****UPDATE: The West Hartford Collectible 2021 Holiday Ornament is back in stock! ****
Announcing the new limited edition West Hartford Collectible 2021 Holiday Ornament featuring the gatehouse at Reservoir No. 1!
Start a tradition. The West Hartford Collectible 2021 Holiday Ornament makes the perfect gift for friends, family, and neighbors (or for your own tree!) and comes beautifully packaged. The ornament is printed on glass and produced locally. Every year, the Noah Webster House will release a new collectible glass ornament that represents an aspect of the West Hartford community. The cost is $20 – all proceeds to benefit the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.
About the ornament:
The 2021 commemorative ornament depicts the gatehouse at Reservoir No. 1 from the vantage point of Farmington Avenue looking north. The purpose of a gatehouse is to control the flow of water in and out of a reservoir through the use of gates, sluices, and pumps. The Reservoir No. 1 gatehouse and its bowstring through truss bridge were built in 1922.
The West Hartford Reservoir system was built beginning in 1866 to provide a watershed for the City of Hartford, which was running out of potable water due to population increases and the pollution of the Connecticut River. The Connecticut Legislature granted 80 acres of woodland along the east side of Talcott Mountain north of Farmington Avenue to build Reservoir No. 1, which covered 32 acres. A pipeline was laid along Farmington Avenue to bring the water to downtown Hartford. After opening in 1867, Reservoir No. 1 became a popular spot for picnics, hiking, and horseback riding. The trolley that ran along Farmington Avenue brought visitors to the picnic grounds at the Reservoir and helped the town transform from a rural community to the bustling suburb it is today. Over time, additional reservoirs were added encompassing some 3,000 acres: Reservoir No. 2 was built in 1863, No. 3 in 1874, No. 4 in 1880, and No. 5 in 1884. Reservoir No. 6 was the largest and last to be completed in 1896 on the north side of Albany Avenue. Today, in addition to providing water to the Greater Hartford region through the operation of the Metropolitan District Commission, the Reservoir provides more than 30 miles of paved and gravel roads for joggers and bicyclists, hiking trails, wheel-chair accessible picnic groves, and areas for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The proceeds from the purchase of this ornament supports the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society, which serves as a repository for the history of West Hartford, Connecticut. Our mission is to preserve, interpret, and champion Noah Webster’s legacy and birthplace, as well as the evolving history of West Hartford, the town that nurtured him.