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My title Connecticut Paugaussett Indians






1639 1909








A Summary of Dates, ..... Page 9

Uncoa, The Great Swamp Fight, 15 The Town, 16 Village Green, 17.

The Academy, 23The Old Burying Ground, 24Ward Monument, 25Eunice Dennie Burr, 26The East Cemetery, 27 Oaklawn, 28.

Benson Tavern, 28 The Powder House, 28 Railroad and Trolley, 29.

Black Rock Harbor, 29 The Beach, 30 Grover's Hill, 30 Ash Creek, 30 The Marshes, 31Penfield Reef, 31 Southport Harbor, 32.

The Burning of Fairfield in 1779, 33 General Washington in Fairfield, 35.

Names of Distinguished Citizens : Roger Ludlow, Lieutenant-Governor Gold, Chief Justice Burr, Judge Ebenezer Silliman, Col. Andrew Burr, General Silliman, President Aaron Burr, Dr. Caner, Jonathan Sturges, Judge Samuel Burr Sherwood, Morris K. Jesup, Dr. Bronson, President Timothy Dwight, Governor Tomlinson, President Sereno Dwight, Judge Hobart, Judge Roger M. Sherman, Dr. Nathaniel Hewit, President Herman Humphrey, Father Augustus
Hewit, Joseph E. Sheffield, Frederick Marquand and others, 36.

A Village of Pleasant Homes, 41 The Intellectual Atmosphere, 42 Historic Sites, 43.

Noteworthy Houses The Burr Homestead, 44 The Silliman House, 46 Professor Silliman's story of his father's capture,

47 Sherman Parsonage, 47 The Gould Homestead, 48 Waldstein, 49 The Rowland Homestead, 50 Round Hill,

50 Mailands, 51 Greenfield Hill, 51 Verna Farm, 51 Holland Heights, 52 Mill Hill, 52 Witch Hill, 53 The

First Work of'the Landscape Gardener in Town, 53. The Churches, 54 Fairfield East Parish, 56 West Parish of Fairfield, 56.

Fairfield Fresh Air Home, 57 A Convalescent Hospital in 1898, 58 American National Red Cross, Fairfield Branch, 58
Auxiliary No. 29, 59.

The Dorothy Ripley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 60 The Fountain, 60.

Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 61.

Fairfield Memorial Library, ..... 62

Fairfield Bathing Pavilion, ..... 63

Pequot Library, Southport, ..... 64

Sasquanaug Association, Southport. .... 65

The Village Improvement Society, Fairfield, . . 65

The Country Club, Greenfield Hill 66

The Grange, Greenfield Hill 67

The Consumers' League, ..... 67

Audubon Society of the State of Connecticut, . . 68

The Gould Homestead Summer Home for Women, . 69

Fairfield Historical Society, ..... 69

Bibliography, . . . . . . . 71

Letter of Rev. Andrew Eliot, ..... 74

"Fairfield," Extract from Dr. Dwight's " Greenfield Hill", 75



A Monumental Boulder on the Green . . Frontispiece.

Main Street ...... 8

The Pequot Monument . . . . .15

Town Hall Old Whipping Post in the foreground . 17

The Sixth Sanctuary of the Prime Ancient Society . 20

St. Paul's Church ...... 22

Lich-Gate at the Ancient Burying Ground . . 24

Ward Monument ...... 26

The Powder House . . . . .28

Fairfield Beach Graver's Hill in the distance . . 30

Southport Harbor from the Lawn of Mr. W. H. Perry 32 Beach Lane, up which the British marched in 1779 . 34

The Sun Tavern ...... 36

Sherman Parsonage ..... 38

Arching Kims . . . . . .41

A Colonial House on the Green .... 43

The Burr Mansion . . . . .44

A Garden View of Sherman Parsonage ... 47 Pulpit Rock ...... 49

The Southport Congregational Church . . . 52

Trinity Church . . . . . .54

St.Thomas' Church ..... 56

Fairfield Fresh Air Home ..... 58

Memorial Fountain Southport .... 60

Fairfield Memorial Library . . .62

Pequot Library Southport .... 64

The Fairfield Fountain ..... 66

The Gould Homestead ..... 69

Mill River Ford ...... 70

Saved from the Burning in 1779 -j2

A View on Mill Plain ..... 74





The Great Swamp Fight, which ended the Pequot War,

July I3th, 1637

The settlement of Uncoa by Roger Ludlow and other adventurers, 1639 Court established at Uncoa, 1640 First Meeting-house a log structure probably erected, 1640 Magistrates appointed for Uncoa, 1643 Rev. John Jones and a company from Concord join the

Plantation, 1644

Name of settlement changed to Fairfield. 1645

First Mill built the miller being Henry Jackson, 1648

The First Probate Records, 1648

The First Land Records (the first twelve pages being lost)

William Hill being Recorder. 1649

Roger L,udlow's Code for Connecticut completed, 1650

The trial and execution of "Goody Knapp" for Witchcraft, 1653
Fairfield raises troops and declares war against the Dutch,
Ivudlow being appointed Commander-in-chief of the mili-
tary forces, 1653
Ludlow returns to England and serves under Cromwell on

the First Irish Commission. !б54

Meeting House rebuilt, 1663

County of Fairfield established, and Fairfield chosen as the Shire town, County buildings being erected and Courts held on the second Tuesday in March and the first Tuesday in November each year, 1666 Fairfield Probate Court created for the County, 1666 Major Nathan Gold appointed by General Court Com

mander-in-chief of militia in Fairfield County, 1672

A Town Magazine ordered, 1674

Voted by the Town to build a stockade around the principal

part of the settlement, 1675

A new Prison erected on the Meeting House Green, 1679

The Town orders a Stone Fort to be built on the Green, 1681 The Town votes that a stockade be constructed around the

Meeting House, the School House and the Parsonage, 1689 Parish of Pequonnock (Stratfield) set off, 1691

Four Trials for Witchcraft, viz., Mrs. Staples, Goody Miller, Elizabeth Clawson and Mercy Desborough. The last named was convicted, but finally pardoned. The others were acquitted, 1692

Grammar School started, 1693

Death of Major Nathan Gold, "A Pious and Worthy


New School House on the Green,
The new Meeting House, forty-five feet square, 1698

Rev. Joseph Webb joins with nine other ministers in found-
ing Yale College, 1701
Fairfield made a Port of Entry, 1702
Nathan Gold (the second) elected Lieutenant-Governor of

Connecticut, continuing in office sixteen years, 1708

The Parish of West Farms (Green's Farms) set off, 1711

The new County Court House, Prison and Jailer's House

erected on the Green, 1718

The Parish of Greenfield Hill set off, 1725

First House of Worship erected by Church of England

people on Mill Plain, 1725

The Parish of Redding organized, 1739

Church of England people build their second house of worship on the King's Highway, west of the Meeting House Green, 1738

The Town orders a new Meeting House for the members of the State Church. The edifice is built on the site of the former house of Worship, and stands sixty feet long,

forty-four feet wide, twenty-six feet high, with a steeple rising one hundred and twenty feet from the foundation, 1747 Rev. Noah Hobart's Second Book Addressed to the Episcopal Separation is published by D. Fowle, in Queen Street, Boston. 1751

The Parishof Norfield (Weston) is set off, 1757

Guard House and Hospital for His Majesty's 48th Regiment erected, 1758 Stratfield Baptist Church erects House of Worship, 1761 The Parish of North Fairfield (now called Easton) is

organized, J763

Court House, Jail, Jailer's House and Pound are destroyed

by fire, 1768

Town voted in April to erect new Court House, Jail and

Jailer's House, 1768

Judge Ebenezer Silliman elected Speaker of Assembly, 1773

Town voted to send relief to Boston 750 bushels of grain, 1774 Daughters of liberty make stockings, linen shirts, homespun garments of various kinds, and send them to the besieged citizens in Boston, 1774 Major Gold Sellick Silliman appointed L,ieutenant-Colonel. 1774 Washington passes through Fairfield en route for Boston,

June 28th, 1775

" Married at the residence of Thaddeus Burr, Esq., by the Rev. Andrew Eliot, the Hon. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, to Miss Dorothy Quincy, daughter of Edmund Quincy of Boston," September 28, 1775

(Extract from Church Register.) General Silliman captured and carried by the British to Long

Island, May ist, J779

The Burning of Fairfield by General Tryon, July 8th and

9th, 1779

The Town votes to build a new Town House and Court

House on site where the School House stood, August 31, 1779 The Academy at Greenfield Hill is established, 1783

Fairfield a Half-Shire Town, 1784 The new Meeting House begun on site of former House, i?85 " The Conquest of Canaan," by Timothy Dwight, is published, 1785 Jonathan Sturges becomes the first member of Congress

from this district. Washington visits Fairfield, his fourth visit in town, Octob


A Stake is to be driven on the Parade, Mill Plain, where the new Episcopal Church is to be built, i

" Greenfield Hill," a poem by Timothy Dwight, appears, -Я Dr. Dwight is called to the Presidency of Yale College, J Trinity Church is dedicated, 1

