About Guilford's History

Located midway between New York City and Boston, and more regionally between New Haven and Saybrook, the Town of Guilford was founded in May 1639 by a band of puritans seeking religious freedom in the New World. The land was purchased from local Native Americans, who were represented by the squaw sachem (female chief) Shaumpishih, and first established as the plantation of Menuncatuck - later to become known as Guilford. Life in early 17th century Guilford was extremely primitive and resembled a medieval village for several generations, but by the 18th century, the town had become a thriving coastal community with agriculture and the sea supporting the economy; by the end of the 19th and into the 20th century, Guilford became a summer destination for Victorian vacationers from near and far. Today, Guilford’s once-small population has risen to a year-round community of more than 22,000 people. Its natural scenic beauty, its Green, its historic houses, and its thriving business community guide today's citizens of Guilford toward a promising future. (Source: Historical Overview from the Town of Guilford.) Learn more about Guilford's history below and share your own story here.

Guilford is Our Favorite “Home Town”

by Lee Brockmann My family first came to Guilford in 1970, when my husband Fred Brockmann was selected to be Guilford's second Superintendent of Schools. (Deb Cox was Guilford's first Superintendent.) We left in 1977 when Farmingdale, Long Island, made him an offer he couldn't refuse, to be Supt. of Schools there. But when he retired from the Superintendency there in 1985, we returned to Guilford, because it was our favorite "home town." Shortly after our return, I became involved in the … [Read more...]

Leisure & Recreation in Guilford: Then & Now

by  Lisa Calderone-Perrelli Click cover photo below to view slideshow: [easy-media med="1858" align="center" mark="gallery-4CvoMC" style="dark"] Just imagine. When the 25 men aboard the Saint John that sailed from England to New Haven signed the Plantation Covenant in June 1639 to join together to "plant [themselves] in New England," they had one thought in mind: survival. Little did they know that 375 years later, the land they planted themselves in - Guilford, Connecticut - … [Read more...]

The Dudley Farm Museum – Farmer’s Market Open!

Saturday, June 7, 2014 marks the opening of The Dudley Farm Farmers’ Market. About 40 vendors will be selling their produce and crafts at the Farm from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday through October 25th. Special events as well as demonstrations are being planned for this year’s market. Our winter market, located on the lower floor of the Munger Barn, opened in February and runs through May 2014 on the first Saturday of each month. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. About the Dudley … [Read more...]

Memories of Guilford

My family moved to Guilford in 1959. I started third grade at Church St. School, now the Guilford Recreation Center. I remember walking to the Grove swimming hole behind the Guilford Vet through the fields, with my mother and younger siblings for a picnic and a swim in the afternoon. Sleeping out under the stars, but never sleeping. Listening to the bull frogs in the pond late at night. Raiding Bishops Apple Orchards. Maple Shade for ice cream. Painting the town Green Merchant's windows at … [Read more...]

The Big Barn Project (BBP)

by Bill Black The rooster crows, the sheep baa, and the oxen look like gentle giants as they graze in the pasture. Just another day on the Dudley Farm. With its period exhibits in the farm house, various outbuildings, livestock, and picturesque grounds, The Dudley Farm Museum reflects life on a late 19th Century New England farm. Visitor's compliments are a testament to this success.  Now we're going to take it a step further. Next to the house is the gray weathered barn which you've … [Read more...]

High School Education in Guilford, Then & Now

by Lisa Calderone (originally published in the Guilford Events Magazine) "With a large enrollment our teachers and officials are now patiently and silently working under severe handicaps. Perhaps in the near future the citizens of Guilford will see their way clear to erect as strong, enduring and suitable a structure for the present and coming generations as did the Founders of the Guilford Institute eighty years ago. This would be quite in keeping with the spirit of the original donors, … [Read more...]

Guilford’s Soldiers of the Civil War

by Tracy Tomaselli In its 375-year history, Guilford has sent hundreds of men off to war:  sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, and neighbors. These men fought in many major battles, minor battles, and skirmishes. They also dealt with disease, capture, and harsh prison treatment. Many of these brave men did not return home. At the Guilford & the Civil War event on Saturday, May 31, you can learn about 5 of these soldiers straight from a Guilford High School history student. The GHS … [Read more...]

Seasons Greetings Photos at the Whitfield House

Contact: Michael A. McBride Museum Curator Henry Whitfield State Museum (203) 453-2457 A special program at the Henry Whitfield State Museum Sunday, October 13, 2013 & Saturday, November 9, 2013 'SEASONS GREETINGS' - Take Your Holiday Card Photo Inside Connecticut's Oldest House! Guilford, Conn. (October 4, 2013) – Imagine your friends' and relatives' surprise when they receive your holiday card this year and learn that it was taken inside of the Henry … [Read more...]

Faulkner Island Lighthouse

What: The Faulkner's Light Brigade (FLB) Where: Faulkner's Island, Guilford, CT Why: Built in 1802, Faulkner Island Lighthouse is Connecticut’s second oldest lighthouse tower (New London Ledge Lighthouse being the oldest), and is the only active light station on an island in the state. Faulkner Island is located about 3.5 miles off the Guilford, Connecticut shore. The island is part of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Faulkner’s Light … [Read more...]

Our History

Stay with us as we dig into our archives and share stories about Guilford's history. … [Read more...]