Town of Brookfield
|• Type||Selectman-town meeting|
|• First selectwoman||Tara S. Carr (R)|
|• Selectman||Harold A. Shaker (R)|
|• Selectman||Stephen C. Dunn (D)|
|• Total||20.4 sq mi (52.8 km2)|
|• Land||19.8 sq mi (51.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)|
|Elevation||459 ft (140 m)|
|• Density||806.5/sq mi (311.4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0213399|
Brookfield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, situated within the southern foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. 43 miles (69 km) northeast of New York City, making it part of the New York metropolitan area. In July 2013, Money magazine ranked Brookfield the 26th-best place to live in the United States, and the best place to live in Connecticut.The population was 17,528 at the 2020 census. The town is located
Brookfield was first settled in 1710 by John Muirwood, as well as other colonial founders including Hawley, Peck and Merwin. They bartered for the land from the Wyantenuck Nation and the Pootatuck Nation who were ruled under the Sachem Waramaug and Pocono. The purchase of the southern portion of town involved the current Municipal Center where Sachem Pocono then had his village and lived in an enormous palisade along the Still River. Eventually, when the town was settled, it was first established as the Parish of Newbury, which incorporated parts of neighboring Newtown and Danbury. The town of Brookfield was established in 1788. It was named after the first minister of the parish's Congregational church, Reverend Thomas Brooks.
Early people who lived in Brookfield were subsistence farmers, gatherers, and hunters. The main food sources were corn, beans, squash and wild foods found in the rocky, heavily forested foot hills of the Berkshire Mountains of Brookfield and New Milford. Such wild foods that were harvested were white oak acorns, American chestnuts, shag bark hickory nuts, may apples, beach nuts and Solomon's seal. The hunted animals that were takenfrom the forest and rivers were deer, passenger pigeon, turkey, bass, trout, crawfish, squirrel, rabbit and others. In the 18th century the community was called "Newbury", a name that came from the three towns from which its land was taken—New Milford, Newtown, and Danbury.
As traveling to surrounding churches was difficult in winter, in 1752 the General Assembly granted the community the right to worship in area homes from September through March. In 1754, the General Assembly granted permission for the Parish of Newbury to build its own meeting house and recruit its own minister. On September 28, 1757, the first Congregational Church building was dedicated. The Reverend Thomas Brooks was ordained as the first settled minister. When incorporated in 1778, the town's name was changed to Brookfield in honor of Brooks, who was still the minister.
Along the Still River, mills were in operation as early as 1732 in an area that became known as the Iron Works District. Brookfield was a thriving town with iron furnaces, grist mills, sawmills, comb shops, carding and cotton mills, a paper mill, a knife factory, hat factories, stage-coach shops, lime kilns, harness shops and other plants in operation. The grist mill still stands, as the Brookfield Craft Center. The Iron Works Aqueduct Company, formed in 1837 to supply water from mountain springs to the Iron Works District, still supplies water as the Brookfield Water Company.
Before 1912, the town had two train stations: one in the Iron Works District near the present Brookfield Market and a second, Junction Station, near the corner of Junction Road and Stony Hill Road.
The Danbury & Bethel Gas and Electric Company brought electricity to Brookfield in 1915.The .475 Wildey Magnum gun, later made famous in the 1985 Charles Bronson movie Death Wish 3 , was developed by Wildey J. Moore in Brookfield in the early 1970s (the factory has since moved to Warren, Connecticut).
In the early 1970s, the town was home to the headquarters of LEGO USA.
Throughout the 1970s and late 20th century, Brookfield saw a massive influx in its population. This is attributed to New Yorkers who began relocating from the city to the suburbs. This created rapid real estate development in Brookfield, and turned Brookfield into a popular commuter town for those who work in and around New York City.The top professions of residents today are in the fields of professional, scientific, and technical services, health care and finance and insurance.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.4 square miles (53 km2), of which 19.8 square miles (51 km2) is land and 0.6 square mile (1.6 km2), or 2.94%, is water. It borders Bethel to the south, Newtown to the southeast, Danbury to the southwest, New Fairfield to the west, New Milford to the northwest, and Bridgewater to the northeast.
Brookfield is located between the two largest lakes in Connecticut. Candlewood Lake (the largest) spans the west side of the town, while Lake Lillinonah spans the entire east side. The Still River also runs directly through the town from north to south.
