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Fairfield, Connecticut

Aerial view of Fairfield
Aerial view of Fairfield
Official seal of Fairfield
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Country United States
NECTA Bridgeport-Stamford
Region Greater Bridgeport
Settled 1639 (Roger Ludlowe)
 • Type Representative Town Meeting (RTM)
 • First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau (D)
 • Selectmen Sheila Marmion (D)
Kevin P. Kiley (R)
 • Board of Education Chair Phil Dwyer (D)
 • Board of Finance Chair Thomas Flynn (R)
 • RTM Moderator Pamela Iacono (R)
 • Total 31.3 sq mi (81.1 km2)
 • Land 30.0 sq mi (77.8 km2)
 • Water 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
Elevation 59 ft (18 m)
Population (2013)
 • Total 60,855
 • Density 1,927/sq mi (744/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code

06828 (General Electric)
06890 (Southport)

(formerly 06430, 06432, 06431, 06490, respectively)
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-26620
GNIS feature ID 0213429

Fairfield is a town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It borders the towns of Bridgeport, Trumbull, Easton, Weston and Westport along the Gold Coast of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 59,404.[1] In July 2006, Money magazine ranked Fairfield the ninth "best place to live" in the United States,[2] and the best place to live in the Northeast.[3]


  • History 1
    • Colonial era 1.1
    • Towns created from Fairfield 1.2
    • Revolutionary War 1.3
    • Twentieth century 1.4
  • Geography 2
    • Neighborhoods 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
    • Taxes 4.1
    • Large and distinctive companies 4.2
  • Points of interest 5
    • Historic sites 5.1
    • Arts, entertainment, and sports 5.2
    • Parks and recreation 5.3
    • Other points of interest 5.4
  • Government 6
  • Emergency services 7
    • Police Department 7.1
    • Fire Department 7.2
  • Education 8
  • Media 9
  • Transportation 10
  • Places of worship 11
  • Notable people 12
  • In popular culture 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


Colonial era

In 1635, Puritans and Congregationalists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony dissatisfied with the rate of Anglican reforms sought to establish an ecclesiastical society subject to their own rules and regulations. The Massachusetts General Court granted them permission to settle the towns of Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford in the area now known as Connecticut.

On January 14, 1639, a set of legal and administrative regulations called the Fundamental Orders was adopted, and established Connecticut as a self-ruled entity. By 1639 these settlers had started new towns in the surrounding areas. Roger Ludlowe, framer of the Fundamental Orders, purchased the land presently Fairfield, and established the name.

According to historian John M. Taylor: "Early in 1639 the General Court granted a commission to Ludlow to begin a plantation at Pequannocke. He was on that errand, with a few others from Windsor, afterwards joined by immigrants from Watertown and Concord. He bought a large tract of land from the Pequannocke sachems, - afterwards greatly enlarged by other purchases to the westward,- and recalling the attractive region beyond (Uncoa), which he had personally seen on the second Pequot expedition, he also “set down” there, having purchased the territory embraced in the present town of Fairfield, to which he gave its name."[4]

Towns created from Fairfield

Fairfield was one of the two principal settlements of the Connecticut Colony in southwestern Connecticut (the other was Stratford). The town line with Stratford was set in May 1661 by John Banks, an early Fairfield settler, Richard Olmstead, and Lt. Joseph Judson, who were appointed as a committee by the Colony of Connecticut.[5] The town line with Norwalk was not set until May 1685.[6]

Over time, it gave rise to several new towns that broke off and incorporated separately. The following is a list of towns created from parts of Fairfield.

Revolutionary War

When the American Revolutionary War began in the 1770s, Fairfielders were caught in the crisis as much as, if not more than, the rest of their neighbors in Connecticut. In a predominantly Tory section of the colony, the people of Fairfield were early supporters of the cause for independence. Throughout the war, a constant battle was being fought across Long Island Sound as men from British-controlled Long Island raided the coast in whaleboats and privateers. Gold Selleck Silliman, whose home still stands on Jennings Road, was put in charge of the coastal defenses.

