Fairfield history explored by foot and bike

Walkers and cyclists will have a unique opportunity to explore the history of Fairfield by either foot or bike over the weekend of July 18-19, getting some exercise and fresh air in the bargain, according to program sponsors Fairfield Museum and History Center and the Town of Fairfield’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

“Helping to sponsor a dual foot and bike exploration of Fairfield on the same summer weekend may indeed be a historic event itself. We are pleased to be able to help make it happen,” said Michael Jehle, Executive Director of the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

The two-day event begins with a walking tour from 2-4 pm starting at the Fairfield Museum, 370 Beach Road, on Saturday July 18. The guided tour around the historic Green will showcase the people, places, and events that shaped Fairfield’s 375 years of history. Walkers will explore the site of the 1639 colonial settlement and find out more about Roger Ludlow, Fairfield’s Puritan roots, and the 17th century “witch ducking experiments” among other historic events. The walking tour is limited to 30 people and advanced, online registration is required at www.julywalkingtour.eventbrite.com .

The cycling tour will take place on Sunday, July 19 from 2-4 p.m. covering approximately 10 miles, starting and ending at the Museum. It will explore several historic Fairfield locations including the 1750 Ogden House and the Southport setting of the Pequot Indian Swamp Fight. Bicycle tour participants are required to wear helmets. The group is limited to the first 25 people who sign up in advance at www.bikewalkfairfield.wordpress.com.

Both tours will be led by Walter D. Matis, Program Volunteer Coordinator for the Fairfield Museum. The walking tour and the cycling tour are each priced at $5 for museum members and $8 for non-members, which includes admission to the Museum. Children interested in the cycling tour must be age 14 or older, capable of riding 10 miles and must be accompanied by a parent. Rain dates will be announced as needed.

“Our committee’s mission is to encourage safe walking and cycling as a means of enjoying the beauty and history of Fairfield. We are delighted to be able to partner with the Fairfield Museum and History Center to help people appreciate the town without depending on motor vehicle transportation. Walking and biking conserve energy, improve air quality, reduce traffic and the need for parking, improve health and fitness and can invigorate the local economy,” said Keith Gallinelli, chairman of the Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

The Fairfield Museum, founded 103 years ago by the Fairfield Historical Society, is located at 370 Beach Road on Fairfield’s historic town green. The Museum is open daily 10-4. For more information, visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598.

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