HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: Named for the parish of Danbury in Essex, England, by the Connecticut General Court after rejecting the proposed name of Swampfield, favored by early settlers.
ORIGINS: Settled in 1684 when eight families from the Norwalk and Stamford area purchased land from the Schaticoke Indians and established a community. Incorporated as a town in 1702, it became a city in 1889.
THE HAT CITY: When Zadoc Benedict opened his hat shop on Main St. in 1780, little did he know he was starting an industry that would grow so large that the city would become known as The Hat City. By 1800, Danbury was producing more hats than anyplace in the country, and by 1887 some 30 factories had been established producing about 5 million hats a year.
FAMOUS RESIDENTS: Composer Charles Ives, actor Jonathan Brandis, major leaguer Joe Lahoud and golfer Ken Green were all born in Danbury. Author Rose Wilder Lane and lyricist Laura Nyro lived there at the time of their death.
SOURCES: The Hartford Courant; danburymuseum.org; danburygop.com; Danbury.k12.ct.us; Connecticut State Register and Manual.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times