Brookfield Town Hall
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
|• Type||Selectman-town meeting|
|• First selectman||Stephen C. Dunn (D)|
|• Selectman||Susan D. Slater (D)|
|• Selectman||Harold A. Shaker (R)|
|• Total||20.4 sq mi (52.8 km2)|
|• Land||19.8 sq mi (51.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)|
|Elevation||459 ft (140 m)|
|• Estimate (2017)||17,550|
|• Density||810/sq mi (310/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0213399|
Brookfield is a town located in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States in the southern foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. The population was 16,487 at the 2010 census. Brookfield was first settled in 1710 by John Muirwood, as well as other colonial founders including Hawley, Peck and Merwin. They bartered for the land from the Wyantenuck Nation and the Pootatuck nation who were ruled under the Sachem Waramaug and Pocono. The purchase of the southern portion of town involved the current municipal center where sachem Pocono then had his village and lived in an enormous palisade along the Still River. Eventually, when the town was settled, it was first established as the Parish of Newbury, which incorporated parts of neighboring Newtown and Danbury. The town of Brookfield was established in 1788. It was named after the first minister of the parish's Congregational church, Reverend Thomas Brooks.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Economy
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government and politics
- 6 Education
- 7 Downtown Redevelopment Project
- 8 Community and Points of interest
- 9 Notable people
- 10 In popular culture
- 11 Transportation
- 12 Emergency services
- 13 Media
- 14 Rankings
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Early people who lived in Brookfield were subsistence farmers, gatherers and hunters. The main food sources were corn, beans, squash and wild foods found in the rocky, heavily forested foot hills of the Berkshire Mountains of Brookfield and New Milford. Such wild foods that were harvested were white oak acorns, American chestnuts, shag bark hickory nuts, may apples, beach nuts and Solomon's seal. The hunted animals that were taken from the forest and rivers were deer, passenger pigeon, turkey, bass, trout, crawfish, squirrel, rabbit and others. In the 18th century the community was called "Newbury", a name that came from the three towns from which its land was taken – New Milford, Newtown, and Danbury.
As traveling to surrounding churches was difficult in winter, in 1752 the General Assembly granted the community the right to worship in area homes from September through March. In 1754, the General Assembly granted permission for the Parish of Newbury to build its own meeting house and recruit its own minister. On September 28, 1757, the first Congregational Church building was dedicated. The Reverend Thomas Brooks was ordained as the first settled minister. Incorporated in 1778, the town's name was changed to Brookfield in honor of Brooks, who was still the minister.
Along the Still River, mills were in operation as early as 1732 in an area that became known as the Iron Works District. Brookfield was a thriving town with iron furnaces, grist mills, sawmills, comb shops, carding and cotton mills, a paper mill, a knife factory, hat factories, stage-coach shops, lime kilns, harness shops and other plants in operation. The grist mill still stands, as the Brookfield Craft Center. The Iron Works Aqueduct Company, formed in 1837 to supply water from mountain springs to the Iron Works District, still supplies water as the Brookfield Water Company.
Before 1912, the town had two train stations: one in the Iron Works District near the present Brookfield Market and a second, Junction Station, near the corner of Junction Road and Stony Hill Road.
The Danbury & Bethel Gas and Electric Company brought electricity to Brookfield in 1915. The .475 Wildey Magnum gun, later made famous in the 1985 Charles Bronson movie Death Wish 3, was developed by Wildey J. Moore in Brookfield in the early 1970s (the factory has since moved to Warren, Connecticut).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.4 square miles (53 km2), of which 19.8 square miles (51 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), or 2.94%, is water. It borders Bethel to the south, Newtown to the southeast, Danbury to the southwest, New Fairfield to the west, New Milford to the north, and Bridgewater to the northeast.
The town's largest neighborhoods include:
- Brookfield Town Center (downtown district, also known as "Four Corners". A shopping district of Brookfield and future site of downtown area and possible railway station. Known officially as the "downtown area".)
