Pride in our Past, Faith in our Future
by its motto, Trumbull is a vibrant community of more than 34,000 citizens that
combines small-town New England character and charm with extensive retail, commercial,
and light manufacturing activity.
Trumbull was originally part
of an area called Pequonnocke or Cupheag that is now known as Stratford, which
also encompassed present-day Monroe, Shelton, and a portion of Bridgeport. The
first land laid out and surveyed in Trumbull was to Richard Booth in about 1670,
followed by Isaac Nichols in 1671 and Caleb Nichols in 1674. The first permanent
settlement was established by the Abraham Nichols family in about 1690 and, in
the following years, other families ventured into the "wilderness" to
establish mills, churches, and schools. In 1725, the settlement of thirty farmers
successfully petitioned the General Court for "village privileges,"
which allowed them to levy taxes to establish their own meetinghouse, school,
and church that, according to the Puritanical laws of the Connecticut colony,
was to be their government. Unity Parish started in 1730 with 38 members as it
constructed its meetinghouse near today's intersection of White Plains and Unity
1728, John Edwards' and other families from the Stratfield section of Fairfield
migrated inland to the Chestnut Hill area that became part of Long Hill parish
in 1740. Together, the two villages petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly
"to annex the Long Hill parish with Unity" and they combined in 1744
to become the Society of North Stratford. After successfully conducting their
religious and educational affairs for some forty years, residents petitioned the
General Assembly for complete independence from Stratford.
its efforts were blocked by its mother settlement for ten years, the community's
request was ultimately granted in 1797. The town was named after one of the most
respected families in Connecticut history, the Trumbulls of Lebanon. The family's
patriarch, Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., was the first of the state's four "Governor
Jonathan," as he was called by his close friend George Washington, to whom
he was an advisor and aide throughout the revolutionary period, was the only colonial
governor to continue in office throughout the American Revolution, first appointed
by the British throne and later elected by the state's residents. In recognition
of his contributions to his state and country, a marble statue of Trumbull is
one of two that has represented Connecticut in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall
since 1872. A bronze replica was constructed on the grounds of Trumbull Town Hall
and unveiled in a December 2002 ceremony.
other towns in Connecticut, governance of Trumbull's town affairs has evolved
over the past two hundred years. In 1814 the Connecticut General Assembly granted
the church's petition to be incorporated as a church body only as it stepped away
from affairs of town government. As in many other New England communities, all
local questions were originally decided at open town meetings to which all were
expected to attend. As population increased to the point where fines assessed
against those who missed meetings were deemed uncollectible, this became unwieldy.
Accommodating this and other effects of population growth,
the state legislature enabled a shift from direct to representative democracy
by granting provisions for Representative Town Meetings and, ultimately in 1957,
passed the Home Rule Act that authorized towns to draft and adopt their own charter
and method of self-government. Trumbull is governed by a First Selectman, elected
every two years, in combination with a Town Council of twenty-one members elected
in seven voting districts as provided for by Trumbull's town charter, which was
most recently revised in 2003.
With 1,600 citizens in 1900,
Trumbull's population had not grown very rapidly since incorporation when the
1800 census recorded about 1,300 residents. During the next century, however,
Trumbull the community of farming and light industry was transformed into the
mostly-residential town of today. By 1930 less than half of Trumbull's acreage
was still in use as farm land. Situated near Bridgeport, one of the cities that
was a manufacturing powerhouse during World War II, Trumbull grew from 5,300 residents
to 8,600 during the decade of the 40's as workers new to the area and returning
veterans purchased homes in the town.
Most of the town's transformation
occurred during the next twenty years as the Baby Boom and economic prosperity
propelled families' desire for suburban homes. This trend was also advanced by
the greater affordability of automobiles as well as the expanding road network
that supported them. Providing mobility in addition to the already-existing Merritt
Parkway, the Interstate highway system was born during the Eisenhower Administration,
with the Connecticut section of I-95 - "America's Main Street" - completed
in 1957, the same year that Trumbull's new Town Hall was built.
population nearly quadrupled during these twenty years to more than 31,000 residents
in 1970. Although governance of the town's one- and two-room public schools was
consolidated to a nine-member Trumbull Town School Committee in 1895, this period
of dramatic growth posed unprecedented challenges as it necessitated rapid expansion
of Trumbull's educational infrastructure.
brick-and-mortar schools built in the 1920's - Long Hill (today's Public Schools
Administration Building), Nichols (the present-day Senior Center), White Plains,
and Edison - to supplant the town's several small school buildings were, in turn,
replaced or supplemented by another wave of new buildings as most of today's schools
were built during this time: Middlebrook Junior High opened in 1953, Jane Ryan,
Booth Hill, and St. Theresa's elementary schools in 1955, Trumbull High School
on Madison Avenue in 1960, Daniels Farm and St. Stephen's elementary schools in
1962, St. Joseph's High School in 1963, St. Catherine's elementary school in 1965,
and Tashua elementary school and Hillcrest Junior High in 1967.
new Trumbull High School opened on Strobel Road in 1971, when the "old"
high school became Madison Junior High and Middlebrook became an elementary school.
