July 17, 2014
By TINA LENDER | Hartford Courant
HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: The area was settled in 1648, and was known as West Farms, part of the New Haven Colony. It became a separate parish, named West Haven, in 1719. West Haven joined with North Milford to create the town of Orange in 1822. In 1921, the rural and residential sections of Orange separated, and West Haven, the residential part, was incorporated as a town. West Haven became a city in 1961.
HISTORIC GREEN: The West Haven Green Historic District entered the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Twenty buildings are recognized, including the 1859 First Congregational Church on the green.
FAMOUS RESIDENTS: West Haven has been the home of several NFL players, including Ulish Booker (Pittsburgh Steelers), Rob Jackson (Washington Redskins), Donald Thomas (New England Patriots), and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Strong. Other notable residents include Samuel Johnson (1696-1772), first president of Columbia University; and Rufus Porter (1792-1884), painter, inventor and founder of Scientific American magazine in 1845.
SOURCES: CT Place Names; The Hartford Courant; National Register of Historic Places