From the Connecticut Historical Collection
BY John Warner Barbour
Published 1836


MONROE was incorporated as a town in 1823. It was formerly the parish of New Stratford in the town of Huntington. It is bounded northerly by Newtown, E. by the Housatonic, S. by Huntington and Trumbull, and westerly by Weston. The town is about six miles in length from east to west and four and a half in breadth. The surface of the township is uneven, and in many parts stony and rough. The soil is good, and generally adapted to grazing. Orchards flourish well and there is generally a profusion of the common fruits of the country. Agriculture is the principal business of the inhabitants.

There are two post offices in this town, 1 at the center, and one called the Stepney post office, in the western part of the town, about 11 miles north of Bridgeport. The principal part of the mechanical business of Monroe is performed in this vicinity.

In the central part of the town, there is a small village consisting of a dozen or more dwelling houses, two churches, one Congregational, and 1 Episcopal, and an Academy or classical school. This school was commenced in 1828, by Mr. Samuel Beardslee, a graduate `of Yale College, and has been sustained by a respectable number of pupils from various places. This place is on an elevated situation, and the air is generally pure and salubrious. The township abounds in goad springs of water and is considered unusually healthy. There are 4 houses of worship; 1 Congregational, 1 Episcopal, 1 Baptist, and 1 Methodist.

Monroe is much celebrated for its exteusive deposit of minerals. More than fifteen years since, a shaft was sunk a few feet on the farm of Mr. Ephraim Lane. This revealed a rich variety of interesting mineral substances. Among them were, tungsten, tellurium, native bismuth, native silver, magnetical and common iron pyrites, copier pyrites, galena, blende, tourmaline, &c. it is greatly to be desired that this locality should be farther explored. Four miles south of this-spot,' is a vein of flour spar about two feet in width. -

"The vein is much penetrated by quartz, mica, fildspar and talc, but it has been hitherto examined only on the surface. It is principally massive, and its structure foliated or coarsely granular, but it presents well defined cubical crystals. Its colors vary from white to deep violet and purple, and are, principally various shades of the two latter. But the most interesting circumstance relating to it is its splendid phosphorescence. The light emitted when it is thrown, in a dark place, upon a hot shovel, is the purest emerald green; pieces of an inch in indiameter become in a few seconds fully illuminated, and the light is so strong and enduring, that when carried into a room lighted by candles, or by the diffuse (not direct) light of the sun, they still continue distinctly luminous, and the light dies away very gradually as the mineral cools."

Mr. Lane has also discovered on his land a locality of beryls, some of which are very large. Native sulphur has also been found near the surface of the earth.

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