History of Weston

Fairfield County, Connecticut

Almost one quarter of the Town is permanently devoted to open space use.  (See the Aspetuck Land Trust.)


History:

1671 --  the future Weston marked off in "long lots" by the early settlers of New Fairfield.

The future Weston and Easton were one area, known as Norfield Parish.

1700s  --  The region was primarily devoted to farming.  Water power from the several branches of the Saugatuck River were used to drive grist and saw mills.

1757  --  David Coley, Nathan Morris, and David Godfrey summoned the first meeting of the newly created Norfield Society. The new society had the power to levy taxes, build a meeting house, provide education, maintain roads, and direct the religious life of its members.

1775-1783  --  The American Revolutionary War.

1787  --  Weston officially became a town.

late 1700s  --  Mr. Davis built  the Davis saw and grist mill.  (It was later known as Carver's Mill.)  (Even later Frank Cobb bought Carver's Mill which became known as Cobb's Mill.)

1807 (December 14) a meteorite shower of some 330 pounds hit Weston. Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, Nathan Wheeler, noticed a fireball disappearing in a cloud leaving a train of sparks.  William Prince heard the disturbance and later discovered that a 35 pound fragment made a hole in his yard. He broke up and gave it away as souvenir pieces. Merwin Burr had a meteorite strike a piece of granite in his yard.

1800s  --  water power employed for small industries. 

At the upper end of Lyons Plains Road, Hanford Nichols, Morris Salmon, and Charles Crofut owned small manufacturing establishments, such as the blacksmith shop above. Skilled workers lived in small tenant houses nearby.

1831  --  the third and present Norfield Congregational Church building dedicated. Thaddeus Burr donated the property.

1833  --  a store and small barn on property that once belong to the Adams family commissioned as an official Post Office.    (It lasted until lthe late 19th century.)

1834 - 1911  -- Gershom W. Bradley started the Bradley Edge Tool Company located on Lyons Plains Road near the intersection of White Birch Road.

1834  --  23 year old David Dimon Coley leased his father's 177-acre farm.

1835  --  David Dimon Coley married Mary Eliza Andrews.

c 1835  --  Eliphalet Coley, Jr. (1773-1841) built the town's only center-hall style farmhouse. The house, a mixture of  Federal and Greek Revival periods, is located on the northeast corner of Weston and Norfield Roads. (Most recently the office of Attorney Guidera.)

1841  --  the Coleys built a Greek Revival home on Weston Road.

1845  --  Emmanuel Episcopal Church built.  It arose out of a split in the membership of the Episcopal Church at Aspetuck corners (Easton). One faction wanted a church built far to the east, while another wanted it built at Lyons Plains. Hanford Nichols, and his neighbor Walter Treadwell, both of the latter group took matters into their own hands and built their church on donated land near their homes on Lyons Plains Road.

c. 1850  --  Lyons Plain School House built at the northern end of Lyons Plain Road. 

1854  --  the Bradley Edge Tool Company rebuilt after the devastating flood of this year when the Saugatuck River rose over its banks. The Bradley's manufactured high-quality axes, carpenter's tools, knives, and machetes.

????  --  Andrew Sanford Jarvis ran the Jarvis Military School, located on the southeast corner of Norfield and Weston Roads. The school prospered until after the Civil War.

1856  --  the Town of Weston took over responsibility for the education system from the Norfield church society.

1860 census  --  there were twenty dwellings between the corner at Fanton Hill Road and the end of Lyons Plains Road at Davis Hill.

1860-1870  --   the Bradley Edge Tool Company at its peak employing 70 men.

by the 1860s  --  a turning mill with lathes for making tool handles, a blacksmith shop, and a hoe factory were major parts of a small industrial area known as Gould's Mills for owner, Peter B. B. Gould, located along the Saugatuck River. Today the area is known as Devil's Glen.

1861-1865  --  the American Civil War.

After 1870 to 1920s    --  the local economy took a decided downturn.

by 1875 --  Jarvis' intemperance brought about the slow demise of the Jarvis Military School.

About 1882   --  a bay window and front porch added to the Coley homestead in a Victorian-style renovation.

1883  --  Weston Town Hall built.  It was located behind the Norfield Church.

1884  --  the first Town Meeting was held at the Town Hall. 

1885  --  Ebenezer Fitch (1838-1905) bought Ward Nichols' 170 acre homestead at 183 Good Hill Road.  He occasionally practiced law on occasion, but made more money selling coal to factories in Westport and Norwalk.

1888  --  the Jarvis Military School closed. The present dwelling house was spared from a fire that destroyed the dormitory and gymnasium.

about 1892  photo --  shows home owner cobbler Henry Hamilton and his wife and daughter in front of his home along Newtown Turnpike.  His next-door shop also served as a toll booth for the Newtown Turnpike Co. with Henry serving as toll collector.

late 19th century  --  Weston's Old Post Office and General Store located on Route 53 near the intersection of Georgetown Road and Newtown Turnpike closed due to population decline in the town.  George Adams, the last postmaster, lived with his sister, Lizzie. At her death the Adams' farm, including the general store, was willed to Lloyd Scribner who later sold the property to the Town of Weston.  It is now the Adams-Scribner Museum.

c. 1902  --  a one log footbridge across the Saugatuck River at Devil's Glen along Valley Forge Road was used by workers going to work at Gould's mills.

c. 1908 photo  --  shows eel-fisherman Clinton Hull in front of his house in Valley Forge.  (Later this house was moved to Godfrey Road East when the land was cleared for the reservoir.)  

1911  --  the Bradley Edge Tool Company factory burned in a fire.  The Bridgeport Hydraulic Company purchased the property.   

1920s  -- the local economy started to recover. 

1922 to late 1980s  --  the old Henry Hamilton house was used as the residence of Grace Robinson, a reporter for the New York Times.

1934  --  Cobb's Mill became the Cobb's Mill Inn

1938  --  the Town Hall expanded to include a kitchen, a larger meeting hall, and a Town Clerk's office.

late 1930s photo --  shows the Weston Volunteer Fire Department's first station along with a 1934 Mack fire truck.

mid-20th century  --  the Coley homestead's use as a working farm ended.

1951  --  the Town Hall burned down.   

1961  --  the Weston Historical Society formed. 

1962  --  owners James and Cleora Coley allowed the Weston Historical Society to use the empty barn as a museum.

1981  --  the society received the house, outbuildings, and 3.7 acres of property in Mrs. Coley's will. The Coley Homestead is located at 104 Weston Road.  The Barn Museum contains a collection of tools, farm implements, and other items donated by the descendants of Weston's settlers.

1986  --  in preparation for the town's Bicentennial, The Weston Young Woman's Club helped the Weston Historical Society restore the former Cleora Coley house.

1998  --  the Town of Weston purchased the Jarvis Military complex from the Vetromile family.


Source:

Collectors' Corner by Mark Bostick.  http://www.meteoritearticles.com/historyarticle.html

The Weston Historical Society:   http://www.wvfd.com/whs.htm

 

Back to the w. Connecticut Page
Back to the Main Page