Durham History - A Sketch of 302 Years 1699 - 2001
This sketch of Durham history was prepared for the Tercentennial Committee By Roger B. Newton
Sponsored by The Durham Historical Society and The Town Historian
Fowlers History of Durham 1662 to 1866
Durham Connecticut 1866 to 1980
Memorandum of General Statutes Special Acts Ordinances, Interesting Items and Special days, Occasions Town Reports 1974 to 1998
1698 Coginchaug was the Indian name for "Long Swamp."
1699 Caleb Seward starts to build his home in Coginchaug
May 4, 1699 Caleb Seward and family become first settlers in Coginchaug.
November 1699 Committee appointed by General Court to lay out town under Guilford influence.
August 6, 1700 Ephraim Seward (1st child) born in Coginchaug.
May 13, 1703 Another committee appointed by General Court to lay out 2nd town plot under Hartford influence. Old plat given up.
1703Old cemetery land given by proprietors.
May 1704 Name changed to Durham after Durham, England.
May 23 1706 Reverend Nathaniel Chauncey begins preaching (2nd time).
December 24 1706 1st Town Meeting held. Town officers elected.
May 13 1708 Durham authorized as a Town by General Court.
May 21 1708 Durham Patent received from King of England, signed by Gov. Saltonstall. It hangs in our library today.
November 17 1709 Town voted to build first meeting house 40' square, flat roof and turret.
December 10 1710 Rev. Nathaniel Chauncey given a call to preach by the town.
December 26 1710 Arrangements made for Rev. Chauncey's ordination.
February 11 1711 Ordination of Rev. Chauncey. Durham becomes a church estate. Church business and financial support passed, approved, at Town Meeting.
December 25 1711 Town voted to hire a school master to teach school six months.
December 9 1718 Town votes to own two year and three year Devon bulls to improve Durham cattle
December 1721 Town meeting authorized Sabbath Day Houses.
October 8 1722 Town voted to build school house 26' x 18' to be set on Town Green.
1730 The Town officials at this period are as follows: five selectmen, clerk, treasurer, tax collector for town taxes, another for minister's salary, and another for school money. There were 4 tythingmen, 5 haywards (repair of cattle fences, retention of cattle on green), 9 surveyors, 4 listers, 3 fence viewers, 2 grand jurors, key keeper, pound keeper, sealer of leather, sealer of weights and measures, gauger, inspector and packer of meat, and a bellringer.
October 30 1733 Book Company of Durham established. One of the first in the colonies. This was the beginning of our Library.
December 31 1734 Town Meeting voted to build second meeting house 64' x 44' and 25' between the joints. The whole town helped raise the building.
1737 Union School built opposite intersection of Stagecoach Road and New Haven Road.
1737 North School build upper end of Main Street where Francis Behrens house stands.
December 3 1741 Income from sale of western lands was applied to upkeep of schools.
1754 Taxes could be paid in old tenor (tender) or new tenor (tender) money as long as the value is the same.
1755 French Indian War. Five to ten men served. General Phinehas Lyman commanded Connecticut troops.
April 14 1760 Town Meeting voted to build a hospital for infectious disease.
December 4 1760 The hospital (Pest House) was built and in service off Mica Hill Road.
1769 Records show the town provided for the care of a wounded indian.
1770 Permission for first Sabbath Day House on the green was voted.
1771 The Town voted not to add Haddam Quarter to the town.
1773 The Haddam Quarter becomes part of Durham.
1775 George Washington traveled through Durham on his way to Cambridge.
1775 Center School built north of present Town Hall. (The Historical Society today).
1776 - 1781 Revolutionary War – 103 men served.
1777 First rationing board was formed. Salt was rationed. Reason - it was used to make gun powder. Winter
1777 Two oxen presented by Durhamites driven 500 miles to Valley Forge to feed officers of Washington's Army.
August 1783 Town voted against half pay for life for Revolutionary War officers.
November 12 1787 Town Meeting voted against accepting Federal Constitution. No 67; Yes 4.
1789 George Washington again passed through on Eastern Tour.
1790 Pest House sold, not the land upon which it stands. Voted to give Elizur Parmelee right to set up a post on north side of meeting- house to hang his horse at.
1793 Decided by vote that three taverns was enough for the town.
1794 Provision made for a steeple clock and bell.
February 22 1798 The Aqueduct Company was formed with 19 members. One of the oldest water companies in the USA.
1798 Dollars referred to instead of pounds.
1800 Durham annexed to Middlesex County.
1802 South District School built on brow of Sand Hill Road.
November 1804 Separation of church and town affairs.
War of 1812 Six men served.
December 10 1814 A tax of three cents on a dollar was laid to defray town expenses.
1815 For labor on the highway, a man received 10 cents per hour. Man, team, cart and plough received 30 cents per hour.
1816 Year without summer; crops mostly failures.
October 5 1818 Town Meeting voted acceptance of State Constitution. Yes 82; No 74.
1822 New cemetery (3 acres) in back of Town Hall land laid out; gift of Ebenezer Robinson in 1780. February 21 1822 Stagecoach disaster. Two passengers drowned crossing Mill Bridge.
1823 Stone arch bridge built to replace broken wooden bridge at a cost not to exceed $1,000.00. Authorized by town vote in 1822.
1829 First dog tax – 25 cents to be paid on each dog. Money to be used for school expenses.
1833 First town counsel appointed.
1834 New Union School built southwest corner of New Haven Rd. and Howd Rd.
1834 West Side School built on the north side of the Summit of Parmelee Hill Rd.
1834 Quarry Hill School built on corner of Route 68 and Maple Avenue.
October 27 1834 Voted that town physician be ordered to vaccinate the inhabitants at town expense. July 17 1835 Third meeting house corner stone laid, same location as present town hall.
October 5 1835 9:00 a.m. Town Meeting. Purpose: to choose assessor, and board of relief, appoint town officers for coming year, perform ordinary business also to make laws for restraining horses and asses, mules, swine, sheep and geese from going at large. Voted to accept and approve town accounts. Voted to grant sum not exceeding $30.00 for repairing the clock and bell and a new clock face and box. Voted $40.00.
February 2 1836 2:00 p.m. Special Town Meeting. Just laid the tax of 15 mils.
January 21 1836 First mention of Federal funds for public schools. Voted to pay clock and bell ringer $15.00 a year. Highway known as Trimountain Road petitioned for.