In the spring of 1779, he was kidnapped from his home by Tory forces in preparation for a British raid on Fairfield County. His wife, Norwalk and Fairfield; as there are the chimneys of many burnt houses standing in them yet."[7]

Fairfield recovered slowly from the burning, but soon after the end of the war its houses and public buildings had all been rebuilt.

Twentieth century

World War I brought Fairfield out of its agrarian past by triggering an unprecedented economic boom in Bridgeport, the center of a large munitions industry. The prosperity created a housing shortage in the city, and many of the workers looked to Fairfield to build their homes. The trolley and later the automobile made the countryside accessible to these newly rich members of the middle class, who brought with them new habits, new attitudes, and new modes of dress. The prosperity lasted through the twenties.

By the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the population had increased to 17,000 from the 6,000 it had been just before the war. Even during the Depression, the town kept growing.

The grounding of a barge with two crewmen on Penfield Reef in Fairfield during a gale led to the first civilian helicopter hoist rescue in history, on November 29, 1945. The helicopter flew from the nearby Sikorsky Aircraft plant in Bridgeport.

Fairfield became the home of the corporate headquarters of General Electric (GE), one of the world's largest companies.

The opening of the Connecticut Turnpike in the 1950s brought another wave of development to Fairfield, and by the 1960s the town's residential, suburban character was firmly established.

Views of Fairfield, Connecticut
Postcard from 1932 showing bathers at Fairfield Beach 
Historical Postcard of the Tide Mill Tavern 
Fairfield's Burr Homestead in a 1938 photo 
Pequot Library in Southport, 1966 
Southport Congregational Church, 1966 
Historical Woodcut from c1840 Showing Old Town Hall and Town Green 
Trinity Church in Southport, 1966 
Penfield Reef Lighthouse is located in Long Island Sound off the coast of Fairfield Beach 
Bellarmine Hall at Fairfield University 
The "1812 Sycamore" near Town Hall (cut down in 2013) 


The town is on the shore of Long Island Sound. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 31.3 square miles (81 km2), of which 30.0 square miles (78 km2) is land and 3.4 square kilometres (1.3 sq mi), or 4.15%, is water. The Mill River, the waters of which feed Lake Mohegan, flows through the town.

Fairfield consists of many neighborhoods. The best known are wealthy Southport, where General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch lived for many years, and Greenfield Hill, with its large areas, famous dogwood trees, and picturesque green with its white-spired Congregational church. Other well established neighborhoods include Stratfield, Tunxis Hill, the University area, Grasmere, Mill Plain, Knapp's Village, Melville Village, Holland Hill, and the Fairfield Beach area, which has recently undergone a renaissance with the construction of many new homes by residents wishing to live in proximity to the beach and downtown.[8] Two shopping districts in town include the Post Road (U.S. 1) and Black Rock Turnpike.


Fairfield Center in a 1956 postcard


As of the population density is 1,927 people per square mile (744/km²). There are 21,648 housing units at an average density of 703 per square mile (277/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 91.6% White, 3.7% Asian, 1.8% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 5.0% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 20,457 households out of which 38.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% are married couples living together, 9.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% are non-families. 22.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.69 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the town the population is spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.6 males.

The median household income (in 2013 dollars) was $117,705[12] (these figures had risen to $103,352 and $121,749 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[13]). Males have a median income of $69,525 versus $44,837 for females. The per capita income for the city is $43,670. 2.9% of the population and 1.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.8% of those under the age of 18 and 3.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Fairfield is notable for, among other things, its very low crime rate. There have been only three murders in the last five years in town. Money Magazine's 2006 Best Places to Live Survey ranks Fairfield as the second safest municipality in the United States.[14]

In 2012, Fairfield was ranked #64 in Money Magazine's Best Places to live.[15]

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 26, 2010[16]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
  Republican 10,650 395 11,045 29.41%
  Democratic 10,309 425 10,734 28.58%
  Unaffiliated 14,890 779 15,669 41.72%
  Minor parties 112 1 113 0.3%
Total 35,961 1,600 37,561 100%


In May 2012, Moody's Investors Service revised the Town of Fairfield's $192 million General Obligation Bond debt from negative to stable.[17] In June 2012, Moody's awarded Fairfield with an AAA bond rating which it maintains to this date.