The town's largest neighborhoods include:
Other named minor neighborhoods and geographic locations in the town are:
Brookfield has a humid continental climate, similar to that of New York City, with mild to warm humid summers and cold to very cold winters. The highest recorded temperature was 103 °F (39 °C) in July 1966, while the lowest recorded temperature was −15 °F (−26 °C) in 1968. Snowfall is generally frequent in winter while average precipitation is most common in September.
|Climate data for Brookfield, Connecticut|
|Record high °F (°C)||71|
|Average high °F (°C)||36|
|Average low °F (°C)||19|
|Record low °F (°C)||−18|
|Average rainfall inches (mm)||3.76|
Companies in Brookfield include:
As of the censusof 2000, there were 15,664 people, 5,572 households, and 4,368 families residing in the town. The population density was 791.1 people per square mile (305.4/km2). There were 5,781 housing units at an average density of 292.0 per square mile (112.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.29% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.61% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. 2.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,573 households, out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.1% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.4% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males, slightly under the US average. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $119,370, and the median income for a family was $136,682. Males had a median income of $91,396 versus $48,318 for females. The per capita income for the town was $58,715. About 1.2% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.
Elected bodies in the town government are a three-member Board of Selectmen, a seven-member Board of Education, a six-member Board of Finance, a five-member Planning and Zoning Commission, three-member Board of Assessment Appeals, and a 100-member, nonpartisan Representative Town Meeting. The town has several elective offices as well: the town clerk, probate judge, registrar of voters, tax collector and treasurer.
The Board of Finance approves financial measures, including the town budget; the Board of Education controls the town's public schools; the Representative Town Meeting is the main legislative body of the town.
At the state level, Brookfield is in the 107th Assembly District, currently represented by State Rep. Stephen Harding (R),a lifelong Brookfield resident, and the 20th Senate District, currently represented by State Sen. Craig Miner (R) of Litchfield, CT. Brookfield is part of the 5th congressional district, which is represented by Jahana Hayes (D).
For the 2020 Presidential Election, Joe Biden (D) received the majority of votes cast by Brookfield residents.
As of 2016, the mill rate in Brookfield is 26.40‰.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 26, 2021|
|Party||Active voters||Inactive voters||Total voters||Percentage|
There is also a magnet school in Danbury, Connecticut that students from Brookfield are accepted into. Students to this school are also accepted from Bethel, Redding, Ridgefield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, and other regional communities. Henry Abbott Technical High School is a public technical high school for students grades 9–12, being located in Danbury but also accepting students from other regional communities.
Many residents of Brookfield attend private schools in the Greater Danbury area, including Canterbury School (9–12), Immaculate High School (9–12) and Wooster School (PreK–12).
The Brookfield Craft Center is a specialized, non-degree school which teaches the skills of craftsmanship and offers courses and workshops to the general public. It is largely housed in an old historic mill house, on the Still River.
For years, despite being a major economic center for retail in Fairfield County, Brookfield has lacked a walkable downtown area. Most of the large economic activity was centered on Federal Road heading toward Danbury.In 2016, construction began on a project known as "Brookfield Village", which will create a downtown district consisting of sidewalks, street lamps, and parallel parking. Dozens of retail storefronts and residential apartment buildings (more than 150 units) are also being developed in this area, which has gained attention from retailers and will promote further development in the area. In conjunction with other retail developments on Federal Road and with the completion of Phase I of the newly revitalized district, many new restaurants, stores and boutiques have recently opened in the Town Center District.
Brookfield has many active scout units, including two Boy Scout troops, a Boy Scout Ship on Candlewood Lake, as well as two Cub Scout packs. These are as follows:
Known as an affluent Fairfield County suburb, Brookfield has regularly placed high in various rankings.Brookfield was selected as the best small town in Connecticut by Money magazine in 2013. It was selected as the 26th best town to live in nationwide by Money magazine in 2013. In 2017, MarketWatch ranked the Greater Danbury area as the 10th most expensive place to raise a family in the United States. Brookfield Public Schools are frequently ranked as one of the best school districts in Connecticut. Brookfield is also frequently ranked as one of the safest towns in Connecticut, due to its extremely low crime rates. In 2015, Connecticut Magazine rated Brookfield as one of the best among towns in Connecticut with median home values over $325,000. The rating considers education, crime, economy, community engagement, and culture/leisure.
