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Murals: Stamford scenes from yesteryear

Mural: Settlers in 1642, click here for next muralSettlers observe the Sabbath

Spring of 1642

Stamford was settled about two decades after the landing of the Pilgrims. Some Puritans were not satisfied with the soil of Massachusetts and under Thomas Hooker began to migrate south across what is now the Connecticut State line. Some of these people formed a church at Wethersfield. A schism developed among members of the church and twenty-eight men and their families moved once more to the south. During the winter and spring of 1640-41 they travelled on foot to their new home which they called Rippowam.

The purchase of Rippowam was arranged by the Reverend John Davenport of New Haven. The Puritans of Rippowam appealed to the New Haven jurisdiction for permission to change the name of their plantation. In 1642 they received permission to use the name “Stamford”.

Contemporary data indicates that the nucleus of Stamford was built at the site now known as Atlantic Square. Nearby was an Indian trail which ran from New Haven to New Amsterdam. The trail at this point followed about the same route as our present Main Street.

Two of the first buildings to be erected were the meeting house, approximately in front of The Fidelity Trust Company's present main office, and a grist mill at Mill River, now the Rippowam River.

The mural depicts the meeting house surrounded by a stockade. It was the fort of the plantation giving protection against Indian uprisings. A guard was on constant watch. The people were called to church on Sundays by a drummer. Every man, woman and child, unless ill, was expected to attend church two hours Sunday morning and two hours Sunday afternoon. The slight man in ministerial garb is the Reverend Richard Denton, one of the original founders, and the minister of this first Congregational meeting house to be built in Stamford.

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Spring of 1642: Settlers observe the Sabbath
About 1655: Setting the boundaries
October 1789: Townfolk greet George Washington
About 1842: Canal to the sound
Christmas Day 1848: First train to Stamford
Atlantic Street 1905
Stanley J. Rowland: About the artist

Image © The Stamford Historical Society