In 2005, the mill rate of Fairfield, CT was 16.67.[18] The 2012-2013 taxes in Fairfield rose 4% to a mill rate of 23.37.[19] The 2013-2014 mill rate which goes into effect on July 1 for fiscal year 2013-2014 also increased by 2.38% to 23.93.[20]

Large and distinctive companies

Points of interest

Fairfield Beach, in a 1921 postcard
Post Road, in Fairfield Center, in a 1934 photo
1910 postcard showing Fairfield Library
Fairfield Community Theater, shown in this 1938 postcard, is operated by the Fairfield Community Theatre Foundation

Historic sites

Arts, entertainment, and sports

  • The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University opened in 1990. Its busy schedule of events includes popular and classical music, dance, theatre, programs for young audiences, and the noted Open VISIONS Forum lecture series which feature eminent opinion-makers, artists, authors, political commentators, and learned contributors to the humanities and sciences. The Quick Center houses the 740-seat Kelley Theatre, the 150-seat Lawrence A. Wien Experimental Theatre, and the Thomas J. Walsh, Jr. Art Gallery. The Quick Center has become known as one of the finest concert halls in the country and was recognized as the "cultural epicenter of Fairfield County" by Westport Magazine.
  • The PepsiCo Theatre, a renovated 1922 carriage house on the campus of Fairfield University, is the home to the Theatre Program of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Theater Fairfield, the resident production company of the University. The PepsiCo Theatre also hosts experimental productions by students, faculty and local professionals.
  • The Bellarmine Museum of Art on the campus of Fairfield University host shows by regional artists and touring exhibitions as well as a permanent collection.
  • The Gazebo on Sherman Town Green is home to concerts during the summer in the afternoon hours. Free to listen, along with free food and drinks it is an ideal place for entertainment. Many concerts are directed toward an older audience.
  • WSHU-FM Public Radio operated by Sacred Heart University
  • WVOF, student-run radio at Fairfield University
  • Fairfield University hosts collegiate athletic competitions open to the public including basketball, baseball, cross-country, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

Parks and recreation

Fairfield residents enjoy a wealth of recreational opportunities, many of which stem from Fairfield's enviable location on the Long Island Sound.

  • The town's 5 miles (8 km) of Long Island Sound coastline include five town beaches which are staffed by lifeguards during the summer, and miles of privately owned beach which are open to the public below the high tide mark.
  • South Benson Marina is a town-owned facility providing 600 boat slips which residents can rent for the summer.[21]
  • Lake Mohegan, which includes waterfalls called The Cascades, is a popular destination for hiking, as are the Fairfield Audubon Society and the Bird Sanctuary.
  • Ye Yacht Yard, a town-owned facility on picturesque Southport Harbor, provides boat launch services to residents, and access to moorings in Southport Harbor. Ye Yacht Yard is also the location of Community Sailing of Fairfield, whose members share use of two 18-foot sailboats.
  • The "SportsPlex" is located in downtown Fairfield and offers athletic activities such as; ice skating, indoor climbing, Indoor soccer and gymnastics.

Other points of interest


Fairfield's town hall

The town government consists of the three-member Board of Selectmen, a Representative Town Meeting (RTM), a Board of Finance, a Board of Education, a Planning and Zoning Commission (TPZ), and many other politically appointed commissions, boards, and committees. The current First Selectman is Michael Tetreau (D).[22]

The town has no criminal or civil court system and all trials are held and handled by the Bridgeport Superior Court system. However, the town does also offer access to a Juvenile Review Board (JRB) for certain juvenile cases outlined by the Fairfield Police Department.

