Fairfield

/fair"feeld'/, n.
1. a city in central California. 58,099.
2. a town in SW Connecticut. 54,849.
3. a town in central Ohio. 30,777.
4. a city in central Alabama. 13,040.

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      city, seat (1858) of Solano county, north-central California, U.S. Adjoining Suisun City to the south, Fairfield is located 45 miles (70 km) northeast of San Francisco. The area, which lies between the foothills of the Coast Ranges and Suisun Bay, was inhabited by Suisun (Patwin) Indians, who were attacked by Spaniards in 1810. In the 1830s the Mexican governor gave local Indians a land grant known as Suisun Rancho. The settlement fared poorly, however, and the grant was sold. Fairfield was founded in 1856 by Robert Waterman, a clipper-ship captain who had bought the grant in 1850 and named the city for his hometown in Connecticut. Development was spurred during World War II when the U.S. Air Force established Travis Air Force Base east of the city. The construction of Monticello Dam (1957), 15 miles (25 km) to the north, furnished water for the irrigation of tens of thousands of acres and boosted traditional crop production (fruits, cereals) and livestock raising. Also important are wineries, beer production (the Anheuser-Busch brewery is also a popular tourist destination), and the manufacture of small boats, explosives, and textiles. The city is the site of a community college established in 1945. Inc. city, 1903. Pop. (1990) city, 77,211; Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa PMSA, 451,186; (2000) city, 96,178; Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa PMSA, 518,821.

      urban town (township), Fairfield county, southwestern Connecticut, U.S., on Long Island Sound adjoining Bridgeport (northeast). It includes Southport, a village on Mill River. Possibly named for Fairfield, England, it was settled in 1639 by Roger Ludlow, who in 1637 had been a participant in the Pequot War that nearly destroyed the Pequot Indians. In July 1779 Fairfield was burned by the British and Hessians under Major General William Tryon. Although known as a summer resort, the town also manufactures metallurgical products. Fairfield (Fairfield University) (1942) and Sacred Heart (1963) universities are located there. The Fairfield Historical Society displays decorative objects of local significance. Area 30 square miles (78 square km). Pop. (1990) 53,418; (2000) 57,340.

      city, seat (1838) of Jefferson county, southeastern Iowa, U.S., halfway between Mount Pleasant (east) and Ottumwa (west). Settled in 1839, Fairfield was the site (1854) of the first Iowa State Fair (now held in Des Moines). It was named by an early settler, Mrs. Rhodam Bonnifield, for the natural beauty of the area. Railroads reached Fairfield in 1858, spurring the area's development.

      Fairfield is now a trade and industrial centre producing dairy products, feed, washing machines, farm equipment, aluminum castings, automotive parts, and textiles. Services are also important, especially in telecommunications. Parsons College was founded there in 1875 and closed in 1973. Since then, Maharishi University of Management (founded in 1971 as Maharishi International University) has been situated on the former Parsons campus. Lacey-Keosauqua State Park is about 20 miles (32 km) south, and Lake Darling State Recreation Area is about 15 miles (25 km) north. Inc. 1847. Pop. (1990) 9,768; (2000) 9,509.

      county, southwestern Connecticut, U.S. It is bounded by Long Island Sound to the south, New York state to the west, and the Housatonic River to the east, and it includes several islands in the sound. Most of the county lies in an upland region forested with hardwoods, with only a narrow coastal plain running along the southern edge. Waterways other than the Housatonic are the Saugatuck, Pequonnock, Mill, and Norwalk rivers as well as Saugatuck, Easton, and Hemlock reservoirs and Lake Candlewood. Parklands include Paugussett and Pootatuck state forest reserves and Collis P. Huntington and American Shakespeare Theater state parks.

      The Mahican (Mohican) (Mohican) and Wappinger Indians inhabited the region in the early 17th century. In 1637 colonists from the Thames River valley pursued the Pequot Indians to present-day Southport, defeating them in the Great Swamp Fight. Stratford and Fairfield, both founded in 1639, were among Connecticut's first settlements. The county, formed in May 1666, was the site of several battles during the American Revolution. There is no county seat because county government in Connecticut was abolished in 1960.

      The principal communities are Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, Greenwich, Fairfield, and Stratford. The University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, University of) (founded 1927) and Fairfield University (founded 1942) are two major schools. The county's proximity to New York City makes it a popular residential and resort area as well as an attractive location for corporate headquarters. Some major economic activities are retail trade and manufacturing. Bridgeport, one of Connecticut's leading industrial cities, produces transportation equipment, electrical goods, and machine tools. Area 626 square miles (1,621 square km). Pop. (1990) 827,645; (1996 est.) 833,761.

      county, central South Carolina, U.S., consisting of a hilly piedmont region. The Broad River forms the western boundary, and the Wateree River (Santee-Wateree-Catawba river system) and Wateree Lake form part of the eastern boundary. Monticello Reservoir, Lake Wateree State Park, and the eastern portion of Sumter National Forest lie within Fairfield county.

      In the mid-18th century the area's favourable climate and the expanse of available lands attracted settlers from mid-Atlantic coastal colonies and from Carolina lowlands. When British troops occupied the area in 1780 during the U.S. War of Independence (American Revolution), Lord Cornwallis (Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess and 2nd Earl, Viscount Brome, Baron Cornwallis of Eye), the British general, allegedly remarked on its “fair fields,” hence the county's name; it was organized in 1785. In 1865 Union forces led by General William Tecumseh Sherman (Sherman, William Tecumseh) raided the region and partially destroyed the county seat, Winnsboro. Formerly a leading cotton-growing region, it fell victim to the boll weevil infestation of the 1920s. With the abandonment of cotton-based agriculture, most of its terrain subsequently became covered with forests, of which pine is most common.

      By the late 20th century agriculture was of lesser importance to the economy, surpassed by the logging and lumber industry and the manufacture of truck and bus bodies and textile products. Area 686 square miles (1,778 square km). Pop. (2000) 23,454; (2007 est.) 23,333.

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Universalium. 2010.

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