Fairfield Academy is founded, i

L,ewis B. Sturges serves this District as a Member of Congress, i Fort on Grover's Hill is put in order, and Fairfield prepares for war, i Samuel Burr Sherwood serves the District as Member of Congress, i The State Church is dis-established by Legislature. The Prime Ancient Society continues to be supported by a tax levied upon members of the Parish, i; Gideon Tomlinson represents the District in Congress, i Gideon Tomlinson is elected Governor of the State, i: Gideon Tomlinson becomes a member of the U. S. Senate, 18 Thomas B. Osborne represents the District in Congress, 18; Roger Minott Sherman is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, i The new House of Worship for the Prime Ancient Society

is erected,

The Court removes to Bridgeport,
New House of Worship, Greenfield Hill, is erected,
St. Paul's Church is organized. I

The Fifth Edifice of Trinity Church is destroyed by a tornado, 1862 The Gray Stone House of Worship for Southport Congregational Church is dedicated. 1876







Fairfield Memorial Library is founded, 1876

The Town Hall rebuilt, 1870

The Centennial Commemoration of the Burning of Fairfield 1879 The One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Fairfield

Consociations is observed in Fairfield, June 8th, 1886

Sasquanaug Association organized in Southport, 1887

The Fifth Sanctuary of the Prime Ancient Society is burned,

May 30, 1890

The dedication of the Sixth Sanctuary, May 2nd, 1892

The Pequot Library is opened to the Public, !893

The Fairfield Memorial Library Building is dedicated, 1903

The Fairfield Historical Society is organized, J9O3

THIS old New England town lies on the north shore of Long Island Sound, in the State of Connecticut, about fifty miles distant from New York City.

The many waters of the sea fret the indented, low-lying shore. There are various plains extending from the beach and the marshes to the first range of hills. The ascending territory rises in a sort of terrace-like way as hill after hill contributes its strength and beauty to the scene, until such commanding elevation is attained that miles upon miles of field and forest, lowland and upland, blue sea and rolling country, refresh and gladden the eye of the observer. The rich, wide panorama is a beautiful expanse of rolling scenery.


The dignified and substantial monument reared by the Sons of the Colonial Wars in the southwestern part of the town commemorates one of the most important events in the history of the Colonies:

Great Swamp Fight

Here Ended

The Pequot War

July 13, 1637.

This ending of the Pequot nation led to a beginning of the Plantation first called Uncoa. Roger Ludlow, soldier, statesman, adventurer, was one of the little army which pursued the fleeingsavages. Charmed with the landscape which unfolded before his eyes, he sought permission from the General Court at a later date to found a settlement here. This purpose resulted in a small emigration to this place in the autumn of 1639, under the leadership of Ludlow, who was at the time Deputy; Governor of Connecticut. Weathersfield, Windsor and the Massachusetts Bay Colony were represented in this company. Other planters soon followed in goodly numbers. Religious services were immediately organized, a Court established in 1640, the village soon platted, a rude log Meeting-house reared on the site of the present Congregational Church, the stocks and whipping-post set up opposite the place of worship on the Green, and the young settlement assumed an air of hope and prosperity.

Magistrates were appointed for Uncoa in the year 1643. The following year the first minister, with a goodly company from Concord, arrived in town. The name of the plantation was changed to Fairfield in 1645. The first mill, erected by Henry Jackson, miller, began business in 1648, the same year that is marked by the first Probate Records. William Hill was the first Recorder of papers. The first twelve pages of his Records are lost.


The first settlers purchased the tract from the Indians. Ultimately Fairfield extended from the Stratford line on the east to the Norwalk line on the west, the territory running back into the thickly wooded hills some twelve miles from the shore. A patent confirming this purchase was granted to the proprietors in possession by the General Court of Connecticut, May 25th, 1685 a quitclaim deed having been previously executed by the Indians.

The original town has been pared and carved for the advantage and enrichment of various neighbors Westport, Weston, Redding, Easton, Bridgeport, and the like until the territory is diminished to a quite modest portion of landscape.

The four distinct settlements which are centres of population

The Town Hall On The Green The Old Whipping Post Made Into A Bulletin Board


lie so close together that the town has the appearance of one great, spacious, hospitable village. The settlement in the neighborhood of the Green is the most ancient part of the town. Southport has long been the business portion of Fairfield, its harbour, wharves, banks, stores and offices bearing witness to its importance. Greenfield Hill still retains its beautiful rural character, while Stratfield has become practically a suburb of Bridgeport. Between four and five thousand people constitute the population of the town.


The County of Fairfield was established in 1666, the year of the Great L,ondon fire. The village of Fairfield became the county seat.

The necessary buildings were erected, and County Courts were held on the second Tuesday in March and the first Tuesday in November each year. The Probate Court was also established in Fairfield. In 1718 the county erected a new Court House, Prison and Jailer's House on the Green. The honor of being a county capital was transferred to the neighboring and aggressive city of Bridgeport in 1853 a neighbor which has largely encroached upon Fairfield territory, taking into the city limits a goodly portion of the town, absorbing the business interests of the earlier settlement, superseding Fairfield asa Port of Entry, drawing into the rank and file of its business men many of our most prominent citizens.


In platting the settlement the Green became the chief place of interest. Here was located the Meeting House, the Court House, the Jail, the School House, and the Ordinary or Inn. A cleared space for the evolutions of the citizen soldiers was also prepared on the Green.

The Green has verily been the center of life through all the generations. Here the townsmen gathered in Meeting House or Court House or Town Hall for discussing public matters, and for the exercise of the right to vote. Here the train band and the militia were drilled the regulation training days being festive occasions, drawing the people together for gossip and bargain. Ludlow summoned his soldier company to this familiar place and prepared them for an attack upon the Dutch, for which he was reprimanded by his critical associates in the Colonial Government.

On the west side of the Green a generous piece of water diversified the landscape, making a pond so deep that Mercy Disbrow and Elizabeth Clawson, reputed witches, were thrust into it so as to determine by sinking or swimming whether they were daughters of Belial or not. It is recorded ' ' that they buoyed up like a cork" evidence which satisfied some onlookers that they belonged to the Evil One.

The swamp which extended from the pond into the marshes was a favorite resort of wolves and other wild beasts, and the tradition runs that witch meetings often convened in the dark and murky spot, their strange, wild cries sounding hideously upon the midnight air, their baleful influences scattering widespread over the community.

The Green is intimately associated with the history of the Fairfield Bar, for here lawyers, judges, litigants, witnesses and spectators gathered for more than two hundred years in the Court House, and sought the settlement of legal difficulties. Some of the most eloquent and learned addresses ever made in Connecticut were delivered in the little, old wooden structure near the middle of the Green. The noon hour saw judge and jury, defendant and plaintiff, witnesses, with friends and foes, mingling amicably together as they passed back and forth between Court House and tavern.

Indians were seen to skulk across the Green and hide behind the trees, to the great alarm of the neighbors on many an occasion. There were periods when this peril became so imminent (the year 1675 for example) that the order went forth to stockade the town. It was ordered that a Town Magazine be maintained in 1674. In 1681 it was voted that a stone fort twenty orstreet from the Meeting House. The records note how one and another offender was sentenced to be whipped twenty or thirty or forty lashes, or to be confined in the stocks three hours, five hours, or a day. Drunkenness, profanity, unseemly carriage, inveagling a girl's affections, petty breaches of the peace, scolding, profanation of the Sabbath, witch work in the community, unlicensed use of tobacco, disturbance of meetings and many like crimes were expiated here in full view of the citizens who gathered on lecture day or on some special occasion. The boys had a way of baiting the law-breakers, reminding them of their sins and crimes, magnifying the punishment by those pestiferous annoyances which are so aptly administered by the rising generation.

The rude jail on the edge of the Green was repaired in 1675 and a new one built in 1679. The jail with other buildings was destroyed in 1768 set on fire by one of the prisoners. The next jail reared on the si te where St. Paul's Church now stands suffered the fate of the town in 1779 and went up in flames.

When the county seat moved to Bridgeport in 1853, St. Paul's Church entered into possession of the property, re-constructed the edifice and transformed it into the Gothic structure which stands beautifully mantled with ivy to-day, contributing its restful and suggestive beauty to the historic Green.

The Norman Church on the opposite side of the street is the successor of five other sacred edifices which have been reared at various periods on the same hallowed ground. The log Meeting House of 1640, re-built in 1668, gave way to a frame building in 1698. This was superseded by a dignified colonial structure worthy of a prosperous settlement. This third building was torn down to make way for an enlarged and comely Meeting House with lofty spire and ornate entrance. The British burned it although Tryon had promised to preserve both the parish Meeting House and Trinity Church. The poverty of a war scourged country crippled the people when they reared the next edifice, but it was finished after many years and finally gave place to the more modern and elegant sanctuary dedicated in 1840. This latter building was ' ' caught up " by fire on the night of May

2gth and the morn of May 3oth, 1890. The sixth Sanctuary, described by Principal Fairbairn of Mansfield College, Oxford, as one of the most beautiful churches of America, was gratefully dedicated as a precious memorial of the Forefathers in Fairfield on May the 2nd, 1892.


The one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Academy was celebrated by the Historical Society and the Alumni of the school on October 28th, 1904. Although the institution has suspended work for several years its history is treasured by many people and the roll of its constituency contains many prominent names.

