A Walking Tour of Branford, Connecticut
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
When first settlers of the New Haven Colony purchased land from the Mattabesech Indians in 1638 it included the territory of Totoket, later called Branford, supposedly for Brentford in the English county of Middlesex. The colony thrived due to productive cropland and its location on the Branford River, which provided the only deep harbor between New Haven and New London. Ships trading lumber, livestock, brooms, and produce for molasses and rum from the West Indies.
Farming was the mainstay of Branford life for over 200 years. The railroad arrived in 1852, bringing small businesses like Branford Lockworks, Malleable Iron Fittings Company, and the Atlantic Wire Company, but the next real injection of financial vitality came from the vacation trade. Twenty summer hotels made Branford a popular resort area including the Indian Point House in Stony Creek, the Montowese House in Indian Neck, and the Sheldon House in Pine Orchard.