Christian Heritage School opened in 1977. Trumbull's two junior high schools became
middle schools as they began housing grades 6 - 8 in 1987.
the town entered the twenty-first century with 9,700 families and a quarter of
its population younger than 18, three new schools were built: The Regional Agriscience
& Biotechnology Center opened in 2001, Frenchtown elementary school in 2003,
and the Trumbull Early Childhood Education Center in 2005. Recent construction
at Trumbull High School provided a dozen new classrooms and an expanded Commons
for use beginning in the fall of 2007, with extensive renovation of the entire
building to follow. The first phase of the long-debated "renovation-as-new"
project that aims to improve the entire building's capabilities and efficiencies
broke ground in July 2009.
At the same time, Cooperative Educational Services,
a major state-chartered regional educational organization based in Trumbull, also
upgraded and increased its capabilities during this period. Most notably, its
Regional Center for the Performing Arts opened a state-of-the-art facility in
August 2007 to high school students of thirteen neighboring communities, as well
as Trumbull, who are interested in focusing their education on the performing
Even as Trumbull and its present-day School Board
are focused on meeting new expansion needs, the town's public schools are among
the best in Connecticut as represented, for example, by its students' standardized
test scores and post-secondary school pursuits at excellent colleges and universities.
Its many high school sports teams excel in the highly-competitive
Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) - for example, the
girls and boys soccer and girls gymnastics teams are recent conference champions
and the baseball and softball teams both won the FCIAC championships in 2005,
only the third time in conference history that any school has done that in the
same year. The school's girls soccer and boys baseball, lacrosse, and volleyball
teams have won state championships in recent years. In fact the girls soccer team
won five large-school state titles in the last decade, most recently a three-peat
from 2006 - 2008. THS won the state large-school 2005 - 2006 Michaels Cup, signifying
the best overall sports program in Class LL, an award also won in 1998 - 1999.
Numerous THS athletes go on to compete at the collegiate level.
student music, arts, and academic groups regularly turn in outstanding performances
throughout Connecticut as well as nationally. Citing just two examples, the Golden
Eagle Marching Band consistently performs on the national stage and was honored
to represent the state by marching in the both the 2001 and 2009 Presidential
Inaugural Parades in Washington. Also making its mark on the national level, the
THS "We the People" team traveled to Washington as the Connecticut state
champion in sixteen of the program's first twenty-one years, taking "Top
Ten" honors five times, most recently in 2003, 2005, and 2007, in this Congressionally-chartered
of these activities - and many more - are avidly supported by dedicated parents
who participate in very active Parent-Teachers Association groups and booster
Devoted to the preservation of its family-oriented
atmosphere, Trumbull has long been blessed with a heterogeneous array of vigorous
civic, religious, and community organizations and a host of active volunteers.
A variety of town departments care for the full range of its citizens' interests
and needs, for example, ranging from a Library System with active programming
that operates out of two locations
to its Youth Department and Teen Center
to its Senior Center and Stern Village elder housing. There are nearly 30 houses
of worship and a variety of affiliated elementary and secondary schools, which
strengthen the fabric of the community and add to its diversity.
community has been enriched by a legacy of enthusiastic involvement by hundreds
of dedicated volunteers in a broad range of activities outside of the schools
as well. To cite just a few examples: The town's three volunteer fire companies
man seven firehouses to help protect Trumbull's citizens. The Nichols Improvement
Association preserves the quality of life in the town's oldest neighborhood, which
is listed as a Historical District on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Long Hill and Nichols Garden Clubs and Canoe Brook and Pinewood Lake Associations
promote the town's beauty. The Trumbull Historical Society members preserve and
educate others about the town's past. Countless coaches and other supporters of
many athletic organizations provide Trumbull's youth with opportunities to participate
in soccer, football/cheerleading, swimming, wrestling, baseball/softball, gymnastics,
lacrosse, BMX, and other sports. A group of resilient 11- and 12-year old boys
and their coaches provided one of the town's - and indeed the country's - proudest
moments when they beat Taiwan 5-2 to win the 1989 Little League World Series.
civic organizations, such as the Rotary and Lions Clubs, the Knights of Columbus,
the Trumbull Community Women, and the Trumbull Women's Club are actively involved
in various activities that enrich the community. Political organizations promote
citizens' involvement in the democratic process, while numerous parents are involved
in Scouting for boys and girls and others are active in promoting the well-being
of Trumbull's pets. Performing arts groups provide opportunities for performers
of all ages by staging theatrical and musical productions, including weekly musical
performances at the Town Hall Gazebo during the summer. Many of these groups are
involved in annual events such as the Memorial Day Parade, Trumbull Day, and the
fall Arts Festival.
