Newtown is a beautiful residential community in Connecticut with gentle ridge tops and a diverse terrain with many wetlands and ponds. Once a small sheep farming and milling center, Newtown is one of the fastest growing communities in Connecticut. Easy travel to employment and commercial centers in lower Fairfield County and Westchester County, New York makes Newtown one of Connecticut’s best cities for your home and family.
The last Ice Age did much to shape Newtown’s landscape that’s been contoured by a number of high glacially created ridges that blocked drainage creating a rich tapestry of ponds and wetlands. These ridges like Eden Hill, Taunton Hill and Great Hill on the west redirected the flow of water to the north creating wetlands, ponds and small stream valleys with fertile loamy soils.
Newtown’s history begins with its purchase from the Indians in 1705. The Pootatuck Indians of the Mohican tribe were generally friendly to the early settlers and traded with them. In 1707, 36 men petitioned the General Assembly for permission to settle a town north of Stratford. The area around Sandy Hook was one of the first areas settled due to the available water power of the Pootatuck River for powering lumber and grist mills.
Newtown was a Tories stronghold during the early American Revolutionary War. French General Rochambeau and his troops encamped in Newton in 1781 on their way to the siege of Yorktown, Virginia and the surrender of the British which effectively ended the war. The rooster weathervane (a town symbol), located on the top of the meeting house is said to have been used as a target by the French soldiers.
In the 1800′s many small factories sprang up along the banks of the Pootatuck River that powered the water wheels of the emerging industries. The impact of the Industrial Revolution on Newtown was the manufacturing of products ranging from combs and buttons to tea bags and fire hoses.
With the coming of railroads in the mid 1800′s the town experienced a major change with an influx of Irish immigrants. Many of the Irish came to the area as railroad workers and stayed to farm the land that earlier farmers had abandoned. Between 1850 and 1900, the proportion of the town’s Irish-American population went from 5.6 percent to 44 percent.
Today, one of the community’s most defining public symbols is the 110 foot flagpole in the middle of Newtown’s Main Street. During the winter a 12 by 18 foot American flag is hoisted. With the coming of spring the beautiful 20 by 30 foot summer flag is flown.
Newtown’s traditional New England town green – known as Ram’s Pasture – was once the grazing area for the town’s flock. A lovely collection of pre-Revolutionary War homes surrounds the green. It also hosts the annual Christmas tree lighting, and has a skating pond and plenty of space to fly a kite on windy days.
The public school system and many outstanding youth services reflect the importance of the education and welfare of the town’s children . In addition to traditional academic coursework, the schools offer a state-of-the-art computer programs and after-school childcare. Several preschools, private schools and a parochial school provide private instruction.
The town of Newtown offers many programs for area residents and there are numerous parks and fields offering playgrounds, swimming, tennis, softball, baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, as well as a nature center and trails.
The Housatonic River, Lake Lillinonah, Lake Zoar, Collis P. Huntington State Park and Paugausett State Forest offer breathtaking settings for the nature enthusiast. Two private country clubs feature challenging 9-hole courses for golfers. Parks include Treadwell Park, Dickinson Park, and Collis P. Huntington State Park.
The combination of Newtown’s beautiful wetlands and gentle ridge tops in close proximity to major metropolitan areas in Fairfield County and New York – together with it being one of the state’s fastest growing cities makes Newtown one of Connecticut’s best cities for your home and family.