Explore Silvermine, a Historic Enclave in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
"For me, the historic Silvermine area is a bucolic destination where I go to seek the 'country' feel of Connecticut, with its old mills and barns. The district also has a great art, restaurant, and shopping scene." --- BHS Connecticut Agent Joanne Santulli
Encompassing parts of Norwalk, New Canaan, and Wilton is the quaint historic district of Silvermine, highly sought after both for its rich history and real estate offerings. From local, family-run boutiques and cafes to lush parks and woodlands, there is plenty in the area to see and do.
Brown Harris Stevens Agent Joanne Santulli has lived in Silvermine since 1983. An area expert, she always enjoys sharing Silvermine's history. "The area was settled in the 17th century," she said. "In the 18th century, the Silvermine River was used for 12 or 13 mills in the neighborhood. The mills included a leather tanning works, sawmill, and spool works."
Mills, like the ones once found lining the Silvermine River, became the foundation for Connecticut's democracy until the move from waterpower to steam supplanted the mill industry. In the early 1900s, Silvermine transformed into a thriving artist colony. You can learn about the town's creative history firsthand by visiting the Silvermine Arts Center.
"One of the oldest art centers in New England is the Silvermine Art Center, active today with many art classes and exhibits of artists. They are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year." -------- Joanne Santulli
Santulli lists the Tavern at GreyBarns among her top recommendations for anyone exploring Silvermine.
The historic GreyBarns Inn was built in 1810. Recently restored, its colonial charm has been impeccably preserved. The inn's popular Tavern has an expansive menu of cocktails, wines, and farm-to-table cuisine.
For a quick lunch or homestyle breakfast, visit Silvermine Market. Just above the market is a hidden gem of a specialty shop with plenty of artisanal finds you won't encounter in a big-box store.
After your meal, visit Still Pond/Fowler preserve. "The preserve is complete with ponds and raised wooden paths that meander through wetlands in spring and rustling leaves in fall," according to Santulli.
While exploring the preserve, you will likely pass some of Silvermine's ever-in-demand homes, which range from historic colonials to contemporary dwellings, such as 13 Echo Hill Road. Set on a two-acre hilltop, the home reflects Silvermine's past and present. Large windows offer birds-eye views of the area's natural beauty, while modern finishes and detailing are bound to appeal to those with creative spirits and artful tastes.