Centerbrook Village

Essex Town, Middlesex County, CT

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Beginnings [1]

In 1722, the Connecticut Colonial Court allowed the establishment of the Second Ecclesiastical Society in Center Sayebrooke. This was in recognition of the fact that there were now enough residents to support a Congregational Church. In 1727, there were at least 136 adult members of this church, which represented the gross majority of the population of Potapoug Quarter. Add an appropriate number of children and it can be seen that a population of only 300 would be about the correct figure. Previously, all residents had to attend church at the First Ecclesiastical Society at Saybrook Point, a rather long distance away, considering the travel conditions then. Center Sayebrooke later was renamed Centerbrook, and is the middle village in the three village town of Essex.

Centerbrook became the home of this church, because that village was the "center" of Potapoug at the time. It is a fertile agricultural section, featuring Scotch Plains (the Mud River Basin along Route #153) and Lynde Plains, which parallel Main Street along the banks of the Falls River. Centerbrook is also the site of the highest waterfall on the Falls River. This is a stream that bisects the town from west to east, and has often been referred to as the lifeline of Essex. Over the years, starting in 1689, it has had eight dams built across it, to provide power for various enterprises. The dams built in 1700 in Centerbrook powered a sawmill, gristmill, trip hammer shop, and iron works, and all were within 100 yards of the church, built in 1724. This church was renovated in 1757, and replaced by the current building in 1790. It remains the oldest extant church structure in Middlesex County. The first minister of the Centerbrook Congregational Church was Reverend Abraham Nott, who served from 1723 to 1756.

  1. Don Malcarne, Town Historian, A Brief History of Essex, 2004,, accessed February, 2012.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Deep River Road • Main Street • Route 154 • Route 604

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