Residents choose Weston for its understatement. They like returning to the pastoral security of home after a day spent in the rush of trains, highways and commercial centers. They like to keep close to the land and its rhythms; they like the close sense of community. They like Weston because it is truly the epitome of country New England. Read the full article on our blog...
The Native American Pequot Tribe used the land that is now the town of Weston as hunting grounds for deer, bear, moose, fox, raccoon, mink, otter and many varieties of fowl, but lost the area in l637. In l757 Norfield Parish was organized and following that in l787 the first town meeting of the Town of Weston was held.
The town grew during the l880’s from a small farming community, on the little good farming land available, to a thriving industrial town. Water power from the Saugatuck River was used in the manufacturing of toys, axe handles and other small items. Residents numbered 1,056, but many left as water power lost its importance. Only 670 Westonites were counted in the l930 census.
The shift to a residential town led to a tripling of the population during the next 20 years. Artists, actors and writers led the insurgence, followed after World War II by commuters who worked in New York City, but sought space and good schools for their large families. The growth continued for the next two decades as corporate headquarters moved to Westchester and Fairfield Counties.
From all points in Weston, it is a short drive to the Westport or Wilton railway stations for the 60 minute commute by train to Manhattan. Easy access to the Merritt Parkway and Connecticut Turnpike makes for convenient driving into Stamford, Westchester County or Manhattan.
Weston’s population has remained small enough to continue its historically New England Board of Selectmen/Town Meeting form of government. It is one of the few towns remaining in which residents and property owners have final say and local involvement is enthusiastic.
Population: Approximately 10,000
Education in Weston is a family, school and community partnership committed to excellence and dedicated to developing each student’s personal best. The Weston school system has consistently been recognized as one of the finest in the nation. Located on a 120 acre campus, the four school complex is comprised of one Elementary School (grades K-2), one Intermediate School (grades 3-5), one Middle School (grades 6-8) and one High School (grades 9-12). The current student population stands at 2,566 for grades K through 12. Taking pride in the well rounded student, Weston schools offer a multitude of athletic, artistic and community service options to their students.
Hurlbutt Elementary School and the Weston Intermediate School are committed to keeping their class size small with individualized instruction and a favorable ratio of approximately 20 students per teacher. A core curriculum of reading, writing and mathematics in enhanced by “specials”, which include music, art, computer, physical education and health education. Spanish is introduced in second grade.
Gifted students are identified at the end of second grade and offered enriched classes. Special education programs are provided for children with special needs, including physical, emotional and learning disabilities beginning in pre-school and running through high school.
Weston Middle School offers a challenging academic program that includes basic course work, as well as laboratory sciences, foreign languages, art, music, computers and technology. Middle schoolers also have the opportunity to study at the Norwalk Maritime Center.
Weston High School has been awarded Blue Ribbon status, placing it in the top 1% of all high schools in the country. Weston students are offered a full range of academic courses including all AP level courses. In addition, extensive specialized programs are available for independent study. Students may also take college level courses through the University of Connecticut Co-op Program. Weston High School seniors in the class of 2006 had the highest SAT scores in the state.
Over 75% of the students participate in the 25 varsity, 9 junior varsity and 4 freshman sports teams.
Over 60% of the student population are involved in the performing arts.
Almost one quarter of Weston is devoted to open space use. The maintenance and acquisition of open space land is a priority. This means that Weston will long be heir to a spacious, outdoor inheritance. Weston residents enjoy jogging, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross country skiing and trout fishing just minutes or steps from their homes. It is not unusual to find natural swimming holes here and there, particularly in the Saugatuck River. In addition, there are private clubs for golf, swimming and tennis.
The Aspetuck Land Trust is a non-profit Connecticut Corporation devoted to preserving and maintaing open space and the natural resources of Weston and its surrounding towns.
The Lucius Pond Ordway-Devil’s Den Preserve with 1765 acres is the largest contiguous nature preserve in southwestern Connecticut. The Preserve is a matchless asset with 21 miles of well-maintained trails.
The Katherine Ordway Preserve on 60 acres offers 3 miles of hiking trails and an arboretum.
The Weston Park and Recreation Department manages the 53 acre Bisceglie-Scribner Park, which offers an outdoor community pool that is fed by natural underground springs as well as hiking trails, picnic facilities and ball fields. There is an indoor pool at the Weston Middle School that has public hours.
In addition, the Park and Recreation Department operates a comprehensive youth program including swimming classes, tennis instruction, soccer, football, basketball, wrestling, softball, gymnastics, ski trips and horseback riding. Weston has an active Little League program.