The first trustees were Judge Jonathan Sturges, Rev. Andrew Eliot, Deacon David Judson, Nathan Beers, jr., and Samuel Rowland, Esq. The gentlemen who served on the Board in addition to the first named are David Allen, Dr. Heman Humphrey, Joshua Green, David Hull, Judge Roger M. Sherman, Ebenezer D. Dimon, General Gershom Burr, Walter Thorp, Jesup Wakeman, W. B. Nash, M. D., Dr. Nathaniel Hewit, Edward Hooker, Andrew Eliot, jr., Rev. Leonard Bacon, Rev. John Hunter, W. B. Jones, Abram Gould Jennings, Charles Bennett, Judge Thomas Osborne, O. W. Jones, Dr. Lyman Atwater, George A. Phelps, Hon. John Gould, Henry T. Curtiss, Captain David M. Bunker, Moses G. Betts, John G. Morehouse, Rev. E. E. Rankin, D. D., Rev. L. B. Stimson, John H. Glover, Rev. Frederick W. Hyde, Oliver B. Jennings, Samuel Glover, Samuel Morehouse, Rev. J. K. Lombard, President George S. Burroughs, D. D., S. M. Garlick, M. D., and Benjamin Betts.

Among the principals were Samuel Hitchcock, the eminent lawyer; President Humphrey of Amherst College, Governor Henry Dutton, Rev. Dr. EHhu Baldwin, first President of Marietta College; Dr. A. B. Pearce, first President of Western Reserve College; Dr. Daniel March, the author; Henry Day, one of the eminent lawyers of New York, and Morris W. Lyon who for many years conducted a famous and successful preparatory school for boys in the metropolis.

The Academy attracted generous patronage during the early years of its life. The multiplication of schools and the changes in methods of public instruction acted adversely upon the old academies of the land and the Fairfield institution suffered with schools of a kindred character.

The Hargrove School, recently established in Fairfield, is a high class preparatory school, aiming to do a special work for students who desire individual guidance and instruction. An opportunity is given to do two years' class-room tasks in one year. The tutors take the pupils singly, devoting one, two, three or four hours to them as may be deemed advisable. It is not that the young man is crowded, but simply that there is no waste. He receives the master's undivided attention during the time set apart for his lesson. This enables a student to compress into brief period work that often lags through the years.


Southeast of the Green lies the ancient God's Acre on the road to the beach. This sacred place has been reverently safeguarded by substantial walls over which fond vines tenderly climb. A beautiful stone lich-gate gives entrance to the quiet field. Here the earlier burials occurred. Venerable stones the oldest date is 1687 still mark some resting-places of the dead, but many graves remain unmarked. The later monuments show good state of preservation. The names of numerous eminent citizens, soldiers and scholars appear upon the stones.

On May 3oth, 1904, the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a bronze tablet placed on the lich-gate in memory of the soldiers and patriots of the American Revolution whose mortal remains repose here beneath the greensward.

The Burying Ground has become the Mecca of many a pious pilgrimage a place suggestive of peace, honor, loyalty and courage. One of the earlier settlers and adventurers in Fairfield Andrew Ward, has been recently commemorated by a chaste, stalwart block of granite reared near the centre of the Ground. His numerous living descendants thus honor a fearless, aggressive, conspicuous pioneer and citizen almost two hundred and fifty years after the close of his strenuous, enterprising career.

An interesting and remarkable inscription chiseled into the modest Silliman monument reads as follows :

In memory of

Gold Selleck Silliman Esq.

Who died in Brooklyn, New York

June 3, 1868
in the gist year of his age.

And of

Benjamin Silliman L.L.D.

More than fifty years Professor of

Natural Science in Yale College,

Who died in New Haven, Connecticut

Nove. 24, 1861

in the 86th year of his age.

Their remains are interred in the places

of their decease.

Eminent in Honor, Generosity, Affection,

Patriotism, Intellectual Culture, and Christian

Principle. They were bound together through

life by the strongest fraternal ties.

They were sons of

General Gold S. Silliman

Who died A. D. 1790, and grandsons of

Honorable Ebenezer Silliman deceased A. D. 1778; who was the son of

Robert Silliman

deceased A. D. 1718, and grandson of Daniel Silliman deceased A. D. 1600,

All of Fairfield.

Their children add this to the

record of their ancestors A. D. 1877

Mrs. Kate E. Perry, in her book entitled " The Old Burying Ground of Fairfield," performed a most onerous and noteworthy task, contributing valuable material to the literature which deals with life in the town. Patriotic ladies have reared the substantial walls which frame the grounds, and given very generously toward the adornment and preservation of the place. In the northeast corner of the yard the observer finds the massive brownstone slabs, supported by heavy pillars, covering the graves of Mr. and Mrs. James Dennie, Eunice Dennie became the wife of Thaddeus Burr, the grandson of Chief Justice Burr. A member of the Town Committee on War, Deputy of the General Court, High Sheriff, one of the Governor's Council, a gentleman of large fortune and generous nature, Thaddeus Burr was a conspicuous figure in the life of the colony and state. The friend of New England's leading statesmen and financiers, he practiced a princely hospitality.

His accomplished wife, in whose honor the Fairfield Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named, was a lady of rare merits and attractions. Her courage and fidelity are illustrated by numerous incidents. When the town was burned she sought to save their mansion, which was filled with treasures and associated with many delightful memories. She tells the story. "When the rabble surged into the house they shouted 'You damned rebel, where is your husband ? ' at the same time stripping me of my buckles, tearing down the curtains of my bed, breaking the frame of my dressing-glass, pulling out the drawers of my table and desk. . . In the midst of this confusion Gen. Tryon came into the house. He behaved with politeness ; he demanded the papers. I told him there was none but of very old dates which related to the estates. The general said those are what we want, for we intend to have the estates. Very soon after he had taken leave of me there came in a set^ more dreadful than the ruffians who had first attacked me. These being informed or suspicious that I was possessed of a watch, attempted to search me. I drew back to the yard, the onlyshelter that I had, and there committed myself to God. . . They were, however, permitted to pursue me, throw me on the



ground and search me, pulling and tearing my clothes from me in a most barbarous manner. . ." After a spirited and wellsustained defence, Mrs. Burr was finally driven into her meadows, where the grief-stricken woman saw the mansion fired by ruthless hands and burned with its precious heirlooms to the ground.

Another grave, which has special interest lying near to those of Mr. and Mrs. Burr, is that of Mrs. Hall, the grand-daughter of Judge Peter Burr. The inscription reads as follows :

' ' Here lies buried the Body of

Mrs. Abigail Hall,

wife of Lyman Hall, M. A.,

Daughter of Thaddeus Burr, Esq.,

Died July 8th, 1753, aged 24 years.

Modest, yet free, with innocence adorned;

To please and win by Art and Nature formed;

Benevolent and wise, in Virtue firm;

Constant in Friendship, in Religion warm;

A partner tender, unaffected, kind;

A lovely Form, with a more lovely mind

The scene of Life, tho' short sh' improved so well,

No charms in human forms could more excel;

Christ's Life her copy, His pure Law her Guide:

Each part She acted, perfected, and dy'd."

Lyman Hall, the husband of this honored young woman, became a citizen of Georgia, was one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and served as Governor of his adopted state.


A new cemetery was needed early in the nineteenth century. The honored Town Clerk, Mr. Samuel Rowland, and a few of his contemporaries, purchased the land where the cemetery was established in the year 1827. An iron railing was placed around one of the lots, and curious people came long distances to see this interesting innovation.

The new stone wall, the gate, the substantial fence, the macadam roads and the well-trimmed lawn are evidences of the faithful services rendered the public by two of our esteemed citizens.


This beautiful resting-place lies between Fairfield village arid Greenfield Hill. A venerable oak one of the most ancient in the country stands facing the entrance. A rolling landscape, a gurgling brook, wooded retreats and the quiet waters of the bordering Mill River, suggest sweet repose. The Association -was organized December 29th, 1865.


This old hostelry is now a private house. It was built immediately after the close of the war of the American Revolution and occupied by General Abel. Captain Benson converted it into a place of public entertainment and for many years it was a favorite resort of travellers, statesmen, scholars, actors and the people who passed back and forth between Boston and New York on horseback or in stagecoach. Col. Aaron Burr, Daniel Webster, General Jackson, the elder Booth, Macready and many famous men were guests of the house. Captain Benson's daughter, the present occupant of the homestead, has in her possession various relics and heirlooms of value. One of the old chairs is known as Peter Parley's chair, his favorite when enjoying the hospitality of ' ' mine host ' '.


The little brick structure on the elevation above the railroad northwest of the station served the public as a place of deposit for their powder during the war of 1812. The building has been put in order by the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and appropriately marked.

tion of the ancient meadow land has become submerged since the days when little Benjamin Silliman ran away from his teacber, and in company with other truants came near losing his life by reason of the rising tide, which cut them off from the shore. This narrow, rocky reef a favorite resort of the clam haunted by Indians and pioneers, each in their day has been the scene of various wrecks, catastrophes, perils and deaths. The lighthouse near the extreme end now warns ships when they approach the treacherous ledges. In wild storms the Penfield Reef L,ight is sometimes almost submerged by the force of the waves, and. the keeper has been a prisoner in the place through many anxious, distressful nights.


