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Western CT

Fairfield is bordered on the west by New York’s Putnam, Westchester and Dutchess Counties, on the south by Long Island Sound and on the east by New Haven County, Connecticut. Fairfield’s 627 square miles, home to more than 827,000 residents, is the third largest Connecticut county in population, and one of its most affluent. Almost one quarter of the state’s residents live in its major centers: the town of Fairfield, the cities of Stamford, Danbury and Stratford, and surrounding communities. The city of Bridgeport is its former county seat.

Litchfield, the more northerly and rural of the two counties, in bordered on the north by Massachusetts, on the west by Dutchess County (NY) on the south by Fairfield an New Haven and on the east by Hartford. Litchfield’s 130,000 square miles have a population of less than 175,000. Villages and rural hamlets make up most of its communities; smaller industrial cities like Torrington and Winsted are the exception. Its former county seat was Litchfield in the Town of Litchfield, named for the Litchfield area of England, 8th century “bookland” (an early English term for land with a charter).

Since the Victorian era an increasing number of visitors have been attracted by the charms of Western Connecticut’s rural villages, seemingly unchanged for two hundred years, and equally captivating shore communities. A rich array of cultural, intellectual and historical attractions have made heritage tourism a valued part of a varied economy. Although quick to incorporate new technologies and take advantage of the area’s commercial opportunities, residents remain staunchly protective of the area’s scenic and historical resources. Fairfield’s towns and cities have become a Mecca for metropolitan commuters, seeking the best of two worlds. Fairfield’s Housatonic River and Candlewood Lake, as well as the shore, attract vacation homeowner. Litchfield’s rural lakes and streams have also become weekender-resort areas.

 

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