History of Mansfield

millSince 1702, Mansfield has been an incorporated town made up of 17 small farming villages. These were thriving communities with industries, inventors and general stores. There were trains and taverns, an orphanage and a poorhouse, doctors, graveyards and churches. And, there were schools in each village, many of which have been converted into residences which are still here today. There was a thriving economy which included tourist homes, silk mills, saw mills and steel yards. There were cranberry bogs, grist mills and tanneries. Our manufacturing operations made buttons, gun powder, horn combs, carding machines, and bronze cannons. Bells, organ pipes, optical parts, cedar shakes and clover seeds (for premium clover hay) were also produced here. Many of these products were shipped around the world.

In 1881, two men from one of those villages, Storrs, gave the money and a small plot of land to build a school named Storrs Agricultural School. Over the past 135 years, that school has grown to become a major university with more than 20,000 students.