Early Arrivals

Early Arrivals (HM1CQB)

Location: Danbury, CT 06810 Fairfield County
Country: United States of America

N 41° 23.496', W 73° 27.233'

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- The Museum in the Streets -

— Danbury, Connecticut —

The first eight families arrived here in 1685; full of hope as they embarked on a new life filled with opportunity. Others soon joined them in this flourishing settlement in a newly born colony.
Most of Danbury's inhabitants, prior to the start of the American Revolution, were descendants of the first wave of puritan immigrants who came to Connecticut during the mid-1600s. Growing prosperity attracted a small steady stream of newcomers.
On occasion, real "foreigners" appeared such as the Vidito family or Scottish-born John McLean who was a merchant and the town's largest landowner. McLean was head of the Continental Commissary located here during the Revolution.
Peter O'Brien, noted as Danbury's first Irishman, married a local woman in the 1820s. The couple settled down in the Stony Hill district. They built a mud and turf shanty, with a barrel for a chimney. Their unusual abode drew many curious locals.
In 1756, of the 1,527 residents, 18 were black; by 1774 there were 50 black residents in town.
Prior to and after the Civil War, southern blacks were drawn north to put down their roots.
In 1832, Lyman Homer Peters of Newtown married Nancy Kerr, a former slave from Maryland. Peters was the town barber, opened Danbury's first ice cream parlor, owned three houses and was the informal leader of Danbury's small black community. Upon his death in 1881, the Danbury News noted "a man of large, good nature and considerable wit, he was as well liked as he was well known."
Danbury's population in 1850 stood at 5,964. Upon its arrival in 1853, the railroad brought many things including the development of hat manufacturing machinery. "Foreigners" were still few in number, but all of that was about to change.
Marker Number26
Placed ByDanbury Museum & Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 5:32pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 629260 N 4583383
Decimal Degrees41.39160000, -73.45388333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 23.496', W 73° 27.233'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 23' 29.76" N, 73° 27' 13.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)203
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 169-179 Deer Hill Ave, Danbury CT 06810, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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