An important agricultural community in the 19th century,
Westport, Connecticut has evolved into a city rich in cultural
and retail opportunities—all within an easy drive of New York
Colonists settled along the Saugatuck River as early as 1639. Westport was officially incorporated as a town in 1835, with land taken from Fairfield, Weston, and Norwalk. For many decades after that, Westport was a prosperous agricultural community and distinguished itself as the nation’s leading onion-growing center. waiting for the British to land and then attacking them from behind.
After the turn of the century, Westport gained the reputation as an artist’s colony and cultural center. Although Westport still retains its cultural roots, the town is no longer an artist’s colony. Despite its small town charm, Westport, Connecticut is a thriving business center, home to many corporate headquarters and more than 600 retailers.
Here is a timeline of important events in the history of Westport:
1637: John Mason, Roger Ludlow and group of soldiers enter area for first time to battle Pequot Indians in Great Swamp.
1639: Several families led by Roger Ludlow return to area, purchase land in Fairfield and Norwalk from Indians, build church and log cabins.
1640: Several other families move to area from New Amsterdam, a large city 50 miles (80 km) away.
1648: Five settlers from Fairfield request Colonial Assembly's permission to settle in Machamux, today's Green's Farms. They call themselves the "Bankside Farmers."
1703: First schoolhouse built at Green's Farms commons area.
1777: British troops land at Compo Point; proceed north to burn supplies and ammunition at Danbury, Connecticut, engaged by American forces at the Battle of Ridgefield.
1789: George Washington visits Marvin Tavern.
1807: Newly laid out Post Road passes through growing port area of Saugatuck River.
1835: Daniel Nash and group of businessmen petition for incorporation of Westport, which includes parts of Fairfield, Norwalk, Old Saugatuck and Weston.
1842: Railroad arrives.
1861-65: Westport becomes biggest onion supplier to U.S. Army during Civil War.
1882: Staples High School founded, on Riverside Avenue.
1903: First automobile seen in Westport.
1908: Westport Public Library opens.
1920: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald spend summer in Westport.
1935: Local artist paints mural on speakeasy wall, commemorating friends "we'll never forget."
1938: Merritt Parkway opens.
1949: First Representative Town Meeting formed. More than 125 candidates vie for 26 slots.
1955: Parker-Harding Plaza created, behind Main Street stores.
1958: Connecticut Turnpike opens.
1959: New Staples High School, on North Avenue, opens.
1960: Town purchases Longshore Club Park.
1967: United Illuminating proposes building nuclear power plant on Cockenoe Island. Most Westporters oppose plan.
Interested in buying or selling real estate in Westport, CT? Call or email Westport real estate agent Faith Schachne today.