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Darien 1820 — New Town, New Times

What was it like to live in Darien 200 years ago? As the town celebrates its 200th birthday it’s an opportune time to ask the question. A new commemorative book, Darien 1820 — New Town, New Times by Darien Historical Society Historian Ken Reiss, costs $27, and is available at Barrett Bookstore, which recently reopened its store at 6 Corbin Drive.

The opening of the accompanying Darien 1820 exhibit at the Darien Historical Society has been delayed until September due to the current Covid-19 crisis, but the Society plans on releasing virtual “sneak peek” videos of the exhibition over the summer.

Both the book and the exhibition focus on life in town during the year 1820, when Darien gained its independence from Stamford and Norwalk.

“People living in 1820s Darien were on the threshold of revolutionary developments that would usher in the modern age,” said Reiss. “While there were a few tremors of change being felt here in 1820, by and large, folks living in Darien still would have had more in common with their medieval ancestors.”

The Darien 1820 book and exhibition are based on extensive research that Reiss uncovered during a yearlong project to write a commemorative book for the Bicentennial to benefit the Society.

Customers may either visit Barrett Bookstore during open hours, Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call 203.655.2712 to arrange a curb-side pick up.