Fairfield County, Connecticut

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This article is about the county in Connecticut. For the town in Connecticut, see Fairfield, Connecticut.
Fairfield County, Connecticut
StamfordCTRRstaLookingNE11112007.jpg
Map of Connecticut highlighting Fairfield County
Location in the state of Connecticut
Map of the United States highlighting Connecticut
Connecticut's location in the U.S.
Founded 1666
Seat none; since 1960 Connecticut counties no longer have a county government
Fairfield (1666–1853)
Bridgeport (1853–1960)
Largest city Bridgeport (population)
Newtown (area)
Area
 • Total 837 sq mi (2,168 km2)
 • Land 625 sq mi (1,619 km2)
 • Water 212 sq mi (549 km2), 25.3%
Population
 • (2010) 916,829
 • Density 1,467/sq mi (566/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 4th, 5th

Fairfield County is the southwestern-most and most densely populated county of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 916,829, estimated to have increased to 939,904 in 2013.[1] The county contains four of the state's largest cities (Bridgeport (1st), Stamford (3rd), Norwalk (6th) and Danbury (7th)) whose combined population of 433,368 is almost half the county's.

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Fairfield County as the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area.[2] The United States Census Bureau ranked the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 57th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.[3] The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area,[2] the most populous combined statistical area and primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.[3][4]

Fairfield County's Gold Coast helped rank it sixth in the US in per-capita personal income by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in 2005,[5] contributing substantially to Connecticut being one of the most affluent states in the US.[6] In addition to its wealthy communities, Fairfield County is also home to lower-middle and working class-cities.[which?] Other communities are more densely populated and economically diverse than the affluent areas for which the county is better known.

As is the case with all eight of Connecticut's counties, there is no county government and no county seat. As an area it is only a geographical point of reference. In Connecticut the cities and towns are responsible for all local governmental activities including fire and rescue, schools, and snow removal; in a few cases, neighboring towns will share certain resources.

History[edit]

Fairfield County was the home of many small, unconnected Native American tribes prior to the coming of the Europeans. From east to west the Wappinger sachemships included the Paugussetts, Tankiteke, and the Siwanoy. There were also Paquioque and Potatuck inhabitants of Fairfield County. The Dutch explorer Adriaen Block explored coastal Connecticut in the Spring and early Summer of 1614 in the North American built vessel Onrust. The first European settlers of the county, however, were Puritans and Congregationalists from England. Roger Ludlow (1590–1664), one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut, helped to purchase and charter the towns of Fairfield (1639)[7] and Norwalk (purchased 1640, chartered as a town in 1651). Ludlow is credited as having chosen the name Fairfield. Fairfield is a descriptive name referring to the beauty of their fields.[8] The town of Stratford was settled in 1639 as well by Adam Blakeman (1596–1665). William Beardsley (1605–1661) was also one of the first settlers of Stratford in 1639.

Fairfield County was established by an act of the Connecticut General Court in Hartford along with Hartford County, New Haven County, and New London County; which were the first four Connecticut counties, on May 10, 1666. From transcriptions of the Connecticut Colonial Records for that day:

This Court orders that from the east bounds of Stratford
to ye bounds of Rye shalbe for future one County wch
shalbe called the County of Fairfield. And it is ordered
that the County Court shalbe held at Fairfield on the second
Tuesday in March and the first Tuesday of November
yearely. (sic)[9]

The original Fairfield County consisted of the towns of Rye, Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield, and Stratford. In 1673, the town of Woodbury was incorporated and added to Fairfield County. In 1683, New York and Connecticut reached a final agreement regarding their common border. This resulted in the cession of the town of Rye to New York. From the late 17th to early 18th centuries, several new towns were incorporated in western Connecticut and added to Fairfield County, namely Danbury (1687), Ridgefield (1709), Newtown (1711), and New Fairfield (1740). In 1751, Litchfield County was constituted, taking over the town of Woodbury. The final boundary adjustment to Fairfield County occurred in 1788 when the town of Brookfield was incorporated from parts of Newtown, Danbury, and New Milford, with Fairfield County gaining territory from Litchfield County.

