The Cement Kiln - A National Landmark

One of the cement kilns on Litchfield Turnpike in Woodbridge. (Photo by Nancy Polk)

The Cement Kiln, on the corner of Litchfield Turnpike and Dillon Road in Woodbridge, was constructed circa 1874. It became the third property in Woodbridge to be listed on The National Register of Historic Places, in October 2000. The other two Historic Places in Woodbridge are the Thomas Darling House on Litchfield Turnpike, and the Castle/Russell House, located at 555 Amity Road.

Built about 1874, it is still a major landmark in town as a rare example of 19th-century industry and intrigue. In the AWHS collection, we have a scan from a postcard circa 1910. The kiln is not in nearly as good condition now. The right side is mostly destroyed, and trees have grown all around on what remains.

Below is an excerpt from an article regarding the kiln:

Woodbridge Matters: Life and Death on Litchfield Turnpike : Saturday, January 19, 2013
By Nancy Polk

WOODBRIDGE — {excerpt}… Life on Litchfield is rarely dull. …Off the road deep in the woods, Litchfield Turnpike has a second cement kiln, owned by the Town of Woodbridge. One on the corner of Litchfield and Dillon lies in ruins surrounded by fencing and is listed on the National Register. A second kiln so deep into the woods it is virtually inaccessible, is in fine condition. It is barely visible from the Turnpike. It is massive and dark with many hand cut stones and a brick vault in perfect condition, evidence of a nineteenth century scam. Many Woodbridge investors lost money. The concept was simple, toss local rock into the large stone furnace and wait until it melts. Then out comes fine cement. In this case the local bedrock proved unusable and produced an inferior product. Speculation is that the first batch was hauled into New Haven and dumped into the harbor more than 100 years ago. …