July 1 1836 Methodist Church cornerstone laid.
February 21 1838 Pent Road laid out. First mention of that road.
October 8 1838 Selectmen appointed to take care of all law suits from now on. Plans for Trimountain Road accepted. Selectmen to pay each hand laborer 10 cents per hour and to man, team, cart and plough 30 cents per hour.
January 31 1840 Resolved no wine or spirits distilled be permitted for year of 1840.
January 15 1841 Resolved ok to sell wines and all kinds of spiritous liquors in said town for year 1841. Passed by Yeas and nays.
October 3 1842 Auditors first mentioned. Voted not over $30.00 be placed in the hands of the burying ground committee to build in front of new cemetery. Voted to accept the Atwell road provided he work it free of expense to town.
January 6 1843 Voted to build suitable and convenient sidewalk or footbridge on the south side and adjoining the west side of Mill Bridge for sum not over $40.00. Trustees of Methodist Church propose to finish basement with clear room of 37' x 42' x 8' high. Suitable for Town Meetings at a cost of $200.00. Stoves for warming, and lamps for lighting will be provided. Proposition accepted by voters. October 2 1843 First Town Meeting held in basement of Methodist Church. Voted road from Mill Bridge to Back Lane across south end of old burying ground be built. Voted tax of $.06 on a dollar;. November 23 1844 Third Meeting House burns down. The bell smashed to bits. Pieces gathered up, recast into the bell which hangs in United Churces Belfry today.
December 26 1844 Voted that we now extend and give to said society the same right to build another church on said site as was given June 13, 1835.
September 3 1845 Arbutus Street laid out. By act of General Assembly, each Town shall have three commissions to regulate the sale of wines, spiritous liquors, etc. Three commissioners elected, 182 votes cast. Voted to accept Arbutus Street. Voted selectmen to find someone to ring bell each secular day at noon, 9 p.m., 6 days a week for $10.00. Voted selectmen provide suitable hearse.
May 9 1846 Petition of Madison and Killingworth to have some of their land set off to Durham. Voted to oppose petition. Yes 89, No 75.
October 5 1846 Bell ringer to get $15.00. Bell to be rung at 12 Noon and 9 p.m. weekdays; 6 o'clock p.m. on Sundays (Methodist Church bell used?)
1846 - 1848 Mexican War. Two men served.
April 3 1847 Road from Herzigs to Haddam Quarter Road laid out.
June 1847 Fourth Meeting House (North Congregational Church) built and used first time. New clock and bell installed.
March 27 1848 That heat cattle (except one milk cow to each family) be impounded if found running at large on said commons. List of officers elected each year: 2 assessors, 5 board of relief, town clerk, 3 selectmen, treasurer, 2 constables, sealer of weights, sealer of measures, 7 haywards, keykeeper, 3 com. on encroachments, 2 fence viewers, 2 law agents, 3 agents town deposit fund.
October 2 1848 Bell ringer to be paid same as last year. Swamp Lane, Crooked Lane and Green Lane among highways mentioned.
December 9 1848 Voted a committee to sell the town lot at public sale to be held in January 1849. April 28 1849 Voted to build a new hearse house for not over $35.00. Bell ringer still gets $15.00 per year.
December 29 1849 Fifth Meeting House dedicated (South Congregational Church). 60' x 40' with bell tower and steeple. (now our Town Hall). The bell was not in place at the dedication.
May 5 1849 First sexton appointed. Voted dogs must wear collars with owner's name. If found without, may be eliminated by constable. First time by laws published. Voted that all geese and ganders be restrained from going at large on the commons – penalty one cent per head.
October 7 1850 Petition for Seward Road. Pent Road to be laid out, expense not over $75.00. Voted to accept a survey of a Pent Highway.
May 24 1851 Voted to petition legislature of Connecticut for liberty to loan the credit of the town to the amount of $10,000 to aid in construction of the Boston & New York Airline Railroad.
1851 Merriam Manufacturing co-organized with capitol of $15,000.00 for manufact- ure of Japanned and stamped tinware, also tin toys.
April 23 1852 The last session of the legislature having voted to establish a state reform school. It was voted to appropriate $500.00 provided said school shall be located in Durham.
October 4 1852 First mention of registration of births, deaths and marriages. Voted to pay $10.00 for laying out log road in the Madison and Killingworth Districts.
March 12 1853 Voted to subscribe the $10,000 for the railroad if the location of same is acceptable to people of Durham.
1853 New North District school built, same location as the one that burned down with some outside help.
May 21 1853 Decided to lay out said log road as requested by Madison and Killingworth provided the expense does not exceed $60.00.
May 28 1853 Speaks of road from north end of Merriam Manufacturing Company to Brick Lane.
June 11 1853 Log Hill Road not over $120.00. Road from Merriam Manufacturing Company to Brick Lane $50.00.
October 1 1855 Annual Meeting. Selectmen directed to repair the Back Lane Road, so called, at the mill stream (Allyn's Brook) and draw off the water to make it passable for foot people.
1856 New Quarry Hill District school built. Same location.
October 6 1856 Voted to direct the Burying Ground Committee to lock up the gates of the burying grounds and only open them for burying ground purposes. Reward for detection of the perpetration of unlawful acts in reference to said grounds. Dr. Andrews paid bill for caring of the poor.
April 15 1858 Justices elected for two years from now on. Town Deposit Fund $2,866.64. Interest $171.90. Voted to buy a safe for the safe keeping of the town records at a cost not to exceed $200.00. Voted to discontinue two certain highways in west part of town near the house of Joel Austin, one from J. K. Burr to near Dana Coe, the other road leading from the Mountain Road to near Dana Coe, south to the road from Austins past Dana Coe.
June 16 1860 Change in balloting. Town Clerk, Selectmen, Treasurer, Registrar, Constables and Grand Juror shall be voted on one piece of paper and put in one ballot box. The others put on another piece of paper and put in second ballot box.
July 7 1860 Road from Elisha Newton on Haddam Quarter Road to what is now Herzigs voted – cost to be not over $425.00 (Maiden Lane). Town still using hearse. Voted that the selectmen be authorized to provide suitable passway for foot people across the Mill Brook. Also to repair bridge across west river in Swamp Lane.
August 31 1861 Voted $150.00 for repairing Swamp Lane, for building bridges and for draining water from to make it passable through its full length.
