Fun at the Beach

Fairfield Beach

Fairfield Beach Club on the 4th of July. 

Beach Scene Burr family reunion, 1906

Burr family reunion at the beach, 1906. 

Beach Clambake

A clam bake at the beach. 

Penfield Lighthouse Postcard

Boating near Penfield Lighthouse. 

Boyle's Beach Casino Wooden beach pail Rising Tides-Bathing suit display

Bathing suits from the Museum's collection. 

Rising Tides-South Gallery view

Swimming, boating, picnics and ball games were some of the different ways people enjoyed themselves on the beach. Beach fashions have changed dramatically over the last century, but people still flock to the shore for fun in the sun and to enjoy many of the same activities.

Some people in Fairfield worried that the beach would become crowded with outsiders, like “a miniature Coney Island,” and they quickly rejected a plan to extend trolley service from Bridgeport to the beach in the 1890s. 

As beach-going became increasingly popular in the 1910s and 1920s, private pavilions like Restmore’s and Boyle’s offered changing rooms, movies, dancing, and skating, catering especially to visitors from urban Bridgeport.

When philanthropist Annie B. Jennings left land to the town in her 1939 will, she specified that it would be a bathing beach for Fairfield residents. In the decades that followed, public beaches at  Jennings and Sasco Beach became popular destinations for Fairfield families.