“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Woodstock Valley in Eastford in Windham County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)

Kenyonville, Connecticut

Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker image. Click for full size.
June 2, 2021
1. Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker
Originally Kibbe's Village, Kenyonville dates back to 1843 when Joseph Kenyon purchased the Valley Woolen Mill from Chauncey Kibbe for $950. Born in Huddersfield, England in 1805, Kenyon studied woolen manufacturing processes and then came to America in 1840 hoping to acquire a business in the weaving industry. Successfully running the business, he convinced his parents and all of his siblings to join him in America. They eventually owned many acres of land along the Still River and Crystal Pond. The Kenyons steadily employed 20 to 25 people and built several houses for their workers along Kenyonville Road, the village's main street. Joseph's son Albert, who served in the Civil War, ran the mill after Joseph died in 1870.

The ruins of the Kenyon Bros Mill, renamed Kenyon and Son after the war, lie at the foot of the hill on Kenyonville Road beside the Still River. The scope of the enterprise is evidenced by several cellar-holes, extensive stonework, sluiceways, and the remains of a dam that collapsed in the 1980s. The 5-acre mill pond not only provided power for the mill but also the year's ice supply, harvested as a community
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effort before the age of refrigeration. The mill produced cloth for uniforms and blankets during the Civil War and was productive until 1888 when it could no longer compete with textile mills closer to railroad transportation. It was destroyed by fire a few years later.

After graduating business college, Joseph's other surviving son, Winfield Scott Kenyon, set up a saw mill and box factory run by both water and steam power just upriver in the 1890s. Before the age of cardboard, shipping boxes for goods of all kinds were made of wood, found in ample supply in the local pine forests. Winfield's son, Ferdinand, ran The Still River Box Shop after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War I. The factory burned to the ground in 1932.

This site, called "the big field" by the Kenyons, was used for agricultural purposes. In 2009, Mrs. Jeanne Kenyon DeBell, one of Ferdinand's two beautiful red-headed daughters and the last of the line to bear the Kenyon name, donated over 20 acres of adjacent woodland to the New Roxbury Land Trust. Kenyon Woods abuts the big field to the west and is preserved as protected open space.

The Kenyon family line includes entrepreneurs, businessmen, factory workers, farmers, blacksmiths, school teachers, engineers, nurses and a veterinarian. Several volunteered for wartime military service. Widowed at 38, Ferdinand's wife, Susan
Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker image. Click for full size.
June 2, 2021
2. Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker
Gray Kenyon, was one of Connecticut's first female state police officers. She lived on this land until the 1990s. Several generations of Kenyons are buried in Barlow Cemetery between Woodstock Valley and West Woodstock.

From the humble beginnings of an immigrant intent on achieving the American dream by weaving cloth, the Kenyon family is woven into the fabric of this place. Their influence was felt far beyond. America was built by people such as these.
Erected 2021.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Agriculture. A significant historical year for this entry is 1843.
Location. 41° 55.556′ N, 72° 5.562′ W. Marker is in Eastford, Connecticut, in Windham County. It is in Woodstock Valley. Marker is at the intersection of Kenyonville Road and Crystal Pond Road when traveling west on Kenyonville Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 173 Crystal Pond Road, Woodstock Valley CT 06282, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Perry (approx. 1.7 miles away); Eastford (approx. 1.8 miles away); Eastford Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Red-White School (approx. 3.9 miles away); Ashford (approx. 4 miles away); Constitution Oak (approx. 4 miles away);
Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker image. Click for full size.
June 2, 2021
3. Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker
Nathaniel Lyon Birthplace (approx. 5˝ miles away); Site of the first Meetinghouse in Union (approx. 5˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eastford.
Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker image. Click for full size.
June 2, 2021
4. Kenyonville, Connecticut Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 3, 2021. This page has been viewed 170 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 3, 2021. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 4, 2023