GUILFORD - "This town, the seventh oldest, was founded in 1639 by an oppressed but optimistic band of English Puritans. Henry Whitfield, a minister in Ockley, near London, was the moving spirit behind their emigrations. About forty of his friends and sympathizers formed a joint stock company to sail across the Atlantic. They were mostly young and energetic men, farmers, well-educated, and all of them persons of high standing in their community. In a deed of sale dated September 29, 1639, the Whitfield Company purchased the lands between Stony Creek and East River from the Squaw Shaumpishuh, Sachem of the local Menunkatuck Indian tribe. Whitfield's stone house at first served as a fortress and meeting place. Guilford Green was inspired by the typical 17thcentury English common. In the fall of 1641 the settlers purchased from the Indians land beyond East River that included most of what became East Guilford."
"East Guilford, now Madison, was set off as a distinct church society in 1703, North Guilford in 1720, and North Bristol (North Madison) in 1753. Two good harbors and two tidal rivers assured success to Guilford in Connecticut ~ New York coastwise shipping and the West India trade during the 18thcentury. In the American Revolution, British troops landed several times and burned two houses. The famous Sachem's Head Hotel ( 1797-1897 ) made this town the center of society for many years. John Beattie's granite quarries at Leete's Island employed as many as three hundred workmen and supplied stone for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Famous sons of Guilford include William Leete, an early Governor of Connecticut; Fitz-Greene Halleck, one of the noted Knickerbocker Poets; and Abraham Baldwin, a signer of the United States Constitution and Senator from Georgia."
Now that you have read what the historians say I will try to explain the town more my way. It's a beautiful blend of the old and the new with The Whitfield House still standing today. Constructed of stone in 1639 it has been through restoration and looking just fine. The home is oldest in Connecticut & the oldest stone house if all of New England, surviving time it has been a museum since 1899.
Henry Whitfield himself led quite a life, went back to England after 11 years also ditching his wife.
Just beyond the Whitfield house heading down to the shore amongst historic homes you see a strange sight. The Spaceship that "landed" back in the '80s one night.
Continuing south and looking out at sea sits Faulkner's Island with the second oldest Lighthouse built in 1802.
Heading north towards the center is a favorite place, steps from my office its like an escape, the Guilford Green. If you read the article about the picturesque Green it mentions a gadfly old guy always lurking around like some kind of a spy. Keeping odd hours myself I was acutely aware that Richard Greene was always out there. Sad to say its no longer that way, Mr. Greene passed away the mid of last year. Reflecting back over hundreds of years it is easy to miss one man modern day fears. Richard Greene was quite passionate when he felt he was right, always sharing his thoughts and putting up a good fight.
If you are interested in Buying or Selling a home in New Haven County let me know and I will happily explain the real estate market so you can decide if current conditions make it the right time for you to make a move. You can contact Dan@CummingsTeam.com or call my 24 hour access line : 203-672-2455