Southport Harbour, on the southwestern edge of the town, Sasco Hill and Rose Hill watchful over its placid waters, has been for generations the favored centre of large and important local business interests. Its fleets have engaged in lively commerce with Boston, New York and the various ports of this country and other countries. Regular lines of communication between Southport and several shore cities flourished for years. A lucrative commerce and many influential men of affairs gave great prominence to this part of the town. Our local banks are situated here. The large proportion of trade and business in the town gravitated naturally to Southport after the burning of Fairfield in 1779. Homes of wealth and culture have characterized the place during these years. It is the most thickly settled portion of the town much has been done to adorn and beautif3r the streets many handsome private residences impart an air of dignity and repose.

The sloop which brought Colonel Aaron Burr from Boston to New York on his return from Europe in 1812 lingered two days in Southport harbour. It was commanded by Captain Dimon, and there were other Fairfield men on board distant relatives of the ex-Vice-President.

It was off the shore of Norwalk Light that the ill-fated Lex

Southport Harbor


iugton was burned in January, 1840. The citizens of Soutliport rallied and attempted to save the perishing sufferers, but swift havoc of fire did not wait upon any merciful tender of help. The sloop Merchant, owned by Sherwood & Meeker, went to the rescue, but only three men were saved.

Numerous bands of Tories from Long Island committed vexatious or cruel depredations along these shores during the war of the American Revolution. Captain Amos Perry, one June evening, sailed from Southport harbor in his sloop "Racer," with the purpose of punishing one of these bands which had been specially active in the neighborhood. The following morning the " Racer" appeared among the enemy apparently driven by force of the night's storm into their borders. A Tory sloop, observing the difficulties of the "Racer," saluted Captain Perry and proceeded to board the Connecticut vessel. When the opportune moment came. Captain Perry stamped his foot, a goodly number of men concealed in the cabin suddenly swarmed upon deck, there was a brief hand-to-hand struggle, and the Tory sloop, with its crew and munitions, became the reward of the Americans' daring.

During the war of 1812 a volunteer military company was organized in Southport, and " Fort Defence" was built near the place now known as the lower wharf.

Four ship yards have flourished here at different periods. Mill River, the name given to the settlement on the harbour, was exchanged for Southport, and a charter granted to the Borough in 1851.

The Burning Of Fairfield In 1779.

Fairfield was a special object of hatred to the British, for it was the home of Gen. Silliman and a goodly number of patriots, soldiers and statesmen. It had furnished men. supplies and inspiration with unstinted generosity. It was a center of whaleboat warfare for the coast. It had" treated Tories with a degree of severity. It was playing an important and conspicuous part in the struggle for Independence.

Tryon and the fleet arrived off shore the morning of July yth. A landing in two divisions was made in the afternoon one division coming over Sasco Hill, the other up Beach Lane. The militia on the Green and the little garrison under Lieut. Jams in the fort on Graver's Hill fired on the invaders. There was a babel of noises march of troops, shrill cries of frightened children, wild shouts of men, the crack-crack of muskets, booming of cannon from the fort, hoarse notes of defiance, and finally a hand-to-hand fight for the possession of the Green. The British numbers and discipline pushed the small American troop back into the hill country, and night settled down upon the scene.

But the village had been condemned, and the torch was applied in various places. Dr. Dwight writes a graphic account of the conflagration in the third volume of his travels. Rev. Andrew Eliot, an eye-witness, describes the event in a letter to his brother: "About an hour before sunset the conflagration began at the house of Mr. Isaac Jennings. . . At sunrise some considerable part of the town was standing, but in about two hours the flames became general. The burning parties carried on their business with horrible alacrity . . all the town from the bridge by Col. Gold's to Mill River, a few houses excepted, was a heap of ruins."

" Oh, the horrors of that dreadful night," writes Mary Silliman in her journal. "The sky," says Dr. Dwight, " wasspeedily hung with the deepest darkness wherever the clouds were not tinged by the melancholy lustre of the flames. . . At intervals the lightnings blazed with a livid and terrible splendor. The thunder rolled above. Beneath, the roaring of the fires filled up the intervals with a deep and hollow sound, which seemed to be the protracted murmur of the thunder, reverberated from one end of the heaven to another. Add to this convulsion of the elements, and these dreadful effects of vindictive and wanton devastation, the trembling of the earth, the sharp sound of musketry occasionally discharged, the groans here and there of the wounded and dying, and the shouts of triumi h; then place before your eyes crowds of miserable sufferers,

mingled with bodies of the militia. . . . and you will form я just but imperfect picture of the burning of Fairfield."

"The distress of this poor people is inexpressible," said Mr. Eliot in giving his account of the calamity. "I feel myself in a -state of uncertainty as to the many necessities of life." "Could Tryoii hope to quench the patriot flame," "Or make his deeds survive in glory's page?" "Could Britons seek of savages the same," "Or deem it conquest, thus the war to wage?" More than two hundred and eighteen buildings were destroyed by the flames.


Washington passed through Fairfield when he was a British officer twenty-four years old. Irving has drawn a picture of him at this period. He was en route for Boston. Nineteen years later he was made Commander-in-Chief of the Continental forces and came this way a second time en route for Boston. He arrived at Fairfield June 28th, 1775, where dinner was served to his company. Dr. Ripley of Greens Farms accompanied him through the parish. Washington returned this way after the campaign in the neighborhood of^Boston, arriving at Fairfield April I2th, 1776.

President Washington visited the town again when he made his famous tour of the eastern states in 1789, reaching Fairfield on Friday the i6th of October. His journal refers to the appearance of desolation which testified to the recent scourge of war. ' ' The destructive evidences of British cruelty are yet visible in Norwalk and Fairfield, ' ' he wrote, ' ' as there are the chimneys of many burnt houses standing in them yet."


Washington was entertained at this interesting hostelry on his last visit to the town. The Sun Tavern, kept by Mr. Penfield, stood on the south edge of the Green. Here the citizens gathered to do honor to the President. He spent the night in this place and pursued his journey to New Haven in the morning.

In 1818 the property passed to Dr. Nathaniel Hewit, pastor of the Congregational Church, who later became the great temperance apostle of his day. Dr. Hewit married Rebecca Hillhouse. the daughter of Hon. James Hillhouse, United States Senator from Connecticut. Augustus Hewit was born in this house. This son of such distinguished ancestry entered the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church and became an eminent preacher and scholar one of the Paulist fathers and professor of Church History in the Catholic University at Washington, D. C. He was sometimes called the " Newman of America".

Dr. Lyman Atwater occupied the transformed "Sun Tavern" for some years. Later it passed through several hands and Snally became the property of Mr. Robert S. Manuel. A private school flourished during a brief period in the place. There is an air of repose and old time dignity clinging to the property to-day so that it is one of the attractive landmarks of our town.


The leadership and services of many eminent individuals have been identified with the history of the town. Ludlow the "Father of Connecticut Jurisprudence and founder of the town" seems to have transmitted much of his intellectual force to the interesting succession of public men. The Burrs and the Goulds have been conspicuous through the various generations. Major Gold and his son Lieutenant-Governor Gold labored tirelessly for the benefit of town and colony. Chief Justice Burr held a variety of offices and conducted himself with such wisdom and acceptability that his name stands high among New England's worthies. Judge Ebenezer Sillimau was another faithful servant on the bench. Soldiership was adorned by numerous brave and splendid sons of Fairfield, conspicuous among them being Ccl. Andrew Burr of Louisberg fame, General Sillimau, Col. Gould. Col. Dimon, Captain Bartram, Commander Samuel Smediey

Captain Thorp, Captain Caleb Brewster and a large company of kindred spirits.

The five men who served as ministers for life in the Prime Ancient Society were scholars of excellent parts and most active in town and colonial and state affairs. Aaron Burr the President of Princeton College was born in this town and spent his early years among its beautiful hills. Dr. Caner first rector of Trinity Church, honored by Oxford University with the degree of Doctor of Divinity, one of the most eminent ministers serving the Church of England in the Colonies during his generation, gave twenty years of his life to this region.

What sturdy, invincible and efficient champions of liberty were Thaddeus Burr and Jonathan Sturges the first holding office as High Sheriff and member of the Governor's War Council, the second serving as member of the War Committee, secretary of the Connecticut Sons of L,iberty, member of the Constitutional Convention, member of Congress and Judge of the Superior Court. The Rev. Samuel Sherwood wrought so faithfully in behalf of the colonies that a guard of Continental soldiers was for a time given him to protect his person. He lived near the border line between the old parish of Redding, the hotbed of Toryism. His son Samuel Burr Sherwood became one of the leading jurists of Connecticut and represented this district in Congress. Morris K. Jesup, merchant, banker, educator and philanthropist, grandson of Judge Sherwood, was born in the western part of the old Fairfield parish (now Westport). Dr. Brouson surgeon in the American Army during the War of Independence, a friend of Washington, later a prosperous banker and financier, made his home on Greenfield Hill, where his descendants have continued to reside. On this famous hill Dr. Timothy Dwight established his popular school to which pupils were drawn from many parts of the United States. While preaching and teaching in this place he was called to the presidency of Yale College. This hill was likewise the home of Governor Tomlinson who loyally served town and state and nation in variotts public offices, this service culminating in his election to the United States Senate.