Partially due to Brookfield's close proximity to New York City, Brookfield has seen many notable residents ranging from famous golfer Gene Sarazen to Connecticut's 87th governor Jodi Rell. Many finance and business executives also reside in Brookfield, due to the centralization of investment firms and hedge funds in Fairfield County, as well as many Fortune 500 companies.
From the South, US 7 and US 202 jointly exit Interstate 84 at Exit 7 near Danbury. To the South, US 7 connects to the Merritt Parkway and Interstate 95 in Norwalk. US 202 then splits from US 7 at Exit 11, and runs parallel north through town before reconnecting with US 7 near the New Milford border. For many years, US 7 and US 202 ran concurrently through Brookfield but, after decades of discussion and planning, the US 7 Bypass officially opened on November, 2009.The Governor of Connecticut at the time was Jodi Rell (R), a Brookfield resident.
Connecticut Route 133 connects Brookfield to its eastern neighbor Bridgewater over the iconic Southville Bridge, which spans the Housatonic River. Connecticut Route 25 also connects Brookfield with Newtown and its Hawleyville neighborhood to the southeast, passing by Interstate 84 and terminating at US 6.Interstate 84 passes through the southern tip of Brookfield, but is most directly accessible through Exit 9 in Hawleyville.
The town is part of the "4 Route", "7 Route" and "New Milford Loop", which are operated by HARTransit.A park and ride is located at 67 White Turkey Road Ext., and offers connections to nearby bus and train stations as well as nearby airports.
Until 1971, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (later the Penn Central Railroad) operated commuter service between Grand Central Terminal and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, which included a stop in Brookfield. Brookfield's station building is currently occupied by the Brookfield Craft Center, which ceased to operate as a station in 1971 when service ended. Proposals have been made to extend the New Haven Line's Danbury Branch to New Milford, which would include a Brookfield Metro-North station.This would give Brookfield's significant population of commuters another way to travel to Lower Fairfield County and New York City, since they must currently leave from the nearby Danbury station or other stations along the New Haven or Harlem Lines. These tracks are currently used by the Housatonic Railroad for freight service.
The closest public airport to Brookfield is Danbury Municipal Airport, being located in bordering Danbury. Brookfield is within close proximity of several airports with commercial service, including Westchester County Airport, Bradley International Airport, Tweed New Haven Airport and the airports of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The town of Brookfield has two volunteer fire companies in town staffing three stations, with the headquarters for the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company being at 92 Pocono Rd, the Center Company at 6 Obtuse Hill Rd and the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department Candlewood Company at 18 Bayview Dr.The department was founded in 1934, and is composed entirely of volunteers.
The Brookfield Police Department Headquarters is located at 63 Silvermine Rd, adjacent to the Brookfield Municipal Center. The department was established on July 1, 1977, and as of 2017, consists of 34 full-time officers, 6 special officers and 12 full and part-time civilian personnel. The Department Command Staff consists of the chief of police, a major and a captain. There is a Patrol Division, a Detective Division, including a youth officer and two school resource officers, and part-time SCUBA Team, Accident Investigation Team, tactical response technicians with the Danbury Police Department, and part-time evidence technicians.Brookfield has plans to expand the current police headquarters, citing a growth in the population served, as well as the size of the police force.
Fairfield County is a county in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut, as well as the State’s fastest-growing from 2010 to 2020 and largest in terms of population. As of the 2020 census, the county's population was 957,419, representing 26.6% of Connecticut's overall population. The closest to the center of the New York metropolitan area, the county contains four of the state's largest cities–Bridgeport (1st), Stamford (3rd), Norwalk (6th), and Danbury (7th)–whose combined population of 433,368 is nearly half the county's total population.
Fairfield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It borders the city of Bridgeport and towns of Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport along the Gold Coast of Connecticut. As of 2017 the town had a population of 62,105. In September 2014, Money magazine ranked Fairfield the 44th best place to live in the United States and the best place to live in Connecticut.
Monroe is a town located in eastern Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 19,479 at the 2010 census.
New Fairfield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 13,881 at the 2010 census. New Fairfield is one of five towns that surround Candlewood Lake, the largest lake in Connecticut.
