A Brief History of Fairfield, CT

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A Brief History of Fairfield, CT

Sometimes we forget to look back and admire the unique and accomplished histories of our Connecticut towns. Maybe you’re considering building a new custom home and moving into the area. Or perhaps you’re renovating or building an addition on a special property here. Either way we thought it would be interesting to take a brief look back, to the history of Fairfield, CT.

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Fairfield began as a part of the colonial Connecticut Settlement. It was originally purchased, as a parcel of land, by Roger Ludlowe in 1639. Ludlow was given a commission by the Massachusetts General Court so that he could develop a plantation in the Connecticut Settlement territory.

Different sections of Fairfield rapidly began to break away as residents started incorporating certain areas separately. These new towns became known as Redding, Weston, Easton, Bridgeport, Black Rock and Westport.

During the 1770s residents of Fairfield became embroiled in the Revolutionary War. On July 7, 1779, the town was taken under siege as 2,000 Tory troops invaded. Tories were American colonists who remained loyal to the British Empire. Although their stay was brief, they set fire to several buildings as they marched out of town. Numerous homes, businesses, the courthouse, jail, and Anglican Church were burnt to the ground as punishment to Fairfield’s residents for showing support to the rebels. The townspeople were quick to rise, however, and by the time the war was over many of its homes and buildings were rebuilt.

World War I ushered in another turning point after ammunition workers flowed into nearby Bridgeport to take jobs in the munitions industry. Unable to find homes in Bridgeport, these workers flocked to Fairfield. After the war most of these workers elected to stay. Growth for the town continued despite the Great Depression. Fairfield’s population went from 6,000 residents before the war to 17,000 by the 1930s.

The completion of the Connecticut Turnpike in the 1950s would bring the next surge of growth, bringing even more residents to the area. As the 1960s rolled around, Fairfield had become well known as an established residential, suburban community.

Today, Fairfield has a population of 59,562. It was voted as one of Money Magazine’s top 100 places to live in 2012. Despite the increase in growth, Fairfield still remains known for its small town charm.