Historical bike and boat tour

Locals are invited to learn about the history of the Black Rock neighborhood by bike or by boat on Saturday, Sept. 8. The tour, which starts at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport, is organized by the Fairfield Museum and the Town of Fairfield’s Bicycling and Pedestrian Committee. The bike tour begins at 1:30 p.m. and will last two hours. The boat tour departs Captain’s Cove at 4 p.m. and also will last for two hours. Tickets for each tour or a combo of both tours are available at Fairfieldhistory.org/programs-events/.

Bike tour group members will begin the tour by cycling together toward the home of Caleb Brewster, the Revolutionary War era spy ring leader who aided in reporting on British military movements to General Washington’s staff. At the time of the Revolutionary War, Fairfield’s border extended all the way to what is today Park Avenue.  Just sixty miles away, however, New York City was occupied and controlled by British forces, making the Long Island Sound coast a hotbed of espionage and intrigue. The cycling tour, which covers about six miles total, will also visit John Wheeler House (Black Rock’s oldest homestead), Fayerweather Yacht Club & Port 5 (Old Black Rock Wharves), and the Wolcut Chaucey House (Commander during the War of 1812). The tour will also discuss “The George Hotel, “ St. Mary’s by the Sea, Balmfourth bridge, “The Chimneys” as well as the forts of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

Following the bike tour, the boat tour will depart from Captain’s Cove at 4:00pm and will cruise for approximately two hours. Participants will be provided a personal flotation device if they do not bring their own. The boat will visit the mouth of Black Rock Harbor, Battery Point, St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea, Ash Creek and Fayerweather Lighthouse. Participants can also tour the Dundon House between 3:30 and 4, when the boat trip starts.

The bike tour is $8 for Fairfield Museum members and $10 for nonmembers. The boat tour is $10 for Fairfield Museum members and $15 for nonmembers. Bike/Boat combo tickets are $15 for Fairfield Museum members and $20 for nonmembers. Registration is at Fairfieldhistory.org/programs-events/ or by calling 203-259-1598.

“A bike tour provides easy accessibility to many of the spots we want to show people, including the homes of noted Revolutionary War era patriots, plus more recent history such as the location for Gustave Whitehead’s first flight,” said Walter D. Matis, program volunteer coordinator for the Fairfield Museum, who will narrate the tour.

Keith Gallinelli, chairman of the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee added that those interested in the bike tour but who don’t own a bike should consider the free Fairfield BikeShare Program now operating at Zane’s Cycles, 1215 Post Road, Fairfield.

“The Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian 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 partner with the Fairfield Museum and provide this opportunity to get to know the history the nearby Black Rock neighborhood by bike and boat,” said Gallinelli.

Bicycle tour participants are required to wear helmets and the group is limited to the first 25 people who sign up in advance.  Children 13 and older can be part of the tour but must be accompanied by a parent. In the event of poor weather, a rain date of Saturday, September 22 has been scheduled.

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