Bridgewater is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,662 at the 2020 census, down from 1,727 at the 2010 census.
Danbury is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, located approximately 55 mi (89 km) northeast of New York City. Danbury's population at the 2020 census was 86,518.
Candlewood Lake is a manmade lake located in Fairfield and Litchfield counties of Western Connecticut, in the northeastern United States. At 8.4 square miles (22 km2), it is the largest lake in Connecticut and the largest lake within a 60 mile radius of New York City. The lake is bordered by five towns: Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, and Sherman. Some of the most expensive real estate in Connecticut is located on the shores of the lake, in the towns of Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, and Sherman.
Danbury Municipal Airport is a public use general aviation airport located three miles (5 km) southwest of the central business district of Danbury, in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The airport opened in 1930. It is currently run by the City of Danbury under the management of Michael Safranek. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a regional reliever airport facility.
Housatonic Area Regional Transit, known popularly as HARTransit, is the provider of public transportation for Danbury, Connecticut and surrounding communities. HARTransit was founded in 1972 as the Danbury-Bethel Transit District by the two municipalities. The name was changed to Housatonic Area Regional Transit in 1979 after the addition of other municipal members. The agency receives funding from municipal contracts, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration and the New York State Department of Transportation. Prior to HARTransit's establishment, Danbury had gone without transit service since 1967 when the privately owned ABC Bus Company which had replaced the Candlewood Bus Company a few months before, ceased operations. The first local bus transit operator in the area, Danbury Power & Transportation Company, operated bus services in Danbury and Bethel from 1926 to 1965. HARTransit provides service to a greater number of towns than its predecessors.
Greater Danbury, also known as the Housatonic Valley Region, is a region in the state of Connecticut centered on the city of Danbury. It consists of the city of Danbury and adjacent towns in the areas around the Housatonic River and the Still River.
The History of Brookfield, Connecticut extends back roughly three centuries.
Wayne Winsley is an American motivational speaker, author, and broadcaster. He is the founder and executive director of Brave Enough To Fail Inc., a student motivational program. He was the morning news host for WSTC and WNLK in Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut, and the afternoon drive news anchor for WICC 600AM in Bridgeport in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
The Lillinonah Trail is a 5.9-mile (9.5 km) Blue-Blazed hiking trail "system" in the lower Housatonic River valley in Fairfield County and, today, is entirely in Newtown. Most of the trail is in the upper block of Paugussett State Forest.
The Housatonic Range Trail is a 6.2-mile (10.0 km) Blue-Blazed hiking trail in the Housatonic Valley Region of Litchfield County in the town of New Milford in the Candlewood Mountain and Gaylordsville Connecticut sections. The north-south axis of the trail parallels the Housatonic River through private land and land trust parcels. The Housatonic Range Trail is maintained largely through the efforts of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, which provides online Blue Trail maps.
Lake Lillinonah is located in Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties of Western Connecticut, in the northeastern United States. It is the second largest lake in Connecticut, smaller only than Candlewood Lake. The lake is bordered by six towns: Brookfield, Bridgewater, Newtown, New Milford, Roxbury, and Southbury. It was formed in 1955 by impoundment of the Housatonic River and the Shepaug River by the Shepaug Dam which was built by the Connecticut Light and Power Company. Some of the most expensive real estate in the Greater Danbury area is located on the shores of the lake, in the towns of Brookfield, Bridgewater and Newtown.
Shepaug Dam is a dam located between Newtown in Fairfield County and Southbury in New Haven County, Connecticut.
Brookfield station is a proposed passenger rail station on the Danbury Branch of the Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line, to be located in Brookfield, Connecticut.
North Danbury station is a proposed commuter rail stop on the Danbury Branch of the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, to be located in Danbury, Connecticut.
Branson Ultrasonics Corporation is an American developer and manufacturer of ultrasonic manufacturing and cleaning applications.
Candlewood Lake Club is a private residential community and census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Brookfield, Fairfield County, and in the town of New Milford, Litchfield County, in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is in the northwest corner of Brookfield and the southwest corner of New Milford, on the east shore of Candlewood Lake. It is bordered to the south by Candlewood Shores, to the north by Chimney Point, and to the west by the town of New Fairfield.
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