Monday, March 14, 2011

More Rockville.

Found more history of Rockville via.  "Although the Hockanum River had been used by farmers for a grist mill, a saw mill, an oil mill and distillery since around 1740, it was not until 1821 that the first textile mill was built, in what would become Rockville, by Colonel Francis McLean. Taking advantage of a natural dam of solid stone that made a high falls on the Hockanum River, known as "The Rock" by locals, McLean built his water powered mill called the McLean Woolen Factory, also known as the "Rock Mill".

Work in the mills brought many immigrants to Rockville, particularly during the Civil War expansion period, 1860-1875, when many German immigrants arrived and new businesses catering to the German community opened along Village Street.

Today, most of the city has been designated as the Rockville Historic District."

And so I found an 1895 map of Rockville and located where Charles Pfunder and William Pfunder lived according to the census.

I labeled the surrounding buildings and marked their approximate location with the yellow square:

I am assuming now, that the mill they worked at would be the Springville Manufacturing Company.  I know that they used to work in a fabric mill, and it is right across the street.  A drawing of the mill is found on the map:

So, I also searched for a picture of the mill online and found this via:

More information about the mill, via:  "The Springville Manufacturing Company constructed a modern brick mill in 1886 at 155 West Main Street. The building was equipped with automatic sprinklers, elevators and electric lights. It features a five-story stair-and-bell tower with a slate-shingled pyramid crowned by a pair of finials." ..."the Hockanum Company, Springville Manufacturing Company, New England Company, and the Minterburn Company formed a holding company for the purposes of purchasing raw materials and distributing finished goods. The holding company, called The Hockanum Mills Company, constructed an addition to the Springville Mill offices at 155 West Main Street in 1909. This was among the last buildings constructed by Rockville's woolen textile manufacturers. In 1934, the Hockanum Mills Company sold all of its holdings to M.T. Stevens and Sons of North Andover, Massachusetts."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rockville, Connecticut

I'm starting with Rockville (part of the town of Vernon since the sixties).  This village in Connecticut is where some of my history in the United States begins.  As an immigrant from Tumringen, Germany, this is where William (Wilhelm) Pfunder took residence sometime between 1870-1873.  Why Rockville?  What did Rockville offer?  You can see the mills in the photo.  His family eventually worked in the cotton mills located in Rockville.  The photo comes from family archives.  According to the 1900 census, he lived at 94 West Main Street, what looks to be multi-family dwelling.  In the same dwelling, we find his son with his family.  Both are "day laborers" probably in a local cotton mill.  The 1900 census can be found online courtesy of

It looks like the dwelling may still exist thanks to a google map search of the address.  Here is a screenshot of the aerial view:

What is it?

Well, first and foremost, this site has been developed to help organize and to get to know my own family history.  In the process, I hope to illustrate some of the processes in which this information is collected and analyzed for anyone else's benefit.  Am I a professional genealogist?  Heavens no.  Am I a professional writer or blogger?  Again, a resounding no.  Will we find skeletons in the closet?  Who knows, but that's the fun of it.  During this journey I hope to make new friends, discover lost people, and visit new places.  And I hope to do justice to tell their stories.  Ready?