The last glacial period for Connecticut was about 10,000 years ago. When the glaciers retreated they left us with a till of rock, clay and sand. The landscape during the glacial periods was similar to the present tundra regions of Alaska, Canada and Siberia. The later forests were a succession of spruce to pine to a hardwood forest dominated by oaks, chestnuts and birches. This is similar to the forests we see today, with the exception of chestnuts, which were destroyed by blight in the last century
Human interaction in the area began about 10,000 years ago with the arrival of the forefathers of our Native Americans. These peoples settled in to take advantage of the abundance of fishing and hunting (mostly caribou at first then onto other mammals). For their agriculture they altered the land using slash and burn techniques that later resulted in the ideal conditions for blueberry and huckleberry (Hammerson) The last tribe to reside in the New Haven area were the Quinnipiack which feasted on the bountiful oyster beds at City Point
European interaction began in 1614 by Dutch explorer Adrian Block. He named the town and its harbor Roodeburg after the red cliffs of East and West Rocks. Settlement began in earnest on April 24, 1638, when a company of five-hundred English Puritans led by the Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy London merchant, sailed into the harbor. The area grew slowly at first with the economy relying upon agriculture and trade. After the Civil War the population of New Haven began to grow quickly with its ever expanding industrial base and arrival of waves of immigrates from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe. By 1900 the population had swelled to 108,000 people. Today New Havens population is about 124,000 with its economic health coming from manufacturing, communications and the health care fields.