- Brookfield Center (original town center, now a historic district. Added NRHP, September 15, 1991)
Other named minor neighborhoods and geographic locations in the town are:
- Barkwood Falls
- Brookfield Junction
- Candlewood Lake East
- Candlewood Shores
- East Iron Works
- Huckleberry Hill
- Iron Works
- Long Meadow Hill
- Pocono Ridge
- Prospect Hill
- West Iron Works
Brookfield has a humid continental climate, similar to that of New York City, with mild to warm humid summers and cold to very cold winters. The highest recorded temperature was 103 °F (39 °C) in July 1966, while the lowest recorded temperature was -15 °F (-26 °C) in 1968. Snowfall is generally frequent in winter while average precipitation is most common in September.
|Climate data for Brookfield, Connecticut|
|Record high °F (°C)||71
|Average high °F (°C)||36
|Average low °F (°C)||19
|Record low °F (°C)||−18
|Average rainfall inches (mm)||3.76
Companies in Brookfield include:
- BNP Associates, an airport systems designer, is headquartered in Brookfield.
- Bridgewater Chocolate, a premium chocolate manufacturer, is headquartered in Brookfield.
- Cerulean Studios, a software company, is headquartered in Brookfield.
- Lego USA was formerly headquartered in Brookfield.
- McMullin Manufacturing Corporation, a contract manufacturing company of precision metal stampings, fabricated metal parts and assemblies, is headquartered in Brookfield.
- The Pepsi Bottling Group operates a large facility in Brookfield.
- Photronics, a major semiconductor manufacturer, is headquartered in Brookfield.
- Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has a facility in Brookfield.
- Townsquare Media operates a regional office in Brookfield.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,664 people, 5,572 households, and 4,368 families residing in the town. The population density was 791.1 people per square mile (305.4/km²). There were 5,781 housing units at an average density of 292.0 per square mile (112.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.29% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 2.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,573 households out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.1% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.7 males, slightly under the US average. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $119,370, and the median income for a family was $136,682. Males had a median income of $91,396 versus $48,318 for females. The per capita income for the town was $58,715. About 1.2% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.
Government and politics
Elected bodies in the town government are a three-member Board of Selectmen, a seven-member Board of Education, a six-member Board of Finance, a five-member Planning and Zoning Commission, three-member Board of Assessment Appeals, and a 100-member, nonpartisan Representative Town Meeting. The town has several elective offices as well: the town clerk, probate judge, registrar of voters, tax collector and treasurer.
The Board of Finance approves financial measures, including the town budget; the Board of Education controls the town's public schools; the Representative Town Meeting is the main legislative body of the town.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of November 1, 2017|
|Party||Active voters||Inactive voters||Total voters||Percentage|
- Brookfield High School (grades 9-12)
- Whisconier Middle School (grades 5-8)
- Huckleberry Hill School (grades 2-4)
- Center School (grades Pre-k-1)
- St. Joseph Elementary School (Catholic School, grades Pre-k-8)
- Christian Life Academy (Christian School, grades Pre-k)
- Country Kids Child Care (grades Pre-k-K)
- Goddard School (grades Pre-k-K)
- Montessori Community School (grades Pre-k-K)
- Curtis School for Boys (All-boys boarding school open from 1883-1943. Starting in the 1920s, girls were allowed to enroll as day-students. The school has since become the Brookfeld Theatre For the Arts.)
There is also a magnet school in Danbury, Connecticut that students from Brookfield are accepted into. Students to this school are also accepted from Redding, New Milford, Newtown, and other regional communities. Henry Abbott Technical High School is a public technical high school for students grades 9-12, being located in Danbury but also accepting students from other regional communities.
The Brookfield Craft Center is a specialized, non-degree school which teaches the skills of craftsmanship and offers courses and workshops to the general public. It is largely housed in an old historic mill house, on the Still River.
Downtown Redevelopment Project
For years despite being a major economic center for retail in Fairfield County, Brookfield has lacked a walkable downtown area. In 2016, construction began on a project known as "Brookfield Village", which will create a downtown district consisting of sidewalks, street lamps and parallel parking. Retail storefronts and residential apartment buildings are also being developed in this area, which has gained attention from retailers and will promote further development in the area.
