Chatham, CT

East Hampton History

Chatham Historical Society

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Gideon Goff Family

East Hampton, CT was first settled in 1710, when Gideon Goffe and his family located in an area along the Connecticut River which later became established as the parish of Middle Haddam CT.  Families from the locality moved eastward and settled in the hills surrounding Lake Pocotopaug, and in 1746 named their community East Hampton CT. In 1767, the town was incorporated as Chatham in honor of the Earl of Chatham in England for his support of the American colonies at that time.

Renamed in 1915

The name of Chatham was changed to East Hampton Connecticut in 1915. Historically, bell manufacturing, mining, and shipbuilding enterprises within the town stood exemplary of early American industry.

Chatham CT

Chatham was given the name East Hampton, which is said to have been selected by some of it’s first settlers who had previously lived in Eastham, Mass. The first settlers were attracted there by the fine mill site, or water privilege, at the outlet of Lake Pocotopaug, where a forge had been erected in 1743.  Lake Pocotopaug is about nine miles in circumference, averaging about ten feet in depth, has two charming islands, and is fed by springs entirely. Rain storms have very little effect in changing its depth. There is evidence that the land and its islands were favorite places of resort for the native Indians, probably of the Mattabessett tribe. It has always been a favorite resort for fishing, and summer vacations. There is a legend connected with the lake which passed from the natives to local settlers hereabout, and handed down from generation to generation, to the effect that a beautiful Indian maiden sacrificed herself here by direction of the Great Spirit, on the promise to her that no persons should ever be drowned again.

Chatham Historical Society

East Hampton History

Established in 1963, The Chatham Historical Society is a private, not-for-profit organization with the purpose of preserving East Hampton’s History.

Our Museum and School House are open to the public the first Sunday of each month from 2-4pm

Admission is always free. Donation are appreciated.

Chatham Historical Society

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