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Rams Pasture

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Town Street, today's Main Street, was laid out in the original Town Plat in 1709. It was situated on a ridge, running in a north-south direction. Four-acre lots were laid out on either side. Land to the south and west of Town Street was set aside for common land; this included the low-lying area today known as Ram Pasture.

As early as 1732, provisions were made for a collective town flock made up of a certain number of sheep belonging to individual farmers which were earmarked for identification. Townspeople watched them as they grazed along the wide roadsides and in the enclosed rams' pasture. In the last quarter of the 18th century, much of Rams Pasture was divided up among the landowners.

French troops under General Rochambeau camped in these meadows in 1781 on their way to meet General Washington in New York and, later, Yorktown.

In the 1920s a lifelong resident of Newtown and a descendant of old Newtown families, purchased the land known as Ram Pasture and bequeathed it to Yale University. It was later acquired by the Newtown Village Cemetery Association through an endowment proved by Mrs. Hawley. The Village Cemetery Association maintains the broad meadow.

Ram Pasture retains much of its Colonial character as a broad, open meadow used by the early residents of Newtown as sheep pasture.



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