Community and Points of interest
Arts and Culture
- Brookfield Craft Center — an educational center that brings arts and crafts to people of all ages. Located in the former Brookfield Train Station.
- Brookfield Museum and Historical Society — founded in 1968, a museum and archive pertaining to the history of Brookfield and the New York and New England Region as a whole.
- Brookfield Public Library — located directly across the street from the main entrance Williams Park.
- Brookfield Theatre For the Arts — a theatre where community productions of various plays are held. The theatre building is part of the former Curtis School for Boys, an all-boys boarding school which closed in 1943.
- JLG Autocrib — located at 1 Sunset Hill Rd., housing a private collection of over 30 rare and vintage Porsche cars and memorabilia.
- Candlewood Lake — the largest lake in Connecticut, Candlewood spans five towns and forms the western border of Brookfield.
- Lake Lillinonah — the second largest lake in Connecticut, spanning six towns. The lake was formed by the construction of the Shepaug Dam in 1955.
Parks and Beaches
- Arthur A. Harris Linear Park — a trail located alongside the Brookfield Municipal Center, connecting the property to the Still River Greenway.
- Brookfield Municipal Center — located on Pocono Rd., location of local government offices such as the Town Hall and Police Headquarters. Also home to the Brookfield Town Park, which is Brookfield's flagship park consisting of a large playground, baseball diamond and soccer fields. Also the location of the Brookfield Bandstand, an outdoor music pavilion where concerts and shows are held in the summer.
- Cadigan Park — a park located on Candlewood Lake Rd., containing turf football and lacrosse fields, lighted basketball and tennis courts, as well as walking/biking trails. Directly across the street from the Brookfield Town Beach.
- Gurski Farm Protected Open Space — a town-owned parcel of protected open space that connects into Williams Park via trail.
- Happy Landings Protected Open Space — a town-owned parcel of protected open space located along Whisconier Road (Route 25), containing historic barns, wells and windmills.
- Lillinonah Woods — located at 54 Obutse Rocks Rd., the park is situated on 68 acres of land and connects to Lake Lillinonah. This park offers fishing (by permit), hiking trails, picnic tables and parking. A small beach is also located on-site.
- Old Bridge Sanctuary — located at 57 Old Bridge Rd., a park situated on 25 acres that offers hiking trails and parking.
- Still River Greenway — a paved trail through the woods used for walking and biking that connects the Brookfield Municipal Center to Brookfield Town Center.
- Whalen Pond — located on 3 Broadview Road, a pond that is accessible for ice skating during the wintertime.
- Williams Park — a trail for walking and biking through the woods, also containing public clay tennis courts. Entrance is across the street from the Brookfield Library.
Private Membership Clubs
- Brookfield Bay Marina
- Candlewood East Marina
- Candlewood Lake Club
- Candlewood Shores Clubhouse
- Echo Bay Marina
- Knollcrest Marina
- Aquatic Club of Brookfield
- The Dive Shop Aquatic Center
- Golf Quest Brookfield
- On Track Karting Brookfield
- The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut — Located on Huckleberry Hill Rd.
- Sunset Hill Golf Club — A public golf course on Sunset Hill Rd. established by former resident Gene Sarazen.
- Troop 5 – responsible for organizing many local events, including a popular Christmas tree fundraiser and pickup.
- Troop 135 – the town's original Boy Scout troop; open to boys ages 11–18.
- Brookfield Film Festival — every year in March, the Brookfield Arts Commission holds a festival lasting three days, comprising of short and foreign films.
- Annual Easter Egg Hunt — The Parks and Recreation Department holds an Egg Hunt every year in the Municipal Center on the Sunday that Easter falls on.
- St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraiser — Held every year in March at Brookfield High School.
