Bozrah, Connecticut

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Bozrah is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 2,357 at the 2000 census. Bozrah contains three villages: Fitchville, the town center; Leffingwell, a crossroads on Route 82; and Gilman, a mill village along Fitchville Road.

Contents

History

The area that became Bozrah was first settled as part of the original "nine-miles-square" of Norwich as well as part of the Parish of West Farms. The area became its own parish, called "New Concord" or the "Fourth Society of Norwich," in 1737.

A legend about the origin of the town's name

Bozrah is the name of a pastoral community mentioned several times in the Old Testament sometimes with pleasing connotations, sometimes not. The town name may have resulted from the happy connotations connected with Micah: 2, 12: "I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold; they shall make a great noise by reason of the multitude of men."[2]

According to a persistent legend, the name "Bozrah" was derived from another Biblical text, which came to someone's mind under the particular circumstances surrounding the community's petition to the Connecticut General Assembly for township status. Whether or not the story is true, the informal, early name "New Concord" was dropped when the town was incorporated.[2]

The community, according to the legend, really wanted to call itself "Bath" after the famous spa in England. The local man chosen to carry the parish's request to Hartford had a somewhat eccentric manner of dress, however, and when he appeared before the Legislature he was dressed in loud, parti-colored homespun so odd as to bring to the mind of one amused legislator the query of Isaiah: 63, I: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?" Overcome by the humorous appropriateness of this verse, the Assembly decided to name the town "Bozrah" when it incorporated the place.[2]

Points of interest

Bozrah Congregational Church and Parsonage, at 17 and 23 Bozrah St., was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 26, 1991.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.2 square miles (52.4 km²), of which, 20.0 square miles (51.7 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (1.33%) is water. The town abuts 487-acre (1.97 km2) Gardner Lake, a popular recreational destination at its southwestern corner.

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