Weston residents are welcome to purchase seasonal parking passes at a moderate cost and join their neighbors in Westport at Compo Beach. Compo Beach located on Long Island Sound is a favorite among residents offering them calm waters, an expansive playground plus picnic and barbeque facilities. Ice skating, boating and kayaking are also available in various spots in and around Weston and Westport.
Weston residents enjoy the use of the Westport/Weston YMCA, located in downtown Westport, with its 2 swimming pools, 2 gymnasiums, a fitness center and a complete program of health, sports and exercise programs.
Devotion to the arts is strong and broadly popular.
Since the 1940’s, celebrities such as Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe and Robert Redford have called Weston home, as have renowned authors, artists and musicians. The cultural tone of Weston is intimate, personal and very family-oriented. Whereby size and inclination the population does not support major local institutional development, ties to organizations and projects in Westport have always been close.
The Weston Historical Society founded in l961 “to preserve the past for the benefit of the future” is headquartered in the restored 1841 Coley Homestead furnished with period pieces. It is set on 3.7 acres and is the custodian of Weston’s past. There is a barn museum and smoke house as well as carriage and livestock barns. In addition to its educational programs, Coley House sponsors eagerly awaited Easter Egg rolls and Halloween haunted houses.
The Weston Commission for the Arts plans exciting monthly events. These include shows featuring the work of prominent local artists, poetry readings, dance performances and more.
The Weston Public Library sponsors free story telling hours for children and monthly art exhibits.
Neighboring Westport offers a multitude of cultural opportunities shared by Westonites.
Since its inception in 1930, The Westport Country Playhouse, has been a showcase for national theatre. A star-studded line-up of America’s performing greats have walked upon the stage: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Christopher Plummer, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr,, Geraldine Page, Gene Kelly, Lillian Gish, Jane Fonda, Helen Hayes, Liza Minelli and the list goes on and on. And so do the singing, dancing, musicals and plays. Totally renovated in 2005 the Westport Country Playhouse continues to enlighten, enrich and engage a diverse community of theatre lovers, artists and students by presenting excellent professional theatre and by offering a welcoming experience that perpetuates the long tradition of the Westport Country Playhouse “red barn”. In addition, the Playhouse hosts an equally professional and heavily attended Children’s series.
The Westport/Weston Community Theatre is at home in the Westport Town Hall. There is fresh new work by debuting playwrights, drama, comedy, musicals and experimental theatre. A great community builder and resource, anyone who wants to be in, around or attend theater can start here.
The Levitt Pavilion on the banks of the Saugatuck River with a great view across the river and back toward town is another of Westport’s summer performance hallmarks. Every night throughout the season the shows are free. Reggae to rock, musicals to blue grass, big band, choral singing, barbershop and dance, all tastes and all ages find something to love. Its amphitheater shell, the river walk and grassy knoll make just the right setting for a summer night.
The Westport/Weston Arts Center is a performing and visual arts organization dedicated to providing meaningful experiences for area residents of all ages. The programs include the visual arts, performing arts, film, lectures, education and special events. The galleries of the Arts Center provide ongoing exhibitions open to the public. Through its comprehensive artistic and educational programming the Arts Center has achieved the highest standard of professionalism within a fifty mile radius of New York.
The Nature Center for Environmental Activities is devoted to public environmental education, preservation and conservation. It is on a 62 acre reserve in the woodsy interior of Westport. There are miles of interconnecting trails, as well as a building for exhibits and interactive educational displays. The Nature Center Nursery School hosts programs for children, as well as outdoor summer programs.
In keeping with its small town atmosphere, Weston hosts numerous country fairs. A favorite with the kids is the Halloween Ragamuffin Parade, with its haunted house and refreshments at the Weston Firehouse.
On Fourth of July, Weston celebrates with a town wide fireworks extravaganza complete with live music and food.
During the warm weather you can always find your neighbors at the weekly Farmer’s Market.
The traditional Memorial Day Fair draws the largest crowds. Beginning with a 5K race, followed by a parade complete with floats and a marching band, families and friends then head to the firehouse to meet and enjoy a hotdog courtesy of the Weston Volunteer Fire Department. The PTO sponsored carnival with rides, food and prizes is an event that is enjoyed and looked forward to by Westonites year after year.
The Norfield Grange is one of the most active granges in the state, drawing people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Family, home and community are the common bonds. The annual Agricultural Fair in September has been flourishing since l968 and carries on a much older rural tradition.