Rockville, Connecticut

From Academic Kids

Rockville is a census-designated place and part of the town of Vernon, Connecticut located in Tolland County, Connecticut. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 7,708.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.6 km² (1.8 mi²). 4.5 km² (1.7 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.70% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 7,708 people, 3,456 households, and 1,731 families residing in the CDP. The population density is 1,720.3/km² (4,448.1/mi²). There are 3,824 housing units at an average density of 853.4/km² (2,206.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP is 82.89% White, 7.75% African American, 0.40% Native American, 3.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.37% from other races, and 3.39% from two or more races. 7.21% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 3,456 households out of which 28.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.3% are married couples living together, 15.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 49.9% are non-families. 40.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.21 and the average family size is 3.02.

In the CDP the population is spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 34.8% from 25 to 44, 16.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.0 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP is $32,444, and the median income for a family is $37,955. Males have a median income of $31,937 versus $25,661 for females. The per capita income for the CDP is $17,896. 12.9% of the population and 10.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.7% of those under the age of 18 and 7.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Before the mills

In 1726, Samuel Grant traded his farm in Bolton for 500 acres (2 km²) in the northern part of Bolton. This included the area which is now known as "Rockville" and for about the next century it was a nameless village. A prominent feature of the area is the Shenipsit Lake, or "The Snip" as it is currently affectionately called by the residents. [[Shenipsit Lake|The Snip feeds the Hockanum River which cascades 254 feet over 1.5 miles. The river was used by the farmers for a grist mill, a saw mill, an oil mill and even a distillery starting around 1740.

The Rock Mill

In 1821, Colonel Francis McLean built the first textile mill in what is now Rockville in partnership with George and Allyn Kellogg and Ralph Talcott, next to a spot known as "the Rock" with capital of $16,000. Francis McLean had partnered previously with some others in the Warburton Mill in Talcottville. "The Rock" was a natural dam of solid stone that made a high falls on the Hockanum River. In what is now the center of Rockville, he dammed up the Hockanum river and built a water powered mill known as the "Rock Mill", which was possibly also known as the McLean Woolen Factory. By 1823 his mill was in full operation. The new mill was 80 by 30 feet, and its product was blue and blue-mix satinets. In 1826 power looms were introduced.

The mill attracted people to this area and by 1836 the population grew to 440 consisting of 61 families including 89 children under the age of 10.

Rockville gets its name

Mail service was brought once a day by stagecoach from Vernon Center, which was the post office and place for voting for the town. In 1837, according to old records, "an amateurish notice was posted on the Rock Mill announcing a public meeting in the lecture room of the village to decide in a democratic way the most suitable name for the vicinity". In order to have their own post office the town needed a permanent name.

  • The following were some of the recommendations for naming the town.
    • Frankfort - in honour of Francis Mclean builder of the "Rock Mill"
    • Vernon Falls
    • Grantville - in honour of Samuel Grant the first settler
    • Hillborough - because the terrain is so hilly

Simon Chapman, who ran a boarding house for mill workers, submitted the name "Rockville" as common expression understood by the surrounding areas was "Going to the Rock." Thus, Rockvillle became the official name. It actually took until 1842 for Rockville to get a post office, though.


An area of Rockville known as the Rockville Historic District roughly bounded by Shenipsit Street, Davis Avenue, West Street and South Street was added in 1984 to the National Register of Historical Places. The district includes 842 buildings, 1 structure and 5500 acres. Many different Victorian architectural styles are represented. Some of the most interesting architectural buildings in Rockville are listed below. They are not necessarily in the district.


Downtown Mill area

  • Belding Silk Mills
  • Samuel Fitch's Mill
  • Dart Stone Mill
  • St. Bernard Church

Talcott Park Neighborhood

Elm Street, Park Street, and one block of Prospect Street surround a small town park named Talcott Park. The houses represent a variety of Victorian architectural styles ranging from early nineteenth century Greek Revival through the Gothic Revival and Italianate styles down to the Victorian eclecticism of the 1880s and 1890s. The mill owners usually built their houses in the downtown area.

  • Old Rockville High School and East School
  • James I. Regan House
  • Phineas Talcott Homestead
  • Arthur T. Bissell House
  • George Sykes House
  • Charles Phelps House
  • (#10 and #12) Ellington Ave.
  • Francis T. Maxwell House also known as Maxwell Court
  • Caleb Tefft House
  • David Sykes House
  • Elbridge K Leonard House

Downtown and Central Park

The surviving buildings grouped around Central Park are a continuing reminder of the wealth brought by the woolen industry and the town's aspirations to be a leading city in the state during the 19th century.

Downtown East

  • Rockville National Bank
  • Union Congregational Church
  • Citizen's Block
  • Rockville Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Memorial Building

Downtown West

  • Fitch Block
  • William and Alice Maxwell House
  • George Maxwell Memorial Library
  • Kellogg House

Village Street

  • Turn Halle
  • Brautigum House
  • Erhardt Linck's Hall
  • 70 Village Street]
  • William Randall House and Store
  • Otto Schrier House
  • Chauncey Winchell Jr House

West Main Street

  • George Sykes House (first)
  • Hockanum Mill
  • Saxony Mill
  • Chauncey Winchell Homestead
  • Alonzo Bailey House
  • Springville Mill and Offices
  • Florence Mill
  • Henry Huhnken's Saloon
  • New England Yard

Notable People from Rockville


National Register of Historical Places #84001173


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