History of Bridgeport, Connecticut

History Of Bridgeport, Connecticut

History of Bridgeport, Connecticut

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The history of Bridgeport, Connecticut was, in the late 17th and most of the 18th century, one of land acquisitions from the native inhabitants, farming and fishing. From the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century, Bridgeport's history was one of shipbuilding, whaling and rapid growth. Bridgeport's growth accelerated even further from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century with the advent of the railroad, Industrialization, massive immigration, labor movements and socialism until, at its peak population in 1950, Bridgeport with some 159,000 people was Connecticut's second most populous city. In the late 20th century, Bridgeport's history was one of deindustrialization and declining population, though it overtook Hartford as the state's most populous city by 1980.

Early years

Much of the land that became Bridgeport was originally occupied by the Pequonnock Indians of the Paugussett nation. One village consisted of about five or six hundred inhabitants in approximately 150 lodgings.

Other than Black Rock and Parts of Brooklawn which were originally part of the township of Fairfield, Bridgeport was originally a part of the township of Stratford. The first English settlement on the west bank of the mouth of the Pequonnock River was made in about 1665 and was called Pequonnock. (Some sources have the first settlement as early as 1639 or 1659.) This village was renamed Newfield sometime before 1777. More people settled further inland and to the...
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