does Coram mean?
United Methodist Church on Rocky Rest Rd.
Kevin Buchanan's 2 cents
Headwaters of the Ivy Brook
What DOES Coram mean?
equivalent of the Massachusetts Monouhkoiyeum "a valley," "low
country," shortened into Moncorum and afterwards
into Coram. It probably referred to a passage between
or some valley
– by William Wallace Tooker, 1911
from the Indian word Wincoram, meaning ``a passage between hills
From an article about
Coram, Long Island
Shelton area was first occupied by the Pootatuck hunting
tribe, located along the Housatonic River. They were a splinter
of the Mohican tribes and were soon related to the Paugusetts.
In 1659, Moses Wheeler was the first European to purchase land
of the city,
Stratford’s Joseph Judson bought land near the Far Mill
The Indians in the area took the names of the tribe from the location
where they lived. The pootatuck means "fall's place", The Housatonic
river was called the Pootatuck River then, because of the many
falls. Today it is the stream at Sandy Hook that empties into the
Housatonic in Newtown.
The Indians at the mouth of the Housatonic were called Cupheags,
the name meaning "a harbor" or "a place of shelter". Soon after
Stratford was settled, Okenuck and his people moved to Pootatuck,
which is now Shelton. Okenuck's brother was sachem or cheif at
Paugasset, now Derby, (Paugasset meant "water in narrow place"
denoting Derby Neck), and their father was sachem at Milford. In
1663, Okenuck was declared the "sole sagamore" or cheif
of the paugusetts, after the death of Towtanimow.
English settlers pushed out of
farms in Coram, as they called the Long Hill section of
Native Americans were given a reservation at Coram which
they occupied from 1659 until 1732, when they abandoned the area
for more northern lands. The
village grew until, in 1717 fifty families sought parish
status for their settlement, and the Connecticut General
granted this petition, establishing Ripton Parish. A
church was built in 1720, and in 1724 Rev. Jedediah Mills
of Windsor was
the first minister.
CORAM HILL AND TURKEY HILL RESERVATIONS LAID OUT
This writing signigyeth that whereas Captn fowler and Mr. Jehu Burr have been
at Corum Hill and layed out one hundred acres of land, be it more or less, bounded
wiht marked trees and Stratford river and samuel Judson's land, for the use of
those Indians, and not to kame sale of, that property belinging to Stratford
to provide for, according to the law of this colony, we the sd townesmen of Stratford
un the behalfe of the towne doe agree to the premises and that the foresd Indians
shall have liberty to make improvement of it, they the sayd Indians sufficiently
fencing of it. Sufficient highways are agreed on, to be allowed in the sayd land,
when and where the occasion shall be
Indian's did not want to fence in their land, and the white
settler's pigs would often eat thier corn. The Indian's stole
some sheep and had to give up some more land...They finally
moved north abandoning the land.
JANUARY 27, 1723
all men by these presents, that whereas certain Turkey Hill Indians
upon Stratford River did
about May last and before, steal sundry sheep from stratford
side out of Quorum plain and being convicted of the same before
- the Indians were these: Montique, Tom Will, Ponocurate, Chashamon,
Monjono, Chipunch, Menoco, Pelcocuret, - their Sachem tomtonee
or Munshanges, engaging to pay eleven pounds tne shillings in
money which the said Indians promised to pay for the damage in
of sheep, and not having money to pay, the aforesaid Tomtonee,
Sagamore, in the behalf of all the other Indians doth make over
two parcels of land; the one being about two acres called by
the name of lower Quorum upon the great river, that they had
Harger, the other ten acres of land near the Narrows, bounded
with the land of Daniel Shelton, north, south and easterly by
land in ye bounds of Stratford for the aforesaid sum of eleven
pound ten shillings, and forty shillings more in money ehich
we do won to have received already, in all being thirteen pounds
shillings; all the aforesaid land with all the priviledges, etc.
hath made over unto daniel Shelton of stratfoed in the Colony
of Connecticut, to quitclaim unto the said Daniel Shelton and
heirs forever, or so long as he the said Shelton or his heirs
sha,, own that they are paid by the improvement of said land.
