History of New Haven County, Connecticut
The preparation of this History of New Haven County was begun more than Iwo years ago, work on it having been assiduously prosecuted since October, 1889. The magnitude of the undertaking has been much greater than was contemplated, and the volume of matter has far exceeded the limit originally set by the publishers. It has been found necessary, after the book had been sold, in order to properly embrace these hundreds of additional pages to bind it in two handsome volumes instead of one, as purposed and agreed with the subscribers. These changes have been made at an expenditure o several thousand dollars-apparently a loss to the publishers, but clearly a gain to their patrons. They feel that they have been somewhat compensated for this extra outlay by the appreciative support they have received, in spite of many adverse circumstances The publication, in 1886, of a voluminous and exhaustive history of the city of New Haven .so fully supplied the demand in that locality for such a local work that no patronage was there solicited or received for this book In the city of Waterbury, also, a comprehensive history is being prepared by careful and competent writers, which will afford the people of that section of the county a vast fund of information upon such local matters as will most interest them. Naturally, that prospective work limited the patronage for our book, in that town. Very properly, then since the histories of these localities have recently been so fully recorded elsewhere, and a sense of obligation does not demand their repetition by us, the narratives of these two towns are not here given m detail But complete outline histories of them have instead been prepared, wherein may be found all the salient features of the events connected with them since their settlement. We believe that this arrangement will be generally satisfactory to the citizens of the county, as it has permitted us to write the accounts of other towns, with much greater attention to details, so that a very good knowledge of their affairs and relation to the body corporate can be obtained. In general, these narratives are far more comprehensive and finished than anything heretofore published; and in several instances they are the only accounts of the kind, being the results of original investigations by the compilers of this book. A number of these are citizens of the county, and being men of excellent character, their accounts of the local history of their respective towns may be accepted as based upon the facts of the subjects treated.
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New Haven county was one of the four original counties of the state, created by the general court at Hartford, in May, 1666, the others being the counties of New London, Fairfield and Hartford. It comprised, originally, the towns of Guilford, Branford, New Haven and Milford, the bounds being described as extending from the east side of the former to the west side of the latter. On the south was then, as now, a limit fixed by the waters of Long Island sound, but the northern bounds were vague and undefined. The county included, properly, all the lands ceded by the Indians to the foregoing towns, in the New Haven colony, the remainder of the present area being at that time included in Hartford county. In 1891 New Haven county embraced 26 towns, and was bounded as follows : On the north by the towns of Roxbury, Woodbury, Watertown and Plymouth, in the county of Litchfield; Bristol, Southington and Berlin, in the county of Hartford; on the east by the towns of Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Killingworth and Clinton, in the county of Middlesex; and on the west by the county of Fairfield, the Housatoni; river forming the dividing line. The contiguous western towns, from the south and lying opposite the towns in New Haven, are: Stratford, Huntington, Monroe and Newtown. The shape of the county is irregular, but it is about 26 miles from east to west, and 21 from north to south. From the extreme southeast corner, in Madison, to the extreme northwest point, in Southbury, the distance is about 35 miles. The area in square miles and acres has never been accurately determined.