Other early county inhabitants include:

Preparing to re-launch the USS G-3 with sponsons from the Lake Torpedo Boat Company in Bridgeport, December 9, 1915
A 1930s Sikorsky S-42 constructed in Stratford

During the Revolutionary War, Connecticut's prodigious agricultural output led to it being known informally as "the Provisions State".[10] In the spring of 1777, the British Commander-in-Chief, North America General William Howe, in New York City, ordered William Tryon to interrupt the flow of supplies from Connecticut that were reaching the Continental Army. Tryon and Henry Duncan led a fleet of 26 ships carrying 2,000 men to Westport's Compo Beach to raid Continental Army supply depots in Danbury on April 22, 1777. American Major General David Wooster (1710–1777), who was born in Stratford, was in charge of the stores at Danbury and defended them with a force of only 700 troops. Sybil Ludington helped rally New York militia to aid in the defense of Danbury. The New York militia included Sybil's father Colonel Henry Ludington. Though they arrived too late to save Danbury from burning, the elder Ludington and the New York militia helped support the Danbury troops and ensuing engagement of the British known as the Battle of Ridgefield on April 27, 1777. Wooster was wounded at Ridgefield and died five days later in Danbury.

Two years later during a British raid on Greenwich on February 26, 1779 General Israel Putnam, who had stayed at Knapp's Tavern the previous night, rode away on his horse to warn the people of Stamford. Putnam was shot at by the British raiders but was able to escape. The hat he was wearing with a musket ball hole in it is on display at Knapp's Tavern in Greenwich (which is commonly, albeit somewhat erroneously, called Putnam's cottage).[11] In the summer of 1779, General William Tryon sought to punish Americans by attacking civilian targets in coastal Connecticut with a force of about 2,600 British troops. New Haven was raided on July 5, Fairfield was raided on the 7th and burned. Norwalk was raided on July 10 and burned on the 11th. Norwalk militia leader Captain Stephen Betts put up resistance to the invaders, but was overwhelmed by the powerful British raiders and was forced to retreat.

David Sherman Boardman (1786–1864) was a prominent early lawyer and judge in this and neighboring Litchfield County.

On October 7, 1801, Neremiah Dodge and other members of the Danbury Baptist Association wrote a letter to then president Thomas Jefferson expressing their concern that as Baptists they may not be able to express full religious liberty in the state of Connecticut whose "ancient charter" was adopted before the establishment of a Baptist church in the state. Jefferson replied in a letter to Dodge and the other members of the Danbury church on January 1, 1802 in which he thought that there was "a wall of separation between church and State" that protected them.[12] This well-known phrase occurs in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury church members and not in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, nor in later amendments.

Although it is often viewed as an extension of metro-New York City, Fairfield County has had much industry in its own right. Bridgeport Machines, Inc., a milling machine manufacturer, was founded in Bridgeport in 1938. Stamford, Connecticut is an example of edge city urbanization, with many large and important companies having offices there and benefitting from proximity to New York.

At the height of its influence in the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan had a distinct presence in the county and county politics. The group was most active in Darien.[13] The Klan has since disappeared from the county.

Fairfield County, along with all other Connecticut counties, was abolished as a governmental agency in accord with state legislation that took effect October 1, 1960.[14]

Geography[edit]

Land[edit]

Lake Candlewood in the northern part of the county in the Appalachian Mountains, where the Taconics and Berkshires come fairly close to each other

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 837 square miles (2,170 km2), of which 625 square miles (1,620 km2) is land and 212 square miles (550 km2) (25.3%) is water.[15]

The terrain of the county trends from flat near the coast to hilly and higher near its northern extremity. The highest elevation is 1,290 feet (393 m) above sea level along the New York state line south of Branch Hill in the Town of Sherman; the lowest point is sea level itself.

