Sketches of the People and Places of New Hartford, Past and Present, by Sarah Lucia Jones, written in the late 1800’s and published by the historical society is an invaluable resource. Here is a short excerpt explaining the decision to build the Town Hall:
“After the old town house on the hill (Town Hill) was removed in 1848, there was no substitute built for many years. The voters of the town met for their annual meetings, one half of the time in the basement of the church at Nepaug, and the other half at North Village, sometimes at the school house, sometimes at Academy Hall. Neither was there any court room or suitable ‘lock-up’ for criminals, but, as a make shift, the old carriage shop formerly used by Wilson B. Spring served the latter purpose for some years. The building gradually fell into decay, and became unfit to hold an able-bodied convict. The need of a convenient building for town purposes was keenly felt and from time to time the subject was canvassed, but it was difficult to fix upon a site, a plan, and a measure of outlay which would please everybody.”
The Town Hall would eventually be built. It opened in 1876 and is still in use; though a major addition was made in the 1990’s, doubling its size.