What’s Settlers Rock on Rte 116?
At the intersection of North Salem Road and New Street, near the entrance to Fairlawn Cemetery, stands Ridgefield’s first landmark—Settlers Rock. The rock marks the spot where five of the town settlers spent their first night on the newly established territory back in 1708. It is reported that the scouting party built fires around the base of the rock to provide warmth and protection from wild animals.
It’s likely that the boulder also served as shelter for John Copp (as in Copps Hill Plaza, etc.) and John Raymond during their initial surveillance of the land on May 3, 1708. It’s believed the pair singled out the rock as a landmark because of its size and elevated location along a trail leading to the Titicus River. It is a nice rock, after all. But, here’s a quirky fact to share with neighbors: John Copp and John Raymond, these two early and key settlers, never appeared on a list of proprietors or petitioners and neither of them ever owned land in Ridgefield, even though it is believed they were among the first to survey the land.
During Ridgefield’s 250th-anniversary celebration in 1958, Settlers Rock received its formal dedication. Mounted on the boulder is a copper plaque that reads: “On this rock the original settlers scouting party spent their first night 1708-1958.” Settlers Rock appears on many historical maps of the area—a testament to its usefulness in serving as a point of reference so many years ago.