In the 1830s and 1840s, Union Hall, then and now owned by the First Church of Christ, was commonly used for public meetings. The women of the congregation met there on March 24 and 25, 1841, to sew clothing for the Mende. Coming to Farmington from the New Haven jail after their victorious Supreme Court decision, the Mende Africans were poorly and sparsely clothed. The women made shirts, collars and vests, and tailors were hired to make trousers and jackets.
The hall was built in 1816 as the Academy, a secondary-level private school for both boys and girls, originally located on Main Street next to First Church. The building later served as a chapel as well as a gathering place. Both abolitionists and anti-abolitionists held meetings here.
Union Hall is located at 13 Hart St. in the Farmington Historic District. It is presently known as the Art Guild, and is open Tuesday and Fridays, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Call 860-677-6205 for further information.
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