- Brookfield Fire Dept. Kid's Day — The first weekend of June, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fire company offers fire prevention and safety for the whole community. The membership provides demonstrations and practice for getting out alive through the use of a fire safety trailer, stop, drop and roll, and dialing 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. They also team with outside agencies including the Brookfield Police Department to speak with residents about car seat safety and the importance of seat belts as well as the local Rotary Club to photograph children for the Amber Alert program. Kids and adults get to “dress up” in firefighter’s gear–feeling the actual weight that firefighter’s must carry.
- Relay For Life 5k — Held each year in June at Brookfield High School.
- Brookfield Memorial Day Parade — Takes place on Memorial Day Weekend, running through the Brookfield Center Historic District.
- Brookfield Annual Holiday Tree Lighting — The first weekend of December, 5:00pm to 7:30pm. The town lights its Holiday Tree in the Brookfield Municipal Center this time every year. Kids can also sit on Santa's lap, and free hot chocolate and cookies are provided in the Town Hall.
- Brookfield Halloween Run — Held every year the weekend before Halloween; begins at the Municipal Center.
Partially due to Brookfield's close proximity to New York City, Brookfield has seen many notable residents ranging from famous golfer Gene Sarazen to Connecticut's 87th Governor Jodi Rell. Many finance and business executives also reside in Brookfield, due to the centralization of investment firms and hedge funds in Fairfield County, as well as many Fortune 500 companies.
In popular culture
- Scenes from the 1968 movie Rachel, Rachel were filmed in Brookfield.
- The short film Innocence was mostly filmed in Brookfield.
US 7 and US 202 run concurrently through Brookfield, which meshes with Interstate 84 upon reaching Danbury. Connecticut Route 133 connects Brookfield to Bridgewater over the iconic Southville Bridge. Connecticut Route 25 also terminates in Brookfield from the direction of Newtown.
Until 1971, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (later the Penn Central Railroad) operated commuter service between Grand Central Terminal and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which included a stop in Brookfield. Brookfield's station building is currently occupied by the Brookfield Craft Center, which ceased to operate as a station in 1971 when service ended. Proposals have been made to extend the New Haven Line's Danbury Branch to New Milford, which would include a Brookfield Metro-North station. This would give Brookfield's significant population of commuters another way to travel to Lower Fairfield County and New York City, since they must currently leave from the nearby Danbury station or other stations along the New Haven or Harlem Lines. These tracks are currently used by the Housatonic Railroad for freight service.
The closest public airport to Brookfield is Danbury Municipal Airport, being located in bordering Danbury. Brookfield is within close proximity of several airports with commercial service, including Westchester County Airport, Bradley International Airport, Tweed New Haven Airport and the airports of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Fire Department and EMS
The town of Brookfield has two volunteer fire companies in town staffing three stations, with the Headquarters for the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company being at 92 Pocono Rd, the Center Company at 6 Obtuse Hill Rd and the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department Candlewood Company at 18 Bayview Dr. The department was founded in 1934, and is composed entirely of volunteers. Every year in June, the department hosts an annual "Kid's Day" which gives kids an opportunity to learn about fire safety, while experiencing a variety of fun activities related to the town's public works departments. This includes rides on two restored 1930's fire trucks owned by the department.
The Brookfield Police Department Headquarters is located at 63 Silvermine Rd, adjacent to the Brookfield Municipal Center. The department was established on July 1, 1977, and as of 2017, consists of 34 full-time officers, 6 special officers and 12 full and part-time civilian personnel. The Department Command Staff consists of the Chief of Police, a Major and a Captain. There is a Patrol Division, a Detective Division, including a Youth Officer and 2 School Resource Officers, and part-time SCUBA Team, Accident Investigation Team, Tactical Response Technicians with the Danbury Police Department, and part-time Evidence Technicians.
- WINE-AM 940; 1,000 watts; CBS Sports Radio affiliated station
- WRKI-FM 95.1; 50,000 watts; the station has a "mainstream rock" format and covers Fairfield, Litchfield, New Haven counties in Connecticut and Putnam, Dutchess, Westchester counties in New York
- The Brookfield Daily Voice and The Brookfield Patch are the two most prominent local online newspapers.
