Holland Hill is one of the few "purely residential" neighborhoods in Fairfield. The area, which is home to Holland Hill Elementary School, stretches from the intersection of Jennings Road and Black Rock Turnpike westward to Holland Hill Road and southward to I-95. The easternnmost part of the neighborhood was in the Andrew Warde High School district, while students living to the west attended Roger Ludlowe High School.
In a recent online survey conducted by this Web site, five of the 54 responders (nine percent) indicated that they had attended Holland Hill Elementary School before eventually graduating from Warde. North Stratfield and Osborn Hill elementary schools (nine percent apiece) had a similar percentage of students who later went to Warde, while most of those responding attended either McKinley, Jennings, or Stratfield schools.
Holland Hill was named to honor one of its earliest settlers, Daniel Silliman, the first of a long line of distinguished Sillimans in Fairfield. Daniel was said to have emigrated from Holland in 1658.
The name "Silliman" is derived from "sillyman," not silly or witless as the word is used in modern times, but innocent, free of guile --- a good man.
Two Silliman houses were built on Jennings Road and each has a distinctive history. The Robert Silliman house at 418 Jennings Road, facing possible demolition in 1965, was bought by the Norton family, dismantled, and then reconstructed on its present site on North Cedar Road.
Also, in 1962, the Peter Bennett family bought the Gold Selleck Silliman house, built in 1756. Silliman was a Revolutionary general captured by the British in 1779, along with his son, William. During the British attack on Fairfield, the Silliman house was not burned and served as a refuge for many residents who had lost their homes.
History in Holland Hill is not limited to the Colonial era. The area, dormant for much of the nineteenth century, sprang to life during World War I. Hungarians who had immigrated to Bridgeport looking for work, began buying lots in Fairfield. A number of residential streets located near Karolyi Park are named after Hungarian national heroes --- Andrassy, Apponyi, Baros, Hunyadi, and Rakoczy.
The area was first divided into lots, which the Bridgeport residents visited on weekends to garden. As time went by, homes began to appear on the plots. Farmlands were disappearing and becoming residential tracts.
Today, Holland Hill is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Fairfield. Its residents are down-to-earth, hard-working, and family-oriented. I took the photos of the Holland Hill neighborhood this afternoon. In fact, I took all the photos for each of the four segments within the past few weeks. I hope you enjoyed the research, stories, and photos.
Historical information courtesy of "Remembering Fairfield: Famous People and Historic Places." Please share your thoughts in the "comments" link below.
Please sign the AWHS Guest Book.
Visit the Andrew Warde High School Gift Shop.
Watch the AWHS 1976 vintage "film".