Judge Hobart son of Rev. Noah Hobart was another Fairfield man elected to the United States Senate. It was as a citizen of Xew York where he had practiced law for many years that he was chosen to this exalted position; but preferring the career of a judge he declined his senatorial honors and served in the sphere more congenial to his taste. The Hon. Lewis Burr Sturges represented this district in Congress for several terms. Judge Thomas B. Osborne who frequently represented the town in our state legislature, sat for two terms as a member of Congress, served as county judge and afterwards became Professor of Law in Yale College. Hon. O. S. Ferry spent pleasant years in Fairfield, and when he attained distinction as a lawyer, member of Congress and United States Senator recalled his early days here with peculiar delight.

Judge Roger M. Sherman was undoubtedly the most eminent and conspicuous citizen of the town belonging to the later generations. A modest and reserved person, he preferred the quiet of his study and the society of his cultivated neighbors rather than the publicity of leadership and the burdens of official position. Senator Hoar has described him as one of the greatest men of New England, the peer of Webster and Mason. Although averse to public office, he gave himself to such labor as his constituents put upon him going repeatedly to the Assembly and State Senate, and serving later as Judge of the Supreme Court of the state. He was earnestly supported by friends as a candidate for United States Senator, to which position he would probably have been elected had he been willing to yield certain points. A member at the Hartford Convention in 1814 and one of the committee to draw up a report to be presented to the respective State Legislatures he declared on oath that " Its principal object was a more effectual co-operation in the war as to the defence of the New England states. There is not the slightest foundation for impunging the motives of these men, or stamping the proceedings of the convention as treasonable. The delegates never contemplated an act inconsistent with their obligations to the United States."


York by the citizens of the place. Fairfield invited them to rest. General Parker the Indian chief and soldier who served on the staff of General Grant naturally sought Fairfield as a good place for a home. When the President of the Wheeler and Wilson Sewing Machine Company returned east, he made his home in Fairfield and it was one of the interesting incidents connected with his home-making here for Mr. Samuel H. Wheeler to discover that he had settled upon the very property which his ancestors had owned and occupied more than two hundred years ago.



The strong, rich life of the town has manifested itself not only in the men who have commanded ships, built up great enterprises, shone as statesmen, attained eminence as teachers, philanthropists, soldiers and preachers. A large and worthy company of writers have here served their day and generation. Ludlow's Code the published sermons of early ministers the six deliverances of Noah Hobart, the doughty controversialist,books which are filled with the learning and passion of a powerful Colonial leader these are part of New England history. Joel Barlow's ancestors gave the name to Barlow's plain, a portion of P'airfield ; and the ambitious, witty, buoyant Joel himself haunted the streets of the town, wrote poetry here, studied law, and was admitted to the Bar in Fairfield. His friend the poet, David Humphreys, became a familiar figure in the town, and wrote the elegy on the Burning of Fairfield. Timothy Dwight in his poem entitled "Greenfield Hill," likewise sings his lament over the destruction of the village. Dr. Sereno Dwight, President of Hamilton College, author of the Biography of Timothy Dwight, and numerous other works, was born in Fairfield. Professor Benjamin Silliman, whom Edward Everett called the Nestor of American Science, spent childhood andt youth in the town of his forefathers, gathering strength of body and mind for his arduous intellectual tasks. Dr. Atwater, Dr. Lord and Dr. March were all writers of books, some of which attained a wide popularity in

their day. The Rev. Dr. Samuel Osgood, who made his home at "Waldstein," in this town was actively engaged for many years in literary pursuits in addition to pastoral duties. His daughter, Mabel Osgood Wright, the present owner of "Waldstein," has published seventeen volumns of nature studies and fiction.

A goodly company of literary folk, numbering nearly two score, is intimately associated with the old town. These writers cover a wide field of activity in the one hundred and forty volumns or more which they have published. Innumerable pamphlets, sermons, addresses, lectures, papers, reports and similar articles must be added to this collection. These various authors wrote books on theology, horticulture, law, natural history, politics, logic. One writer describes his travels at home and abroad another writer, Professor Silliman, puts into ten volumes the results of long and fruitful scientific research a third, President Dwight, combines religion, travel, education, poetry, history, showing a delightful versatility of mind. There is hardly a department of American literature that has not been enriched at one time or another by some of these workmen.


A committee appointed by the Historical Society has recently marked certain interesting historic sites. As the village was burned by the British in 1779 the number of buildings which escaped destruction can be counted on the fingers of two hands. But when the Andrew Ward monument was dedicated twelve markers indicated sites which had particular interest:

(i) Oldest House now standing in Fairfield 1720, property of Mrs. Josephine Brown. (2) First Mill by side of the inlet near the residence of Mr. Oliver Turney. (3) Homestead L,ot of Roger L,udlow corner place on Main Street and Benson Avenue. (4) Homestead Lot of William Ward, embracing the residence property of Miss Annie B. Jennings and Mr. Samuel H. Wheeler. (5) Andrew Ward's Main Street House, adjoining Sherman Parsonage. (6) Site of First Meeting House, 1644. (7) Burr Homestead, Main Street, occupied by Jehu Burr 1649, and Thaddeus Burr, 1759. (8) Trinity Church second edifice, 1738. (7) Philip Pinckney's Lot 1653. (ю) King's Highway 1755. (n) Homestead of Henry Marquand 1768. (12) First site of Trinity Church 1725.


The six colonial houses now standing in the village the Turney house a few rods east of the first mill site, the two Hobart houses on the Green, the two Judson houses on Beach Lane and the Redfield house on Mill Plain are the last reminders of earlysimplicity in building.


The stately Burr mansion, standing on the site of the former hospitable home belonging to the High Sheriff, (Main Street, west of the Academy), seems to take us back into pre-revolutiouary days, for Mr. Burr rebuilt immediately after the war and his friend John Hancock assisted him. It was in the old house that Mrs. Thomas Hancock and Dorothy Quiucy tarried a good part of the year when Boston was besieged and affairs in that neighborhood were in an unsettled state. Here Mrs. Hancock died only three days after Washington's third visit to Fairfield. Her body lies in the ancient Burying Ground, a stone placed at the head of her grave testifying to the curious fact that Thaddeus Burr put it there at his own expense, although Mrs. Hancock was a woman of fortune and this fortune is said to have been given to her husband's nephew, the Honorable John Hancock. It was in the old Burr house that Dorothy Quincy often met Col. Aaron Burr, greatly to the annoyance of her fiance, and the watchful aunt into whose charge she had been given. It was also in the old mansion that the President of the Continental Congress and Dorothy Quincy were united in wedlock a gay occasion for Fairfield when the terrors of war were forgotten for an hour and the town gave itself up to festivity.

A letter written by Thaddeus Burr to a Philadelphia friend

and preserved in the Emmet Collection, now owned by the NewYork Public Library, refers to the presence of General Lafayette in Fairfield. It is dated the last Sunday of August, 1778 : " The latest accounts we have from Rhode Island are Friday evening last by the Marquis De La Fayette, aid-de-camp, who arrived at my house on Sunday evening on the way to General Washington. He informed me that the determination there was to hold the ground we had got. That General Hancock had gone to Boston to make provision for marching the French troops from there to Rhode Island. That the Marquis was to set out for Boston on Friday to take command of the troops. That it was agreed that all the French fleet which were in a condition to put to sea were immediately to return to Rhode Island. . ."

One of John Hancock's love letters to his fiancee tarrying at Thaddeus Burr's shows that the President of the Continental Congress did not give all his time to public duties :

"My Dr. Dolly,I am almost prevail'd on to think that my letters to my Aunt and you are not read, for I cannot obtain a reply. I have ask'd a million questions and not an answer to one. I beg'd you to let me know what things my Aunt wanted and you, and many other matters I wanted to know, but not one word in answer. I Really Take it extreme unkind. Pray my Dr. use not so much Ceremony and Reservedness. Why can't you use freedom in writing. Be not afraid of me. I want Long Letters. Why did you not write me of the top of the Umbrella. I am sorry it was spoiled, but I will send you another by Express wch will go down in a few days. How did my Aunt like her gown and do let me know if the 'Stockings suited her ; she had better send a pattern shoe and stocking. I warrant I will suit her. . . I Beg, my Dear Dolly, you will write me often and Long Letters. I will forgive the past if you will mend in future. Do ask my Aunt to make me up and send me a Watch String and do you make up another and send me. I wear them out fast. I want some little thing of your doing. Remember to all Friends with you as if nam'd. I am call'd upon and must obey. I have sent you by Doer Church in a paper Box Directed to you, the following things for your acceptance, and which I do insist you wear. If you do not I shall think the Donor is the objection: 2 pair white silk stockings which

4 pr. white thread I think will fit you

i pr. Black Satin shoes, the other

i pr. Black Calem Co Shall be sent when done, i very pretty light Hat

1 neat Airy Summer Cloak. (I ask Doer. Church)

2 caps

i Fann ,

I wish these may please you. I shall be gratified if they do, I will attend all your Commands.

