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1754. Sabbath-day houses were built upon the highway on the east side of the "green," which, in cold weather, served as places of resort for the worshippers at the noon intermission, where they could warm themselves and chat with acquaintances, from distant parts of the town. The introduction of stoves into the church against strong opposition, banished these little "sabba-day houses" which disappeared early in the century.

Parson Newell served his church faithfully until his death on February 10,

1789. His tomb in the South cemetery has the distinction of being the only grave of a Congregational minister in Bristol. Following the lengthy in

scription upon the tombstone are two lines of majestic pen


"Death! Great Proprietor of all! 'tis thine, To tread out Empires, and to quench ye


Mr. Newell was a chaplain in the Revolutionary war. Near their beloved pastor's grave rest the remains of some of his faithful parishioners, among them Isaac Norton and his wife, Mary Rockwell, early settlers of Fall Mountain, and pro

genitors of the Guilford branch of the Norton family in Bristol. The family is of very ancient lineage, tracing its ancestry to Normandy prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066. Another very ancient family also settled at an earlier date upon Fall Mountain, the Gaylords. They too are of Norman French extraction, dating back to the year 1248. In the sixteenth century, having embraced the Protestant faith, they were, together with other Huguenots, driven out of France, finding a refuge in hospitable England. It is one of the romantic episodes of history that these two old families, who fought shoulder to shoulder in the Crusades, endured persecution for their faith, and sought an asylum in the new world, should



as neighbors together help to subdue the wilderness, and fight valiantly for their country's independence in the Revolution.

Of the Revolutionary epoch it may be said that for the most part the people of New Cambridge were intensely patriotic. It is thought that fifty or more served in the American army. No more touching incidents of that struggle have been recorded than the escape of two Bristol women from Wyoming, after the

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cause, and was tried and hung as a spy. Another was hung to a tree on the green, but was cut down and resuscitated by a kind-hearted patriot. Still another was sentenced to remain on his farm under penalty of death if found away from it. So hot was the persecution that the church was closed, and the rector, Mr. Nichols, suffered the indignity of being tarred and feathered. At one time seventeen of these tories were confined in Hartford jail, but were released upon taking the required pledge of neutrality. During those troublous times a cave in the ledges to the north-west of Chippen's Hill, afforded the tories a safe ietreat. It was so securely hidden that it never was discovered by the patriots until after the restoration of peace. To this day it is known as the "Tory's Den."

The war had not yet ended when trouble of a milder nature broke out between the residents of this section and of the parent town. The spirit of independence was in the air. Nor was the cause of complaint



less reasonable or just in the case of the West Britain and New Cambridge societies, as set forth in their petition for separation from Farmington, than was the cause of complaint of the Colonies against the mother country. Of course the cases were not analogous. Farmington had been an indulgent parent. She had granted her consent that the pioneers upon her western frontier should have "winter privileges." Then again, she had not strenuously opposed the formation of the separate ecclesiastical societies of New Cambridge and West Britain. The distance from Farmington, and the difficulties


(Built by Abel Royce. Removed 1853.)

attendant upon travel over such roads as then existed, were the moving causes. Numerous conferences between the societies of West Britain and New Cambridge, some of them held doubtless under the old historic oak opposite "Bartholomy's Tavern," finally resulted in an agreement, upon terms of consolidation, and a petition to be set off as a town was sent to the General Assembly and granted in May, 1785. The first town meeting was

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held in the meeting-house in New Cambridge, June 13, 1785. Town meetings. were held alternately in the two sections of this twin township for twenty-one years, and then the old independence spirit again asserted itself. Like the old dispute between man and wife as to which was the one of the twain, so this dispute as to the supremacy of the two societies waxed more and more vehement, until an agreement to dissolve partnership was the result. This was accomplished in 1806, the southern society retaining the township name of Bristol, that had been bestowed upon the new town at its incorporation, and the northern section taking the name of Burlington.


Who were responsible for suggesting the name of Bristol does not appear. Without the slightest knowledge, doubtless, of the meaning of the word and its peculiar fitness to the locality which it was made to designate, on the part of its legislative christeners, it was nevertheless peculiarly appropriate. The name is a very ancient one, as is the English city that bears it, and comes from the AngloSaxon, meaning the place of the breach or chasm, referring to the chasm through which the river Avon finds its way to Bristol Channel.

To the east of Downs' mill the Pequabuck makes its exit through a chasm cut through the solid rock in past ages. The



volume and force of the torrent that once flowed through this chasm may be conjectured by observing the peculiar formation of the valley east of Pierce's bridge, where it spreads out towards Forestville, skirted on the north by the bluff extending to Hubbell's shop and beyond; and on the south by the bluff beginning at the Y and running eastwardly, including the Bohemia banks, and terminating at Plainville pond just over the town line. Until the mountain barrier was worn away, undoubtedly a lake of considerable extent, covered the "flat" portion of the town. A similar barrier, on a smaller scale, known as the "Devil's Backbone," which was also cut through by the pent-up waters behind it, is now a picturesque gorge near the Plymouth line.



Bristol is one of the famous towns" of Connecticut. Its eastern half reaches well out upon the "Great Plain" that extends from mountain to mountain, broken by occasional hillocks and ridges,

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