Huntington (Ripton) Green
Life in colonial Ripton revolved around the Huntington (Ripton) Green. Whipping posts and stocks were located at the far end. The school was erected next to the Congregational meeting house. Squire Mills (later Buckinghams) general store was also located near the Green on the site of the present gas station. Town Hall was placed on the site of the present Fire Department parking lot.
The Green was delineated by an iron fence similar to the one defining the cemetery limits. In the fence were four turnstiles: at the Congregational Church, the Nichols Avenue-Church Street corner, the general store and at the Huntington Street carriage shed.
The watering fountain, which is so prominent on the Huntington green as a planter today, was once a watering trough on Ripton Road. It was donated by Julia Curtiss Nash in memory of her father, Lewis Curtiss in 1895. The fountain was placed so its two troughs could water the horses pulling the daily stagecoach to Bridgeport, and was filled from a spring off Ripton Road. The fountain depicts a woman on a horse, wielding a spear against an attack by a jaguar. It represented the tough spirit of the early settlers who created Huntington out of the forest. as the automobile replaced the horse, the fountain became the center of a traffic circle, but as congestion worsened, it was moved to the northeast corner of the Green. In 1954, vandals knocked the statue off its base, shattering it. However, volunteers reassembled the statue and returned it to its place, minus only one hand and the spear.
Huntington (Ripton) Church was built in 1720, the first church in Shelton. On Feb. 12, 1724 the first pastor, Congregationalist Rev. Jedediah Mills of Windsor, was ordained with 92 members.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church dates back to 1740, and it was formed by dissenters from the Congregational Church. The original church was burnt to the ground by accident when Stephen DeForest was trying to rid the belfry of pigeons with his musket. Wadding from the gun landed in the belfry and caused a fire. Stephen then settled the damage claim by giving some of his property for payment. The cornerstone of the current church was laid on July 4, 1812.
At the Green, bear right on Ripton Road and head to the Shelton History Center which will be on your left.