- Brookfield's public-access channels are channels 162 (education) and 164 (community), and are made available by Charter Spectrum.
Brookfield was selected as the best small town in Connecticut by Money Magazine in 2013. It was selected as the 26th best town to live in nationwide by Money Magazine in 2013. In 2017, MarketWatch ranked the Greater Danbury area as the 10th most expensive place to raise a family in the United States.
- "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Brookfield town, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
-  "About Brookfield", web page on the Town of Brookfield Web site, accessed August 7, 2012
-  "Newbury to Brookfield" Web page at Brookfield Historical Society Web site, accessed April 6, 2007
- "Lego History, 1970".
- "Average weather for Brookfield, CT". weather.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- "Monthly Averages for Brookfield, CT". Weather.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014
- http://www.mcmullinmfg.com/ McMullin Manufacturing Corporation official website
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017". Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of November 1, 2017" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
- http://www.realty3ct.com/CTMillRates List of Connecticut Town Mill Rates
- http://www.brookfieldtheatre.org/history.html TBTA history page
- https://www.newstimes.com/business/article/Tenants-eager-to-get-into-Brookfield-Village-12431085.php Brookfield Village Development
- http://www.brookfieldcraft.org/ Brookfield Craft Center
- http://www.brookfieldcthistory.org/ Brookfield Museum and Historical Society homepage
- https://www.brookfieldlibrary.org/ Brookfield Public Library
- http://brookfieldtheatre.org/index.html TBTA website
- http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/This-couple-likes-to-collect-Porsches-4040799.php JLG Autocrib
- http://www.candlewoodlakeauthority.org/ Candlewood Lake Authority official website
- http://www.lakelillinonahauthority.org/ Lake Lillinonah Authority official website
- http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Do-You-Remember-Arthur-A-Harris-Linear-Park-in-564775.php Arthur A. Harris Linear Park
- http://berkshirehiking.com/hikes/gurski.html Gurski Farm Williams Park
- http://www.brookfieldtroop5.org/ Troop 5 official website
- http://www.brookfieldtroop135.org/ Troop 135 official website
- http://brookfieldartscommission.org/category/film-festival/ Brookfield Arts Commission - Film Festival
- https://www.brookfieldct.gov/parks-recreation/slideshows/easter-egg-hunt Department of Parks and Recreation Egg Hunt
- https://patch.com/connecticut/brookfield/brookfield-memorial-day-parade-2017-details-road-closures-more Brookfield Memorial Day Parade
- http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Brookfield-High-School-senior-to-premiere-short-10846073.php Short film
- http://www.ct.gov/ecd/LIB/ecd/20/14/Fairfield%20county%20road%20map.pdf Fairfield County road map
- http://www.hartransit.com/schedules-maps HARTransit schedules and maps
- https://patch.com/connecticut/brookfield/dot-considering-extending-rail-service-to-brookfield Brookfield Metro-North Station
- http://brookfieldfire.com/ Fire Department website
- https://www.brookfieldct.gov/police Official Police Department website
- https://www.policeapp.com/Brookfield-CT-Police-Department/170/ Police Department information
- https://www.brookfield.k12.ct.us/channel-194/pages/channel-194-vs-channel-192 Spectrum public-access channels 192 and 194
- http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Brookfield-earns-a-spot-in-top-small-towns-ranking-4726896.php CNN Money Rankings
- http://time.com/money/collection-post/2791439/26-brookfield-ct/ 26th Best town in the US
- https://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-most-expensive-places-to-raise-a-family-in-the-us-2015-08-26 The 10 most expensive places to raise a family in the U.S.
- Town of Brookfield official website
- Brookfield Public Schools
- Brookfield Library
- Brookfield Chamber of Commerce
- Brookfield Craft Center
- Brookfield Museum and Historical Society
- Brookfield Theatre for the Arts
- Candlewood Lake Authority
- Brookfield Vol. Fire Co.
- Brookfield Vol. Fire Dept. Candlewood Co. Inc.