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n the early 1800s an anonymous Tolland correspondent answered a query from the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences for historical background about the town with the apologetic statement that there "are no natural or artificial Curiosities, worth noticing." It is true that Tolland's past claims no Indian battles, devastating conflagrations, or famous patriot sons. Instead, the town has slumbered through the better part of two centuries while its centerpiece the long, narrow (40-foot-wide) town green has itself become a curiosity: an historic town landscape so sidestepped by modern development that it appears to be frozen in the late nineteenth century.

  The Tolland Green is part of a tract of common land laid out around 1722, when the original settlement relocated to the north in order to accommodate a newly established border for Coventry to the south. Creating a distinctive linear north-south axis through town, the green evolved in the center of the broad thoroughfare (present-day Route 195) that led south to the old Boston Post Road. The old Tolland stage road (Route 74) runs from east to west, cutting through the common near its center.

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Tolland Green, black-and-white photograph, circa 1897. Courtesy of the Tolland Historical Society, Tolland, Connecticut.


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Tea Party on the Tolland Green, black-and-white photograph, circa 1890. Courtesy of the Tolland Historical Society, Tolland, Connecticut.

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Tolland Street, lithographed postcard, circa 1925. Courtesy of the Tolland Historical Society, Tolland, Connecticut. This view shows the majestic elms that shaded the Tolland Green.

 
 
 

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