The Taconic Mountains and the Berkshire Mountains ranges of the Appalachian Mountains run through Fairfield County. The Taconics begin roughly in Ridgefield and the Berkshires begin roughly in Northern Trumbull, both running north to Litchfield County and beyond. A portion of the Taconics also is in rural Greenwich and rural North Stamford in Fairfield County and run north into Westchester County, New York, eventually re-entering Fairfield County in Ridgefield. Also a small portion of the Appalachian Trail runs through the county. The Appalachian Trail enters Connecticut in the northernmost and least populous town in the county, Sherman, and moves east into Litchfield County which encompasses the majority of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut.

The section of the Taconic Mountains range that runs through Greenwich and North Stamford of Fairfield County is also the part of the Appalachians that is closest to the coast out of the entire Appalachian Mountains.

Water[edit]

The agreed 1684 territorial limits of the county are defined as 20 miles (32 km) east of New York's Hudson River, which extends into Long Island Sound with a southernly limit of half way to Long Island, New York. The eastern limit is defined as the half way point of the Housatonic River with New Haven County with the exception of several islands belonging wholly to Stratford. The depth of the Sound varies between 60 to 120 feet (37 m).

The county is home to the Byram River, Housatonic River, Mianus River, Mill River, Norwalk River, Pequonnock River, Rippowam River, and the Saugatuck River.

Rings End Bridge, in Darien.
Huntington State Park with about 2 miles across of wilderness

Mountains and summits[edit]

Refer to List of Mountains and Summits in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 36,290
1800 38,208 5.3%
1810 41,050 7.4%
1820 42,739 4.1%
1830 47,010 10.0%
1840 49,917 6.2%
1850 59,775 19.7%
1860 77,476 29.6%
1870 95,276 23.0%
1880 112,042 17.6%
1890 150,081 34.0%
1900 184,203 22.7%
1910 245,322 33.2%
1920 320,936 30.8%
1930 386,702 20.5%
1940 418,384 8.2%
1950 504,342 20.5%
1960 653,589 29.6%
1970 792,814 21.3%
1980 807,143 1.8%
1990 827,645 2.5%
2000 882,567 6.6%
2010 916,829 3.9%
Est. 2013 939,904 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1960[17] 1900-1990[18]
1990-2000[19] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 882,567 people, 324,232 households, and 228,259 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,410 people per square mile (545/km²). There were 339,466 housing units at an average density of 542 per square mile (209/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.31% White, 10.01% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 3.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.70% from other races, and 2.49% from two or more races. 11.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.6% were of Italian, 12.4% Irish, 6.5% German and 6.4% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

In 2010, 66.2% of Fairfield County's population was non-Hispanic whites and 10.8% of the population was black. Asians were 4.6% of the population. Hispanics now constituted 16.9% of the population.[21]

As of 2000, 76.2% spoke English, 11.0% Spanish, 2.0% Portuguese, 1.7% Italian and 1.1% French as their first language. Some of the last group were Haitians, although other Haitians would identify Haitian creole as their first language.

There were 324,232 households out of which 34.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 30.90% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $65,249, and the median income for a family was $77,690. Males had a median income of $51,996 versus $37,108 for females. The per capita income for the county was $38,350. About 5.00% of families and 6.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.30% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.

A plot of recent population trends shows a steady increase:[22]

In 2000, the largest denominational groups were Catholics (with 433,832 members) and Mainline Protestants (95,244).[23] The largest religious bodies were The Catholic Church (433,832) and Judaism (38,800 ).[23]

Demographic breakdown by town[edit]

Income[edit]

Data is from the 2010 United States Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.[24][25]

Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
1 New Canaan Town $100,824 $179,338 $220,278 19,738 7,010
2 Darien Town $95,577 $175,766 $211,313 20,732 6,698
3 Greenwich Town $92,759 $124,958 $167,825 61,171 23,076
4 Weston Town $92,735 $209,630 $242,361 10,179 3,379
5 Westport Town $90,792 $150,771 $182,659 26,391 9,573
6 Wilton Town $78,234 $153,770 $181,763 18,062 6,172
7 Ridgefield Town $72,026 $132,907 $166,036 24,638 8,801
8 Redding Town $65,594 $130,557 $145,833 9,158 3,470
9 Easton Town $63,405 $140,370 $163,194 7,490 2,577
10 Fairfield Town $55,733 $113,248 $138,067 59,404 20,457
11 Brookfield Town $49,705 $109,008 $127,617 16,452 6,129
12 Sherman Town $48,637 $115,417 $129,177 3,581 1,388
13 Newtown Town $45,308 $108,148 $120,507 27,560 9,459
14 Stamford City $44,667 $75,579 $88,050 122,643 47,357
15 Trumbull Town $44,006 $102,059 $117,855 36,018 12,725
16 Newtown Borough $43,916 $106,141 $109,821 1,941 696
17 Monroe Town $43,842 $109,727 $119,357 19,479 6,735
18 Norwalk City $43,303 $76,161 $93,009 85,603 33,217
19 New Fairfield Town $39,486 $101,067 $108,720 13,881 4,802
20 Shelton City $38,341 $80,656 $97,211 39,559 15,325
21 Bethel Town $36,608 $83,483 $99,568 18,584 6,938
22 Stratford Town $32,590 $67,530 $83,369 51,384 20,095
23 Danbury City $31,461 $65,275 $74,420 80,893 28,907
24 Bridgeport City $19,854 $41,047 $47,894 144,229 51,255

Race[edit]

Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates, "Race alone or in combination with one or more other races."[26]

Rank Town Population White Black Asian American
Indian
Other Hispanic
1 Bridgeport City 143,412 49.8% 35.9% 3.9% 0.6% 11.8% 36.7%
2 Stamford City 121,784 61.0% 15.5% 8.7% 0.3% 16.3% 24.4%
3 Norwalk City 85,145 77.2% 14.0% 4.3% 0.6% 6.0% 20.2%
4 Danbury City 80,101 74.2% 8.7% 6.5% 1.2% 13.0% 25.1%
5 Greenwich Town 61,023 87.1% 2.3% 7.6% 0.2% 3.9% 9.0%
6 Fairfield Town 59,078 92.9% 1.8% 5.0% 0.2% 1.4% 4.4%
7 Stratford Town 51,116 79.5% 14.2% 3.7% 0.5% 4.1% 15.3%
8 Shelton Town 39,310 92.6% 2.0% 2.5% 0.3% 3.1% 7.1%
9 Trumbull Town 35,752 91.9% 2.4% 5.4% 0.2% 1.5% 6.0%
10 Newtown Town 27,235 92.7% 2.0% 3.4% 0.5% 3.0% 6.0%
11 Westport Town 26,249 93.3% 1.4% 5.4% 0.1% 1.5% 3.6%
12 Ridgefield Town 24,469 96.0% 1.0% 3.2% 0.3% 0.7% 3.2%
13 Darien Town 20,580 95.2% 0.8% 3.8% 0.1% 1.3% 3.7%
14 New Canaan Town 19,642 96.4% 1.0% 2.5% 0.3% 0.8% 1.8%
15 Monroe Town 19,398 96.9% 0.2% 2.4% 0.1% 0.7% 4.5%
16 Bethel Town 18,584 90.5% 2.5% 5.1% 0.4% 3.5% 7.6%
17 Wilton Town 17,973 93.2% 1.2% 5.7% 0.0% 1.0% 2.8%
18 Brookfield Town 16,339 92.0% 1.6% 6.1% 0.4% 0.9% 4.4%
19 New Fairfield Town 13,847 95.3% 0.6% 0.9% 0.6% 3.6% 6.5%
20 Weston Town 10,142 96.1% 1.7% 3.0% 0.6% 0.8% 2.9%
21 Redding Town 9,058 95.7% 1.8% 2.8% 2.1% 0.3% 2.6%
22 Easton Town 7,452 96.7% 1.3% 2.5% 0.0% 0.0% 2.2%
23 Sherman Town 3,598 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.6%
24 Newtown Borough 2,035 97.7% 0.8% 2.0% 0.9% 0.5% 2.7%