Emergency services

Police Department

The Fairfield Police Department was created in 1926, approximately 287 years after the town was founded.[23] I

Fire Department

Fairfield Fire Department (FFD)
Operational area
Country United States
State  Connecticut
City Fairfield
Agency overview
Annual calls ~9,500
Employees 95
EMS level BLS First Responder
IAFF 1426
Facilities and equipment
Battalions 1
Stations 5
Engines 5
Squads 1 (Volunteer)
Rescues 2 (Including 1 Volunteer)
Fireboats 3

The town of Fairfield is protected by the 95 career firefighters of the Fairfield Fire Department (FFD), and volunteer firefighters of the Southport Volunteer Fire Department and Stratfield Volunteer Fire Department. The career Fairfield Fire Department operates 5 Fire Stations, located throughout the town and utilize a fire apparatus fleet of 5 Engines, 2 Ladders, 1 Rescue, 1 Fireboat, and 1 Shift Commander's Unit, as well as many special support, and reserve units. Each of the seven frontline pieces of fire apparatus are staffed by a total of three firefighters, except the shift commander's car which is staffed by an Assistant Chief and a chief's aide. The volunteer fire departments share quarters with the career firefighters at two of the Fire Stations, but only occasionally staff their apparatus and respond to calls. The volunteer fire departments operate a rescue unit, a tactical support unit, and a pumper/squad. The combined career and volunteer fire departments respond to approximately 9,500 emergency calls annually.[24] The Southport Volunteer Fire Department has served the community since 1895.[25] The Fairfield Fire Department has several stations and has served the community since 1920.[26]

Below is a list of all the fire stations locations and apparatus in the town of Fairfield.

Engine company Ladder company Special unit Command unit Address Neighborhood
Engine 1 Ladder 1 Rescue 1(Reserve/Special Ops.), Marine 6(Fireboat), Marine 7(Fireboat), Foam Support Unit Car 1(Chief of Department), Car 2(Deputy Chief), Car 4(Fire Marshal), Car 5(Safety/Training Unit) 140 Reef Rd. Fairfield Center
Engine 2 Ladder 2 Maintenance Unit 1, Maintenance Unit 2, Transport Unit Car 3(Shift Commander) 600 Jennings Rd. Tunxis Hill
Engine 3 Rescue 15 (Volunteer), State Foam Trailer 400 Jackman Ave. Stratfield
Engine 4 Squad 14 (Volunteer), Tactical 14 (Volunteer Support Unit), Ranger 14 (Volunteer UTV) 69 Main St. Southport
Engine 5 3965 Congress St. Greenfield Hill

The FFD also operates a total of three reserve engines to place into service when front line apparatus is undergoing maintenance or repairs. Reserve Engine 6 is located at the quarters of Engine 1/Ladder 1; Reserve Engine 7 is located at the quarters of Engine 2/Ladder 2/Shift Commander; Reserve Engine 8 is located at the quarters of Engine 5. The Fairfield Fire Department also operates a Connecticut regional fire training school, located at 205 Richard White Way.[27]


Main entrance to Fairfield University

Fairfield has two public high schools, Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe; three public middle schools, Roger Ludlowe, Tomlinson, and Fairfield Woods Middle School; and eleven public elementary schools.[28]

Fairfield has several Catholic schools, including two high schools, Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame, and two primary schools, St. Thomas Aquinas and Our Lady of the Assumption. A third Catholic primary school, Holy Family, was closed by the Diocese of Bridgeport at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year.

Non-religious private schools include Fairfield Country Day School and the Unquowa School.

Fairfield is also home to two post-secondary institutions, Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University.



Fairfield is traversed by U.S. 1, Interstate 95, and the Merritt Parkway. It has three Metro-North Railroad stations, Fairfield Metro, Fairfield and Southport. The town is served by several public bus lines of the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority.

