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BETHEL: New England Charm, Healthy Development


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Tucked in picturesque northern Fairfield County is the quaint town of Bethel.  Bethel's early history is partially lost, as it was part of Danbury until 1855, and the British burned that city’s records in April 1777 during the Revolutionary War.

The town was settled around 1700.  Muddy Brook, a small stream near the Danbury line, is mentioned in a 1697 probate record.  When overcrowding at Danbury's First Congregational Church forced the formation of a separate parish to the south in 1759, the new community named itself Bethel, meaning "House of God" in Hebrew.

Although settlement began before the 1700's, the town was not incorporated until its separation from Danbury in 1855.

One of Bethel's most noted sons is Phineas Taylor Barnum, born in Bethel in 1810.  A small area, known as "P.T. Barnum Square", boasted an enormous bronze fountain donated by the "greatest showman on earth", until the Doughboy Statue replaced it.

Other places of note in Bethel include the Bethel Farmers Market, the Bethel Firefighters Museum, Plumtrees Schoolhouse, and the Sycamore Drive-In.  Blessed with an active retail community, Bethel draws residents and tourists alike to its recently rejuvenated village center.

Light industrial development dots Bethel and includes The Berkshire Corporate Park and the Francis J. Clarke Industrial Park.  This controlled commercial and industrial growth helps Bethel keep its Victorian feel.  Historical buildings and homes are faithfully maintained to help Bethel preserve its link to the past.

Meanwhile, Bethel's Chamber of Commerce works hard to help move the town into the future.  By sponsoring programs beneficial to small businesses and the community, such as networking opportunities, educational programs, events such as Bethel Blooms, the holiday tree lighting, and its beautification programs, the Chamber supports all of Bethel.

Bethel is alive with activity all year round.  Municipal and Park and Recreation programs contribute to the community's wellbeing, as well as its excellent schools, thriving businesses, and beautiful scenery.
Note: Updated March 2015

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