Presidential election results[edit]

Year Republican Democratic
2012 44.2% 175,168 54.9% 217,294
2008 40.5% 167,736 58.7% 242,936
2004 47.3% 189,605 51.4% 205,902
2000 43.1% 159,659 52.3% 193,769
1996 41.4% 144,632 48.9% 172,337
1992 42.8% 175,158 39.1% 160,202
1988 59.0% 221,316 39.9% 149,630
1984 65.8% 257,319 33.8% 132,253
1980 54.9% 201,997 33.7% 124,074
1976 58.1% 209,458 41.2% 148,353
1972 64.0% 233,188 34.3% 125,128
1968 51.8% 173,108 41.7% 139,364
1964 39.2% 125,576 60.8% 194,782
1960 53.4% 167,778 46.6% 146,442

Government and municipal services[edit]

As of 1960, counties in Connecticut do not have any associated county government structure. Thus Fairfield County is only a geographical point of reference. All municipal services are provided by the towns, who sometimes will share certain resources through regionalization. In order to address issues concerning more than one town, several regional agencies that help coordinate the towns for infrastructure, land use, and economic development concerns have been established. Within the geographical area of Fairfield County, the regional agencies are:

County municipal buildings[edit]

Several former county municipal buildings are used by other state or local agencies, including:

  • The Fairfield County Jail in Bridgeport on the corner of North Avenue and Madison Avenue, still actively used to house prisoners.
  • The Fairfield County Court Houses in Bridgeport and Danbury which served the county's judicial needs and housed county deputy sheriff's until December 2000. The court houses are still marked "Fairfield County Court House".

Law enforcement[edit]

Fairfield County, Connecticut Sheriff's Department patch

Law enforcement within the geographic area of the county is provided by the respective town police departments, whereas in other states in the region such as New York and Vermont law enforcement would be provided by the local county sheriff's department. In the less dense areas, such as Sherman, law enforcement is primarily provided by the Connecticut State Police. Prior to 2000, a County Sheriff's Department existed for the purpose of executing judicial warrants, prisoner transport, court security, Bailiff, and county and state executions. These responsibilities have now been taken over by the Connecticut State Marshal System.

Some municipalities in the county still maintain a sheriff's department to fill the void of the abolishment of the county sheriff's department, such as the City of Shelton which has established the Shelton Sheriff's Department to carry out warrants in the city.

Judicial[edit]

The geographic area of the county is served by the three separate judicial districts: Danbury, Stamford-Norwalk, and Fairfield. Each judicial district has a superior court located, respectively, in Danbury, Stamford, and Bridgeport. Each judicial district has one or more geographical area courts ("GA"'s), subdivisions of the judicial districts that handle lesser cases such as criminal misdemeanors, small claims, traffic violations, and other civil actions.

Fire protection[edit]

Fire protection in the county is provided by the towns. Several towns also have fire districts that provide services to a section of the town.

Education[edit]

Education in the county is usually provided by the town governments. The exceptions are the towns of Redding and Easton, which joined together to form a regional school district (Region 9).

Crime Rate[edit]

Fairfield County boasts an impressive crime index of 2050.2 (per 100,000 citizens) as well as a murder closure rate of over 70%.[27] Several Governmental agencies, as well as private security contractors, have made note of Fairfield's low crime rates and the County currently has 6 cities and towns with a percentile safety index of 90% or higher compared to the rest of the continental United States (based on violent and property crimes).[28]

Economy[edit]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s corporations began moving their headquarters to Fairfield County from Manhattan; Thomas J. Lueck of The New York Times said that the trend "permanently decentralized big business in the New York region." During the 1980s many buyouts and reorganizations and an economic recession lead to companies vacating much of the suburban office space in Fairfield County. In 1992 Fairfield County had the headquarters of over 25 major multinational corporations, giving it the third largest concentration of those companies in the United States after New York City and Chicago.[29]

Recently, Fairfield County has been described as a "hedge fund ghetto" due to the large concentration of investment management firms in the area, most notably Bridgewater Associates (one of the world's largest hedge fund companies), Aladdin Capital Management and SAC Capital Advisors.[citation needed]

Hospitals[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Mass transit[edit]

With Interstate 95 and the Merritt Parkway increasingly clogged with traffic, state officials are looking toward mass transit to ease the county's major thoroughfares' traffic burden.