Places of worship

Notable people

In popular culture




See also


  1. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Fairfield town, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "MONEY Magazine: Best places to live winners". Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  3. ^ Money Magazine Best Places to Live, 2006 Retrieved on March 11, 2008
  4. ^ Taylor, John M., Roger Ludlowe the Colonial Lawmaker, 1900, Google Book Search, Retrieved May 27, 2008
  5. ^ Colonial Records of Connecticut Vol. 1 p. 367
  6. ^ Colonial Records of Connecticut Vol. 3 p. 175
  7. ^ Washington, George. (1860). The Diary of George Washington, from 1789 to 1791: Embracing the Opening of the First Congress.... A.D.F. Randolph & Co. p. 21. Google Book Search. Retrieved on March 11, 2008
  8. ^ Prevost, Lisa (July 3, 2005)."LIVING IN/The Fairfield, Conn., Beach Area; A Beach Community in an Awkward Transition, The New York Times"
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  12. ^ [12]
  13. ^ American FactFinder. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 26, 2010" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  17. ^ Fairfield (Town of) CT Credit Rating - Moody's. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Mazzola, Caitlin. (2012-05-10) Fairfield FY13 Mill Rate Set at 23.37 Mills: 4% Tax Increase - Government - Fairfield, CT Patch. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  20. ^ Final 2013-14 tax rate set with 2.4% increase - Fairfield Citizen. (2013-05-09). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  21. ^ Prevost, Lisa (July 3, 2005)."LIVING IN/The Fairfield, Conn., Beach Area; A Beach Community in an Awkward Transition", The New York Times
  22. ^ Elected Officials, Town of Fairfield, Connecticut. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  23. ^ History Of The Fairfield Police. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  24. ^ Operations. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  25. ^ Southport Volunteer Fire Department. Retrieved on 2014-04-10.
  26. ^ Stratfield Volunteer Fire Department. (2011-05-21). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  27. ^ Fire Department - professionally serving the community. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  28. ^ State Department of Education - CEDaR. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  29. ^ Fairfield Online News
  30. ^ Fairfield Citizen-News
  31. ^ Fairfield Sun
  32. ^ Benton, William - Biographical Information
  33. ^ Dixon, Ken, "Music Hall of Fame proposed for state ", article in Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 26, 2007 ("Leonard Bernstein, a longtime Fairfield resident")
  34. ^ "Bernstein’s Workroom Will Head to Indiana". The New York Times. March 9, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  35. ^ James Blake bio
  36. ^ World Golf Hall of Fame Member Profile. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  37. ^ FAQ. Byrne Robotics. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
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  39. ^ Hume Cronyn (1911 - 2003) - Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  40. ^ Michael J. Daly (1924 - 2008) - Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  41. ^ Holloway, Lynette (July 12, 1996). "T. F. Gilroy Daly, 65, U.S. Judge, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  42. ^ After 50 Years in Acting, Fully Relaxed in His Craft, New York Times Web page, The New York Times, April 8, 2007, accessed May 21, 2008
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  44. ^ iCloud. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  45. ^ [13] Retrieved on 2015-08-06.
  46. ^ Rock Royalty - Westport Magazine - August 2007 - Westport, Weston and Wilton, CT. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  47. ^ Canuel, Greg. "Fairfield Candidates' Q&A: Bob Greenberger". The Daily Fairfield. September 28, 2011
  48. ^ "Robert Greenberger". Crazy 8 Press. accessed October 13, 2011.
  49. ^ [14] Archived August 30, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ a b Radomsky, Rosalie R. (October 11, 1992). "If You're Thinking of Living in: Southport". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
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  53. ^ John Mayer Bounced from His Alma Mater,, by Stephen M, Silverman, December 27, 2004. Retrieved November 9, 2010
  54. ^ Minnesota State Law Library-Bradley B. Meeker
  55. ^ Leadership Biographies. (2010-10-19). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
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  59. ^ "Jason Robards, Actor Who Elevated O´Neill, Dies at 78". The New York Times. December 27, 2000. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  60. ^ "The Lady Is A Champ". The New York Times. March 24, 2002. Retrieved June 28, 2013. 
  61. ^
  62. ^ Beautiful Life, Westport/Fairfield Magazine Web page, December, 2008, accessed January 5, 2009
  63. ^
  64. ^ "STURGES, Jonathan, (1740 - 1819)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 30, 2012. 
  65. ^
  66. ^ Robert Penn Warren, Poet and Author, Dies, obituary article, no byline noted on New York Times Web page, The New York Times, September 16, 1989, page 1, accessed February 6, 2007
  67. ^
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  69. ^,%20Connecticut,%20USA&&heading=18;with+locations+including;Fairfield,%20Connecticut,%20USA

External links

  • Town website
  • Fairfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Fairfield Museum and History Center
  • Fairfield University
  • Fairfield Public Library
  • Fairfield CT Business Directory
  • Coastal Fairfield County Convention & Visitor Bureau
  • Internet Movie Database page for Fairfield, Connecticut
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