|Sharon is located in the northwest highlands of Connecticut, bordered by the town of Salisbury to the north, Kent to the south, Cornwall and the Housatonic River to the east and on the west side by Amenia, New York. Sharon is well known for its picturesque Village Green, which is lined with historic houses dating from the 1730s and marked by its famous stone Clock Tower.
Historically, Sharon’s abundance of recreational opportunities, beautiful high landscapes, and proximity to the railroad line made it an optimal vacation destination and the town attracted many wealthy visitors who began purchasing second homes. Between 1880 and 1930 many older homes were refurbished or new homes were built in the Colonial Revival style that still defines the town today – especially along the South Green. Several estates were built, including the enormous Italianate palazzo “Filston” by Romulus Riggs Colgate and nearby “Hiddenhurst”.
Of these substantial residences, none is more famous than Weatherstone. When driving north into Sharon along Rt. 41, you cannot miss this impressive masterpiece, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Built of granite in the Georgian style, this private estate also includes a stable and riding ring, and 60 acres of paddocks, cutting and formal gardens, streams and waterfalls. The house was built in 1765 by Dr. Simeon Smith, a prosperous drugstore operator, and is currently owned by designer and author Carolyne Roehm. Unfortunately it incurred a devastating fire in 1999, but has since been impeccably restored to its former grandeur. (Photo: A view of the stable at Weatherstone)
Another impressive example of Sharon’s architecture is the Hotchkiss Library www.hotchkisslibrary.org also located on the Green. The library was built in 1893 in the Romanesque Revival style out of limestone quarried in Sharon. The interior walls and floors are solid oak with ten panels of stained glass windows depicting world renowned authors. The library is the generous gift of Maria Bissell Hotchkiss in memory of her husband Benjamin Berkeley Hotchkiss. The origin of the Hotchkiss family fortune was in the production of home, farm, utilitarian items and eventually armaments forged from local iron. The family later founded the Hotchkiss School, which is located up Rt. 41 in Lakevillewww.hotchkisschool.org. (Photo: The interior of the Hotchkiss Library.)
The town was also the beneficiary of two wonderful estates, which now form Audubon Sharon. Audubon Sharon consists of both the Sharon Audubon Center and the Emily Winthrop Miles Wildlife Sanctuary. Their mission is to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitats by creating life-changing experiences that inspire and enable school children, community members and their families to appreciate, understand and protect the natural world. Please visit www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/sharon/ for more information on children’s camps and other educational programs.
Sharon’s 59 square miles of stunning landscape includes sweeping views of the Berkshire Mountains to the north and also encompasses a wildly beautiful stretch of the Housatonic River on its eastern border. In fact, the border of Sharon and Cornwall runs north south in the exact center of the river. Housatonic Meadows State Park is located in Sharon and is one of the most family friendly camp sites in the state. Bring the fly rod because fishing abounds! (Photo: A formal garden at Weatherstone)
Though Sharon is primarily a rural community with plenty to offer by way of outdoor recreation, the center of Sharon is home to Sharon Hospital www.sharonhospital.com, an acute care facility serving the local tri state community. Also in the town center is an outpost of one of the Hudson River Valley’s best radio stations: WKZE www.wkze.com. This independent radio station is known for its musical diversity and local flavor. Also located in the town center is TriArts at the Sharon Playhouse. This summer theater presents two to three main stage productions each season as well as workshops, camps and special events throughout the year. Please visit www.triarts.net for more information.
For more information about town government, support services, local businesses, the Sharon Land Trust and Sharon Recreation and Youth, please visit www.sharonct.org.