December's Monument of the Month lies outside of Town Hall
The descriptive blue and white Darien marker at the entrance to the Darien Town Hall parking lot on Renshaw Road is the December Monument of the Month. The CT Historical Commission (CHC) was responsible for providing signs describing historical information about the time, place and circumstance of the founding of all 169 towns in Connecticut. Individual towns are now responsible for maintaining and/or replacing these signs. The Darien sign dated 1979 bears the seal of the State of Connecticut and was erected by the Town of Darien, the Darien Historical Society and the Connecticut Historical Commission.
The sign explains that, originally part of Stamford, Darien became known as Middlesex Parish in 1737. Settlement was actually started in 1700 when roads were “cut in the woods.” In 1703, a school district was set up in Noroton while Scofield’s Mill later called Gorham’s Mill was built on the Good Wife’s River. A meeting house was built in 1744, and Reverend Moses Mather became the first minister. On July 22, 1781, during the American Revolution, Tories took Mather and a group of men to Lloyds Neck on Long Island. Mather with 26 parishioners suffered in prison near NYC for five months.
According to this sign, Darien was incorporated as a town in 1820, and until the advent of the railroad in 1848, Darien remained a small rural town of farmers, shoemakers, fishermen and merchants who engaged in coastal trading. The population increased when emigrants from Ireland and Italy arrived. During the Civil War, wealthy resident Benjamin Fitch built the first home in the United States for disabled veterans and soldiers’ orphans. Over time, Darien became a popular resort for prosperous New York City businessmen.