Weston, CT

 

Westport Compo Beach

Nestled just north of Westport, the town of Weston can be described as the epitome of New England countryside within 45 miles of New York City. With its population of approximately 10,100 residents, Weston encompasses 19.8 square miles and boasts one of the largest nature conservancies in the state. Its two-acre zoning preserves the privacy and bucolic nature for the residents of this special town, where historic homes blend with the present-day residences. Ranked number one in education, as well as the top position overall for all towns in Connecticut of its size (Connecticut Magazine “Rating the Towns”, November 2011), the Weston community is proud of its outstanding public education and abundant recreational opportunities. Devil's Den Preserve

The rich history of Weston is evident to this day, with its four carefully preserved historic districts—Kettle Creek, Norfield, Bradley Edge Tool, and Central. Weston’s heritage harkens back to its roots as a Pequot Indian hunting ground. The growing population from the Fairfield area began moving to “West Town”, farming the land with potatoes, onions, and apples, and building grist, cider and lumber mills. By the mid-1800’s, Weston had become a bustling community, with its natural resources of land and water and numerous manufacturers. However, with no railroad built through it, the town population dwindled between the Civil War and the Great Depression. By the 1930’s, artists, writers, and actors from New York City were attracted to Weston, and began to settle here. With the construction of the Merritt Parkway hitting the south of Weston in 1938, the population grew as newcomers found it the perfect place to reside. Today, the quaint center of town could be missed with “the blink of an eye”, as it is demurely, but conveniently located with its food market, Post Office, bank, drug and hardware stores, and one gas station. Should one need more conveniences, sophisticated shopping is readily available in the neighboring towns of Westport and Wilton.

Weston CT Historical SocietyFounded in 1961, the Weston Historical Society is dedicated “to preserve the past for the benefit of the future”. The headquarters, at the Coley Homestead, revisits life on a typical 19th century farm, complete with a museum, the 1841 Coley House, a smokehouse, carriage and livestock barns and bunkhouses. While visiting, one can imagine the local sense of daily life at the time in Weston.

Activities of both agricultural and civic venues abound in Weston. As an example, the Norfield Grange draws from its common bonds of home, family, and community, and is celebrated annually at the Agricultural Fair in September. As for hearing its resident’s voices, Weston’s town meeting form of government gives the final say to its property owners and residents. Volunteerism is vibrant, as seen in the all-volunteer historical society, its three fire departments, EMS, and numerous opportunities in the public schools.

A dedication to nature preservation and outdoor recreation attribute to Weston’s attraction as a residential retreat. Approximately one-quarter of the land is allocated to parks and preserves, including Bisceglie Park with baseball fields, a swimming hole, and a 22-station fitness station and jogging trail along the Saugatuck River.

There are also 16 preserves of the Aspetuck Land Trust which total 645 acres, a trail system which connects with the 70 mile Saugatuck Valley Trail System, and the ball fields of Morehouse Farm Park. The Lucius Pond Ordway-Devil’s Den Preserve encompasses 1746 acres and is the largest, contiguous nature preserve in southwestern Connecticut. Weston resident and heiress to the 3M fortune, Katharine Ordway, purchased this land in 1966 from the Bridgeport Hydraulic company, and gave it to the Nature Conservancy to be preserved and maintained in its natural state for its beauty and resources. As for the name “Devil’s Den”, it can be attributed to early settlers. As the story is told, a boulder within the preserve was found, marked with the semblance of a hoof print—of the Devil. To further the lore, the blackened coal miners who tended the glowing fires of the land reinforced the title.

Weston High SchoolEducational excellence continues to be a hallmark of the town. Weston’s four public schools are situated on a beautiful, 117-acre wooded campus and include the Hurlbutt Elementary School (grades pre-K-2), Weston Intermediate School (grades 3-5), Weston Middle School (grades 6-8), and Weston High School (grades 9-12). The high school recently completed a major expansion which includes a new science, technology, and arts wing. Weston’s many academic opportunities are enhanced by foreign language programs, maritime studies at the Norwalk Maritime Center, fine and performing arts programs, and a special education and an early learning center for handicapped children ages 2-5. As a town dedicated to educational excellence, Weston proudly promotes the relationship between school, family, and community.