Stratford's History 1637-1679

(The following Stratford History was taken from The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue.  The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue was generously shared with us by the Stratford Historical Society).

1637   Flight of Pequots, through Cupheag, to last stand at Southport.
1638   This territory granted by Indians to Connecticut Colony for security. Connecticut's first constitution drawn up by Roger Ludlow of Fairfield.
1639   First 17 settler-farmers settled at Cupheag, led by the Reverend Adam Blakeman. First (now Congregational) church organized.
1640   Settlement called "Cupheag." Boundaries ordered, settled by General Court.
1641   About this time the first meeting house was erected at Sandy Hollow.
1642   First representative (Philip Groves) sent to the General Government.
1643   (Settlement first called "Stratford." Palisade built across Watch-house hill. Indians troublesome.
1644   (Watch kept nights and Sundays, militia called out several times - House built on the hill for these soldiers 1645 - (gave the name "'Watch-house" to hill now called “Academy Hill."
1646   Stratford gave six pounds, fourteen shillings "to maintain poor scholars at Cambridge."
1647   General Court ordered taxes of Stratford and Fairfield, formerly collected together as one plantation, to be collected separately.
1648   Town plot laid out. Roger Ludlow asked General Court to permit Moses Wheeler to operate a ferry across what is now the Housatonic River.
1650   Town records begin. Town voted to pay half the salary of a schooImaster, the parents of pupiIs sent, to pay the rest.
1651   Goody Bassett tried, and hanged, for witchcraft.
1652   Voted that "the present meetinqhouse be fortified as a place of safety for women and children in times of danger.”
1653   Establishment of ferry at what is now Washington Bridge.
1654   Mill built al Old Mill Green by John Hurd Sr. and Thomas Sherwood Sr.
1655   Trouble with Dutch and with Chief Ninigret of the Narraganset nation.
1656   First Indian deed made. General Court confirmed right of soil to inhabitants.
1658   General Court ordered planting land laid out for Indians, that peace should prevail.
1659   Court assigned Golden Hill to Indians and settled titles of plantations.  First purchase of land made in Stratford, for the town, by Moses Wheeler. 
1660   Mention made that the first meetinghouse had been using a bell to summon worshippers to services (other towns used a drum.).
1661   Joseph Judson made the Mohegan Hills land purchase for the town.
1662   Long Hill purchase, which included most of Trumbull, Monroe and Easton. Connecticut and. New Haven Colonies united under one charter.
1663   James Blakeman sold mill at Old Mill Green and, the next year, built mill at what is now known as "Peck's Mill."
1664   Dutch "New Amsterdam" became English "New York," causing peace of mind to Stratford and other nearby English settlements.
1665   The Reverend Israel Chauncey called to assist the aged Rev. Adam Blakeman, who died this same year.
1666   Difficulties arising in first church, a second ecclesiastical society was formed.  Fairfield County, and three other counties, organized.
1667   Permission granted to establish plantation at Newtown, soon abandoned.
1668   Regulation, or "advice," of Governor accepted concerning voting privileges.
1669   Liberty granted for both Congregational societies to use the same building for services at different times,
1670   A "Select school" authorized.
1671   White Hills purchase, for forty pounds.
1672   Stratford people made settlement at Woodbury.
1673   Militia companies of towns placed in county organizations.
1674   Defenses strengthened against any emergency.
1675   King Philip's War. -- Men drafted. -- provisions collected.
1676   War ended.
1677   Congregational burying ground laid out.  Attempts to distribute lots on Golden Hill stopped.
1678   Town voted twenty pounds to maintain a schoolmaster. General Court reaffirms grant to Indians at Golden Hill.
1679   Boundary line settled between Fairfield and Stratford.  General Court ordered that “present roads from plantation to plantation shall be reputed the country roads, or “King's Highway.”

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Events from 1637 to 1939 are from the Rev. Stanley Sellick’s records on file at the First Congregational Church.  Much of the information was compiled by M. Hale and published for the 300th anniversary. Town Historian Louis Knapp has provided the Bard with an update from 1939 to 1989. These historical facts were put together by Bard Editor Dorothy Euerle. (All the foregoing was taken from The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue.  The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue was generously shared with us by the Stratford Historical Society).