Originally part of Fairfield and unclaimed land, Redding was settled about 1711, made a parish in 1729, and incorporated in 1767. It was named for John Read, gentleman, lawyer, early landowner, and spokesman for the settlers. One of his land purchases was from the Mohawk Indian sachem Chickens in 1714. In 1777, during the Revolutionary war, General Tryon led British troops over Redding Ridge on their way to burn Danbury. The right wing of the Continental Army under General Israel Putnam encamped here in the winter of 1778-1779. Putnam Memorial Park marks the only remaining preserved campsite. A wire mill founded by native-born Benjamin Gilbert in 1818 is the Town's only industry. The library was founded by Mark Twain, famous American writer and humorist, who lived here 1908-1910. The high school is named for Joel Barlow, born 1754, poet, patriot, and statesman. Collis P. Huntington State Park was a gift of Archer and Anne Hyatt Huntington, philanthropists and long-time residents here.