An area called Totoket, which became Branford, was part of the land bought from the Mattabesech Indians in 1638 by the first English settlers of New Haven. Previously, the Dutch in the New Netherland settlements set up a trading post at the mouth of the Branford River in the 17th century, the source of the name "Dutch Wharf", also known as "Dutch House Wharf" and the Dutch House Quarter. The area was also described by Ezra Stiles as containing a "Dutch Fort", as hinted at by archaeological excavations completed in the 1990s.
The town's name is said to be derived from the town of Brentford, England.The town in early maps was called Brentford before being shortened to Branford. Established in 1644, Branford grew during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 18th century, the first shoreline community, Stony Creek, was settled. Indian Neck and Pine Orchard were also settled, but neither of those settlements was permanent until the mid-19th century.
Today, Branford is one of Connecticut’s many shoreline towns, offers residents and tourists a variety of attractions, events and experiences. Branford is home to three popular breweries; Stony Creek Brewery, Thimble Island Brewery, and Duvig Beer Company. Located just offshore, the Thimble Islands are a great place for boating, kayaking and fishing. A handful of beaches line the coast for people of all ages to enjoy. The Harrison House museum, built in 1724, offers residents a tourists a glimpse into Branford’s past with preserved artifacts and memorabilia.
Places to Visit:
- Stony Creek Brewery
- Stony Creek Museum
- Harrison House
- Thimble Islands
- Branford Point Beach
Branford, Connecticut has a humid continental climate, which is typical of the area in New England. Summers are warm with average high temperatures around 78 F and lows in the mid 50s F. Winters are cold with snowfall ranging from 20 to 40 inches. Spring and fall usually have mild temperatures with occasional rain showers. The town experiences an average of 200 days of sunshine each year.
The main artery through the town is Interstate 95, running along the eastern coast of the United States. The town has a station on the Shore Line East commuter rail line from New London to New Haven.
The Branford Steam Railroad carries quarried trap rock from North Branford to barges at Juniper Point near Stony Creek. Tweed New Haven Regional Airport is located 3 miles (5 km) west of Branford.