1861 – 1865 Civil War. One hundred (100) men served.
October 7 1861 Annual Meeting. Town officers elected. Voted Burying Ground Committee charged to repair fences as necessary. Keep ground in good order and mowed including removal of noxious trees and shrubbery. Liberty given persons to ornament their lots with shrubbery or fence provided they not trespass on adjoining lot.
April 26 1862 Turnpike Road first mention.
June 1862 Cornerstone laid for Church of the Epiphany, Main Street.
August 1 1862 Special meeting for the purpose of granting bounty to volunteers for the Civil War. Ladies and gentlemen invited to attend. There will be public speaking. Voted to pay $50.00 to everyone who enlists between July 18 and August 20th.
August 9 1862 President Lincoln asks for 300,000 volunteers. Durham enlistees to receive $100.00. August 20 1862 Selectmen borrow $1,000.00 to pay volunteers their first payment as voted August 1st.
September 1 1862 Call of meeting 3:00 o'clock. Voted a rate of tax of land 2/3 mils on the dollar to raise money to pay soldier's bounty. This money to be paid into the treasury before October 1, 1862. October 6 1862 Proposed laying out another Pent Road, this from home of Samuel Hart to New Haven Road. Still have the hearse. No change in Town Deposit Fund.
June 3 1863 Mention of road near David Lyman's home.
August 15 1863 Those not excused from draft given permission to provide and furnish acceptable substitutes.
September 1 1863 Voted $300.00 for each draftee under the present Act of Congress.
October 5 1863 Hart road laid out. Land to be given and worked free from expense of town.
January 18 1864 Lyman Road mentioned again. Later opposed. Approved the Act of Con- gress regarding soldier's pay.
February 6 1864 Voted that the three west aisles in the new burying ground be appropriated for burial purposes and that the sexton be directed to dig graves in said aisles when requested by any inhabitant of the town. Tells you how to face graves and footage between aisle.
August 2 1864 Durham's quota not met. Selectmen to procure fifteen volunteers or substitutes. President Lincoln called for 500,000 men.
November 26 1864 Special meeting voted to spend $600.00 to procure ten more volunteers, $400.00 to be raised by subscription, $200.00 to be paid by the town.
1865 The steeple on South Congregational Church came down through the roof. No record of this event exists.
May 13 1865 Voted to purchase a hearse not over $300.00 and to dispose of the one now in use. Voted new fences around the two burying grounds and painting of the picket fence in front of the new burying ground.
August 31 1865 The Durham soldiers welcomed home from Civil War.
October 2 1865 Voted to look for a site to build a new town house. Tax 12 mils on the dollar. Voted to publish Professor William C. Fowler's History from beginning of the town to 1850. Voted to print 400 copies at a cost not to exceed $1.50 each. Voted that the committee sell and dispose of said history with money to be paid into town treasury. Voted to take treasury money necessary for publication of said work. The new Town House to be built by the town on the northerly end of the green put to vote and voted no.
December 25 1865 More copies of history to be printed. 300 more to be published at a cost of $300.00. Town to pay what the subscribers did not pay. 172 copies have been sold.
October 1 1866 Voted a unanimous vote of thanks to Professor William C. Fowler for com- piling and presenting to the town The History of Durham. This was the first time in the USA of a town's publishing its own history at its own expense.
June 8 1867 Petition received from David Lyman for Charter of Air Line Railroad. Voted against. Not enough information provided by Lyman.
October 7 1867 First rebate of taxes. All who pay before August 1, 1868 be deducted at the rate of one percent per month from the time of payment to August 1, 1868, etc.
October 5 1868 Voted selectmen settle injury suit with Isaac Parmelee. Voted $200.00 for fencing or railing Public Green.
October 6 1868 First oath of office given to Deputy Registrar of Voters. It's the same as we use today. February 20 1869 Paper ballot voting to be all on one piece of paper. Motion to build a bridge over mill brook on Back Lane defeated.
May 1 1869 Motion to build highway from home of Stephen Bailey north end of Pent Road – not passed. Yes - 8, No - 31.
May 10 1869 Voted to offer a bounty of five dollars for each wild cat killed within the Durham limits. June 12 1869 Discussion as to new cemetery fence. Motion to lay out road on Tuttle Road near west end of Swamp Lane. Not passed.
August 12 1869 Law suit over pauper will be decided by the courts. Four towns involved.
October 4 1869 Instructions on correction of voting lists, timing, etc. given registrars.
October 11 1869 Voted a tax of three mils on the dollar for support of school. Motion amend- ment to add three mils to the 9 mils already voted. So voted. Motion that three boxes be procured to preserve bodies of the dead before interment. So voted.
May 10 1870 7:30 o'clock. Consider building a bridge over Mill brook (Allyns Brook). Also to consider laying out a highway near Mill bridge, around the south side of old burying ground to Back Lane. October 3 1870 First time town reports were printed. Shall be placed in the hands of every voter within 60 days. A committee was to look into draining the Coginchaug Swamp. Line to be drawn between Center and Quarry School districts.
March 8 1871 Voted to paint fence around green.
October 7 1872 First mention of damage done by dogs to sheep voted that the Town Deposit Fund and Ebenezer Robinson fund be loaned at 8 percent.
January 20 1873 Taxes to be paid on March 10th. If so, shall be entitled to a discount of 5 percent except on poll or military tax.
January 6 1874 Voted that Swamp Lane, 4 rods wide, be made passable full length.
October 5 1874 Voted to accept Constitutional amendment which gives new towns of 5000 the right to send two representatives to the General Assembly. (Durham being an original town, already and always since, has two representatives.)
October 7 1875 Vote on sale of spiritous liquors. Yes – 44. No – 87. Driving on sidewalks prohibited, subject to fine of two dollars for each offense.
October 2 1876 First mention of Mr. Andrew M. Camp who was elected constable and later town clerk for 23 years.
October 1 1877 End of office of keykeeper and keeper of town pound.
October 7 1878 Voted a thirty week school session in each district. First mention of a graded school. Voted that town clerk keep all valuable town papers in one place. In his office or safe.
1879 South Congregational Church installs bell in bell tower.
October 6 1879 Voted that the town will maintain a 30 weeks school at an expense not to exceed $13.20.
October 1 1881 One ballot box used. 200 ballots found in box.
October 1 1882 Harvey children authorized to attend Johnson Lane School in Middletown.
