Coginchaug or "Long Swamp" was purchased from the Indians in 1673. A town plot was laid out in 1699, named Durham five years later, under a patent from King Charles II, and was confirmed by the General Assembly in 1708. It was bounded north by Middletown, east by Haddam, south by Guilford and Killingworth, and west by Wallingford. In 1710 a meeting house was built. One of the first lending
libraries in the colonies was formed here in 1733 and the Durham Aqueduct Company, founded in 1798, is one of the oldest public water supplies still operating in the United States. Two oxen were driven from Durham to Valley Forge to help feed General Washington's army. Native son Moses Austin was responsible for the first legal American settlements in Texas. Originally farming was the chief livelihood. Later mills, tanneries, quarries, metal toy and box factories developed. The annual Durham Agricultural Fair was founded in 1916 and still retains its agricultural character.
Erected by the Town of Durham
the Durham History Committee
and the Connecticut Historical Commission