New office buildings are being concentrated near railroad stations in Stamford, Bridgeport and other municipalities in the county to allow for more rail commuting. Proximity to Stamford's Metro-North train station was cited by the Royal Bank of Scotland as a key reason for locating its new U.S. headquarters building in downtown Stamford; construction on the office tower started in late 2006.

Air[edit]

Within Fairfield County there are two regional airports: Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford and the Danbury Municipal Airport in Danbury. The county is also served by larger airports such as Bradley International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, and Westchester County Airport.

Bus service[edit]

Connecticut Transit's Stamford division runs local and inter-city buses to the southern part of the county.[30] The Norwalk Transit District serves the Norwalk area in the southern central portion of the county; the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority serves Bridgeport and eastern Fairfield County; and the Housatonic Area Regional Transit agency serves Danbury and the northern portions of the county.

Ferry service[edit]

The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry carries passengers and cars from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson, New York across Long Island Sound.

Ferry lines in and out of Stamford are also in development.

Rail[edit]

Commuter Rail is perhaps Fairfield County's most important transportation artery, as it allows its residents an efficient ride to Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Service is provided on Metro-North's New Haven Line, and every town on the shoreline has at least one station. Connecting lines bring service to New Canaan from Stamford on the New Canaan Branch, and to Danbury from South Norwalk on the Danbury Branch. Many trains run express from New York to Stamford, making it an easy 45-minute ride.

In the 2005 and 2006 sessions of the Legislature, massive appropriations were made to buy replacements for the 343 rail cars for the Metro-North New Haven Line and branch lines. The approximately 30 year old cars will be replaced with new cars at a rate of ten per month starting in 2010.[31]

Bridgeport and Stamford are also served by Amtrak, and both cities see a significant number of boardings on the "Regional Northeast Route" (Boston to Newport News, VA). This route also serves other Amtrak stations in Connecticut, including New Haven, New London, and Mystic.

Major roads[edit]

Boston Post Road[edit]

U.S. 1 is the oldest east-west route in the county, running through all of its shoreline cities and towns. Known by various names along its length, most commonly "Boston Post Road" or simply "Post Road", it gradually gains latitude from west to east. Thus U.S. 1 west is officially designated "South" and east is "North".

Though contiguous, U.S.1 changes name by locality. In Greenwich it is Putnam Avenue. In Stamford it becomes Main Street or Tresser Boulevard. In Darien it is Boston Post Road or "the Post Road". In Norwalk it is Connecticut Avenue in the west and Westport Avenue in the east. In Westport, it is Post Road West from the Norwalk town line until the Saugatuck River and then it becomes Post Road East until Fairfield. In Fairfield it is again Boston Post Road or "the Post Road". In Bridgeport it follows Kings Highway in the west, North Avenue in the center, and Boston Avenue in the east. Finally, it becomes Barnum Avenue in Stratford.

Interstate 95[edit]

The western portions of Interstate 95 in Connecticut are known as the Connecticut Turnpike or the Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike in Fairfield County and it crosses the state approximately parallel to U.S. Route 1. The road is most commonly referred to as "I-95". The highway is six lanes (sometimes eight lanes) throughout the county. It was completed in 1958 and is often clogged with traffic particularly during morning and evening rush hours.

