Brookfield, Connecticut

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Brookfield is a town located in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 15,664 at the 2000 census. First settled in 1754 with the establishment of the Newbury Parish, which incorporated parts of neighboring Newtown and Danbury, the town of Brookfield was established in 1788. It was named after the first minister of the parish's Congregational church, Reverend Thomas Brooks.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.4 square miles (52.8 km²), of which, 19.8 square miles (51.3 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (2.94%) is water.

Principal communities

  • Brookfield Four Corners (town center)
  • Brookfield Center (original town center, now a historic district)

Other named minor communities and geographic locations in the town are: Brookfield Junction, Candlewood Lake East, Candlewood Shores, East Iron Works, Huckleberry Hill, Iron Works, Long Meadow Hill, Obtuse, Pocono Ridge, Prospect Hill, West Iron Works, and Whisconier.

History

Before the English settled the area, it was inhabited by the Potatuck Indians, members of the Algonquin Federation.[1] In the 18th century the community was called "Newbury," a name that came from the three towns from which its land was taken – New Milford, Newtown, and Danbury.[2]

As traveling to surrounding churches was difficult in winter, in 1752 the General Assembly granted the community the right to worship in area homes from September through March. In 1754, the General Assembly granted permission for the Parish of Newbury to build its own meeting house and recruit its own minister. On September 28, 1757, the first Congregational Church building was dedicated. The Reverend Thomas Brooks was ordained as the first settled minister. Incorporated in 1778, the town's name was changed to Brookfield in honor of Brooks who was still the minister.[2]

Along the Still River mills were in operation as early as 1732 in an area that became known as the Iron Works District. Brookfield was a thriving town with iron furnaces, grist mills, sawmills, comb shops, carding and cotton mills, a paper mill, a knife factory, hat factories, stage-coach shops, lime kilns, harness shops and other plants in operation. The grist mill still stands, as the Brookfield Craft Center. The Iron Works Aqueduct Company, formed in 1837 to supply water from mountain springs to the Iron Works District, still supplies water as the Brookfield Water Company.[1][2]

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