The History of Redding CT: An Ever Changing Community
Individuals looking to find the right balance between country life and city life need look no further than Redding, Connecticut. Residents of this city are only a little over 50 miles away from New York City, yet receive the benefits of a more relaxing pace of life. The demographics and amenities of the area appeal to many and, when one hears the history of Redding CT, and how it has progressed over the years, it is easy to see why so many love to call this place home.
According to Redding Connecticut History, an Indian village originally called the area home, and this village was led by an individual known as Chickens Warrups. In 1714, John Read moved to the area to become the first white citizen, claiming 500 acres of land for a family homestead. His home, Lonetown Manor, soon become a farm settlement that attracted others to the area. It wasn’t until 1767, however, that the Town of Redding was incorporated by the Connecticut General Assembly.
Major Changes to the Area
The arrival of the Danbury and Norwalk Railroad brought major changes to the town and history of Redding CT. With western products now available in the area, many farmers chose to plant less and the water-powered industries that had been a major part of the economy couldn’t keep up. Many closed their doors at this time. Gilbert & Bennett, located in nearby Georgetown, managed to survive during this period due, in large part, to its close proximity to the new railroad. The company had access to raw materials and coal and had the means to ship its finished goods. The company survived a major fire in 1874, rebuilding and becoming even more prosperous, yet Redding’s population began to decline due to its rural setting.
The Great Depression and Redding’s Revival
According to Redding CT history, the town was approximately 70 percent woodland and forest by the time of the Great Depression. Only about 24 farms remained in the area, and very few homes were being built. This changed following World War II, when developers realized the close proximity of the town to major job centers, such as Bridgeport and Danbury, made this a great option for many. In June of 1950, the town enacted its first zoning law to protect the character of the town, as they felt it was being threatened by all of the development.
Looking to the Future
Georgetown is in the process of being developed once again and, as a result, Redding citizens will have more access to amenities. In addition to a new train station, a performing arts center is planned along with a YMCA. The Route 7 corridor and its surrounding areas are part of the development plan, and Redding plans additional adult communities as well. In addition, the city plans to produce a book detailing the history of Redding CT, one designed to augment the current The History of Redding by Charles Todd Burr. To learn more about this great city, one may read this book and also take advantage of Dan Cruson’s Images of Redding and Easton.