With the cost of land so high along the Gold Coast, state lawmakers say they don't consider widening the highway to be fiscally feasible, although occasional stretches between entrances and nearby exits are now sometimes connected with a fourth "operational improvement" lane (for instance, westbound between the Exit 10 interchange in Darien and Exit 8 in Stamford). Expect similar added lanes in Darien and elsewhere in the Fairfield County portion of the highway in the future, lawmakers and state Department of Transportation officials say.[citation needed]

Merritt Parkway[edit]

The Merritt Parkway, also known as "The Merritt" or Connecticut Route 15, is a truck-free scenic parkway that runs through the county parallel and generally several miles north of Interstate 95. It begins at the New York state line where it is the Hutchinson River Parkway and terminates on the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge where it becomes the Wilbur Cross Parkway at the New Haven county line.

The interchange between the Merritt Parkway and Route 7 in Norwalk was completed around the year 2000. The project was held up in a lawsuit won by preservationists concerned about the historic Merritt Parkway bridges. It is now exit 39 off the Merritt, and exit 15 off I-95. The parkway is a National Scenic Byway and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[32]

Interstate 84[edit]

Interstate 84, which runs through Danbury, is scheduled to be widened to a six-lane highway at all points between Danbury and Waterbury. State officials say they hope the widening will not only benefit drivers regularly on the route but also entice some cars from the more crowded Interstate 95, which is roughly parallel to it. Heavier trucks are unlikely to use Interstate 84 more often, however, because the route is much hillier than I-95 according to a state Department of Transportation official.

U.S. Route 7[edit]

With its southern terminus at Interstate 95 in central Norwalk, U.S. Route 7 heads north through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Danbury to points north. In Danbury and almost all of Norwalk, the route is a highway (known as "Super 7" in the Danbury area or "The Connector" in Norwalk) but it becomes a four-lane road just south of the Wilton-Norwalk border and up to Danbury. There is significant opposition to making the route a limited access highway for the entire length by residents of Wilton and Ridgefield. As a compromise between freeway supporters and opponents, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is upgrading the existing 2-lane section to 4 lanes, with a median in some locations. The state is also bypassing the existing 2-lane Route 7 around Brookfield with a freeway, where town officials have long supported an expressway to divert traffic away from the town center.

Connecticut Route 8[edit]

Route 8 terminates in downtown Bridgeport from I-95 with Connecticut Route 25 and goes north. It splits from Connecticut Route 25 at the Bridgeport—Trumbull town line and continues north into southeastern Trumbull and Shelton, then beyond the county through some of towns of the Naugatuck River Valley to Waterbury and beyond. Construction of the route provided some impetus for the creation of office parks in Shelton and home construction there and in other parts of The Valley.

Connecticut Route 25[edit]

Route 25 Starts in downtown Bridgeport from I 95 with Route 8 and goes north. It splits from Connecticut Route 8 at the Bridgeport—Trumbull town line and continues into Trumbull. The limited access divided expressway ends in northern Trumbull, but Route 25 continues into Monroe, Newtown, and Brookfield

Sports[edit]

Three minor league teams call Fairfield County their home: the Danbury Whalers (Federal Hockey League), the Class A affiliate of the Elmira Jackals; the Bridgeport Bluefish in baseball's independent Atlantic League; and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who are the New York Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate.

Communities[edit]

Map of Fairfield County, Connecticut labeling types of municipalities by color. Towns in light green, Cities in Red, and Boroughs in Dark Red
Map of Fairfield County, Connecticut showing cities, boroughs, towns, and CDPs

Note: Villages are named localities within towns, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.

Telephone area codes[edit]

