory List District Map

Lime Rock 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:
Historic District Commission
Link to Commission or Municipal Website:
District Character:
Industrial Community

Buildings, Open Space, Creek, Others- Blast furnace, Gate House

Architectural Style:

Federal, Italianate, Second Empire, Georgian, Others

18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century

Lime Rock is a former industrial village located in the southeastern section of the Town of Salisbury, Connecticut. The village lies along the Salmon Fell Kill or Salmon Creek and is divided into two sections joined by the creek. The northwestern portion of the village is centered around the remains of a nineteenth-century blast furnace and is dominated by the wooded slopes of Forge Mountain, which rise over 400 feet above the village. The southeastern section of the village is downstream of the remains of a large mill pond and contains a variety of former commercial, industrial, and residential structures. In general, Lime Rock is not densely settled, although clusters of homes and other structures occur at intervals along the major roads and in the vicinity of the major industrial areas. A number of cast iron stanchions remain scattered throughout the area, probably of local manufacture. [NR]

Architecture, Art, Industry, Philosophy, Politics/ Government- Lime Rock is an industrial community of the 19th and early 20th centuries based on the primary production of pig iron using a blast furnace, and the manufacture of railroad car wheels and other cast-iron products from the remelting of the pig iron. Significant industrial remains are still extant, as well as worker housing, mansions of company owners, and associated stores, offices, and other structures, including a church patronized by the owners, and a social hall. After the close of operations in 1923, the major part of the community was purchased by a New York realtor who developed Lime Rock into an artist's colony in the 1920s and 1930s. The wealth created by the iron industry in Lime Rock is evident in the high architectural quality of the surviving mansions, primarily late-19th century in date, and in the consistently high quality of design accorded to worker's housing, stores, offices, and other structures. Architectural styles range from the colonial through the Greek Revival, French Second empire, and Queen Anne styles, and include a High Victorian Gothic church by the elder Richard Upjohn. The Barnum and Richardson families, proprietors of the blast furnace and foundries from about 1830 to 1920, were important figures in state and local politics. William Henry Barnum was a Democratic Congressman and Senator, and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Significant figures in the 1920s and 1930s included Count Alfred Korzybski, founder of the Institute of General Semantics, and Dard Hunter, papermaker, and M. Wallach, printmaker. [NR]

[1] District information retrieved from the town website http://salisburyct.us/.
[2] Lime Rock Historic District, Salisbury, Study Report, 1974, SHPO library, Hartford.
[3] Assessors information and Parcel IDs retrieved from the Report of the Historic District Commission, SHPO Library, Hartford.
[NR] Plummer Dale S., Reviewed by John Herzan; Lime Rock Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 84001064 NRIS, National Park Service, 1984 - http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/84001064.pdf; http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Photos/84001064.pdf.

The local historic district is considerably smaller in area than the National Register District. While it includes many noteworthy structures within the area, most notably the 1864 blast furnace, the 1767 Livingston house, the brick Holley & Coffing office building, and the Leonard Richardson house and portions of the Milo Barnum estate, other notable features of the district are omitted. These include the former weigh station, the worker's and foremen's housing, and the remains of the factory complex downstream from the blast furnace. On Elm Street, the Casino, the Episcopal church, and the homes of the owner's are included in the National Register district, but not in the local historic district.

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