Colchester, Connecticut, incorporated in 1698, was a successful farming community. When wealthy farmer Pierpoint Bacon died in 1800, he left his estate to the town to build a school. Bacon Academy opened in 1803 and not only provided primary education but also included secondary and college preparation branches, making it, in effect, the first high school in the state. In industry, Colchester was the home of the Hayward Rubber Company factory, built in 1847 by Nathaniel Hayward. This factory operated successfully for decades, promoting prosperity and growth in Colchester until it closed without warning at the end of 1893. This resulted in the biggest population and economic crash in the history of Colchester. The inexpensive property still available in town in the early 1900s led to an influx of new people and new businesses, resulting in Colchester's revitalization. To most people in Connecticut today, Colchester is best known for Harry's Place, a popular drive-in restaurant that has been in operation since 1920.