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Branford Town


Branford Town Hall is located at 1019 Main Street, Branford CT 06405; 203-488-8394.

Timothy Baldwin House, ca. 1818, 186 Damascus Road, Branford, CT, National Register

Photo: Timothy Baldwin House, ca. 1818, 186 Damascus Road, Branford, CT. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Photographed by user:Jerrye and Roy Klotz, MD, 2008, (own work) [cc-by-4.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed July, 2016.

Beginnings [1]

Originally part of the New Haven Colony (1639-1666), the Town of Branford was laid out on land purchased from Montowese, son of Sowheog, a sachem of the Mattabeseck Indians. At that time, the area was known by its Indian name, Totoket ("the Land of the Tidal River"). The first English settlers recruited by the New Haven Colony to move to Totoket were a group of 40 families from Wethersfield led by William Swaine and the Reverend John Sherman. They are believed to have arrived in the spring of 1644, some travelling by water down the Connecticut River and others coming overland, driving their domestic animals before them. They were joined the following year by settlers from New Haven under the leadership of the Reverend Abraham Pierson, who replaced John Sherman as the new community's pastor.

The choice of Totoket for settlement proved fruitful. The land was productive and the Branford River estuary proved to be the best harbor between New Haven and New London. Shortly after its initial settlement, the town's name was changed to Branford, presumably derived from Brentford, a town on the Thames River near London in which some of the initial settlers had been born.

  1. J. Paul Loether, J. P. Loether Associates and John Herzan, Connecticut Historical Commission, Orange Center Historic District, nomination document, 1986, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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