1883 First telephone (6) in Town of Durham.
1883 Town meetings still held in basement of Methodist Church. Tax rate 10 mils. Cost of schools to town $1,380.00 per year.
1884 W. A. Parsons Co. (tinshop) started. After 50 years dissolved.
1886 Present Town Hall purchased for $600.00 from South Congregational Church representatives. Town meetings to be held in the Town Hall. The bell still hangs in the belfry.
March 12 1888 Big blizzard. 30 to 40 inches of snow on the level.
1890 Durham Academy bought by town for school building to house North and Quarry districts. The new district called Coginchaug. Much hard feeling in North district over this.
1891 Mr. Andrew M. Camp was elected town clerk. An office he held until 1920.
1893 Easter Beaumont died. She was the last full blooded indian living in town.
1894 Durham Center Water Company organized by 10 residents.
1895 First mention of state aid money and macadam roads.
1898 - 1899 Spanish American War. One man from Durham served.
1899 Durham's Bicentennial.
October 2 1899 Town voted to accept land donated by Mrs. Charles G. Rockwood for a library.
November 2 1901 Durham Library cornerstone laid.
1902 Durham Library dedicated.
October 1905 Voted permission be given to have original town patent framed and hung in the library. October 19 1906 Durham women given right to vote on school questions only.
October 10 1910 Town of Durham gave Methodist Church the bell from the Town Hall.
1912 High school (4 years) started in Harriet Lane house.
Aug/Sept. 1913 Durham has first electric lights.
October 1916 First Durham Fair. One day affair starting with a parade.
1918 Merriam Manufacturing Company burned down.
1917-1918 World War I. Twenty (20) men served.
1918 Mr. Francis E. Korn appointed Assistant Town Clerk.
1920 Mr. Francis E. Korn elected Town Clerk. Served until 1957.
September 18 1920 Women allowed to vote on any town issue.
1922 Durham Manufacturing company founded.
September 1923 Durham Public Consolidated School (1-12) first used. All district schools closed. May 3 1926 Motion to adopt daylight savings time. Lost by a vote of 28 to 45.
1926 Main Street Durham changed from macadam to concrete surface.
March 2 1931 Town Meeting authorized buying first fire truck.
October 26 1931 Durham Volunteer Fire Company to act as custodian of fire truck and 1/2 mil tax laid to provide maintenance.
August 8 1932 Land authorized to be bought for new fire house.
August 26 1932 Voted to purchase land from Durham Manufacturing Company to build fire house, also to house school buses.
October 26 1932 George Washington Trail approximately 8 miles cross country from Durham to Wallingford dedicated and route markers installed.
August 21 1933 Money approved to build fire house.
October 1 1934 Biennial town election voted. Yes – 178. No – 119.
August 25 1935 Connecticut's Tercentennary celebration observed in Durham.
September 24 1938 Hurricane levels trees, power and telephone.
1941 - 1945World War II. 150 men and women served in various armed forces.
1941 - 1945 World War II. Air spotters tower located at Brookfield Farm. Manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by townspeople who reported all aircraft flying over town.
1941 - 1945 Remember gas rationing, blackouts, etc.
1946 Durham is a debt free town.
February 28 1949 Regulations adopted in relation to junk dealers and junk yards.
July 3-4 1949 Durham's 250 Anniversary.
March 20 1950 W. A. Parsons Company formed a second time.
September 1950 First addition completed on Durham Public Consolidated school.
1950 Durham Volunteer Ambulance Corps begins service.
April 27 1952 Addition dedicated and whole school called Frank Ward Strong School.
1950 - 1953 Korean War. Thirty (30) men served.
August 25 1955 Zoning Regulations in force.
September 12 1955 Voted act to permit bazaars and raffles in Town of Durham.
October 11 1955 Voted that Durham permit its green to be used for agriculture and livestock shows provided the green is in first class condition after the event.
October 11 1955 Voted that selectmen put up a fence around honor roll if there is any activity on the green which might damage same.
October 31 1955 New Notre Dame Church building dedicated by Bishop Flanagan.
Spring 1956 Brewster School opened.
May 30 1956 Brewster School dedicated.
September 24 1956 Special Town Meeting Board of Finance is adopted.
June 24 1957 Sanitary Code and revisions in place.
March 23 1959 Building Code adopted.
Spring of 1959 Second addition at Strong School completed.
December 29 1960 New Durham Post Office opens. Corner of Main Street and Fowler Avenue. January 2 1962 Town Clerk's office moved to Town Hall. Ralph Moeller, Town Clerk.
January 22 1962 Voted all owners or occupants of property adjoining sidewalks shall remove snow from same 24 hours after snowfall. If not done, selectmen will have it done at owner's or occupant's expense plus a $5.00 fine. Never enforced.
August 30 1962 Voted minimum microfilming to be done at earliest opportunity on land records, all town proceedings record book, all assessors office work cards, and all student transcript cards and classroom registers.
November 6 1962 First election held at the Durham High School.
June 1 1962 General Statutes, State of Connecticut. Each town will compile and publish special acts and ordinances by December 31, 1960.
March 4 1963 Ordinance adopted enabling the Town of Durham to join the Regional Plan- ning Agency.
June 13 1963 Francis E. Korn School opened and dedicated. Mr. Korn served as Town Clerk for our town 37 years (1920 to 1957).
August 28 1963 First primary held in the Town of Durham.
September 8 1963 Voted that the Durham High School auditorium (Strong School) be the official polling place for elections.
December 16 1963 Special town meeting adopted an ordinance establishing a Conservation Commission. At the same meeting adopted ordinance prohibiting the parking of motor vehicles on town roads. Effective date January 10, 1964.
April 20 1964 Special Town Meeting ordinance relative to the election of justices of the peace. Adopted. Number fixed at 12. Selectmen authorized to enter into an agreement with the Durham Historical Society to lease Center School for 25 years with the privilege of renewal.
May 17 1965 Special Town Meeting voted to purchase White property, 110 acres, sum not to exceed $57,000.
December 14 1965 Town Meeting to act on revised Constitution Proposal # 1 passed.; Yes – 291
No – 226. Proposal # 2 passed; Yes – 263; No – 236.
February 29 1968 Adopted an ordinance establishing a regional school district committee. April 10 1967 Special Town Meeting, selectmen empowered to borrow $89,000. Town share of purchase of three (3) reservoir sites in the Town of Durham.
