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Mill Plain Road

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Robert Ludlow purchased a large tract of land from the Pequonnock Indians and laid out the original village of Fairfield in 1639-40. Shortly after, the area to the northwest called Mill Plain was open for settlement in order to take advantage of the water power provided by the Mill River. On June 21, 1678, the Town of Fairfield voted to give Richard Oddon the principal mill there.

Large tracts of land were set aside by the proprietors as common pasture. The land included a large swath of land of about thirty acres, of which the present green was just a small part. By the mid-18th century, the pasture had been subdivided and sold with the exception of the present Mill Plain Green. It probably survived because of its location at the intersection of Mill Plain and Sturges Roads.

The early residents clustered around the green and at the river and mill sites. As early as 1664-1670, Trinity Church was erected to serve the families in the area. The exact site is not known. It has been speculated that an important characteristic of the Mill Plain settlement is that many of the early settlers retained their membership with the Church of England rather than becoming members of the Congregational church. The second Trinity Church was built in 1725, and the third in 1738.

When the British burned Fairfield on July 7th and 8th, 1779, it is estimated that about 300 troops marched to Mill Plain and camped on the Parade (as the green was then called because it was used by the military for drilling). By the time they left, practically all the structures in Mill Plain had been burned, including the third Trinity Church. The exception was a small group of houses and barns at the head of the Parade that were left partially standing.

The new Trinity Church was built on the Mill Plain Green near the intersection of Mill Plain and Sturges Roads. The congregation worshipped there until 1832 when the Southport chapel was constructed. Mill Plain Trinity was razed in 1844 and the green became an open space.

Mill Plain Green dates back to the 1660s when it was initially laid out as part of a larger parcel of common pasture. It was used as a training ground and later as a site for an Episcopal church. Today it is surrounded partially by residences and is the focal point of one of Fairfield's finest homes, the Sturges Cottage.



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