The town of Branford, located in New Haven County, lies next to the Long Island Sound and includes the Thimble Islands. The first settlers of New Haven bought land from the area’s Native peoples in 1638 and established Branford in 1644. In the mid-19th century, the railroad helped develop Branford’s industry, and from the 1850s through the 1920s, the scenic coastline made it a popular tourist destination. Today, Branford is a suburban community with several town-maintained parks and beaches and 20 miles of coastline. It has numerous historic districts, and the Thimble Islands remain a favorite destination spot.
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Hughes & Bailey. “Bird’s-Eye View of Branford, Connecticut.” Bird’s-eye Map. Hughes & Bailey, c1905. University of Connecticut Libraries, Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
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“Map - Thimble Islands and Stony Creek, Conn.” Vineyard Haven, MA: George W. Eldridge, 1908. University of Connecticut Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. “Photographs: Thimble Islands, Branford, Connecticut,” 2016. Link.
Branford Historical Society, and Archibald Hanna. A Brief History of the Thimble Islands in Branford, Connecticut. Branford, CT: Archon Books, 1970.
McCain, Diana. Connecticut Coast: A Town-by-Town Illustrated History. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2009.
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Lambert, Edward. History of the Colony of New Haven, Before and After the Union with Connecticut. Containing a Particular Description of the Towns Which Composed That Government, Viz., New Haven, Milford, Guilford, Branford, Stamford, & Southold, L.i. with a Notice of the Towns Which Have Been Set Off from “the Original Six.” New Haven, CT: Hitchcock & Stafford, 1838. Link.
Balestracci, Jr., Carl A. John Beattie and His Quarrymen: Building America Stone by Stone. Guilford, CT: Guilford Keeping Society, 2016.