April 18 1967 To hear explanation of state bill 1877 concerned with setting up a Historic District on Main Street, Durham.
May 1 1967 Voted sum of $23,500.00 be appropriated for purpose of buying 25+ acres of Fannie Resnick for school purposes. Voted sum of $1,707,500.00 be ap- propriated for construction of a new high school.
June 5 1967 Selectmen authorized to enter into a leasing agreement with the United Churches Corp, to provide extra parking space for patrons of the library.
July 10 1967 Special Town Meeting establishment of Metropolitan Study Commission authorized charged with studying feasibility of intermunicipal water supply for the Town of Durham Report due back to Town Meeting in 90 days.
February 7 1968 Connecticut State Board of Education voted to approve the recommendation of Temporary School Study Committee of Durham-Middlefield. That they join towns informing regional school district for grades K-12.
March 4 1968 Referendum vote by two t owns on above matter to establish Regional District 13. Vote: Yes – 491; No – 77.
April 1 1968 Another Referendum vote same subject. Vote: Yes – 422; No – 43. Two referendums needed because Middlefield didn't pass it the first time.
June 3 1968 Annual Budget Meeting voted when motor vehicle is the only item to be assessed, the tax shall be billed and payable in one installment.
July 29 1968 Special Town meeting voted to purchase land for three (3) reservoir sites.
December 2 1968 Special Town Meeting. Voted to exchange Nettleton Laneway for a right of way from J. Richard Taylors and Mary G. Taylor.
January 13 1969 First meeting of the Historic District Study Committee.
January 27 1969 Special Town Meeting voted that selectmen be authorized to transfer legal title to all public school lands buildings and equipment to Regional School District 13 of the State of Connecticut.
April 7 1969 Notice Regional Board 13 has taken over building new high school. Durham building committee discontinued.
August 11 1969 Special Town Meeting voted that Planning and Zoning Commissions become one commission.
August 25 1969 Special Town Meeting voted procedure in election of alternate members to Planning & Zoning Commission.
September 1969 New Regional District 13 High School first used.
September 24 1969 Special Town Meeting. Planning and Zoning Commission adopts open spaces provision allowing tax break on farm or forest land.
October 19 1969Mr. Gaylord A. Newton honored after retiring from serving 30 years as Tax Collector. Also serving the Town in many other ways such as moderator of Town Meetings.
January 21 1970 Tax Collector's office opened in the Town Hall. First time in a public building. January 26 1970 Special Town Meeting. Received report of Durham Historic District Study Committee, Charles Stannard Chairman. Authorized Francis E. Korn School or Durham Town hall as polling places, all elections.
February 16 1970 Special Town Meeting. Referendum vote on Durham Historic District. Vote: Yes – 90; No – 33. Only a 73% affirmative vote. State law requires 75%.
May 4 1970 Approved Regional District 13 School Budget by one vote: Yes–119; No-118. September 28 1970 Special Town Meeting authorized selectmen to buy 62 acre Wilkinson prop- erty for Industrial Development for $90,000.00.
October 5 1970 Annual Town Meeting recommended Durham Middle School be change to Frank Ward Strong School.
November 9 1970 Special Town Meeting – voted to purchase four (4) acres on Mica Hill Road from Roger Clark to be used as cemetery. Cost $12,000.00 plus additional $1,000.00 (legal fees, etc.). Authorized selectmen buy for the town jointly with Middlefield known as the Aivano lot for sanitary fill purposes. Durham's cost $33,000.00.
April 27 1971 Special Town Meeting authorized selectmen with Board of Finance approval to appropriate $13,000.00 for Gypsy moth control. April 28 Board of Finance authorized $6,000 for aerial spray infected areas.
May 10 1971 Special Town Meeting voted to sell to Stelco Industries Inc. Wilkinson property for $94,000.00.
June 1 1971 Referendum Regional District 13 school budget defeated twice. Passes the third time: Yes – 351; No – 217.
June 7 1971 Mil rate set at 52 mils by Board of Finance.
October 14 1971 Annual Town Meeting passed unanimous a resolution honoring Charles W. Wimler and wife Gladys for 22 years as Selectman.
November 3 1971 Selectman's office opened for the first time in Town Hall. Ira N. Kerschner 1st Selectman – starts with nothing for town road or otherwise equipment.
July 13 1972 Management of Grove portion of White's Farm turned over to Recreation Committee by vote of selectmen.
August 14 1972 Special Town Meeting, designated the Town Hall, Frank Ward Strong School and Julian Thayer Auditorium as places to hold Town Meetings.
November 7 1972 At state election, Durham Town Charter accepted: Yes - 1049; No - 179
March 26 1973 Special Town Meeting authorized selectmen to appropriate up to $32,150 for 1) new truck with body plow and sander; 2) used payloader; 3) a new two-way radio with base transmitter and receiver including four mobile units. First town owned road equipment.
May 14 1973 Special Town Meeting. Ordinance on Peddlers and Solicitors was passed. Ordinance on Building Permit fees was passed. Ordinance on Violation of State Building Code and Penalties for violation was passed.
May 14 1973 Town Meeting accepted gift of land on Rte 68 from estate of Lena S. White.
June 25 1973 Referendum Ordinance Historic District . Yes – 56; No - 11 1/2.
June 25 1973 Special Town Meeting following referendum. Historic District Study Committee report accepted and ordinance enacted.
August 27 1973 Special Town Meeting ordinance Inland Wetlands and Water Course Agency was adopted.
December 17 1973 Ice storm Felix. Parts of town without power four to seven days. Korn School opened as a shelter.
February 11 1974 Special Town Meeting authorized board of selectmen to purchase a wood chipper. Approved the purchase of 125 acres(+) by the Town of Wallingford.
March 25 1974 Special Town Meeting. Accepted 5.32 acre piece of land from Stelco Industries. Approved the appropriation of $7,500 for a new ambulance.
June 24 1974 Special Town Meeting authorized Board of Selectmen to appoint an American Revolution Bicentennial Committee. Adopted an ordinance prohibiting parking on Durham streets from November 1st of each year to April 1st during the following year during the hours 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. or during any winter emergency called by the 1st selectman.
