Canaan

Geographic position:

41.9617° N, 73.3083° W

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Sources:

http://www.canaanfallsvillage.org/History.htm

General note:

The town of Cannan is located in northwestern Connecticut and is situated along the Housatonic River. Archeological evidence suggests that Native Americans inhabited this territory thousands of years ago. When the Europeans arrived in the early 18th century, the Weantinock tribe occupied the territory. An Indian trail called Berkshire Path ran through Canaan along the Housatonic River, connecting the Weantinock tribe with Indians from western Massachusetts to the North and the Pootatuck and Paugussett tribes to the South and stretched as far as Stratford, Connecticut. Several disputes over land and resources took place in the 18th century between the Indians and the settlers, which were decided by representatives of Connecticut’s General Court, who most often found in the settlers’ favor. The resources of the land that would become Canaan made this area attractive to settlers, who bid on townships in an auction organized by the General Assembly in the 1730s. In 1738, the town was sold in divisions of 53 shares and formally named Canaan after the biblical land. Canaan was incorporated in 1739, and the population quickly increased. By 1756, the Connecticut Assembly recorded only 1,000 Indians remaining in the colony. Throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries, many colonists in Canaan had slaves; however, slavery was slowly phased out through legal measures throughout this time period. During the French and Indian War, many people from Canaan fought against the French, and in 1760, Canaan men participated in a victorious siege against Montreal. Canaan colonists fought against the British in the Revolutionary War and the town provided goods and money for the cause. In 1858, the town was divided into Canaan and North Canaan.