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History of the Early Settlement of Georgetown, Connecticut  

Included in this Georgetown Early Settlements History section is information I have gathered from articles by Wilbur F. Thompson. More information will be added as I find it.

Please let me know if there are more areas you'd like me to explore or if you have further information. Contact bcolley@snet.net or phone me at 860-364-7475.

Georgetown Early Settlements

The first settlers appeared in Georgetown between 1721 and 1756 building along the high ridge of land then known as Barnham's or Burnham's Ridge, later known as the Hog Ridge. This ridge follows the line of Route 107 from Georgetown to Redding Glen with all the land in what is now the village of Georgetown in the towns of Redding and Weston. This was during the time of the first settlement in the northern part of the town of Fairfield. The old north boundary line of Fairfield was on or near where the highways now run from Redding Ridge to Redding Center and from there west to the Ridgefield line about two and one-half miles above the boundary rock located on Old Mill Road in the Norwalk River in Georgetown. The upper half of the town of Fairfield was surveyed into what was known as the Fairfield long lots. These lots were surveyed or laid out on what was known as the eleven o'clock line. They were of different widths, but were nar-row when compared with their depth, which was eight or ten miles. They were owned by the early settlers of Fairfield near the tidewater, or were granted to persons for services rendered the colony or town in civil or military life; and were known by the names of the owners. Some of these lots were settled on by the original owners - others were settled on by persons who bought the land of the first owners.

The long lots we are interested in are those that comprised the land now known as "The Village of Georgetown" located within the towns of Redding, Weston and Wilton. These were the Osborn long lot, Applegate long lot, and the Drake long lot. These lots traveled up from the Norwalk River and through the Boston District to Redding Glen which was known then as Nobb's Crook. The Boston District was an area that included the following present day roads: Mountain Road stopping just before Seventy Acres Road, Peaceable Street, Umpawaug Road stopping just before Topstone Road, Route 107 starting just about where the Nazzaro Bros. driveway is today and extending all the way to Glen Hill Road, all the roads along Rt. 107 in this stretch were included too: Beeholm Road, Farview Farms, Goodsell Road, Little Boston Road, Dorethy Road, Wayside Lane, Half of Dayton Road, Lee Lane.

The first long lot in what is now the village of Georgetown was known as the Osborn long lot granted to Richard Osborn for military service in the Pequot Indian War. This was bounded on the west and northwest by the then Norwalk, now Wilton line and came to the boundary rock in the Norwalk River. This sec-tion is in the Weston part of Georgetown. It has been said that Richard Osborn built on the Osborn long lot at an early date but this has not been proven. The first settler we have record of who built on this section was William Osborn, who built a log house in 1734 on or near where the Gregory Osborn house now stands. (This house is now owned by William E. Osborn of Westport, a direct descendant of Richard Osborn, the first owner of the land.) Later members of the Osborn family built here, giving it the name of Osborntown.

In 1721 Robert Rumsey of Fairfield bought of John Applegate a large tract of land known as the Applegate long lots. In 1724 he willed it to his three sons Robert, Benjamin, and Isaac, who built homes on the tract. Isaac built on the hill in front of where the Aaron Osborn house stood (The location of the Aaron Osborn house was across the street from the present driveway of the Meadow Ridge Facility). Isaac married Abigail, the daughter of Noah St. John the first.

Robert Rumsey built near where the home of Mrs. Nathan Perry now stands(approx. where the Georgetown Package is now). Proof of Rumsey's settlement there came in 1856 when Samuel Main was building his house in that location, he started to dig a well. Uncle Timothy Wakeman asked Mr. Main what he was doing. On being told, Uncle Timothy took an iron bar, and striking it through the sod found a stone slab that read: "This is the old Rumsey well dug in 1726." Mr. Main uncovered and cleaned out the well and used it as long as he lived in Georgetown.

Above the Rumseys other settlers built their homes. The Perrys, Mallorys, Morgans, Hulls, Lees, Darlings, Coleys, Bradleys, and later the Sherwoods, Battersons and Parsons all settled along this ridge which follows Rt. 107 from Georgetown toward Umpawaug Road and is known as the Boston District.

The first settlement of the Drake lot, in that part of Georgetown in the town of then Norwalk, now Wilton was made many years later than that of the other sections. The reason being early settlers thought the lowlands were unhealthy and always chose the high ground first for building their homes. This section contains most of the present day village surrounding the Gilbert & Bennett Factory. Most of the land in this section was owned by John Belden, Solomon Wood and Ezekial Wood. In 1756 Noah St. John the 1st bought of Solomon Wood fifty acres of land, and built a home. His son Nehemiah St. John also built on this land. Nehemiah built the Matthew Gregory place later owned by Arthur Clark. The St. John farm remained in the family for many years and was later owned by the Rev. Samuel St. John.

Later the Taylors, Olmsteads, Gregorys, Morgans and other families settled. In 1756 Solomon Wood sold the remainder of his land north of the St. John farm to James Morgan of Redding, who built a house on or near the site of the house built and long owned by Hiram St. John. In 1764, George Abbot came to what is now the village of Georgetown and built a grist mill and was a prominent man in the community for many years.

-How the Town Got Its Name-

Soon after the close of the War of the Revolution, the people living on the hillsides and along the valley of the Norwalk River held a Fourth of July celebration on the top of the hill in front of where the Waterman Bates house stood (the first house on the river below Connery Bros. Office on Old Mill Road) and having no cannon to fire a salute, they bored a hole in the ledge of rocks on the hillside, loaded it with powder and fired the salutes in honor of the day. For many years after it was used for the same purpose, by Matthew Ben-nett, who lived nearby.

At this time the localities around the valley were called by different names: Osborntown, Honeyhill, Burr's Hill, St. John's corners, Sugar Hollow, Jack Street, etc. During this Fourth of July celebration mentioned above, it was voted to give these localities one name. Someone proposed "Georgetown" after George Abbott, the popular miller. The suggestion was put to vote and Georgetown became the name of the hamlet. That is how the hustling town of today got its name.

An expanded History of Georgetown is here.

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