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History of Southbury

Brief History of Southbury


In 1673 religious dissidents from the coastal town of Stratford, Connecticut Colony, negotiated the purchase of “Pomperaug Plantation” on that tributary of the Housatonic River. Several of the more prestigious families settled within the Southbury parish, when this new town itself was christened “Woodbury”.

In those early years, Western Connecticut was notable among the Colonies, as an agricultural producer. Southbury, in addition to supplying General Washington’s army with militia volunteers, provided far more than its share of food and supplies.

Once part of a new independent nation, the southern parish of Woodbury petitioned to establish their own identity. In 1787 they were granted a charter as The “Town of Southbury”.

While never a major center of affairs, Southbury, was ideally positioned on the highways to provide hospitality to the travelers between those business destinations. Southbury was also a good choice for passage and stops on the expanding railroad system.

With the coming of 19th century technologies, several new villages sprang up throughout the town to support the water-powered industries growing along side the rivers and the streams.

By the time of the nation’s centennial, western migration beckoned the grandchildren of our Founding Families. They were replaced by a new group of pioneers- immigrants largely from Eastern Europe. With growing diversity Southbury returned to it’s agricultural roots.

In a new century Southbury once again benefited from advancing technologies: hydroelectric dams, the development of the automobile and new roads. Residents of great cities were attracted by convenient access to weekend recreation and the comforts of country living.

~ By John Dwyer, Town Historian

 

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