Woven into the fabric of many Connecticut villages and towns are mill buildings and historic industrial sites. They are located along rivers once used for power and railroad tracks that hauled both supplies and finished products. They are found in rural areas in proximity to raw materials and in urban centers where existing infrastructure and labor markets facilitated production. And often within walking distance of these factories are grand homes of company owners and simpler housing for the workers and managers whose labor drove production. These communities, with mills as their backbone, connect us to our industrial heritage, to the stories of our past, and to new opportunities for Connecticut’s future.
Making Places: Historic Mills of Connecticut is a statewide survey of historic industrial resources and company built communities in Connecticut. Expanding on a 1981 publication by Matthew Roth et al entitled Connecticut: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, the Connecticut Trust’s Making Places project has identified over 1,470 sites across 126 Connecticut towns, ranging from modest grain mills to sprawling brass factories, from a single surviving administration building to nearly intact complexes of successful companies built up over time.
We invite you to explore the results of the survey by searching by town or county from the home page or by a variety of parameters under "Find Mills." Stories about these factories, the products produced in them, and the people who made them can be found in many of the resource records.