The bucolic and sleepy town of Easton, Connecticut, once described in a New York Times article as the “black pearl of Fairfield County” is situated just past the Merritt Parkway, next to Fairfield, Weston, Monroe, Trumbull, Newtown and Redding. Dreamy images of its farms and landscapes, antique homes, stone walls, winding roads, and mature trees conjure up images by Constable and the words of Emerson and Thoreau.
First settled in 1757, Easton, along with neighboring Weston, was originally part of the town of Fairfield. Weston incorporated out in 1787, followed by Easton in 1845. Today Easton, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, remains relatively unchanged. There are no streetlights, malls or mainstream shopping. There is no grocery store. Blink once and you’ll miss the town center, which consists of a gas station that predates World War II and the Easton General Store, where you can pick up sundries and some of the best deli sandwiches around.
Across the street is the Easton Fire Station, where every August a carnival is hosted by the fire department. This is small town living at its best, where neighbors from Easton and surrounding towns come out to participate in the summer’s most anticipated event. To the outsider looking in, the scene is reminiscent of the carefree days of a bygone era.
Just beyond is Silverman’s Farm, perhaps the area’s most celebrated autumn attraction. The farm has is known for its apple- and pumpkin-picking while the area’s trees are at peak color, attracting visitors from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and beyond. A tractor pulls young and old apple pickers alike on a steep and windy path to the top of the hill where all marvel at the breathtaking views below. A stop in the store is a must. While their apple cider and donuts are great, this insider encourages all to pick up one of their delicious pies (or two, or more!). Across Sport Hill Road (Route 59), young ones delight in Silverman’s petting farm.
Further up Route 59 is Sport Hill Farm, a relative newcomer. Here customers can pick up a wide variety of seasonal produce, eggs, dairy and some meat products. Sport Hill Farm supplies many of Fairfield County’s most prestigious restaurants. A little further up the road is Snow’s Farm, which specializes in gardening products and lawn care and has been around for more than 100 years.
Follow Route 59 further north and you’ll come to an intersection, just beyond which is Union Cemetery, established in the 1700s and purported by numerous books and documentaries to be perhaps the country’s “most haunted” cemetery.
Legend has it The White Lady walks the cemetery at night. No one knows exactly who she is. Some believe she is a woman who was murdered in the 1800s, others that she is Harriet B. Seeley, a mother who lost a child before her own death in 1835, and roams the cemetery searching for her son.
Not far from the cemetery, just off Route 58, is the town’s one and only restaurant. The Old Aspetuck Bluebird Inn is known locally for its hearty and delicious New England breakfasts. The restaurant is cozy, charming and full of early Americana that gives it a 1940s feel. Come here with an appetite, and don’t worry about calories. Order some blueberry muffins to go – you may want them after you tag and cut down your own Christmas tree at one of the many tree farms in town.
Although Easton is a sleepy town, it has had its share of famous residents and weekenders. Helen Keller made Easton her home toward the end of her life (the town’s middle school is named after her). Other notables have included Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronin, Ann Baxter, Edna Ferber and Dan Rather. In 2009, a 76-foot Norway spruce from Easton traveled 61 miles to New York City, where it became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Have you ever visited Easton, Connecticut?
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.