November 12 1974 Special Town Meeting authorized selectmen to establish a fire house building committee and authorized the board of finance to appropriate $6,500.00 as budget for above committee. $1,500.00 of which shall be expended to take six month option to purchase Ackerman site. February 24 1975 Special Town Meeting approved $5,000.00 for materials to remodel the second floor of the Town Hall.
1963 to 1975 Vietnam War. 89 men and women served.
May 12 1975 Annual Budget Meeting adopted selectmen's budget $362,697.00 and Regional District 13 budget of $1,381,481.64 for total of $1,744,178.64.
June 23 1975 Referendum vote Question 1: Regional District 13 serial bonds not to exceed $800,000. To provide funds for construction of industrial arts classrooms at Coginchaug Regional High School. Yes 396; No 328. Question 2: Serial bonds $550,000 alterations Strong School Yes 589; No 135. Question 3: Serial bonds $100,000 construction of administrative offices at Coginchaug High School Yes 302; No 415 but Middlefield vote was favorable, so Question 3 passed by district.
June 30 1975 Special Town Meeting approved $48,000.00 for vault addition to Town Hall. Note many graves had to be relocated.
April 26 1976 Special Town Meeting. Resolution passed honoring Gaylord A. Newton. Approved referendum for construction of new fire house not to exceed $480,000.00.
June 7 1976 Referendum Fire house vote Yes 449; No 586.
May 10 1976 Annual Budget Meeting. Adopted bicentennial flag.
June 9 1976 Adjourned Annual Budget Meeting. Adopted sum of $1,899,636.50 as gross amount for school and town.
July 26 1976 Special Town Meeting rescinded the action of a Special Town Meeting held November 12, 1787 which defeated approval of the Constitution of the United States of America by a vote of 67 to 4. Final vote Yes 197; No 108. Vote to accept the Constitution of the USA Yes 320; No 6. Voted to hold referendum to approve construction of new fire house not to exceed $390,000.00.
August 1 1976 Bicentennial celebrations held for the Town of Durham. Henry Coe Chair- man of committee.
September 13 1976 Special Town Meeting. Set referendum date for new fire house at October 18, 1976. Yes 273; No 304.
November 15 1976 Special Town Meeting. Adopted ordinance regulating issuance of building permits. Adopted an ordinance relating to well drilling.
December 12 1977 Special Town Meeting approved construction of the fire house not to exceed $375,000.00 and referendum vote on January 24, 1978.
January 24 1978 Referendum vote on fire house Yes 452; No 147. Finally.
May 30 1978 Durham's first 10K road race. 365 people ran.
1978 Brigade of the American Revolution camped on the green. Battled on White's farm. The Durham Encampment Committee under the direction of George C. Newman was responsible for this successful undertaking.
October 2 1978 Annual Town Meeting. Ordinance adopted a 10:30 curfew on the White Farm all schoolgrounds and all other town recreation areas. $25.00 fine if violated. Ordinance passed prohibiting possession or drinking of alcoholic beverages on aforementioned properties without a permit issued by Selectmen's office; $25.00 fine. Passed an ordinance requiring the kenneling of guard dogs on all commercial establishments during operating hours. Non-compliance - $25.00 fine. December 1978 New Durham fire house put in service.
January 22 1979 Special Town Meeting. Public Safety Committee report recommended hiring a Resident State Trooper with back-up funds for an active constabulary - no action. Voted to call a referendum on a resolution appropriating $105,000 for the purchase of property of Anthony L. Arrigoni and Ferdinand L. Arrigoni (Town Garage) referendum date 3/5/79.
January 1979 Durham Volunteer Ambulance Corps moves into old fire house.
March 5 1979 Referendum vote Yes 236; No 276 on Town Garage and property.
May 21 1979 Special Town Meeting voted to hold second referendum on Town Garage property and buildings 6/28/79.
June 18 1979 Special Town Meeting adopted an ordinance establishing a 9:00 p.m. curfew in the three cemetery areas. The curfew to be effective until sunrise. Violation $25.00 fine. Also adopted an ordinance prohibiting alcoholic beverages in cemeteries.
June 28 1979 Referendum on Town Garage and property. Yes 276, No 144.
1979 Durham's Historic Marker as found on 1979 annual report erected on the Green beside Main Street opposite Fowler Avenue.
September 24 1979 Special Town Meeting passed an ordinance establishing the board of selectmen as Durham Traffic Authority and describing parking restrictions. Enacted a Towing Ordinance. January 28 1980 Special Town Meeting. Enacted an ordinance relative to the exemption from FICA tax for sick leave. Enacted an ordinance limiting the time for the sale of alcohol in establishments under permit.
May 12 1980 Annual Budget Meeting adopted an ordinance creating a Flood and Erosion Board which designated the board of selectmen as the board of the town. Adopted an ordinance establishing the board of selectmen as the Water Pollution Control Authority. Adopted budget Town of Durham in the gross amount of $3,527,765.00. Board of Finance set mil rate of 32 mils.
October 5 1981 Annual Town Meeting. Established a capital project fund entitled Durham Middlefield Water Systems Fund - reason: the dump polluted area wells.
February 22 1982 Special Town Meeting approved resolution honoring the late Ralph W. Moeller. Repealed 1980 ordinance relative to exemption from FICA for sick leave. Disapproved resolution for state trooper.
May 101982 Annual Town Meeting. Adopted proclamation honoring Edith White for running ambulance, fire department dispatch service over many years from her home.
May 9 1983 Annual Budget meeting approved purchase of 3.48 acres for $6,960.00 from estate of Roger Clark. Land adjoining Mica Hill Cemetery.
May 23 1983 Adopted ordinance(s) relative to the use of the Durham Middlefield land fill. Adopted gross budget of $4,543,801; town part $1,140,390.
1983Sabbath Day House restored. WWII Air Spotters Tower moved from Brookfield Farm on Route 68 to a spot south of Center School (Historical Society Headquarters).
1983The restoration committee of the Durham Cemetery Company has restored stones in the old cemeteries including the Ann Cornelius stone, an indian who died December 9, 1776, age 19 years. August 31 1983 Special Town Meeting. Approved resolution appropriating $631,000.00 for all phases of a Library addition. The final vote was on November 18, 1984. Yes 1215; No 487.
January 30 1984 Special Town Meeting. Approved expenditures of $60,000.00 for Library furnishings, said monies to include approximately $32,000 in Library Reserve Fund. The balance to be raised in donations.
