Ancient Nipmuck Indian territory. The Old Connecticut Path, an Indian trail
from Massachusetts used by early colonists, crossed the region. The
families of John and Sarah Perry and of William Ward, Senior, first settled
this area in 1710, when it was part of Ashford. Eastford Society was formed
as a church parish in 1777. The town of Eastford was incorporated in 1847
upon separation from Ashford, a town since 1714. General Nathaniel Lyon
(1818-1861), hailed as the savior of Missouri to the Union cause, and the
first Northern general killed in the Civil War, was born in the Phoenixville
section of town. The population declined greatly from 1860 to 1900, but
more recently new immigrants, mostly from Central Europe, have restored
many of the old farms. Until early in the 20th century, Eastford was a self-
sufficient agricultural community with a wide diversity of small industries.
The Town retains much of the same character today, with extensive areas of
farms and woodlands.