Harwinton was primarily an agricultural community with many industries carried on in conjunction with farming. Products produced included pitchforks, clocks, bricks, lumber, tin ware, bricks, hats, cutlery, whetstones and barrels.
Harwinton was the birthplace of Collis P. Huntington, who would become one of the greatest railroad builders the country would ever know. Theodore A. Hungerford was also born here and would become a very successful publisher in Chicago and New York. He left a trust which was used to build and maintain the town’s first library. The beautiful Carnege style building is now used to house the T. A. Hungerford Memorial Museum.
The Harwinton Historical Society has restored a one-room schoolhouse and it, along with their barn museum, is used to demonstrate early life here including many early artifacts.