Origins of the Town Name
Several sources tell the story of how Darien, Connecticut got its name.
According to Town of Darien: Founded 1641, Incorporated 1820 written by Henry Jay Case and Simon W. Cooper (1935), "Many residents wanted to call the new town Bell Town [in 1820]. The name Darien, which was chosen, is a heritage of the early shipping industry along its shore, and undoubtedly came from some sailor man’s fancy." (p.6)
According to Darien Our Town: A Handbook for Residents compiled and published by the League of Women Voters of Darien (1978), "During the post-Revolutionary War period inhabitants of Middlesex Parish petitioned repeatedly for complete independence from Stamford. Thaddeus Bell, their state assemblyman, carried a petition for separation to eight successive legislative sessions. Finally, in 1820, the General Assembly passed an act which created a separate town. Grateful residents wanted to name the new town "Bellville," in honor of Mr. Bell. He opposed the idea. As Moderator of the first Town Meeting he was asked to choose another name. Allegedly his visiting sailor friend, who had recently returned from the Isthmus of Darien (called now the Isthmus of Panama), saw a similarity between the two sites. The Isthmus of Darien lay between two oceans. The Town of Darien lay between the larger towns of Norwalk and Stamford."