Adieu my Dr. Girl, and believe me to be with great Esteem and Affection.

Yours without Reserve,

John Hancock.

Remember me to Katy Brackett. ' '

Dr. Church, by whose hand this letter was brought to Dorothy Q., was shortly after expelled from the Massachusetts Assembly, being accused of treason. Confined in prison for some months he was finally permitted to sail for the West Indies. The vessel and all on board were lost.

The Burr homestead now called " Garden Court," is the country seat of Mr. A. Holland Forbes.


The Silliman home on Holland Hill .was the center of a generous and abundant life. General Silliman, a man of large affairs and varied interests, entertained in true colonial style his home, the frequent stopping place for distinguished travelers and a favorite rendezvous for the lively company of young gallants and charming girls, thronging the town. Mrs. Silliman, in whose honor the Bridgeport Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named, was a woman of fine culture and beautiful spirit. Her journal, giving an account of the burning of Fairfield, the sudden migration of her family to Unity (Trumbull)



where Benjamin was born, is a precious and illuminating narrative. Prof. Fisher quotes freely from it in his biography of Prof. Silliman. The old house on the hill remains in good state of preservation.

In a brief sketch Prof. Silliman describes the capture of his father by the British on the night of May ist, 1779. " Between twelve and one o'clock a. m. the house was violently assaulted by large heavy stones banging against both doors, with oaths, imprecations and threats. My father being awaked from a sound sleep, seized two loaded guns standing at his bedside, rushed to the front windows, and by the light of the moon seeing armed men on the stoop or portico, he thrust the muzzle of a musket through a pane of glass and pulled the trigger, but there was only a flash in the pan and the gun did not go off. . . Instantly the windows were dashed in and the ruffians were upon him. . . and he became their prisoner. William, his son, although ill with ague and fever, was aroused from his bed and became also their captive. These rude men, bearing guns with fixed bayonets, followed my father into the bedroom, a terrific sight to his wife, she being in bed with her little son. . . The invaders were soothed by my father as if they were gentlemen soldiers and were desired to withdraw from the presence of his wife. They sulkily complied, and my father, by tossing my mother's dress over a basket containing the sacramental silver of the Church of which he was deacon, thus concealed from them what would have been a rich prize. ' ' The two captives were hurried down to the whale boat, which lay hidden on the shore of Ash Creek, and carried across the Sound. The following year he returned to his home through an exchange of prisoners.


Sherman Parsonage (the house with sixty closets) was built by Judge Roger M. Sherman, a nephew of Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Judge purchased some eight acres of land in the square which had been occupied by Governor Roger Ludlow, Deputy Andrew Ward, Major Nathan Gold, Goodman Staples (whose wife was accused of witchcraft) and other Fairfield worthies. He erected an ample, colonial mansion one of the most dignified and expensive in this part of the State. Here many eminent scholars, statesmen and public servants were entertained and a generous hospitality became the characteristic of this beautiful home. The distinctive feature of the mansion, however, was the multiplicity and arrangement of the closets. Mrs. Sherman's beneficence extended to a wide circle of friends and dependents. The closets scattered through the house contained not only the private effects of the family, but large stores of goods flannels, linen, cloths, jellies, preserved fruits, garments and similar stuff which were freely distributed to people in need. When Judge and Mrs. Sherman passed away they bequeathed the place to the Prime Ancient Society for a parsonage. It has been occupied successively by Dr. Atwater, Dr. Lord, Dr. McLean, Dr. Rankin, Dr. Burroughs, Dr. Bushnell and the present minister.

The portraits of Judge and Mrs. Sherman, the fine workmanship of the artist Jocelyn, hang on the wall of the east drawingroom. The Judge's private library is preserved intact and rests behind glass cases in the old study of the east wing. Many of the books are presentation copies containing autographs of Judge Sherman's distinguished friends. One case holds various interesting papers, manuscripts, journals, account books, letters and other valuable historical matter.

Sherman Parsonage is an attractive, old-fashioned mansion, intimately associated with the best life of the town during the past century.


Fairfield has long been distinguished for its pleasant, unpretentious homes. The conservative character of old residents expresses itself in houses that are commodious and comfortable standing amid well-kept lawns, which reach down to large, beautiful gardens. Velvet turf, graceful shrubbery, trim hedges,


The Rowland Homestead, which stands near the site of the famous Marine Hotel and the second edifice of Trinity Church, has an air of amplitude and hospitality most delightful. Its generous lawns and old fashioned gardens, its noble shade trees and lovely vistas of the sea impart unforgetable charm. It was from the spire of the adjoining church that little Samuel Rowland, aged ten, saw the approach of the British marching up Beach Lane on a July afternoon, 1779. "Make haste, you young rascal, and get away," shouted one of the neighbors, who had climbed to the lookout that he might observe the enemy. An old chest discovered in the attic of the Rowland Homestead recently contained various important ancient documents and some portion of the old town records. The lad who braved the excitement of the hour in 1779 and watched the progress of the foe pushing -.long toward the Green, became one of Fairfield's efficient and honored servants in later years, holding various offices, among them that of Town Clerk during a period extending over forty years. It was the name of this lad's father, Mr. Andrew Rowland, one of the Committee of Correspondence, which was appended to the sheet announcing the battle of Lexington and forwarded to New York, the other Fairfield names being Jonathan Sturges, Thaddeus Burr and Job Bartrain.


Fairfield is diversified by numerous hills, the prospects from whose summits extend many miles over sea and land. Round Hill, which has been converted into a beautiful park by Mr. Frederick Sturges, is an objective point for all lovers of fine scenery. It was an old signal station during the ages of the Indians' sway. Fires often blazed their warning messages from its vantage point. Keen eyes at night may see a dozen beacons off in the Sound shining their cheer and help from the lighthouses placed along our shores.



THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, First Congregational Church 1639. Rev. Frank S. Child, D. D., Pastor.

The parish of the Prime Ancient Society originally embraced the entire town of Fairfield whose boundaries were Stratford on the east, Redding on the north, Norwalk on the west and Long Island Sound on the south. The Established Religion of Connecticut was Congregationalism until the adoption of the New State Constitution in the year 1818. During this period the Church was supported by taxation like other State Churches. An historical tablet, designed by Tiffany and containing the names of the ministers and the dates of their pastorates, has been recently placed in the vestibule of the Church, a gift of Miss Jennings.


Rev. Edmund Guilbert, D.D., Rector.

The first Church edifice was erected in 1725 on Mill Plain. In 1738 a second edifice was reared near the center of the village "on the highway near the old Fields Gate." This house of worship was burned by the British in 1779. The third structure was built on the Green at Mill Plain and dedicated on the 5th of September, 1790. The fourth edifice to serve the members of Trinity Parish was erected in Southport, situated a mile or more from Mill Plain. The congregation continues to worship in this dignified, commodious house of God.


This is the third parish set off from the Prime Ancient Society. The chaste, old-fashioned Meeting-house, the fourth edifice placed in the midst of the little Green on the hill, stands as one

of the historic and conspicuous landmarks for all this region. It was from this point of vantage and the spire of the second edifice that Major Tallmadge, one of Washington's aids who had charge "of a particular part of his private correspondence," observed the movements of the enemy along the Sound.

Rev. William Swanson, Pastor.

The sanctuary crowns a little hill which divides the highway leading from Bridgeport to Easton. Although situated on the edge of our neighboring city, this is essentially a rural parish with the traditions and customs of the olden days.

Rev. William H. Holman, Pastor

This Church one of the various offshoots of the Prime Ancient Society was organized in 1843. The members of the congregation worship in the second edifice which they have reared. The beautiful granite structure, dedicated February 2nd, 1876, makes a generous contribution to the noteworthy attractiveness of the town.

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH 1856. Rev. Allen E. Beeman, Archdeacon Of Fairfield County, Rector

This parish was organized some twenty years after Trinity Church removed from Mill Plain to Southport. The shapely edifice in which its members worship has been transformed by the grace of luxuriant vines into a temple of beauty, adding charm to a street and neighborhood called unique in loveliness among New England villages.


The present edifice is the second one built by this society. It is a symmetrical brick structure pleasantly located on Pequot avenue and was dedicated in 1898.

ST. THOMAS CHURCH (Roman Catholic.)
Rev. Thomas J. Coleman, Rector.

The first edifice erected by this congregation was destroyed by fire together with the adjoining rectory and school building in the winter of 1892. The present edifice was erected during the year 1893. It is a commodious structure built of red brick an adornment to the town. A large congregation is served by the Church, the parish embracing territory extending from Bridgeport to Westport and far back in the hill country.


In 1690 thirty-three taxpayers of Fairfield and thirteen from Stratford asked the General Court of Connecticut to be exempted from paying minister's rates to these resjective parishes. Four year later the Court gave these people permission to organize a Church. The Meeting-house was erected on what is now called Park Avenue, half the site being acquired from Fairfield and half from Stratford. This first offshoot of the parent stock is known as the First or North Church of Bridgeport.


