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Danbury City


Danbury City Hall is located at 155 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810; phone: 203-797-4500.

Beginnings [1]

Among the events that helped establish Danbury as the political and commercial center for the region was its designation as a "half-shire town" of Fairfield County in 1784, sharing county seat duties with Fairfield. The first courthouse and jail had been constructed by 1792 on the sites occupied by their modern successors. The meetinghouse of the First Congregational Society had been the focus of the early settlement. The old cemetery on Wooster Street, originally part of its church yard, marks its original site. It relocated to a new building on the corner of Main and West Street in 1785, drawing some businesses and residences with it, but the acknowledged center remained in the courthouse area. In 1801 land was donated for use as a town common.

The present downtown area was created following the completion of the Danbury and Norwalk Railroad in 1852. The improved transportation facilities also encouraged the building of large new steam-powered hat factories which employed thousands of new workers. The population of Danbury (exclusive of the Town of Bethel, which became a separate town in 1855) increased from 4105 in 1850 to 7240 in 1860, most of the influx occurring in the borough area. Large numbers of Irish, English and German immigrants as well as people from nearby rural towns moved to Danbury to take advantage of employment and business opportunities. New residential streets were opened through open land on either side of Main Street, as the street itself became increasingly commercialized.

  1. William E. Devlin, Danbury Preservation Trust, and John Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, Main Street Historic District, Danbury Connecticut, nomination document, 1993, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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