Colonial Green’s Farms
In 1639, the Town of Fairfield was settled and incorporated at a place the Indians called Unquowa after the Pequot War ended here.
Shortly thereafter, cattle wandered westward from the town center, along the old Indian trails. Some of the farmers who followed them decided to settle in a remote area that the Indians called Machamux (The Beautiful Land). First came Thomas Newton, Henry Gray and John Green. Then Daniel Frost and Francis Andrews.
In 1648, these five – who came to be known as the Bankside Farmers – were officially sanctioned by Fairfield to “sit down and inhabit at Machamux.”
According to Jennings, the agreement entitled them to own and administer in common Fox Island, which was then a real island west of the salt marsh and across Gallop’s Gap Creek. [See the controversial creeks.] Fox Island was later renamed Sherwood’s Island.
Later Simon Couch bought the land called Burial Hill, which was acquired by the Town of Westport in 1893 to be a town park (Burying Hill Beach).
In the next half-century, more land was acquired from the Indians and the community grew. The people petitioned for their own church, and in 1711 the “West Parish of Fairfield” was established with ecclesiastical and civil functions. In 1732, the area was renamed “Green’s Farms” in honor of John Green. Frost Point was named for Daniel Frost.
The Jennings composite map shows the 1648 properties of the Bankside Farmers (at the western end of what is now Beachside Avenue) as well as the much-later Sherwoods on Sherwood Island (formerly Fox’s Island).
Just north of Sherwood Island, see the Machamux Boulder — a monument in a small park on what is now Green’s Farms Road, at the foot of Morningside Drive. This was the site of the first West Parish Common, the first schoolhouse, and the first meeting house. Up the drive is Clapboard Hill.
References and links
Jennings. Much of the information here is from the 1933 book of history and personal reminiscences by George Penfield Jennings titled Greens Farms.
The Pequot War. A narrative from the CT Society of Colonial Wars.
Colonial Connecticut Records – Digitized volumes of the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut
The Congregational Church of Green’s Farms
Greens Farms Academy
Green’s Farms Association
Fairfield Historical Society
Westport Historical Society
Is it Green’s Farms or Greens Farms? Either way is OK.