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John Copp

1673-1751 (?)

During his life, John Copp was one of the most important men in Norwalk. He was a schoolteacher, church deacon, surveyor, doctor and Norwalk Town Clerk for 32 years. He also played several roles in the founding and planning of Ridgefield. Appointed by the General Court of Connecticut to “view” the land in the proposed Ridgefield area, John Copp and John Raymond made an assessment of it in May 1708. They reported the land was good and would be sufficient for 30 families or more. As a result 20,000 acres of land were purchased from the Ramapoo Indians (See Chief Catoonah).

In 1710, the Original Proprietors chose John Copp, Josiah Starr and Major Peter Burr to survey their land. Using Settler’s Rock as a benchmark, they selected for settlement the central of three ridges running north and south. In the central ridge area, they laid out 25 home lots, an equal number of farm lots and wood lots, and all the necessary streets. East Ridge and High Ridge lie east and west of the original settlement.

Until a minister could be found, Copp was Ridgefield’s first schoolmaster and Town Clerk. He recorded all the land sales, took the minutes at town meetings and listed all marriages, births, and deaths in the town records. When the Reverend Hauley arrived in 1712, Copp returned to Norwalk.

John Copp was also Ridgefield’s first doctor. Because at that time there were no medical schools in America, Dr. Copp learned his trade by observing other doctors. Even after he returned to Norwalk, he would travel back once a month to take care of the medical needs in town. He continued this practice up to 1720 when Doctor Lemuel Abbott arrived in Ridgefield.

For his time and dedication, Ridgefield remembers John Copp in many place names including Copp’s Hill Road, Copp’s Hill Shopping Plaza and Copp’s Mountain.

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Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
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  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June