Cos Cob, one of Greenwich’s five communities that has it’s own zip code, post office, library and school, is located on the western side of the Mianus River and extends to the Cos Cob Harbor leading to Long Island Sound. In the seventeenth century, Cos Cob was home to the Siwanoy Indians. Like many after them, their life revolved around Long Island Sound. The first non-Indian settlers were Dutch and English. Cos Cob, in fact, was named for the English settler Joe Coe, who constructed a seawall to protect his waterfront land. The wall became known as Coe’s Cob, and this area of Greenwich named based on this.
Cos Cob was a major commercial shipping port in the 18th and 19th centuries. Challenged by the same rocky topography that spans most of Greenwich, Cos Cob’s crops were confined to potatoes, onions and apples, and were transported from Cos Cob Harbor to New York City. Much of Greenwich used this harbor to to ship produce from their farms to New York. The Bush Holley house was built during this period by Justus Bush and his son built a dam and a bridge to encourage trade in and out of the port.
As the railroad expanded through Greenwich, exporting by water became less important; with the damming of the Mianus River, the harbor depth was permanently compromised and effectively ended it’s potential for shipping as an industry.
Cos Cob emerged as an important art colony in the 19th and 20th centuries, and was home to distinguished artists of all venues from writers to architects and included Willa Cather, Eugene O’Neill, Anya Seton, John Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Theordore Robinson, William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam. Anya Seton’s father, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America, owned 100 acres on Bible St. during this time period.
As the Post Road became the center of transportation and attractive to businesses in the early 20th century due a new trolley service, and electrical and water lines, Cos Cob’s business life grew. Today, Cos Cob is a vibrant community with an active waterfront life that includes both public and private owned marinas, the membership based Water Club, a freestanding library, elementary school, the Bush Holley House, a national landmark which housed summering Cos Cob Impressionist painters, the Greenwich Garden Center and it’s own fire and train stations.
Cos Cob’s housing is varied, with the wooded, hilly area known as Mianus, intimate neighborhoods in and around public parks and the elementary school, and neighborhoods close to the Cos Cob Harbor and train station.
Community Highlights include:
RowAmerica brings a gold standard of world-class coaching to Greenwich. Their facility training center is located right on the Mianus River. They are passionate about expanding the incredible sport of rowing and they offer recreational and competitive programs for individuals of all ages and skill levels.
Phone: (203) 962-4184
The Bush-Holley House Museum
The historic Bush-Holley House, located at 39 Strickland Rd, was built between the years of 1728-1730 as a one-room, two-story structure. The house property overlooked the harbor, a prime location for the loading and unloading of cargo for the New York trade. The Museum at Bush-Holley House is open to the public for guided tours. Current exhibitions include documentation and presentation of two significant periods in its history: the Colonial Period, when the Bush family was in residence from 1790 to 1825, and the Cos Cob art colony years from 1890 to 1920.
Days: January—February: Saturday and Sunday
March—December: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Hours: 12:00 PM-4:00 PM
Docent-led tours at 1 PM, 2 PM, and 3 PM or by appointment
Phone: (203) 869-6899
Cos Cob Library
The Cos Cob Library is known to be a community hub where everyone feels welcome. The library is home to a collection of over 40,000 books, movies, CDs, and magazines. It also hosts author lectures and book signings for adults as well as story time and art n’ crafts programs for children year-round. Wifi is available throughout the library and a dozen computers are accessible to the public.
Hours of Operation: Monday: 12:00 PM-8:00 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Phone: (203) 622-6883
The Garden Education Center
The Garden Education Center, established in 1957, is a non-profit volunteer-based organization dedicated to the promotion of horticulture and the floral arts. The center offers instructional and educational lectures and workshops as well as organizes special events and unique tours.
Days: September—June: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Hours: 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
Phone: (203) 869-9242