Shelton of hiis own accord doth say that if the General Court
or the town of Stratford saith he hath done amiss, he will relinquish
the land. The aforesaid tomtonee paying the sim of thirteen pounds
ten shillings to aoresaid Shelton. ....... and the said Tomtonee,
Sagamore, does promise for himself and the rest of said Indians
that if ever the land is taken out of the hand of Daniel Shelton
or his heirs, that the said Tomtonee will pay back the aforesaid
thirteen pounds ten shillings to the aforesaid Shelton or his
like the ones at Ivy Brook and Nell's Rock, where large enough
to accommodate hunting parties of four to six people,
which were well used as temporary shelters throughout Indian existence
in Shelton. Points and flaking tools have been found at Ivy Brook
shelter suggesting Indian usage for 3,500 years. Rock Shelters
were made up of huge boulders, covered on one side by huge logs,
were also covered by hides to keep bad weather out. John Dorso,
First United Methodist Church on Rocky Rest Rd.:
recently came across this wonderful article written by the
late Ruth E.
was published in the 1968 church photo directory and I have re-created
it here for all to see.....(rcr)
The Church was organized on September 17, 1882. Thirty people
signed the Charter, total membership consisted of 6 probationers
and 32 members. John E. Wildey was appointed pastor in charge.
The church was an outgrowth of the Scattergood mission - an undenominational
organization holding its meetings on the property where the post
office now stands. The Baptist members withdrew first and
formed the nucleus of the present Baptist church organization. A
deed of the mission property was then given by the remaining menbers
of the Scattergood mission to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Willis Cooper was the second pastor in 1883 at a salary of $600.00. In
1895 Rev. E. D. Bassett was appointed. The church
membership was growing and a need was urgent for a new building. On
June 16, 1886, after much discussion and consideration the Bennett
lot on Coram Avenue was purchased for $900.00. In 1888 plans
were being drawn for the new church - ground was broken in July,
1888. At this time the Christian Endeavor was formed, the
Ladies Aid gave much of its energy and financial aid to raising
the money for this new church. The church was formally dedicated
on June 29,1890 by Bishop Daniel Goodsell. It was built by
the Beardsley Company (my grandfather).
Burial Ground was established in 1720 making it the oldest remaining
cemetery in Shelton.
the 1850's Coram Avenue was called the Main Road, there was no Howe
Avenue then. After D.W.
built his home in1868, it was called Plumb's Road from Wooster
Street to Center Street. The
road to Coram Hill was the present Myrtle Street, earlier known
as Cam Road because a family by the name of Cam lived where Kneen
and Myrtle Streets merge. The cams were descendants of slaves
of the Shelton family on Long Hill. Corum Hill Road was the main
road to Stratford before the River Road was built.
Coram District School on Coram Road near Petremont Lane was a one
room building with a wood stove and 4 sets of double windows on the
sides. There was one set of double windows next to the front door
located at the end of the building
. It closed in 1911.
One of the
reasons why the T.B. rate was so high in this period was that
the great surge of immigrants in the late nineteenth century
had crowded Connecticut's industrial cities and living conditions
were at a low ebb. The state responded to the health threat posed
by T.B. by creating the State Tuberculosis Commission and public
T.B. sanatoria. Three sanatoria were opened in 1900, another
in 1913 and a fifth in 1919. Major permanent sanatoria were built
at Uncas-on-Thames near Norwich, at Laurel Heights near Shelton,
at Underdliff near Meriden and at Cedarcrest in the towns of
Wethersfield and Newington. The Commission waged an increasingly
effective fight in the location and treatment of T.B. patients.
In 1910 the
State took over several farmhouses on Coram Hill and converted
them. In 1932 modern buildings were built to care for 108 patients
and faculties for 105 rehabilitation patients. With the decrease
in TB, the Hospital included other pulmonary diseases and chronic
diseases. The state closed the hospital and the 125 acres were
sold to developer Chris Bargas in 1986.
stringing the telephone poles around Coram hill and we were on
the Birmingham line. It was part of the Derby line and everyone
got 734 exchanges. It wasn't till 1987 that new equipment was
installed and we received a 924 exchange. Now it wasn't a toll
call to Huntington and Bridgeport. They also replaced the telephone
poles from the classic double T shape to the single poles we
have now. I still have the wood from the original poles as the
raised flower bed of my house. The wire holes make good drainage
holes. Maps from the 1920's display Coram Gardens in the area
of Toas Street.
