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Fairfield Citizen

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Fairfield 375: Sturges Cottage a home to history -- and prominent Fairfield family -- for generations

Updated 3:47 pm, Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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  • Sturges Cottage was built in 1840 by Jonathan Sturges, a successful merchant from Southport.The home had central plumbing before the White House did. Additions were added to the cottage in 1883 and 1890. Today, the Sturges family keeps up a more recent tradition of welcoming children on Halloween. Courtesy: Fairfield Museum and History Center Photo: Contributed Photo / Fairfield Citizen
    Sturges Cottage was built in 1840 by Jonathan Sturges, a successful merchant from Southport.The home had central plumbing before the White House did. Additions were added to the cottage in 1883 and 1890. Today, the Sturges family keeps up a more recent tradition of welcoming children on Halloween. Courtesy: Fairfield Museum and History Center Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Fairfield, established in 1639, is one of Connecticut's oldest communities. From its settlement 375 years ago by English colonists on "four squares" of land that Native Americans called Uncoway to the vibrant town of nearly 60,000 residents that it is today, Fairfield's history is a chronicle of compelling events and colorful characters.

The Fairfield Citizen will highlight vignettes from that rich history throughout this 375th anniversary year on a regular basis.

Following is a recent reminiscence by Mary Rousseau, who lives in the Sturges Cottage on Mill Plain Green. The residence has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Since I am the fourth generation of Sturgeses to live in this historic landmark, I have many memories to share during my years here at the Cottage.I enjoy the challenge of maintaining a 163-year-old house. It is always a work in progress.

We have a collection of make-believe skeletons, spiders and snakes residing in our ice house for our Halloween staging. The original kitchen was in the basement so a dumb-waiter was used to transport the food upstairs. The night nursery has a "cubby-hole" high up in the wall where the nanny hid her false teeth.

Cousin Frederick Sturges donated the land across the street to the town of Fairfield which is now Sturges Park and many baseballs would end up in my back yard. My grandfather, Henry Cady Sturges, was responsible for getting Mill Plain Road paved.

I always enjoyed riding in the trolley car when heading down to Bridgeport when we shopped at Read's Department store.

Fairfield has everything one could ask for today.