Chapter one: How Easton came to be what it is today

A brief serial of Easton, Conn. to be published in 15 chapters

Easton-hist-chap-1 fi-1-21-13

Map of North America shows the glaciers that covered the area that now comprises Connecticut and New England from roughly 25,000 years ago to 17,000 years ago.

The Historical Society of Easton, Connecticut has published a brief history of the town. The Easton Courier will print the history in serial fashion. There will be about 15 chapters, in successive editions of The Courier..

This brief history of our town of Easton has been researched and written for The Historical Society primarily from source material provided in an extensive study of the history of the town. That study was completed in May 2009.

It is entitled “Historical and Archeological Assessment Survey of Easton, Connecticut.” The study was done by Dr. Stuart Reeve, David Silverglade and Kathleen von Jena of Aspetuck Landways.

It was partially funded by a grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, in cooperation with the Connecticut Humanities Council. The resulting document fills a 3 1/2” binder with single-spaced type in a small font, each page printed on one side. In all it is comprised of more than 600 pages of text, tables, lists, and illustrations.

That document served as source material, along with some additional secondary Internet research, conversations with some of Easton’s long-time residents, some additional illustrations taken from the Internet and photographs obtained from local sources. Throughout this little history that study will be referred to as the Aspetuck Landways study or survey when referenced.

How did the Easton of today come to be what it is?

If one posed the question, “What were the primary elements that shaped the Easton of today?” the answer could be stated with four words or phrases: Glaciers, English settlers, the Industrial Revolution and Bridgeport Hydraulic Company. But that wouldn’t really be informative or interesting, so this brief history of our town will expand on that cryptic answer in an attempt to explain how and why we have the Easton, Connecticut of today.

Glaciers:

Believe it or not, the story of the past that brings us to the Easton, Connecticut, that we know today really begins around 17,000 years ago. From roughly 25,000 years ago to 17,000 years ago, this part of the world was covered by glaciers, large (very large) sheets of ice, some thought to be as much as a mile thick. The last glaciers left the area that now comprises Connecticut and New England about 17,000 years ago.

The end of this glacial period was caused by a rather rapid warming of the earth at that time as had happened many times before. Subtle changes in our planet’s rotation and orbit along with other astronomic and geologic events combine randomly in very complex ways and bring Earth’s climate to a “tipping point” that moves the planet from a relatively cold period to a relatively warm period or vice versa.

Of course all of this is enormously complicated and way out of the scope of this discussion of Easton’s history, but suffice it to say that things did warm up around then and the glaciers left Easton.

Next chapter: The glaciers shape our town and people show up.

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