There was a fire house and civic center created on Cranstan Ave,
4 houses down from coram on the left. Thursday night was Bingo
night at the center called Coram Garden, and the area kids would
have a playground there and a hang out. The Firehouse had three
in it. The neighbor across the street had a donkey called Mr.
Kernel, and would give the area kids rides on him.
Demarco had a farm (40 acres) located on what is now Constitution
Blv. S. where the condos are. Even in the 1960's Mr. and Mrs. Demarco
ride into town using their horse and buggy. Coram Road was as narrow
now as it was back then, so cars would have to stop to let them
sold out around the 80's. 1960's was also the time Sunset Drive
was built, but it wasn't till the 70's that Plaskon was built.
the Sponge Rubber Plant #4 burned to the ground, A helicopter
crashed in Huntington, The New Route 8 Expressway opened, and the
'new' high school was dedicated.
Boulevard South was built by Chris Bargas on the old Laurel Heights
State Sanitarium. The
Hospital had roughly 125 acres of
woods and apple orchards, gardens and wildlife, which now are
Pitney Bowes and Water View Drive, and Ivy Brook Road. The Shelton
Trust was responsible for saving the Ivy Brook from being ploughed
under. The headwaters of Ivy Brook are located at the end of
Paugussett Ave. Mr. Bargas from Monroe also installed the old
running behind Webossett Street thinking the roads would go through.
Laurel Heights was so aptley named because of all the groves
of mountain laurel growing from the Ivy Brook to the hill
side. It was so thick you couldn't walk through it, and
some of the bushed reached to 60 feet.
road went through, Florist shops in Bridgeport would travel this
road and harvest the local flora. There used to be a lot of cattails
and pussy willows along the road and in the brook. Now you don't
see any. I saved 5 cattails in the 80's and put them in my pond,
them when this area would be protected a little better. 2006
was the first year I propagated 3! extra plants from the originals. In 2014 I have over 1 dozen cattail plants. It's time to re-establish them this spring.
Planning and Zoning was first established in Shelton. So we are considered to be pre-P&Z. I guess I can get the goat/donkey after all, on my acre. Maybe a mini horse.
Buchanan's 2 cents
is a wonderful letter I recieved in the mail recently.
Printed in it's entirety.
To the Corum Gardens news letter Editor:
much for your informative pamphelet. I would like to throw my
2 cents in if I may.
at 42 Newport Ave from 1957 to 1983, and then from 1993 to the
Ave down to Sunset Drive, most of Sunset Drive from Coram to
Dogwood and part of Angell Ave, the homes were built in 1955/56
by the same contractor and were either cape codes or ranches.
I may be wrong but I think it was called "Hillside Development"
while the area was being developed. My house is a ranch and I
believe my folks paid $12,000 for it in 1956. Somewhere I have
pictures of the house in it's final satges of construction that
my Dad had taken as well as other photos of the area taken in
the the late 50s and early to mid 60's. Don't know where they
are off hand.
Back in the
day we had a "party line" phone line and our number was REGENT-4-0386.
Right across the street from my house is 83 Newport Ave and is
a brick house. I think the house was built in 1911 and that area
where the condos are now was a barn and fields behind that. Mr.
and Mrs. Viewood (sic) lived there until the Demarches (sic) family
bought the place in the 1960s. The viewoods, although old to me
back in the day, had chickens and cows and a rooster who used to
wake me up every morning! The Viewoods must have owned several
acres and had a small apple orchard and cherry trees planted. A
few homes up the road a bit still, I think, have some kind of fruit
trees from back then. They had a white picket fence going around
the yard from where Demarches Drive is now up to Newport and down
Manton St. Along Manton Street the viewoods had loads of purple
grape vines growing along the fence line and were a favorite of
us neighbor kids. I'm told that there are some grapevines around
83 Newport to this day.
Going down Manton Street from Newport and at the corner of Westminster,
on the left you will see a wooded area and a large rock there.
This was known to the neighborhood kids as the "Big Rock" and straight
ahead was the "Junky Road".This was the undeveloped road (and impassible
by car) that connected the two sections of Manton Street. It's
part of someone's driveway now. Meet me by the Big Rock we would
say as kids.
Corum Gardens Fire Company number 2 was about 2 and 1/2 houses
down from Cranston from Toas Street and was on the right. Just
below that on the right also was the Corum Gardens Civic Center.