quality of life - and venues for many of these organizations' activities - is
enhanced by the town's more than 1,400 acres of parkland that encompass a wide
variety of terrains, from the historic mineralogical Old Mine Park
and bike trails through pristine Connecticut countryside
to myriad recreational
fields and athletic facilities. These include the 27-hole Tashua Knolls Golf Course,
three town swimming pools, the Unity Park baseball/softball complex, tennis and
volleyball courts, soccer fields, and others. Indian Ledge Park, with its amphitheater,
has become home to many events, including the annual Summer Concert Series that
has featured internationally-renowned groups, The Beach Boys (2004), Creedence
Clearwater Revisited/Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (2005), Chicago (2006), Kool
& the Gang/KC & the Sunshine Band (2007), REO Speedwagon/Styx (2008),
and Hall & Oates (2009).
north-south through a significant portion of the town, The Pequonnock River Valley
State Park is Trumbull's most diverse and historically rich parkland. Now reverted
back to its natural state much as it was at the time of Trumbull's incorporation,
with its waterfalls, trickling brooks, and rich vegetation and wildlife, "The
Valley" holds many archaeological hints of the vigorous industrial activity
it hosted throughout the 19th century.
In the mid to late
1800's, several major companies controlled the valley: The Housatonic Railroad
Company maintained a rail line, three train stations, cow tunnels, bridges, and
the Parlor Rock Amusement Park. The Bridgeport Hydraulic Company built a large
stone/dirt dam to create a 93-acre reservoir one mile north of Trumbull Center.
An Ice House was built between the railroad and the reservoir. Mill Pond was built
south of Parlor Rock where Radcliffe's Woolen Mill was located on the east side
and the Long Hill Saw Mill on the west side. Tungsten Mining & Milling Company
operated a full scale operation north of Parlor Rock.
early 1900's, however, floods destroyed the mills along the river, fire destroyed
the Radcliffe Factory and the mining operations, Parlor Rock closed, the automobile
displaced the railroad, the reservoir was drained and the dam destroyed after
a boy drowned, and the refrigerator made blocks of ice obsolete.
by Bridgeport, Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Shelton, and Stratford, and only five
miles inland from the Long Island Sound, Trumbull covers 23.5 square miles in
the hilly country of eastern Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut. It
is approximately 60 miles from both Hartford and New York City and about 20 miles
from New Haven and Stamford. Originally served by one of America's first controlled-access
divided roads built in the 1930's, the Merritt Parkway that traverses the town,
Trumbull's citizens have easy access to tremendous distant business and cultural
opportunities via key state routes (8, 25, 127, 111, and 15/Merritt Parkway) that
connect to Interstates 95, 91 and 84. Trumbull has a strong local character enhanced
by the diversity of the communities surrounding it.
transportation network also contributes to its attractiveness for retail and commercial
activity. The town hosts a regionally-known Westfield commercial mall, which began
operations in 1963, that houses upwards of 180 national and local retailers, restaurants,
and other stores as well as other notable shopping and entertainment destinations
like Target, Best Buy, and Kohl's at the Hawley Lane Mall and the Bow Tie Marquis
Cinemas. In addition, several large corporations such as Unilever, Oxford Health
Plans/United HealthCare, NASDAQ, Sikorsky Aircraft, Pilot Pen, and Sun Products
have units that call Trumbull "home."
citizens are very proud of their town's history, heritage, and accomplishments.
Perhaps more important, they have faith that the future for the people of Trumbull
will be even brighter than the past.
offer our thanks for assistance from many groups and individuals, most notably
members of the Trumbull Historical Society who have researched and documented
aspects of the town's history, and Lois Levine in particular. Any attempt to authoritatively
sort out conflicting accounts of history is fraught with danger, but we have done
our utmost to get it "right" and we hope you enjoy this description
of our town's many facets.
- Dan Neumann, Trumbull
Historical Commission Highway Marker - Dan Neumann
Town Seal - Dan Neumann
of Jonathan Trumbull in U.S. Capitol (Washington, D.C.) - The Architect of the
- Trumbull Public Schools
Administration Building Sign - Dan Neumann
Marching Band in the 2001 Inaugural Parade (Washington, D.C.) - The Associated
- THS Marching Band in the 2009
Inaugural Parade (Washington, D.C.) - Smugmug.com/Trumbull Band Parents
Fire Truck - Rocco Clericuzio
Wins the World Series (Little League Museum, Williamsport, Pa.) - Erik Neumann
- Town Hall Green on Memorial Day
- Susan Berescik
- Chicago in Concert
- Morgan Kaolian/AEROPIX
Town Motto - Dan Neumann