James Burr of Elm Street was a successful farmer in the 19th century and one of Monroe’s leading citizens.
He farmed hay, apples, raspberries, grapes and vegetables, and sometimes even experimented with crops such as trout in a farm pond, but he primarily grew strawberries.
Burr would order 10,000 berry baskets several times each year and employed as many as 40 pickers at the height of the season. Six teams of horses were needed to make daily strawberry deliveries to Bridgeport, Derby, Newtown, New Milford and New Haven.
Burr reportedly made $10,000 from strawberries in three seasons. With his wealth he was able to send his daughters to college and to Yale’s School of Art.
(James Burr photo courtesy of Monroe Historical Society)