April 16 1984 Special Town Meeting. Adopted a resolution creating the Midstate Regional Resources Recovery Authority.
May 14 1984 Special Town Meeting. Mil rate now 39.54.
July 17 1984 Groundbreaking ceremony for new Library addition.
1984The year Brewster School was to close but the Board of Ed called for one more year of service until population trends could be studied.
August 19 1985 Special Town Meeting. Approved the expenditure of $92,000 from the Durham Public Library Development Fund. Money came from public donations.
September 9 1985 Library opened with new addition.
September 16 1985 Special Town Meeting approved the appropriation of $181,000 from General Fund Surplus to the Library Building Fund.
September 1985 Hurricane Gloria came just before the Durham Fair. The fair opened at noon on Saturday with half the town still in the dark.
October 28 1985 Approved an ordinance authorizing the town to enter into a municipal solid waste management services contract with the Midstate Regional Resources Recovery Authority.
February 11 1986 Special Town Meeting adopted an ordinance which allows an additional property tax exemption from certain low income veterans. Adopted an ordinance regulating the use of the White Farm by motor vehicles.
March 3 1986 Special Town Meeting enacted an ordinance which establishes a fee schedule for processing land use applications. Approved a resolution regarding the disposition of Brewster School. May 12 1986 Annual Budget Meeting. Adopted budget gross amount $6,253,314. Town budget $1,687,589. Mil rate set at 45.31.
October 6 1986 Annual Town Meeting. Approved an ordinance relating to naming of streets. Main Street Historic District listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
December 26 1986 First Selectman Charles R. Mauro died. Mary Jane Jewczyn appointed to finish out Charles' term. Maryann P. Boord takes Mary Jane's office.
February 23 1987 Special Town Meeting. Resident State Trooper defeated again. Yes 203; No 225. Approved an ordinance allowing additional property relief for the blind. Mil rate set at 44.80
August 31 1987 Special Town Meeting. Approved question, to be on November 1, 1987 ballot as follows: Shall the Town of Durham contract for a state trooper. Secretary of State ruled - no legislative provisions in our Town Charter so no vote in November on this matter.
November 23 1987 Special Town Meeting. Approved Referendum for State Trooper for December 2, 1987. Yes 368; No 560.
January 25 1988 Special Town Meeting. Voted to bring to referendum to buy the Page property. Total cost $310,000. Date set February 29, 1988.
February 29 1988 Referendum Vote Yes 303; No 318. The Middletown Press had misinformation on this item the day previous to vote.
1988Meals on Wheels first offered to senior citizens in the Town of Durham, Jan Muraca - Director. March 7 1988 Special Town Meeting. Discussed street numbering for Main Street residents in relation to a 911 call.
May 9 1988 Annual Budget Meeting. Adopted gross budget for Town of Durham of $7,863,180. Town portion $2,270,067. Mil rate 48.6 mils.
June 14 1988 Special Town Meeting. Approved a street numbering ordinance.
July 1988 CATV Advisory Council #5 set up to field problems in CATV transmission to customers in Durham, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Haddam, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. September 12 1988 Special Town Meeting. Discussion of the referendum for buying 2 acres on Mica Hill Road from the Foster family for $135,000.
September 20 1988 Referendum vote Yes 121; No 6.
November 28 1988 Special Town Meeting. Enacted an ordinance entitled Ordinance Requiring Posting of Street numbers on buildings. Enacted an ordinance entitled Ordinance Establishing Citation Hearing procedure.
February 6 1989 Special Town Meeting adopted an ordinance entitled Adoption of a Schedule of fees for the processing of Land Use Applications.
April 25 1989 Special Town Meeting approved Town Hall painting for $8,800; reroofed for $15,310. June 22 1989 Special Town Meeting. Still waiting approval of regulations to implement the new state law which will enable us to deaccession six of the oldest land records from the state archives. Funds for this work are coming from the Durham Fair Association.
August 1 1989 Middlefield and Durham began transporting garbage to the mid-Connecticut plant in Hartford.
August 31 1989 Special Town Meeting approved an ordinance regulating the collection and disposal of solid waste in the towns of Durham and Middlefield.
1989Handicap ramp added to south side of Town Hall allowing access to the first floor.
January 9 1990 Special Town Meeting adopted an ordinance exempting from taxation real or personal leased to certain non-profit organizations.
March 12 1990 Special Town Meeting voted to buy 20 acres north of Higganum Road for Trinity Corp from Ralph and Pauline Thompson for $285,000. Approximately 24 living units to be built for elderly. 1990 Street numbering completed. 911 emergency service on line.
May 14 1990 Annual Budget Meeting. 40th anniversary of Durham Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
May 22 1990 Special Town Meeting. Authorize the Allyn Brook Park Committee to apply for an outdoor development grant to develop a parcel of municipal land called Allyn Brook Park.
1989-1990Brewster School doubled in size and old section remodelled and brought up to code.
July 5, 1990 Special Town Meeting. Adopted the Neighborhood Assistance Act. Refers to Allyn Brook Park.
August 20 1990Special Town Meeting. Code of Ordinances accepted. Agreement approved between Durham and Trinity Corp.
October 18 1990 Special Town Meeting. Adopted resolution designating Board of Selectmen as housing site development for the Durham Elderly Housing Project.
January 22 1991 Special Town Meeting. Approved 10 year contract with Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority for disposal of municipal solid waste.
June 28 1991 Adjourned Town Meeting. Adopted gross budget for town of $9,825,122. Town's share $2,670,624.
1990-1991 Desert Storm/Shield. 14 men and women served in our armed services.
July 1991 Allyn Brook Park dedicated and first summer used.
May 11 1992 Annual Budget Meeting. Adopted gross budget of $9,967,725. Town portion $2,561,659. Mill rate set at 22.70.
1992 Trinity Project received approval for a Housing Site Development Grant of $410,000 and a loan from State of Connecticut for $30,000. Still working on approval of a 1.2 million construction loan.
July 13 1992 Public Hearing - installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Rt. 17, Maple Avenue and Fowler Avenue.
July 15 1992 Referendum vote on above Yes 350; No 380.
February 1993 The Trinity Senior Housing Project went out for bid. The Landin Corp. was hired as the General Contractor and The Farmers Home Administration approved the 1.2 million dollar construction loan.
March 1 1993 Special Town Meeting approved an ordinance granting a tax abatement for Trinity Corps elderly housing project.
