The Tolland County town of Columbia is located in east-central Connecticut and bounded by the Hop River along its northern border. Called Lebanon Crank by its European settlers, the town separated from Lebanon in 1804. As the century unfolded lumber, grist, and paper mills sprung up along the town’s rivers as did factories making hats, baseball bats, and other goods. Industry also created Columbia Lake to fuel its power needs when, in 1865, the American Linen Company of Willimantic flooded meadowland it had purchased from Columbia. Today, this water shed is again Columbia-owned. Town notables include women’s rights advocate Fannie Dixon Welch (1873-1947) who held several local and state posts.