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The USGenWeb Project Fairfield County, Connecticut
Easton, Fairfield County, Connecticut

From The Connecticut Guide: What to See and Where to Find It

We now make a side trip to cover the town of Easton, settled about 1757 by people from Fairfield. A parish of North Fairfield was organized in 1763. In 1845, a new town was incorporated under the name Easton, or the eastern part of Weston. Tryon's forces crossed the town in 1777 in the raid on Danbury. Easton is a rough hill country, through which the Aspetuck River has cut a deep north and south gorge.

Leaving R. 25 in Monroe by R. 59, we cross to Easton, with interesting old houses on the crossroads to the west. The highway goes east of Round Hill, which gives a good view in all directions. This hill is a drumlin, an elliptical mound shaped like half an egg, representing deposits of stony clay beneath the ice sheet. About 3/4 of a mile east of this point, a parallel road runs for several miles along Hemlock Reservoir, a beautiful body of water with densely wooded shores. Farther south on R. 59, near the.town boundary, there is a good southern view from Sport Hill. A short distance east, on a crossroad, is the Jesse Lee Memorial church, the oldest Methodist society in New England, organized Sept. 26, 1789. A tablet to the southeast, on Park Ave., marks the site of the original meeting house of 1790, the first Methodist building in New England.

R. 58 from Danbury follows the beautiful Aspetuck River, and is the most scenic route through the town. West of the highway, about l l /2 miles below the Redding town line, in a narrow rocky gorge, we find a group of old walls and cellar holes, with interesting "crows-nests" made of dry stone. The meaning of these strange ruins is still unexplained. A mile farther south. Flirt Hill lies to our right, with a complete horizon. The first crossroad to the west beyond this takes one through the attractive Bedford estate, with good views. About a mile below the junction with R. 106, a mile west up the hill, is Samp Mortar Rock, a natural mortar scoured out by the glacier. The Indians used it for grinding corn, and their pestle is in Peabody Museum at Yale. There is a cave below, and the spot evidently was an Indian camp ground. The summit of the hill above the Rock commands a fine view in all directions.

The old road used by Gen. Tryon left the present R. 58 about opposite Samp Mortar Rock, and went through Easton village, and thence northward along the higher ground. We reach Easton Village today by the cross highway R. 106, connecting R. 58 and R. 59. The most interesting building is the old Staples Academy, erected in 1797, and now used as a Community Center. The Academy started in 1781, one of the earliest secondary schools in Connecticut and among the forerunners of a remarkable educational movement. The academies drew promising boys and girls from the neighborhood, and, as their reputations grew, from an ever widening radius. They flourished until High Schools began to be generally established in the latter half of the 19th century. Funds provided by Samuel Staples made the academy at Easton a free school.

Source: The Connecticut Guide: What to See and Where to Find It, A Project of the State Planning Board, Initiated under CWA and completed with FERA funds. Compliled by Edgar L. Heermance and published by The Emergency Relief Commission, Hartford, CT, 1935.

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© Copyright 1996 to 2009. Created January 2009. Updated January 2009

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