March 23 1993 Special Town Meeting approved a resolution granting tax abatement to Durham Manufacturing Company per provisions in Sect. 12-65b. Durham is the first town in the state to implement this new legislation. Approved a resolution granting tax abatement to Hobson and Motzer also Graphite Die Mold.
May 18 1993 Annual Budget Meeting adopted gross budget of $10,619,282. Town share $2,844,409. Mil rate set at 24.3 mils.
June 21 1993 Special Town Meeting approved ordinance establishing rules of conduct for use of Allyn Brook Park.
September 20 1993 Special Town Meeting approved an ordinance reducing the fee for a copy of a registration/certificate of birth from $15.00 to $5.00.
December 2 1993 Special Town Meeting approved a lease with the Durham Historical Society of the Center School.
Spring 1994 Uncovered old stone bridge under Route 17 across Allyn's Brook commonly called Mill Bridge.
May 9 1994 Annual Budget Meeting approved gross budget $11,404,705. Town budget of $2,989,664.
September 12 1994 Special Town Meeting. Added Coginchaug High School cafeteria and gym; Brewster School gym/auditorium and Korn School gym to list of locations for town meetings. September 28 1994 Referendum vote Question 1: $8,930,000 to be spent improving Middlefield Memorial School and John Lyman Schools: Durham Yes 534; No 286 Middlefield Yes 384; No 138. Referendum Question2: $30,000 for improve- ments Coginchaug, Strong, Korn Schools: Durham Yes 597; No 228 Middlefield Yes 396; No 129.
January 9 1995 Special Town Meeting authorized referendum vote on buying Ackerman property. February 14 1995 Result of referendum Yes 197; No 70.
April 17 1995 Special Town Meeting authorized referendum $821,560 for second addition to Library. May 30 1995 Referendum Yes 557; No 252.
1995 Trinity Project completed and fully occupied.
May 13 1996 Annual Budget Meeting. Gross amount $13,354,250. Town Budget of $2,433,921. October 9 1996 Special Town Meeting authorized purchase of 29.78 acres of open space Mica Hill area for $47,648 plus.
December 9 1996 Special Town Meeting authorized referendum and buying property at 31 Main Street, Durham for $180,000 1/13/97 Yes 185; No 252. Authorized Board of Selectmen to buy 1.78 acres at 45-51 Main Street by foreclosure procedure.
February 3 1997 Special Town Meeting authorized referendum to spend $143,103.94 insurance money on Caltabiano barn. Barn and property owned by the Town of Durham.
May 12 1997 Annual Budget Meeting. Moment of silence for Marge Hatch, Town Clerk who passed away May 9, 1997. Assistant Town Clerk Laura Francis appointed Town Clerk.
1997Traffic light at corner of Main Street, Fowler Avenue Maple Avenue installed and working.
1997 Old vault at Town Hall removed, interior renovations started.
Fall 1997 Completion of expansion # 2 of the Durham Library.
August 26 1997 Special Town Meeting approved a resolution granting tax abatement to Durham Manufacturing Company. Approved a resolution granting tax abatement to Dean Autoworks. Authorized the board of selectmen to place a question on November general election concerning the services of a resident state trooper for July 1998.
November 4 1997 Question on the ballot concerning state trooper Yes 1007; No 846.
March 18 1998 Merriam Manufacturing Company burned. Everything except a building located in the rear destroyed.
May 11 1998 Annual Budget Meeting endorsed the following meeting places for town meetings: Brewster School, Korn School, Strong School, Coginchaug Regional High School, Durham Town Hall, Durham Fire House and Durham Public Library.
June 29 1998 Special Town Meeting approved a resolution authorizing the first selectman of Durham to sign a contract for one resident state trooper. Approved an ordinance relative to a personal property tax exemption for ambulance type motor vehicles.
August 10, 1998 Special Town Meeting authorized appropriation of $47,000 for demolition of town owned properties located at 45, 47 and 49R Main Street.
Fall of 1998 Tercentennial Committee formed to plan events in 1999 celebrating 1799 to 1999.
April 30 1999 Kick off event honoring the Durham Garden Club. Proclamations by 1st Selectman Raymond Kalinowski, State Senator Eileen Daly, State Representative Ted Raczka and Lieutenant Governor Jodi Rell.
July 13 1999 Voters passed a referendum allowing the town to purchase 158 acres on Howd Road owned by the Town of Wallingford. Purchase price $869,000. Yes: 329 No: 81
August 5, 1999 Special Town Meeting passed resolution to authorize selectmen to form committee to develop proposals for building a new town hall rather than continue with expansion plans of old town hall.
August 14 1999 2:00 p.m. parade followed by Town-wide picnic and fireworks at the Durham Fair Grounds. The parade took about two hours. Rain delayed the fireworks Until August 16th, Monday evening. Fantastic display!
January 11, 2000 The Town Hall site committee reported to selectmen, recommending two sites: Strong School or build a new Town Hall on existing town owned land to the rear of the firehouse.
January 25, 2000 Referendum $508,800 to purchase 75.7 acres for open space land between Cream Pot and Pisgah Roads including 1.5 acre Pest House site. Yes: 259 No:25
January 31, 2000 Special Town Meeting to authorize $15,000 from Contingency Fund for the purpose of making comparative analysis of three perspective Town Hall sites.
April 3, 2000 Special Town Meeting to adopt a noise ordinance and accept Ozick Drive as a Town Road.
May 2, 2000 Referendum regarding proposed yeary school budget for Regional School District 13 $21,189,745. Passed.
June 5, 2000 Special Town Meeting. Adopted an ordinance authorizing the Town of Durham to participate in forming a Regional Council of Elected Officials.
October 17, 2000 Referendum. Shall the town renovate old Town Hall for $1,990,000. Yes: 582 No 1339.
December 12, 2000 Referendum. Shall Regional School District 13 appropriate $34,006,950 for the reconstruction of Coginchaug High School, Strong School, Korn School and Brewster School. Yes: 961 No: 592
December 18, 2000 Special Town Meeting. Accepted an extension of Green Lane as town road; extension of Old Blue Hills Road as town road and the following roads: Pine Ledge Trail, Deer Run Road and Casa Lane.
April 10, 2001 Referendum. Shall the town appropriate $979,000 for 103 acres open space from the east side of Cream Pot Road to west side of Dead Hill Road. Yes: 434 No: 223.