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Learn About Hartford NYThe hamlets of Hartford, South Hartford and East Hartford are located centrally in the 42.9 square miles of Hartford Township.
The north hamlet has the post office, town office, town highway barn, firehouse, central school, two churches, a hardware store, garage, grocery, antique shop, two gift shops, a diner and tavern. South Hartford has a church, two antique shops, a garage and a farm equipment supply shop. East Hartford is known as the site of the Log Village Grist Mill, a restoration featuring a working water-power grist mill with museum, library and a riding stable nearby.
While an estimated 60 percent of the township land area is farmland, it is estimated that only 30 percent of the almost 1,800 inhabitants are farmers. Dairy farming is the primary agricultural enterprise in Hartford and has been so since the last years of the igth century when outside competition overcame local capabilities that were renown for potato production. Wheat, corn and potatoes are still produced in the area, however.
Other residents work in manufacturing and service industries in nearby towns, in school or town-related jobs or are retired. There are several general and construction contractors in Hartford; however, there is no industry to speak of. Other than the restored grist mill, no use is made of the water power that once enabled the production of a variety of goods that supported a thriving local economy. Brick making, basket weaving and stone quarrying -all once practiced by ample numbers of local residents - are no longer practiced.
Despite the lack of any real industry, Hartford is still a thriving town that supports its own school system. The Hartford Central School provides educational facilities for 550 students, some of whom reside in adjacent townships. There are 41 teachers and 27 administrative staff employed by the school, as well as a number of bus drivers that man the fleet of 13 buses which transport all but the handful of students who live in the north hamlet.
The school is a center of community activity, with large attendance at athletic events, band concerts and other school-related functions. A number of organizational and public meetings also take place at the school.
Fire protection for Hartford is provided by a volunteer fire company of 50 members, using equipment housed in the north hamlet. The fire company is part of a regional fire protection network which provides alarms, dispatching and similar services.
Other local organizations include the Hartford Fish and Game Club, the Hartford Historical Group (which maintains a Civil War enlistment center -one of the few left in the country - as a headquarters), Anolia Chapter 140, Order of the Eastern Star, Herschel Lodge #508 Free and Accepted Masons, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Club and a snowmobiler's club.
A working grist mill and remains of a cheese factory in East Hartford, a restored grist mill in South Hartford and the ruins of a lime kiln in the western part of the township all recall the community independence that once existed. More than 350 houses and other buildings were built in the area before 1875, and there are more than 10 farms which have been operated by the same families for more than a century.
These families and the other residents of Hartford discovered long ago that their community has the stability and many other attractive features that are so hard to find in America today.