During the early 1700s, Brookfield was first colonized in an area occupied by the Pootatuck Indians. Hat,
shear, and comb factories arose along the Still River,
enticing settlers, who built farms, churches, and inns. In
1752, land was taken from New Milford, Newtown, and
Danbury to form the Parish of Newbury. By 1788, the town was incorporated as Brookfield in honor of the area’s first ordained pastor, Rev. Thomas Brooks.
The town quickly outgrew its horse-and-buggy paths and one-room schoolhouses. In 1927, Candlewood
Lake was born out of area farmland, flooded to form the largest man-made lake in Connecticut. Brookfield depicts the settlement of the area and highlights notable natives, including Lucia Ruggles Holman, the first
American woman to circumnavigate the globe, and
Sarah Jane Campbell, P.T. Barnum’s famous fat lady.
About the Author
For 30 years, the Brookfield Historical Society has been collecting and preserving photographs of historic Brookfield. Author and Municipal Historian Marilyn S. Whittlesey draws from her lifetime involvement with local history to paint a delightful and informative picture of Brookfield through the ages.