July 17, 2014
By TINA BACHETTI | Hartford Courant
ORIGINS: The town's founder, Thomas Judd, and 35 others bought land from the Paugasuck Indians in 1684. The area was settled around 1701, and the First Ecclesiastical Society of Westbury was formed in 1738 as part of Waterbury. The town separated from Waterbury in 1780 and incorporated as Watertown.
TAFT SCHOOL: Founded in 1890 by Horace Dutton Taft, President William Howard Taft's brother, the coed preparatory school began with 30 boarders in a large, drafty wooden building that had once been a hotel. Today, the 220-acre campus includes nearly 600 students, an extensive library, a large science center, two theaters, two ice hockey rinks and an 18-hole golf course. Famous alumni include musicians Trey Anastasio of Phish and Mary Chapin Carpenter; actor and director Peter Berg; journalist John Merrow of the PBS NewsHour; and Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Flemming L. Norcott Jr.
ALPACAS: Southwind Farms, which features more than 50 alpacas, was founded by Jim and Penny Mullen in 1998. In addition to selling alpacas, the Mullens sell gift items made with alpaca yarn during the holidays, and alpaca yarn is available year-round. Farm tours may be arranged by calling 860-274-9001.
SOURCES: The Hartford Courant; Connecticut Place Names; watertownct.org; southwindfarms.com; taftschool.org