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SIMSBURY, a township of Hartford county, Connecticut, U.S.A., traversed by the Farmington river and about 10 m. N.W. of Hartford. Pop. (1910) 2537. Area about 38 sq. m. The township is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford and by the Central New England railways, which meet at Simsbury village. Among the manufactures are fuses, cigars and paper. A tract along the Tunxus (now Farmington) river, called Massacoe or Saco by the Indians, was ceded to whites in 1648, and there were settlers here from Windsor as early as 1664. In 1670 the township was incorporated as Simsbury. In 1675, during King Philip's War, Simsbury was abandoned; and in 1676 it was burnt and pillaged by the Indians; but it was resettled in the following year. Steel seems to have been made here from native iron in 1727, and in 1739 the General Court of Connecticut granted to three citizens of Simsbury a fifteen years' monopoly of making steel in the colony. Owing to the pine forests pitch and tar were important manufactures in early times. From the N. of Simsbury the township of Granby (pop. 1910, 1383) was set off in 1 786. In this part of the township a copper mine was worked between 1705 and 1745, and smelting and refining works were built in 1721. In 1773 the mine was leased by the General Court and was fitted up as a public gaol and workhouse (called Newgate Prison), the prisoners being employed in mining. Some Tories were imprisoned here after 1780; many of them escaped in May 1781. The prison was rebuilt in 1790 and was used until 1827. The W. of Simsbury was set off in 1806 as Canton (pop. in 1900, 2678).

See N. A. Phelps, History of Simsbury, Granby and Canton from 1642 to 1845 (Hartford, 1845).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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