People of the West Parish of Fairfield received permission of the General Assembly to embody themselves in a Church estate in 1711. This was the second withdrawal of members from the parent Fairfield Parish in order to form a new Church. The Green's Farms section of the town united with contiguous territory on the west and north to form the town of Westport.

Dr. Ripley was the honored pastor of this Church from 1766-7 to 1821, a learned, distinguished and patriotic minister. Chancellor Kent of New York^ referring to this honored friend, tells how "the British incendiaries on the morning of the 8th of July swept over the village of Green's Farms and destroyed all the houses for near a mile in succession ; among others the house where I had slept on the Tuesday evening preceding, and the house of the Rev. Dr. Ripley, and the Meeting-house in which

that excellent man used to preach." In some reminiscences Dr. Ripley mentions the fact that he accompanied General Washington to Fairfield when he passed that way to assume command of the American Army at Boston. The General and his companion alighted at Bulkley's Inn on the Fairfield Green. While they were standing in front of the tavern, waiting for their horses, Washington conversed with Dr. Ripley on public affairs and passing his finger through the buttonhole of the minister's coat said that if the Americans could prolong the contest for one year he believed they would ultimately succeed, because in that time arms and ammunition could be obtained and they would be invincible.


Frank S. Child, D.D.

W. H. Donaldson, M.D.

Secretary And Treasurer
Amory E. Rowland, Esq.

This beneficent institution has co-operated for seventeen years with the Tribune Fresh Air Fund in giving happy vacations to the children of poverty in New York. Nearly two thousand little girls have enjoyed its hospitality and inspiration. It is supported by the free gifts of many friends. A handsome and commodious house was built by popular subscription for the Association during the winter and spring of 1906.

A pleasant beach house near the sea makes a rendezvous for the children when they play in the sand or bathe in the salt water. This beautiful charity has brought much brightness and healthful cheer into hundreds of narrow, pinched, desolate homes.

The Home was transformed into a Convalescent Hospital in the autumn of 1898 and filled with sick soldiers returned from the Spanish-American War.


Finance Committee

Rev. Frank S. Child Miss Annie B. Jennings

Oliver G. Jennings Mrs. E. L. Wells

Amory E. Rowland Mrs. William B. Glover

Committee On Supplies

Rev. Allen E. Beeman Mrs. Henry S. Glover

Rev. T. J. Coleman Mrs. Henry T. Bulkley

Ward Committee

W. H. Donaldson, M.D. Mrs. James O. Wright

S. M. Garlick, M.D. Mrs. Henry C. Sturges


Hon. John H. Perry

Mrs. G. B. Bunnell

Miss Mary B. Kippen

During the Spanish-American War the Red Cross Society was tireless in its efforts to aid the sick and wounded among our soldiers. Large contributions of money and supplies were forwarded through the National Society to places of need. When the convalescent soldiers sent over from the camp at Montauk Point were received into our Fresh Air Home the Fairfield Auxiliary redoubled its energies and rendered all needed assistance. When the National Society was re-organized recently a few members of the former organization in Fairfield met and re-organized in harmony with the suggestions of the Washington authorities. The local Auxiliary is now prepared to help in time of fire, plague, flood, war or disaster of any kind. A great work of humane ministry is achieved through this organization, its fraternal activities reaching unto the uttermost parts of the earth.



As a matter of historical interest the names of the officers and committees serving Auxiliary, No. 29, and the Children's Branch during the Spanish-American War, 1898, are recorded as follows: Mrs. H. S. Glover, Chairman Miss M. F. Sturges, Secretary Miss Mary B. Kippen, Treasurer

Executive Committee

Mrs. A. E. Beeman Mrs. E. W. Harral

Mrs. Oliver G. Jennings Mrs. H. C. Sturges

Mrs. F. S. Child Miss A. R. Jennings

Miss S. B. Nichols Mrs. James O. Wright

Mrs. J. H. Hewit Miss Alice Bartram

Miss Emma F. Wakeman Mrs. S. F. Mills

Miss Annie B. Jennings Mrs. Charles Clucas

Mrs. Simon Bradley Mrs. M. C. Pierce

Miss A. O. Morehouse Mrs. A. P. Hinckley

Mrs. Howard Wakeman

Cutting Committee
Mrs. H. C. Sturges, Chairman

Ways And Means Committee
Miss Mary B. Kippen, Chairman

Purchasing Committee
Miss Emma F. Wakeman, Chairman

Entertainment Committee

Miss A. O. Morehouse, Chairman

Mrs. F. S. Mills, Secretary, pro tern.

Miss Emma F. Wakeman

Children's Auxiliary

Helen L,. R. Glover, Pres. Theodora M. Child, Vice-Pres.

Annie A. Sturges, Treas. Eleanor Hewit, Sec.



The Daughters Of The American Revolution
Founded in 1893

Mrs. Edmund Guilbert

Mrs. George B. Bunnell

Recording Secretary
Mrs. E. L. Wells

Miss lyOttie E. Lacy

Corresponding Secretary
Miss Abbie Peffers

Mrs. Nehemiah Perry

Miss Cornelia Pomeroy

This chapter has been liberal and industrious in patriotic services. Frequent contributions to local and national movements mark the years of its history.

Perhaps its most notable work is the elegant granite fountain which was reared in 1903 on the small plat near the Southport Post Office. The day of its dedication will be long remembered. A great company of friends and citizens assembled. Eloquent addresses were delivered. The Wheeler & Wilson band rendered appropriate musical selections. Such gifts not only quicken locaj pride and add to the dignity of a town. They also enrich life and serve the helpful social purposes.




The.,,_ Daughters Of The American Revolution
Founded 1894

Mrs. Frank S. Child


Miss Emma F. Wakeman

Recording Secretary

Miss Emma E. Brown

Corresponding Secretary
Miss Loretta В. Perry

Mrs. Francis H. Brewer

This patriotic society named in honor of Eunice Dennie, the accomplished wife of Hon. Thaddeus Burr, has been an efficient contributor to the well-being of the town. The marking of historic sites, the commemoration of historic events, the encouragement of patriotism in our public schools, the care of God's Acre where rest the forms of many Revolutionary soldiers these are some of the helpful services which the Society has rendered the town. For twelve years the Chapter has conducted an Independence Day celebration on the Green at ten o'clock in the morning an occasion which has proved most delightful and inspiring. The Society has a room in the second story of the Memorial library which is furnished and adorned with many interesting articles and heirlooms. The addresses gathered into the volumn entitled "An Old New England Town," were prepared and delivered by request of the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter and the book is dedicated to the members of the Society.

Founded 1876


Oliver G. Jennings


Franks. Child, D.D.

Rev. Allen E. Beeman

Amory E. Rowland


Miss Emma F. Wakeman

Assistant Librarian

Miss Eleanor B. Morehouse

Library Committee

Chairman, Frank S. Child

Secretary, Allen E. Beeman

Henry C. Sturges Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright

Wm. A. Wheatley Miss Annie B. Jennings

Mrs. Wm. B. Glover

House And Grounds Committee

Chairman, Charles B. Jennings
Samuel H. Wheeler, Wm. H. Donaldson, M.D.

Finance Committee
Chairman, Oliver G. Jennings

Henry S. Glover, Amory E. Rowland.

This library was organized and incorporated in 1876 through the inspiration and leadership of Mr. Morris W. Lyon, who gave most generously to the institution and cherished it with unswerving fidelity during the later years of his beneficent life. Although called by its founder a memorial of our national independence

and other important events, it is really a memorial of Mr. Lyon, witnessing to his local patriotism and his spirit of noble helpful. ness. Associated with him in loyal co-operation when the library received its charter was Rev. Samuel Osgood, D.D., the first President of the Board, Captain Isaac Jennings, Rev. James K. Lombard, Mr. Oliver B. Jennings, Mr. Samuel Morehouse, Rev. E. E. Rankin, D.D., and Mr. John Glover.

The edifice which now serves the association, built by popular subscription, was dedicated on the afternoon of June eleventh, 1903. A large and notable company was present on the occasion and addresses were made by Rev. Samuel Hart, D.D., President of the Connecticut Historical Society, Prof. Henry Fairfield Osborn, Ph.D., of Columbia University, Prof. William L. Phelps, Ph.D., of Yale University, Hon. John H. Perry, President of the Pequot Library Association, Southport, and ex-President Timothy Dwight, D.D., LL.D., of Yale University.

The library is free supported by the gifts of friends and patrons. It is open six days of the week. The assembly room on the second floor is given to the uses of the Fairfield Historical Society for their collections, and is also used for lectures and public meetings.


President, Oliver G. Jennings Secretary and Treasurer, H. Edwards Rowland Edward W. Harral, Frederick Sturges, Samuel H. Wheeler. This beach has been a favorite resort of pleasure tor generations. The Beach Association was organized 1886. A convenient and commodious club house was erected and members of the association enjoyed its privileges. In response to public wishes the building has been enlarged and a second house added to the plant.

The assembly room on the second floor of the large pavilion affords facilities for dances, suppers, concerts and amateur dramatic performances.

town. The development of a pleasant, healthful social life, the encouragement of legitimate sport, the fostering of agricultural and horticultural interests and the general uplift of rural life these are the chief ends in view. The founders and supporters of the Club have achieved their aim. One of the delightful features of each autumn is the Fair conducted by this organization on their grounds an event which has come to be regarded as important to a wide extent of territory an event which draws together the largest number of people accustomed to assemble in any part of this region.


