The Eichner tract is 34 acres of wooded land lying between Newfield Road and Cardinal Circle. It abuts the Paugnut State Forest to the north and our 12 acre conservation easement to the south. The Newfield Brook is our neighbor to the west.
This was once part of the 900 acre Fyler Farm on Saw Mill Hill Road. The homestead was built in 1808 by Captain Stephen Fyler, a veteran of the Revolution. It is still standing.
The Fylers knew how to make money. Besides farming75 head of cattle, dabbling with charcoal and railroad ties, the Fylers made brick. A lot of them. They were able to kiln dry 250,000 bricks at a time, providing the building material for many local schoolhouses (includung the ones at Newfield and Sucker Brook) as well as the rubber factory in Naugatuck. Their house near the corner of Saw Mill Hill and Eichner Road was made from their own bricks. This house served as a parsonage for the local Methodist minister and was the first home of Masonry in town.
Stephen's grandchildren did quite well for themselves. Orsamus Fyler was head of the State Republican Central Committee, a Railroad Commissioner, Insurance Commissioner, president of the Torrington Printing Company, State Legislator, Director of the Brooks Bank, Postmaster General (appointed by President Grant), the head of the new Torrington Water Company, and was invoved in many other civic and commercial entities. A Civil War veteran, he was wounded in his left leg near the end of the war and would be lame the rest of his life. When he died President Taft telegraphed condolences to the family. Orsamus' daughter Gertrude married Edward Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss Brothers. Their home is the present day Torrington Historical Society.
Orsamus' brother Floramond was a Yale graduate, a State Legislator, Winsted attorney and a Litchfield County District Court Judge. There was another brother, Carlton, but fortune would elude this line for another two generations until his grandson, also named Carlton, came along. A WWI veteran, he married Jenny Rosenberg, a local teacher. Together they managed to save a million dollars, seed money for the Torrington Area Foundation for Giving.
Back to the land: in 1913 The American Brass Company bought part of the farm which HLPT now owns. The Brass was interested in the firewood for their manufactury downtown, buying up as much of the landscape in the area as they could. When they were done logging, the land was sold to Frederick W. Eichner, a farmer who would live in the brickhouse on the corner. After Eichner the land changed hands a couple times more before coming into the hands of developers, where we come into the picture.
There are three ways of entering the property- a Right of Way between 69 and 85 Saw Mill Hill Road, an easement on 185 Cardinal Circle, (on the right side of that property), or for the fearless, the Newfield Brook can be forded. HLPT owns 389 feet along the road, north of 2104 Newfield Road.
sources used were Orcutt's History of Torrington, the Fyler-Filer Family Genealogy and History, compiled by Jean Fyler Arnold, and the files of the Torrington Register.
A personal note- this writer actually had Jenny Rosenberg Fyler in Forbes School before she retired halfway through the year. Nonetheless, regretfully, I still have not saved a million dollars.
Who knew you were supposed to pay attention in second grade?