Brief History of Darien

Fairfield County, Connecticut

Pre-Colonial Times  --  the Siwanoys - "the south people"  -- lived in the area.

1640  --  the New Haven Colony bought from the Indians the land where the Rippowam River met the waters of Long Island Sound. A group of 28 families settled in the area.

Darien was originally part of Stamford.  The town was named after the eastern end of the Isthmus of Panama.

1642  --  the now 59 families bought a tract between Pine Brook and Five Mile River from Piamikin, the chief of the Roatons. The area included the Tokeneke section of Darien.

1700 – the first roads were cut through the woods bringing more settlers.

1703 – a school district set up in Noroton.

1708 – Richard Scofield and Thomas Youngs erected a grist mill and dam near Gorham’s Pond at the mouth of Pine Brook. When Scofield conveyed the property to his German son-in-law, John Klock, the area became known as Scofield's Mill.

c. 1736 – a saltbox house built for the Bates family. Later the Scofields occupied the house.

1737 – Middlesex Parish established when the Middlesex Ecclesiastical Society was established.

1740 – Captain George Gorham bought the old Scofield Mill and it became known as Clock's Mill and Landing.

by 1744 – a meetinghouse built.

By 1772 – the stagecoach ran between Boston and New York.

1775-1783  --  the American Revolutionary War.

1781 (July 22)  --  Tories from Long Island disrupted services at the meetinghouse, capturing the minister, Dr. Moses Mather, as well as 47 other men.  Many of the men, including the minister, served five months in British captivity in New York City. 

c. 1785 – the Cape style Benjamin Weed house built.

1820 – Middlesex Parish renamed Darien and incorporated.

1848 -- the New Haven Railroad arrived in town, shifting town activity from the harbor at Gorham's Mill to the area around the railroad station at the Post Road crossing.

well into the 19th century – the old Scofield Mill became known as Ring's End.

1860  --   the sculpture "The Slave Auction" exhibited in New York and first brought sculptor John Rogers to the notice of the general public.

1861-1865  --  the American Civil War.

1864 – Benjamin Fitch of Darien established the first home for disabled war veterans and soldiers' orphans in the United States.

post-Civil War  --  many wealthy New Yorkers discovered the charms of Connecticut, including Darien, and built summer cottages and later these became permanent homes.

1897  --  trolley service began.

1904  -- death of John Rogers.

1906  -- birth of the future wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in Englewood, New Jersey.  She spent her youth in Darien. 

1933  --  trolley service discontinued.

1941-1945  --  American participation in World War II.

1946  --  the Charles Lindbergh clan resided in Darien.

1947  --  The film Gentleman's Agreement starring Gregory Peck was about anti-Semitism in Darien, which had the nickname "Aryan Darien".

post-war period --  the baby boom led to the spread of suburban developments.

By the mid-1950's – the Connecticut Turnpike went through the town.

1960  -- founding of the Darien Land Trust.

1964 – the Bates-Scofield House (c. 1736) was restored by the Darien Historical Society.

1974  -- death of Charles Lindbergh.

1987 – Connecticut Trust bought and rehabilitated the Benjamin Weed House.

2000  --  the census count for the population was 19,607.

2001  --  death of Anne Morrow Lindbergh.


Madeline Hart. Town of Darien, Connecticut. Darien: A Brief History.

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