What is GE’s history here?
As the last lights go out on those 68 acres of Easton Turnpike—General Electric’s headquarters since 1974—the company’s legacy leaves a mark on Fairfield.
Since 1920, when GE purchased the Remington-typewriter factory, many workers and managers chose to make the area their home.
The Bridgeport factory—spanning some 76 acres—busily churned out toasters, irons, and electric fans for the growing consumer economy. Today, only the iron gates stand as the sole reminder of the massive scale of this operation, which closed in 2008.
In addition to the factory workers of the ’20s, there was also a group of high-level GE executives that were enamored of Fairfield’s majestic Stratfield neighborhood and beyond, and were willing to make the daily club-car commute to GE offices in NYC.
Eventually, 20 of them created the Patterson Club—exclusive to GE employees—housed inside a grand Victorian in Bridgeport. The club’s namesake, C.E. Patterson—a VP and general manager of the Appliance and Merchandise Department—donated $10,000 to help with its inception.
Throughout the years, GE executives and GE itself invested in growing the Patterson Club, finding a bigger location and transforming it into a golf, tennis, pool, and country club that relinquished its exclusivity to GE executives in the late 1940s. General Electric and its contribution to the Fairfield community will certainly be missed but by no means forgotten.