How did this green come to be? Visitors to the Fairfield Museum and History Center discover the rich history of the Town Green through informative signs featuring historic photographs placed throughout the historic center of Fairfield. Visitors will be able to read the stories about the people, events, and sites that have made Fairfield such a unique community for more than three centuries.
In 1639 Roger Ludlowe, the first lieutenant governor of Connecticut, established Fairfield on land purchased from the Unquowa native tribe, who had maintained seasonal camps here for centuries. Along with a handful of fellow Puritans from Windsor, Connecticut, Ludlowe laid out Fairfield’s original four squares plan. More families soon arrived and the Town’s first Meeting House–the hub of religious, social and political activity–arose.
Fairfield quickly expanded to 140 square miles, encompassing parts of Redding and Easton, well beyond this center. The Town Green was the heart of civic activity. Imagine hearing the Declaration of Independence being read aloud to anxious crowds in 1776 or feasting on roast ox to celebrate the end of the War of 1812. Two U.S. Presidents also visited here, George Washington in 1789 and Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Long ago you could have witnessed people being publicly punished for offenses ranging from petty crimes to witchcraft. During the American Revolution, skirmishes with invading British soldiers under General Tryon filled the air with smoke and gunfire. The British burned of much of the town, leaving only a few houses standing in the heart of Fairfield.
In the mid 1800s grazing cattle and horses made the green look and smell like a farm. One newspaper condemned the green as “an eyesore to residents and visitors,” motivating the Town to transform it into the attractive park you see today.