Stratford's History 1680-1737

(The following Stratford History was taken from The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue.  The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue was generously shared with us by the Stratford Historical Society).

1680   Second Congregational church building erected, placed on Watch House Hill. Tract at Coram Hill given to Indians.
1681 Ceremony, under an oak near western boundary, at which final Indian deed was signed as authorized by General Court.
1683 First Meetinghouse, at Sandy Hollow, torn down.
1684 Settlement with Moses Wheeler about the land he had purchased in 1659.
1685 Highway to Fairfield established town act.
1686 First ladder company - every householder in Stratford must provide a ladder to reach the top of his house.  Wharfs provided and warehouses built.
1687 First provision made by town for the support of public school instruction.
1688 Patent, or charter, of town of Stratford, granted in 1686 by Governor and General Court, was recorded in the town records by Joseph Curtis. 
1689 Town ordered meetinghouse fortified as a place of security.
1690 Samuel Wheeler leased the Stratford ferry for twenty one years.
1692 Last trial for witchcraft in Connecticut (Mercy Disborough's) was held in Fairfield.
1693 The wolf hunt.
1695 Ecclesiastical Society of Stratford was organized.
1696 "Janes Bennitt, a shipwright, built a vessel at Stratford."
1697 Birth of Elnathan Beach, who first, in Connecticut, began a fund for relief of the poor.
1698 Death of Moses Wheeler, aged 100 years, the first ferryman.
1702 Death of the Reverend Israel Chauncey.
1704 Birth of the Hon. Robert Walker, noted lawyer with few equals in his day.
1705 Indian capitol, or "Council-fire place," at New Milford sold.
1706 The Rev. George Murison, Episcopal missionary at Rye, held services at Stratford and baptized twenty-four persons, "'which was the first step toward introducing the church worship into the colony" (for Episcopalians).
1707 Christ Church, first Episcopal parish in Connecticut, was founded. 
1708 The Rev. Murison died. Episcopal church left to occasional visit of missionaries.
1709 The Rev. Timothy Cutler settled as minister of Congregational church.
1710 Birth of General David Wooster, Revolutionary War officer.
1712 The Rev. Francis Philips, an Episcopal missionary, labored here about five months.
1714 Episcopal churchmen began the work of building a house of worship.
1715 Voted that "our neighbors north of Tanner's Brook may set up a schoolhouse at the north end of the town at their own expense."
1716 Oronoque allowed a separate school.
1717 Separate school established at Old Mill green.
1719 The Rev. Timothy Cutler became president of Yale College.
1722 The Rev. George Pigot, missionary from New York, visited Episcopal parish.  The building of a church edifice considered. The Rev. Hezekiah Gold called to be minister of Congregational church. A congregational parsonage begun.
1723 Judson House built. Episcopal burying ground established. The Rev. Samuel Johnson reached Stratford after his ordination in England.  The Rev. Timothy Cutler resigned presidency of Yale College, went to England and was ordained an Episcopal clergyman.
1724 First service held in the First Episcopal Church building.
1727 Episcopalians were excused from paying taxes for support of the Congregational church. Birth of William Samuel Johnson, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, president of Columbia College, and United States Senator from Connecticut.
1730 Robert Wheeler granted liberty to set up grist mill on east bank of Far Mill River.
1732 Division of common lands ordered, which was not made until 1783.
1733 The Rev. Samuel Johnson and others requested liberty of erecting and setting up a schoolhouse on the Common.
1735 Supporters of the Episcopal church petition for town to grant a portion of common lands for their minister. It was granted.
1736 Birth in Stratford of Andrew Adams whose name appears signed to the Articles of Confederation.
1737 All taxed, but tax money of Episcopalians turned back to their use.

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Events from 1637 to 1939 are from the Rev. Stanley Sellick’s records on file at the First Congregational Church.  Much of the information was compiled by M. Hale and published for the 300th anniversary. Town Historian Louis Knapp has provided the Bard with an update from 1939 to 1989. These historical facts were put together by Bard Editor Dorothy Euerle. (All the foregoing was taken from The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue.  The Stratford Bard 350th Founder's Day Parade Issue was generously shared with us by the Stratford Historical Society).