They had swing sets, a small building, and I recall going there
in the summer playing board games, using the swings ect.
Going down Cranston, taking a left on Manton and going to the
end of the road at the stop sign is an overgrown lot on the left.
There I remember my Mom taking me to feed a Donkey carrots. This
was the early 60's. Not sure of his name or if it's the one mentioned
in your article or not. When you are there today, look straight
ahead and this is where the "junky road" came out from the top
The numbers are in a strange order coming up Newport from Sunset
- take a look sometime!
The small road connecting Sunset and Plaskon never had a name.
Until recently, it extended all the way to the woods but now has
grass planted there. In the 60's just beyond where that road ended
the houses were huge field and we kids use to go sled riding there
in the winter and we had some great trails made there. We rode
our bikes on them in the nicer weather. If you went to the next
field up (toward the top of the hill) there were the water towers
from Laurel Hieghts Hospital,right near the top of the hill. I
was told that on many occasions some of the older kids neighborhood
guys would get a .22 rifle and shoot out the aircraft warning lights
on the towers! Further back in the day those fields belonged to
a farmer named Mr.Plaskon (Plaskon drive named after him perhaps)
and I heard stories how he would load his shotgun with rock salk
and pepper your fanny if he caught you on his land!
Growing up here in the 60s was a blast as most families had kids
my age. On Halloween there were so many kids out on the streets
that if you fainted you could not fall down! Sled riding, snowball
fights in the winter, water balloons, ball games, bike riding –
I would not trade growning up here for anything else. It seemed
like everyone's dad worked at Sikorsky or Avco. In my little section
I can count 5 families who still live here from the mid to late
42 Newport Ave.
is a very old map before Woonsocket was built. It looks to
be a topo map of the proposed development. Sunset Drive doesn't
even exist. My guess it is from around 1950.
Click on the image to enlarge.
is a current map of the area courtesy Yahoo! Click on the
image to enlarge.
||Here is a .PDF map from Google earth of the
Headwaters of the Ivy Brook
?Shelton Land Concervasion Trust accepts DeFillipo property
With the start of the new year, the Land Trust has acquired yet another parcel of land to preserve. The new parcel is off Providence Drive. It consists of approximately two and a half acres, and includes much of the headwaters of the Ivy Brook.
Ivy Brook parallels Constitution Boulevard, forming a pleasant greenway on its way to the Housatonic River. At one time, this parcel of mostly wetlands had a map, recorded years ago, proposing to split it up into eight tiny lots. Recent development in the neighborhood has put great strain on these key wetlands, with some of them being filled in for development.
The Land Trust was approached by a family member, who was concerned with preserving the property. Known as the DeFilippo property, it had been passed down through the years, and was owned by 2 generations, and several siblings. “Several board members walked the parcel last fall, and immediately appreciated its environmental significance,” said Joe Welsh, Land Trust president.
It took several months to get all the family members lined up to sign the necessary deeds, but by January the deal was completed. “The Trust greatly appreciates this generous gift from the family,” said Joe Welsh. “They too, recognized its significance as one of the last pieces of the headwaters that could be protected, and they did not want to see it filled in and developed.”
Some of the specimens observed on the property included Jack in the Pulpit, ferns, mature hardwoods, and some unwanted invasive plant species. Although the parcel is not easily accessible, (It is down a steep embankment at the end of Providence Drive) you can get to it if you’re careful. If you prefer, you can view a video of the site walk on Youtube: http://youtu.be/RrMLp73KftY
There have been quite a few proposals in developing the wetlands. Here is an excerpt from a 2006 P&Z meeting with some history:
Mr. Cook: There were 17 lots on Providence that were denied. Then there was Pawtucket in 1995 that was building on the other side of Toas and they ran the sewer line down through with no laterals because it was essentially all wetlands. There was an extension of Wells Ave. where they took 2-3 lots and combined into one lot. This is like the 2nd or 3rd extension. Cranston is on the more upland portion. Back in the late 80’s they requested a legal opinion from Corporation Counsel on how to handle all these paper streets with paper lots. Counsel at that time said apply the regulations at some point there is going to be a point of no return as far as some lots that are there and have been on paper for 50 years are no longer going to be viable lots.