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Picturesque Stamford, 1892

section from the title page


WHEN the project of celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the town was first considered, the publishers conceived the Idea of the present volume, as something which they hoped might be made an appropriate "Souvenir" or memorial of the event. In more definitely arranging its materials and form, they adopted the plan substantially as executed in the following pages. Besides the obvious appropriateness of devoting a very considerable part of a work designed as a souvenir of an historical event to a record of the years intervening between the Town's first settlement and the great anniversary to be celebrated, the publishers were mindful of the fact that practically no history of Stamford has been available for the information of a large majority of the present dwellers in the Town, Huntington's valuable work being out of print for many years. While the present Sketch makes no pretension to take the place of that more elaborate and comprehensive history of the Town and its people, it can hardly fail to contribute something of interest and value to the study of a subject which, it must be assumed, is one of great interest to every intelligent person associated with the Town of Stamford, whether by ancestry, citizenship or sojourn, and a subject, moreover, concerning which the easily accessible information extant is certainly inadequate.

The task presented to the writer of our Historical Sketch was to produce in a given, limited space a connected and condensed narrative record of the Town's history from the time of its first settlement in 1641 to the celebration of its 250th anniversary in 1892. In designing the work, with a view to its place as one feature merely, though a considerable one, in a memorial volume, and with a view also to the necessary limitation of the space which could be allotted to it, the writer resolved to make it as serviceable a contribution to local history as was possible for him in the circumstances indicated. To this end it was determined to develop with special care those features of the Town's earlier and later history which have been less fully reported by Huntington and other writers, and to embody in synoptical narrative such phases and incidents of our local annals as are recorded with sufficient detail in works already extant. Such was the general plan of procedure to which the writer addressed himself. How well, or ill, or indifferently, the work has been done, must be left for the intelligent, and we trust lenient, reader to judge.

In the researches incident to the preparation of our Sketch, the best available authorities have been consulted. Huntington's History of Stamford supplied much material of value. Other sources of information drawn upon are many and various, and are indicated in the text. A very considerable proportion, however, of the most characteristic and illuminative facts and incidents concerning life and times in the village in the eighteenth century, rests upon the authority of original documents, especially upon the Town's own official records in the custody of the Town Clerk.

The second of the two principal parts into which the literary plan of the work is divided, consists, first and especially, of detailed histories of the leading churches, written, for the most part, as will appear from the several signatures, by the men best qualified for the work. These important and valuable chapters of local history are followed by a well-considered study of our public school system, contributed by the gentlemen who so ably fill the positions of Chairman and Secretary of the present School Board, Articles, more or less elaborate, follow upon the private schools of the Town; upon its leading manufacturing industries; its fraternal and benevolent organizations; its social bodies; its marine commerce and yachting interests; and, in conclusion, an extended chapter upon the general mercantile traffic and affairs of the Town at the present time—the whole, with its numerous array of portraits and other pictorial embellishment, forming a very complete representation of the multiform concerns of the community, and of the men who make Stamford what it is to-day.

To the work as a whole we may be permitted to refer with less diffidence than concerning that portion of it to which we sustain the relation of both author and publishers. We know of no city or town in the State for which a work of this character has been produced on a plan so sumptuous, artistically and typographically; and that the printing in all its departments has been exclusively performed in Stamford, is a fact which may be recorded here with propriety.

It is the earnest desire of the publishers that the results of their labors, and of those associated with them, as embodied in this volume, may contribute some measure of enduring influence towards awakening and imbuing with a more active and earnest vitality a spirit of just pride in the place of their birth, or the home of their choice, on the part of the people of Stamford. From such a spirit will spring the best hope of present prosperity and future progress through all forms of enterprise which require the cordial and united action of the people, especially of the legal voters of the Town and Borough. The past history of the Town—the circumstances of its origin; the struggles and achievements of its pioneer people; the doings of its sturdy yeomanry in the French and Indian wars; the peculiarly interesting and even dramatic story of its part in the War for Independence, and the equal gallantry its loyal sons and soldiers displayed in the War for the Union, make up a record that may well stir the just pride, not only of those associated with the Town by hereditary descent, but of all of every land and race who share the privileges of its citizenship and who call it their home. If the present work contributes in any appreciable degree to the revival and diffusion of a sentiment so excellent in itself, it cannot fail to promote, in corresponding measure, every scheme of improvement and wise progress which common pride in the town and common devotion to its interests will from time to time induce its citizens to undertake.


Research Library
917.46 Stamford G

Marine Commerce and Yachting, p. 205
Merrill Business College - Educational Institutions, pp 191, 192
C.O. Miller - Mercantile Affairs, pp 273–275
Henry Lockwood - Mercantile Affairs, etc., p. 285
James H. Olmstead - Physicians and Lawyers, p. 265
Patent Swimming-Baths at EnnistonPark, p. 213
Erastus E. Scofield - Mercantile Affairs, etc., p. 301
The St. John Wood-Working Company - Manufacturing Industries, pp. 241-242
Stamford Baptist Church - Churches, p. 176 ff.
Stamford Foundry Company - Manufacturing Industries, p. 242
The Stamford Savings Bank - Financial Institutions, pp 217-220
The Townhall - Various excerpts