All communities in the county are in the area code 203/area code 475 overlay except for the town of Sherman which is in area code 860 and part of the geographical New Milford telephone exchange.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts Fairfield County, Connecticut". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "OMB Bulletin No. 13-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas". United States Office of Management and Budget. February 28, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ See "BEA : CA1-3 - Per capita personal income". Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  6. ^ The Connecticut Economy Fall 2008
  7. ^ Richard Somerset-Ward (11 June 2005). An American theatre: the story of Westport Country Playhouse, 1931-2005. Yale University Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-300-10648-0. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 123. 
  9. ^ The public records of the colony of Connecticut, from 1665 to 1678 02. 1850. p. 35. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  10. ^ "SOTS: Sites, Seals & Symbols". State of Connecticut Secretary of the State. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  11. ^ "Greenwich Connecticut History". Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  12. ^ Letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT, January 1, 1802
  13. ^ DiGiovanni, the Rev. (now Monsignor) Stephen M., The Catholic Church in Fairfield County: 1666-1961, 1987, William Mulvey Inc., New Canaan, Chapter II: The New Catholic Immigrants, 1880-1930; subchapter: "The True American: White, Protestant, Non-Alcoholic," pp. 81-82; DiGiovanni, in turn, cites (Footnote 209, page 258) Jackson, Kenneth T., The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-1930 (New York, 1981), p. 239
  14. ^ "SOTS: Section VI - Counties - Table of Contents". State of Connecticut, Secretary of the State. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  21. ^ Fairfield County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  22. ^ "NACo Find a County". Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  23. ^ a b "County Membership Reports". thearda.com. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  24. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  25. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  26. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  27. ^ Connecticut Department of Public Saftey "[1]
  28. ^ Safe Choice Private Security Firm "[2]
  29. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. "Vacated Corporate Headquarters Scatter the Suburban Landscape." The New York Times. December 7, 1992. A1, New York Edition. Retrieved on January 5, 2009.
  30. ^ "CTTransit - Connecting the Community". Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  31. ^ Governor Rell: Governor Rell: New Rail Car Design Gets Positive Reviews from Public. Ct.gov (2008-10-16). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  32. ^ "National Register of Historical Places - CONNECTICUT (CT), Fairfield County". National Park Service and United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 

External links[edit]

Major media in the county[edit]

Countywide[edit]

Daily newspapers covering the county[edit]

Published within the county[edit]
Published outside the county[edit]

Spanish language newspapers[edit]

Hyperlocal coverage[edit]

Broadcast media and cable television[edit]

Colleges[edit]

Culture and the arts[edit]

Fine Arts[edit]

Music: orchestras in the county[edit]

  • Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Founded in 1945, its concerts are held at Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport. The orchestra offers a free outdoors pops concert in the summer at Fairfield University. Gustav Meier has been with the GBSO for 41 years.
  • Connecticut Grand Opera, a not-for-profit, professional opera company founded in 1993 and based in Stamford, where it performs at the Palace Theatre. On its web site, the CGO claims to offer "the most ambitious opera season of any company between New York and Boston."
  • Danbury Symphony Orchestra. This orchestra does not have its own Web site and only part of a web page at the Danbury Music Center web site is devoted to it.
  • Greenwich Symphony Orchestra. Begun in 1958 as the Greenwich Philharmonia, the orchestra has grown to 90 members who perform at the Dickerman Hollister Auditorium at Greenwich High School. It also performs a pops concert in the summer. David Gilbert has been music director and conductor since 1975.
  • Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. Its concerts take place in a graceful, large "Norwalk Concert Hall" auditorium of Norwalk City Hall. Founded in 1939, the NSO remained primarily a community orchestra of volunteers. In 1956, the Norwalk Youth Symphony was created, and younger musicians often were invited to be part of the orchestra. Diane Wittry has been music director and conductor since 2002. For the past eight years she has held the same title at the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania.
  • Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra Annually, the RSO presents four subscription concerts at the Anne S. Richardson Auditorium at Ridgefield High School, and two chamber music concerts at the Ridgefield Playhouse for the Performing Arts (only one is scheduled in the 2006–07 season), along with an annual "family concert" and performances in Ridgefield schools.
  • Stamford Symphony Orchestra The SSO typically gives five pairs of classical concerts and three pops concerts a season at the 1,586-seat Palace Theatre. It also performs a concert for elementary school students and a family concert series.
  • Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, a not-for-profit organization providing talented young musicians in the Fairfield County and Upper Westchester County areas with a classical symphony experience.

Other music and arts events[edit]

History and culture links[edit]

Tourism links[edit]

County business associations and institutions[edit]

Coordinates: 41°14′N 73°22′W / 41.23°N 73.37°W / 41.23; -73.37