Greens Farms

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Greens Farms is the oldest neighborhood in the town of Westport in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States.

Geography[edit]

Boundary[edit]

The boundaries of the neighborhood, like those of most neighborhoods with no governmental status, are vague, but according to a New York Times article in 2001, "generally, a resident can confidently claim a Green's Farms address if the property lies within the area bounded by Hillspoint Road, the Fairfield town line and the Post Road". According to the same article, Turkey Hill Road and Morningside Drive are the heart of the neighborhood.[1]

Climate[edit]

It enjoys a temperate climate and has many ecological systems, including a salt marsh.

Education, transport, and economy[edit]

Greens Farms is the home to a private coeducational K-12 institution that bears its namesake: Greens Farms Academy. The Green's Farms Railroad Station is located on New Creek Road. Exit 18 of Interstate 95 serves the neighborhood. Sherwood Island State Park is at the western edge of Greens Farms. The Nyala Farms Corporate Center, north of Sherwood Island, is home to Terex Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, and Pequot Capital Management, a large hedge fund.

Green's Farms Elementary School serves students in kindergarten through Grade 5 in a Gothic-style building with a newer wing on the back containing a library-media center, computer lab and gymnasium.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The land holdings of John Green, one of the first five settlers, known collectively as the Bankside Farmers, were known as Green's Farm by 1699.[2] In 1732 the area was officially renamed Green's Farms.[3]

Within the area of Greens Farms is Frost Point named after one of the other Bankside Farmers Daniel Frost.[4]

Greens Farms is rarely spelled in its original form, Green's Farms.

The First Congregational Church of Green's Farms, Green's Farms Railroad Station and The New York Times all use the apostrophe in the neighborhood name, which is used about half of the time. The Town of Westport, Connecticut state government and local newspapers do not.[1]

History[edit]

In 1648 the Town of Fairfield officially gave five farmers, collectively known as the Bankside Farmers, permission to settle the fertile land that the Pequot people were living in.[5] The Bankside Farmers purchased the land from the Pequot who called it Machamux ("beautiful land").[5] The land that the Pequot sold, then within the original boundaries of the Town of Fairfield, stretched from "Frost Point an English mile along the seacoast toward Compaw, and six or seven miles inland."[4] The Pequot moved to an area "elevated back east of this strip".[4]

The first three settlers were Thomas Newton, Henry Gray and John Green. Daniel Frost and Francis Andrews later joined the Bankside Farmers making five in total.[4]

They lived at the western end of what is now Beachside Avenue.[6]

On Green's Farms Road near Morningside Drive is the site of the first West Parish Common, the first schoolhouse, and the first meeting house. A small park is now there with a monument called Machamux Boulder.[6]

Over the next 50 years, more land was bought from the Indians and the community grew. In 1711 the "West Parish of Fairfield" was established with church and civil functions. In 1732, the area was renamed "Green's Farms" in honor of John Green, one of the original five Bankside Farmers.[6]

During the American Revolution, British soldiers burned down the Meeting House in a raid that also destroyed 15 houses and 11 barns.[1] The only church property saved was the communion service that Deacon Ebenezer Jesup rescued by hiding it in his well. For the next 10 years, members of the church met in private homes. In 1789 a new church building was erected at the church's current site at Hillandale Road. To raise money, pews were auctioned off. That building was replaced and, in April 1852, a fire forced another replacement the next year.[7]

Burial Hill Beach was acquired by the Town of Westport in 1893.[6]

In 1950, strong winds toppled the Congregational Church steeple, sending it through the roof of the Sunday School room, now the church parlor. The repair effort was expanded to include lighting for the steeple and a new Sunday School room which would double as a church social hall and the construction of a Sunday School wing. In 1961, the present social hall was added, together with more classrooms, a church office, ministers' offices and a choir room.[7]

Notable people[edit]

Famous residents of the neighborhood include Marlo Thomas and her husband, Phil Donahue, and the radio talk-show host Don Imus. Martha Stewart once owned a home on Turkey Hill Road, from which she taped a television program, but she moved after long-running controversies about the effect of her television production business on the neighborhood.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e [1] Prevost, Lisa, "If You're Thinking of Living In/Green's Farms; A Country Atmosphere Near the Sound", article in the Real Estate Section, The New York Times, January 7, 2001, accessed November 18, 2007
  2. ^ Woody Klein; Westport Historical Society (Conn.) (May 2000). Westport, Connecticut: the story of a New England town's rise to prominence. Greenwood Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-313-31126-0. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Florence S. Marcy Crofut; Tercentenary Commission of the State of Connecticut; Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution (1937). Guide to the history and the historic sites of Connecticut. Yale university press. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Connecticut town origins. Pequot Press. 1964*. p. 90. Retrieved 30 November 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ a b Prevost, Lisa (7 January 2001). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Green's Farms; A Country Atmosphere Near the Sound". New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d [2] Web page titled "Colonial Green's Farms" at the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park Web site, accessed November 18, 2007
  7. ^ a b [3] Web page titled "The Congregational Church of Green's Farms / History of Green's Farms Congregational Church, accessed November 18, 2007

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°07′26″N 73°19′09″W / 41.12389°N 73.31917°W / 41.12389; -73.31917