We are fortunate to have over ten acres of the old Mason Deming place, Mt. Pleasant Farm, on University Drive. This area once was the most important place in town.
Way before the populace migrated downhill, where water power was available, the center of the community was on the corner of Hodges Hill Road and University Drive. Here was a Town Green as worthy of any vision of Currier and Ives. There could be found: Abernethy's General Store (the forerunner of Mertz'); Captain Abel Beach's Tavern (where British prisoners of war were kept during the Revolution); the First Congregational Church; a wood post where public notices were nailed; to the south an academy, (where one day young boys blocked up all the doors and windows and tried to smoke out the young ladies inside); and the home and store of Dr. Elkanah Hodges.
Not only was Elkanah a sucessful physician, son Erastus became one of the wealthiest men in town. Erastus was a notable manufacturer of wooden clocks and an early pioneer of the brass industry. The Hodges' also pressed cheese on a large scale and made soap from potash. Erastus built an impressive mansion, but like many of the other better things it town, it is now gone, moved to the Old Goshen Road in South Norfolk, where it is called the Torrington House. The Torrington Green not only was quaint, it thrived.
The area was known as Torrington Hill as late as the 1920's, and as noted elsewhere, University Drive was once called Town Farm Road.