The Gateway to New England
It’s a beautiful sunny day at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park. As you walk to the water, you’re overcome with appreciate to for these breathtaking views. Excited to come back for the Zac Brown Band concert later this evening, you take one last look before leaving. Grabbing your blanket, you turn away from the beach, walk through the green grass, and back towards the Delamar Hotel where you are staying. This place that is loved by so many has a history. How did this all begin?
Discovering Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich was originally scoped out by a sailor in the early 1600’s, catching his eye with its divine beauty. Twenty-five years later, Robert Feake bought the land for a mere 25 coats. From there, the town began to grow at a steady rate. Today, you can take a cruise from Greenwich Harbor and see this view as it was first seen over 400 years ago.
Greenwich was torn apart during the Revolutionary War, taking much of the town that was built up to this point with it. Although much of it was destroyed, glimpses of the life before war exist throughout the town today. Knapp’s Tavern, best known for General Israel Putnam’s escape, is maintained today as the Revolutionary War Museum, ‘Putnam Cottage.’ You can visit the old Tavern today, but make sure to stop in the l’escale lounge for a drink afterwards. Try the specialty cocktail, ”The Good The Bad and the Ugly,” which is a good match after a day spent learning about the war!
The Growth of Greenwich
Greenwich was a hub for supplying fruits and vegetables to the New York market. Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are something we take for granted today. Did you know that suppliers getting to New York meant a day-long trek by horse (one-way!)? Imagine taking a stagecoach to escape the city for a weekend? The quick commute wasn’t made possible until 1848 when the railroad was built through the town. Now, you can come stay in Greenwich with just a short 50-minute train ride.
New Yorkers took advantage of the train and started settling in summer houses in the easy-to-access areas of Connecticut. Greenwich was the closest point of Connecticut – the Gateway to New England. This prompted rapid growth in Greenwich, which meant new construction in the town. Greenwich Avenue and the Greenwich Historic District we know and love today started to grow as early as 1854 and continues to still to this day.
Did you know?
- Greenwich Town Hall today was actually a high school when it was first built in 1925?
- The Board of Education inhabits the Havemeyer building today, which was the first building built in the Greenwich Municipal Center Historic District.
- Bruce Park Avenue and West Putnam Avenue were built between 1899 and 1919 and showcase an architectural style that was popular after World War II, the Tudor Revival style.
Today, if you take a stroll through the Historical District, just a 5-minute walk from the Delamar Greenwich Harbor, you can admire the buildings still preserved in the center of town that have intermixed with the modern architecture on Greenwich Avenue. Explore unique consignment shops, well-known stores such as the Apple Store and Saks Fifth Avenue, or pick up a souvenir at Splurge Gifts.
If you take a ride down to Greenwich Point Park, you can explore the walking trails or host a clambake near the beach. Look out into the sound and take in what that sailor saw nearly 400 years ago. On a clear day, you can even see the skyline of New York City.
The staff welcomes you back to the Delamar, asking if you’ve had a chance to visit the shops downtown. You’re brought back to present day life. But isn’t it amazing how history is everywhere?
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