Redding Community Information

Redding, CT

Surrounded by busier towns, Redding seems to exist year after year as a quieter, gentler community with special pride in its rural and New England village character. Settled in 1713, but not incorporated until 1767, this hilly, wooded, rolling countryside community of loosely joined neighborhoods -- West Redding, Redding Ridge, Redding Center,Georgetown -- is deeply committed to retaining the integrity of its land, water and wildlife resources. Mark Twain appreciated all this when he moved to Redding at the age of 73 and later encouraged the founding of the Mark Twain Library in 1909. The author was followed by other writers, artists and theatrical people who continue to set a creative atmosphere for the town.

Education & Recreation

As in all area communities, schools and recreational opportunities occupy an important place in town concerns and activities. The Redding Land Trust can boast over 400 acres dedicated to open space and more than 55 miles of trails for riding and hiking. Parks take advantage of the natural surrounding to provide rich recreational opportunities for young and old alike. Topstone Park, the 1,170-acre reserve formerly owned by photographer Edward Steichen, offers swimming, hiking, camping, picnic grounds and boating. Lonetown Marsh, one of Redding's many wetlands, attracts everything from American egrets to blue herons and mallards.

Amenities

Being lightly developed, Redding residents recognize they must rely on Danbury to the north and Norwalk to the south for jobs, shopping and medical facilities. Redding trains take residents to Norwalk and New York City. One resident has said of Redding, "the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque flower is a right as inalienable as free speech." This is Redding.

Town History

The history of the early settlement of Redding differs radically from that of any of the neighboring towns. A new settlement was generally formed by a company of men, who purchased from the Indians a tract of land in the wilderness, had it secured to them by a charter from the General Assembly, and also surveyed and regularly laid out, and then moved to it with their wives and families. Danbury, Newtown and Ridgefield were settled in this manner; but Redding at the time of its first settlement was a part of the town of Fairfield, and so continued for nearly forty years -- a fact which makes it much more difficult to collect the fragments of its early history and to accurately define its original metes and bounds.

The Spinning Wheel Inn is one of Redding's landmarks. One of the early settlers of New England, Eli Sanford, purchased a tract of land from Sagamore Mohawk Indian chief Chickens Warrup. The deed of sale was signed: Chickens X Sagamore. Master Sanford built the inn as a salt box design in 1742. It is rumored that a ghost from the revolutionary war haunts the building and legend has it that he built secret rooms as a repository for contraband. In fact, in 1777, Governor Tryon's troops marched right past the inn, on their way from Westport, to burn supplies in Danbury. For a short time a boot and shoemaking trade was carried on in part of the inn. An early contract tells of a young apprentice "who would learn the art or trade of boot and shoemaking, and at the expiration of his indenture, be presented with a full and complete suit of apparel, proper for holidays and occasions of worship.

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