History of the Town of Monroe, Connecticut

Fairfield County


Upper Stepney (northwest corner)

Stepney (southwest corner)

Stevenson Station (northeast corner)

Stevenson (northeast corner)

East Village (southeast corner)

c. 1739  --  Bion and Edna Tingley built a home in Monroe. 

c. 1750  --  Ichabod and Enoch Lewis, whose family became noted as supporters of the American Revolution, built a Saltbox type house.

c. 1756  --  pre-Revolutionary Saltbox built. One of its early owners was Robert Lewis. 

c. 1760  --  the Eliot Beardsley Saltbox-type Homestead (located at Great Ring Road) built.  Much later the house was purchased from the town by the Monroe Historical Society. The Society wants to transform the site into a living history of Monroe with local artifacts, exhibits, paintings and collections as well as a research library.

1762  --  Monroe Society established as New Stratford Society in Stratford, by division of Ripton and North Stratford Societies.

1775-1783  --   American Revolutionary War.  Robert Lewis died serving the American Cause.

1780s  --  Lucius Lane lived in a house built of native brick.

c. 1780  --  Joseph Birdsey settled in the area.  His name provided the name of what later became the Stepney Town Green (namely Bridsey's Plain).  Today this Upper Stepney green is the only green in Monroe owned and maintained by the town.

1781  --  the larger part of Lauzun's Legion of the greater force under Rochambeau marched northwest to New Stratford/Monroe to a camp just south of the city center.

1781 (June 30)  --  Monroe welcomed the French with a dance in the second-floor ballroom of the Daniel Bassett homestead. That night, Lauzun and his officers slept in Nehemiah de Forest's tavern.

1784 --  the Monroe Center town green established on land donated by Captain Joseph Moss and Nehemiah DeForest. (Today the green is owned by two churches on the green: the Monroe Congregational Church and St. Peter's Episcopal Church..

1785  --  Issac Moss built a two-and-a-half story wood frame Georgian home.  Soon afterwards, a general store (the Moss-Clark General Store) built adjacent to the main house .  The home later served as a town post office.

1789  --  Heber Smith built a center-chimney Connecticut Cape house. 

1789  --  Monroe Society (New Stratford Society) became New Stratford of Second Society in Huntington (now Shelton) on the incorporation of that town from Stratford.

c. 1789  --  Hezekiah Bailey built a Cape/Lean-To style house.  Bailey's tannery gave name to the street on which his house still stands.

1790 --  East Village-Barn Hill Schoolhouse on Wheeler Road built.

1790  --  the Bostwick family lived in a Federal-style home known as Sugar Maple Hill for the abundant and gigantic old maple trees on the property.   

19th century  --  the Congregational Society bought the Heber Smith house for use as a parsonage until about the Civil War era.

19th century   --  an ell was added to the old Robert Lewis house.  The ell was later used as a select co-educational academy, known as Hazel Hall.  The Burr sisters of Elm Street attended Hazel Hall. They later taught at Yale Art School.

c. 1800  --  house built for Ezekiel Lewis, son of Squire Samuel Lewis, who was one of the first settlers of Monroe.

During the 1800s  --  the old John Clark home housed a girls' school in a large wing on the back of the house (the wing no longer standing).  The site also contained the 18th century store of Captain Joseph Moss.

1802  --  prominent businessman and civic leader, Samuel Wheeler, built a two-and-a-half story center-chimney Colonial home.

c. 1811  --  construction of the East Village Meetinghouse (located at Barn Hill and East Village Roads). This is the oldest Methodist church building in Connecticut.

1817  --  the Stepney town green was designated a place of parade for public use.  At this time, it became Monroe's "second" town green.

c. 1820 --  a Greek Revival home built that later was used as a private academy (1866).

1823  --  Monroe became a town; named after President James Monroe.  Monroe consisted of the villages of Stepney, Monroe Centre, East Village, and the area now known as Stevenson.

1823  --  New Stratford of Second Society in Huntington (now Shelton) became New Stratford Society in Monroe on the incorporation of that town from Huntington in May 1823.

1823  --  Hall Beardslee built a red brick Georgian residence for his son, Cyrus H. Beardslee, a noted lawyer and state legislator. Brickmason Austin Lum was responsible for many of the home's fine details.

1827 --  David Gray built a Federal Colonial home.  Later it was the residence of Henry Hurd.

1828  --  Samuel Beardslee, a graduate of Yale College, started an Academy in Monroe. 

1837  --  John Clark built his home in the half-house architectural style.

1839  --  the Stepney Methodist Church built on Pepper Street.

1848  --  name formally changed from New Stratford to Monroe Society.

1849  --  the Stepney Baptist Church built on Main Street across from the Methodist Church. 

mid-19th century  --  the Rev. Thomas T. Waterton added the east addition as a study for the old Heber Smith house.

1856  --  Dr. Roger M. Gray purchased the Beardslee house and conducted a boys' academy until 1865.

1861-1865  --  the American Civil War.

1865  --  Dr. Roger M. Gray sold the Beardslee home/academy to the Episcopal Society for $2500. The home served as the Episcopal Rectory until 1975.

1866  --  Frank D. Hollister purchased the old 1820 Greek Revival home and operated it as a private academy known as Hollister's School for Fashionable Females

1890  --  businessman Andrew Curtiss built an American Renaissance residence.  Curtiss named his home "Times Square", as he used to take the train from New York to the nearby Stepney Depot on weekends. It is said that later the house was used as a brothel.

1896  --  the Issac Moss Georgian home and store combined.

1896  --  the Johnson family lived in a Queen Anne Victorian residence, possibly built from a Sears prefab kit.

1908  --  the Friends of the Library met at the Fireman's Opera House on Stage Road to establish a free circulating library. Conrad Regeluth, owner of a drug store/ice cream parlor, agreed to become the librarian. 

1924  --  the library moved to the Community House on North Main Street. It had once been known as the Konnight Building and the Opera House.

1930s  --  a sun porch added to the old John Clark house. 

late 1940s  --  the Marshall-Beach General Store (formerly the Moss-Clark General Store) closed.

1950  --  Monroe's population was 2,700.

1950s and 1960s  --  the population doubled.

1959  --  Monroe Historical Society incorporated.

1960  --  a new library building opened on the Mentz lot on Millpond Parkway.

1966  --  the left wing added to the old John Clark House. 

1975  --  the Episcopal Rectory in the old Beardslee home became the St. Jude's Rectory.

1976  --  the Monroe Historical Society constructed a quilt in honor of the United States Bicentennial.




The Connecticut Experience (1781): http://www.hudsonrivervalley.net/AMERICANBOOK/Connecticut.html#TOP

History of the Monroe Library: http://www.bestagentonline.com/ext_real-estate_info.asp?link=www.monroelibrary.com/


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