Jewett City is the Borough of the Town of Griswold. It was incorporated in 1895 through state legislation. The Borough of Jewett City has its own charter. It consists of one square mile. There are approximately 3,200 residents in this one square mile.
In reality, the Borough of Jewett City is a government within the government of the Town of Griswold, those who live in the one square mile borough are taxed twice. In the Borough residents pay a low rate of 2.50 mills which pays for two resident state troopers and seventy (70) fire hydrants.
The government is made up of a warden and 4 burgesses who set policy and enforce the law of charter. The government also consists of a treasurer, assessor, clerk, tax collector, and bailiff. The Board of Warden and Burgesses compile a budget and the freemen of the borough vote to accept or reject this budget at their Annual Freemen’s meeting which is held on the second Monday in May. At the Annual Meeting, the mill rate is set and the tax collector is authorized to collect said amount.
The Town of Griswold has many sections in its 37 square mile area, those being known as Hopeville, Pachaug, Rixtown, Doansville, Clayville, Glasgo, and Jewett City. The reason only Jewett City became a borough through legislation was due to the concentration of the people who worked in the local mills at that time: Ashland Mill, Aspinook Mill, Slater Mill, Wedgewood Mill, and the Jewett City Textile Novelty Company.
Jewett City was first known as Pachaug City. (Pachaug being the original Indian name for the area that is now Griswold) It was later named to honor Elizier Jewett who began a settlement there in 1771. He erected a saw mill, grist mill, fulling mill, and clothiers shop with press and dye-kettle, a tavern and an irrigation plant.
The residents asked the town officials if they could provide more services to them, such as police protection, and street lighting and paved roads and sidewalks to enhance their living conditions. The town fathers felt there was no need to pay for something the town as a whole did not use on their farms.
So in 1895, the concentration of people proposed they go to the Legislature in Hartford and requestto become an entity of their own within the area of Griswold. This request was granted. Until 1995, the Borough of Jewett City controlled its own police department, road department, and fire department.
To this day, the freemen of the Borough of Jewett City own the electric light plant and sewer plant (Jewett City Department of Public Utilities). The Town of Griswold’s mill rate is 18.73. This pays for the roads through the highway department, the Griswold Fire Department, the A.A. Young Fire Department, and the Griswold School System.