The town of New Canaan is located in Fairfield County on the Fivemile River and borders New York State. In 1731, Connecticut’s General Assembly established Canaan Parish in northwestern Norwalk and northeastern Stamford, and in 1801 the town was incorporated.
History And Early Settlers
In 1801, residents of the town did not have a main street, a town hall or a central common. The reason for this was that it had been an agricultural village before the Revolutionary War. Once incorporation as a town happened after the war, there was the establishment of a town hall, central common, and a main street. Once the Civil War ended, a railroad connection was established to New York City in 1868.
New Canaan shifted to shoe making as its major industry in the 19th century. By the late 1800s wealthy New York City residents built summer homes in the area, and many of them stayed year-round.
New Canaan became an important center of modern architectural design when the “Harvard Five” built over 80 homes. These architects designed and built their homes in New Canaan and later built homes of their clients. Their distinctive style of incorporating steel and glass, modern aesthetic, and flat roofs influenced the modern design movement internationally from back in the late 1940’s to about 1965. However, their legacy is most profoundly felt in New Canaan. The availability of those many excellent examples of mid-century modern designs in a single location makes New Canaan unique in the world. Philip Johnson’s Glass House is probably the most famous of the mid-Century modern homes.
With a population of 20,314 people and four constituent neighborhoods, New Canaan is the 55th largest community in Connecticut. The racial makeup of the town was 95.27 percent White, 1.74 percent Hispanic or Latino, 1.04 percent African American, 0.04 percent Native American, 2.29 percent Asian, 0.01 percent Pacific Islander, 0.38 percent from other races, and 0.98 percent from two or more races. New Canaan is the third-ranked school district in the United States “for home value” for communities with a median home price of $800,000 or greater.
Noteworthy And Interesting Facts About New Cannan
The New Canaan Playhouse opened on Sept. 19, 1923 with a showing of “Down to the Sea in Ships”.
The town’s first fire engine was paid for on July 4, 1845 in which a volunteer fire company was organized.
The dedication of the town’s first high school took place on July 4, 1926.
New Canaan’s first retail shoe store was built in 1870 at the corner of Elm, J. & J. Benedict.