1919 – 1983
The foundry was located on the river bank at the end of Glastonbury Avenue beginning in 1865. It was in almost continuous operation from then until 1983 when labor unrest forced its closure. Although the foundry burned down twice, once in 1865 and again 1918, it was rebuilt both times. Apparently the operators felt the products created there justified the occasional inconvenience of rebuilding. From 1900 to 1916 the site was occupied by the Champion Manufacturing Company. There is a display at the Rocky Hill Historical Society of some of the interesting articles forged at the foundry.cii The Foundry experienced violent labor unrest in the 1970s and 1980s and that, along with pollution issues related to the air and the river, forced its closure. The ruins of the foundry are still there in 2017 and plans are being made to develop this scenic riverfront property.
Developer says Rocky Hill Foundry project is slowly moving forward
By Kathleen McWilliams
Feb 22, 2019 at 3:57 pm
Rocky Hill — It’s been more than six years since the town entered into an agreement with a developer to transform a blighted 10-acre site near the Connecticut River, but the attorney representing the project said progress is happening, no matter how slow the process may seem.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again,” Michael Romano, the attorney for Riverfront Future Partners said. “Everyone I run into in town or at Big Y wants to know if the Foundry will be done before they die. We’re getting there.”
A lot of the hold up, Romano said, are small tasks that add up like removing vegetation and an underground storage tank from the site. There is also a plan for environmental remediation of the property. The developer’s plan to clean up the property was approved in November.
“There are just so many tiny details that need to be ironed out,” Romano said.
Romano said he hasn’t heard talk of the developer starting construction on the property during the remediation process and said the bids for the demolition of the silos on the property would be coming soon.
In 2012, Riverfront Future Partners pitched a plan to develop what they call the River’s Edge Project at the site of the old Connecticut Foundry at 205 Meadow Road. The plans are to build 78 apartments and an 8,000-square-foot commercial building with a 1,000-square-foot multi-purpose room for the town.
One of the major hang ups for the project was an issue with the Department of Transportation and the Genesse Wyoming Railroad over the need for a crosswalk. Romano said it took several years to iron it out, but that they got their crosswalk plan through the DOT last June.
Town councilors were eager to see the project move toward completion.
“Is there anything town staff can do to get this done?” Councilman Chris Duff asked.
Mayor Joe Kochanek advised Romano and the developers to be proactive about addressing known problems with the site and forthcoming construction.
“You should take care of the known problems right now instead of coming to a grinding halt,” Kochanek said. “It appears to me this project could move a heck of a lot faster. If you need permits, you should be getting them now.”
The foundry was known for their cast bookends. Here is a link to some that are for sale.
A site with some great black and white photos of the remains of the foundry – click here