Simeon Pease

Frank H. Whiting

Secretary .
D. Frank Brown

John P. Morehouse


Mrs. William B. Glover

First Vice-president
Miss Annie B. Jennings

Second Vice-president
Mrs. Samuel H. Wheeler

Miss Bessie L. Child

Mr. J. Elting Deyo

Mr. William A. Wheatley

Associated With The Officers As Members Of The

Executive Board

Rev. Allen E. Beeman Rev. Frank S. Child, D.D.

Mrs. James O. Wright Mrs. W. H. Hinckley


Founded at Fairfield, Jan. 28th, 1898

Mrs. James Osborne Wright (Mabel Osgood Wright), Fairfield


Mrs. Edward Livingston Wells, Southport Rev. Allen E. Beeman, Fairfield Mrs. Morris F. Tyler, New Haven

Honorary Vice-presidents

Mr. John H. Sage, Portland Mr. Chas. S. DeForest, New Haven

Mrs. Nathaniel Wheeler, Bridgeport Mrs. E. Livingston Wells, Southport

Rev. Edmund Guilbert, D.D., "
Mr. Charles M. Gilman, "

Hon. John H. Perry, "

Miss С. М. Milbank, Greenfield Hill
Mr. Jonas B. Kissam, " "

Mrs. Thomas K. Noble, Norwalk
Hon. E. J. Hill,

Mrs. Melbert B. Carey, Ridgefield
Hon. P. C. Lounsbury "

Mrs. E. L. Scofield, Stamford
Miss Maria W. Averill, Danbury
Mrs. J. L. Fanton, "

Hon. F. J. Kingsbury, Waterbury

Mrs. William B. Glover, Fairfield
Assistant Secretary

Miss Fanny B. Hinckley, Fairfield
Schooi, Secretary

Miss F. A. Hurd, South Norwalk

Miss Mary B. Kippen, Fairfield

Executive Committee
Mrs. Samuel H. Wheeler, Fairfield Mrs. E. L. Wells, Southport

Mrs. Morris P. Tyler, New Haven
Mr. Willard G. Van Name, "
Mrs. С. К. Averill, Bridgeport
Miss Grace R. Moody, "
Mr. Howard H. Knapp, "
Mrs. Catherine M. Spaulding, B'port
Mrs. Walter M. Smith, Stamford
Miss Katharine A. Wilcox, Westport
Mrs. Chester H. Brush, Danbury
Miss F. A. Hurd, South Norwalk

Miss Mary B. Kippen,

Mrs. James O. Wright, "

Mrs. W. B. Glover,

Mrs. H C. Sturges,

Miss Fanny B. Hinckley "

Rev. Allen E. Beeman, "

Miss Lottie A. Lacey, Southport

Mrs. Edmund Guilbert, "

Mrs. Howard N. Wakeman, S'port

Mrs. W. H. Holman,

Mr. William Smith, South Norwalk



This is a State organization, but Fairfield has been its home and headquarters from the inception. Many of its officers and active workers live in the town. The splendid work which the Society has done in the matter of general nature study is well known as well as for bird protection. By means of lectures, pictures, pamphlets, traveling libraries, public meetings and untiring officials it has proved to be a royal friend to birds and men.


The daughters of the Hon. John Gould bequeathed their Homestead and the major portion of their estate to Charles B. Jennings, Rev. Frank S. Child, Hamilton S. Shelton and Samuel M. Garlick in trust for the purpose of maintaining "a free Summer Home for white, unmarried Protestant females, between the ages of eighteen and fifty years, who may be wholly dependent upon their own labor for support and residing in the County of Fairfield.''

This Home which commemorates the distinguished services of a family connected with the history of town and colony since the years of first immigration to Connecticut continues in characteristic way the generous ministry of this eminent line of public benefactors.

Members Of The Executive Councii,

Frank Samuel Child, D.D.

Henry Cady Sturges, Esq.

Rev. Allen Everett Beeman

Samuel Hickox Wheeler

William Hanford Burr John Hoyt Perry

Oliver Gould Jennings Winthrop Hoyt Perry

Milton Silliman Lacey Amory Edwards Rowland

This Society was organized at a meeting held in the historic Sherman mansion on June ijth, 1902 the one hundred and twenty-seventh anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill. Its object is to foster a spirit of local and national patriotism by public meetings, historical research, the marking of interesting sites, the publication of papers and documents, and the collection and preservation of old letters, journals, books, furniture, garments and heirlooms handed down from an honorable ancestry.

One of its first tasks was the copying of "Volume A" of the Land Records belonging to the town. This book was rapidly disintegrating. At an expense of $350 a copy of the ancient book was made, an index was prepared and the completed work presented to the town at the annual meeting Monday, October 2nd, 1905.

Another work of importance which has engaged the Society is the platting of the town. The history of each homestead lot the names of successive owners the character of the building located upon the property and other interesting details such is the work of platting the town.

The initiative has been taken in erecting a monument to the memory of Roger Ludlow the founder of Fairfield.

The Society has issued seven publications its regular Annual Reports, the Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Fairfield Academy and a Hand-Book of Local History.

A museum of antiquities has already been established in the second story of the Memorial Library where the Society holds its public meetings. Numerous valuable and suggestive gifts have been received. Friends are cordially invited to co-operate in the work.

The Society has a membership of more than two hundred citizens and well wishers. The need of a separate, fire-proof building, devoted exclusively to its purposes, is to-day imperative. An endowment for the support of such an institution has been started by the generous bequests of three deceased friends. The Society promises to become one of the most important educational factors in the life of this rich, historic section of New England.



Colonial Records of Connecticut.

Town Records of Fairfield.

Records of the Prime Ancient Society.

Schenck's History of Fairfield.

Guilbert's Annals of An Old Parish.

Address on the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of Public Worship in Fairfield.

Hobart's First and Second Address to the Members of the Episcopal Separation in New England.

Todd's Life of Joel Barlow.

Todd's In Olde Connecticut.

Centennial Commemoration of the Burning of Fairfield

Historical Sermons of Hewit, Humphrey, Atwater, Rankin and Child.

Fisher's Life of Prof. Benjamin Silliman.

Davis' Memoirs of Aaron Burr.

Dwight's Travels in New England and New York.

Barber's Historical Collection.

Trumbull's History of Connecticut.

Hollister's History of Connecticut.

Lossing's Field Book of the American Revolution.

Todd's Genealogy of the Burr Family.

Wakeman's Genealogy of the Wakeman Family.

Child's An Old New England Town.
A Colonial Witch.
A Puritan Wooing.
An Unknown Patriot.
Friend or Foe.
The House with Sixty Closets.

Wright's The Friendship of Nature (Pictures of Fairfield

Wright's Flowers and Ferns in their Haunts (Descriptive of Fairfield Flora).

Beers' John Jones.

Beers' Judge Roger M. Sherman.

Perry's The Great Swamp Fight in Fairfield.

Perry's Andrew Ward, An Historical Sketch

Child's Ministers in the Prime Ancient Society.

Centennial of the Fairfield Academy.

Annual Reports of the Fairfield Historical Society.

Unveiling of the Andrew Ward Monument.

Laying of the Corner Stone of Fairfield Memorial Library.

Dedication of Memorial Library, 1903.

Report of the Fairfield Fresh Air Home.

Report of the Fairfield Fresh Air Hospital for Convalescent Soldiers.

The Sixth Sanctuary.

Mrs. Kate E. Perry's The Old Burying Ground of Fairfield.

Town's Detail of the American Revolution.

Taylor's Roger Ludlow, The Colonial Lawmaker.

History of the Pequot War Contemporary Accounts of Mason, Underbill, Vincent and Gardener Reprinted from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Memoirs of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge, prepared by Himself.

Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of Connecticut.

Beardsley's History of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.

Hinman's Connecticut in the American Revolution.

Bulkley's Mill River, Southport, Reminiscences of the Past.

Higgings' Dorothy Q. Hancock.

Beers' Major Nathan Gold.

Mill's Manuscript Notes on Fairfield.

Mill's Notes for Meeting of Colonial Dames at "Mailands," Oct. 12th, 1905.

Child's Major Nathan Gold.

Memorial of Nathaniel Hewit, D.D.

Memorial of Heman Humphrey, D.D.

Atwater's Address on Judge Roger M. Sherman.

Auxiliary, No. 29 American National Red Cross Relief Committee.

Sturges' Social and Intellectual Life in Old Fairfield.

Todd's History of Redding.

Hurd's History of Fairfield County.

The Fairfield Gazette (1787).

Child's "A Church of the Established Religion in Connecticut""Being an Historical Sketch of the First Church of Christ and the Prime Ancient Society of Fairfield," Commemorating the Two Hundred and Seventieth Anniversary of Public Worship in Town.

The Southport Chronicle.

The Fairfield Record.

The Weekly Times.

Manuscripts Genealogical, Descriptive and Historical belonging to the Fairfield Historical Society.

Osborne's Captain Samuel Smedley.




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