Byram, CT: Top 15 Most Unique Spots To See | Stanton House Inn

Main street of Byram, where Mill St meets Delavan Ave

Byram, CT is a Greenwich, Connecticut, hidden gem. It is revitalizing itself by capitalizing on its unique historic and distinctive flavor. The appeal of the area is a great example of what was once old being new again. That is, it’s attracting people of all ages to walk, work, and live in a historic setting. Byram’s diversity, including economic, racial, and ethnic diversity, is a huge plus for the neighborhood. And now, Byram, is working to preserve the neighborhood’s:

 

  • Human scale
  • Quirkiness
  • And diversity

 

Without gentrifying it all away. The goal is not to gentrify it, but to preserve its human scale, quirkiness, and diversity.

A Brief History of Byram, Connecticut

Postcard of the Byram Bridge between Port Chester, NY, and Byram

Byram, a neighborhood in western Greenwich, was founded in the late 1600s along the eastern shoreline of the Byram River. Thomas Lyon, originally from Stamford, Connecticut, married Martha Winthrop. The younger Winthrop had immigrated to the New World as a child with her mother, Elizabeth Winthrop Feake, one of Greenwich’s founders in 1640. In 1676, the Town of Greenwich granted Thomas Lyon 300 acres of land on the eastern bank of the Byram River after negotiating with the Dutch and English. The stretch of land along the Byram River was afterwards known as “Lyon’s Point.”

 

Arrival of the Railroad

The Byram River was used to transport raw materials to factories and finished goods to the east coast market. Once the railroad arrived in the 1840s, farmers wanted to develop their land. And so they divided, subdivided, and re-subdivided their homesteads. In their leases, the developers stated that they did not want Byram to become a shantytown. As such, they prohibited slaughterhouses, bone boiling establishments, and other nuisances. But there was still plenty of construction. Byram streets display various house styles such as Queen Ann and Shore Colonial, thanks to this period.

 

In 1840, German immigrant William Abendroth established the Abendroth Bros Stove Foundry. At its height, it was one of the largest foundries on the East Coast, employing 700 people. The foundry produced iron stoves, boilers, yard pieces, and cooking pieces. A small part on the Greenwich side of the river produced plumbing pipes and fittings.

 

Byram Bluestone Quarry

William and Thomas Ritch established the first quarries in Byram in 1840 and ran them until 1904. By 1880, the Byram quarry business was at its peak, and seven separate quarries lined Byram Shore Road. Granite from the “Byram Bluestone Quarry” was used to construct:

 

  • Local Greenwich churches
  • Great estates
  • Stepping stones
  • And ornamental posts

 

Saint Mary’s Church and Second Congregational Church have granite from here. The granite foundation of Stanton House Inn likely has its source from there, as well.

 

More famously, it was mostly shipped on barges to New York City via Long Island Sound. The granite made its way into foundations for office buildings, as well as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. But the building industry switched from stone to concrete in 1900, and the quarries went out of business.

 

Early 1900s

All these different business attracted many migrants, mostly of the international variety. By the 1920s, 90% of Byram’s residents were of foreign descent, mostly from central Europe.

 

The Abendroth Bros Stove Foundry closed during the Depression due to new steel manufacturing methods and modern project demands.

 

For $50,000, the town purchased the property in 1918 to create a public park and boat club, now known as Byram Park. The dynamite storage building became the boat club.

 

Byram has had many names:

  • Lyonsville
  • Meadsville
  • New Lebanon, for the many cedar trees growing here when settlers first arrived
  • Hawthorne in 1892
  • And East Port Chester in 1905

 

But the RTM (Greenwich’s Representative Town Meeting) voted in 1947 to change the neighborhood’s name to Byram.

 

Modern Era

Byram Fire StationAlthough Byram never had its own post office, a small branch post office was located in the back of George’s stationery store until 2000. Until the 1970s, mail routed through Port Chester, New York, just across the border. But after that date, everyone got a Greenwich, CT, address.

 

And likely a bump to their property values.

 

The Best Things to do in Byram, CT

Home of the only public pool in our ritzy town, there’s more to Byram than Byram Park and Byram Beach. Though they’re quite nice.

 

Byram Park

Park bench on the water at Byram Park

The Silas and Willis Ritch quarry was purchased by the Town of Greenwich in 1918 to be turned into a community park. The 20-acre parcel was situated between Byram Shore Road and Long Island Sound. Byram Park expanded with 10 acres added from the William Rosenwald estate in 1975. Dubbed “The Anchorage,” it included a residential pool. By then, you would have found: a marina, lighted baseball field, tennis courts, and a playground. As well as Byram Beach, of course.

 

The Junior League of Greenwich collaborated with the Town in 2011 to build a new community pool and revitalize Byram Park. The 30-acre park now features:

 

  • A beach
  • Public pool
  • Boat club
  • Clambake pavilion
  • Playground
  • Marina
  • Boat launch
  • Sports fields
  • And walking trails

 

The park has the only public pool in town, as well as bathhouses for both beach and public pool visitors.

 

Historic Sites in Byram

Cute houses along William St in Byram

Byram, Connecticut, was one of the first areas settled in Greenwich. Downtown Greenwich began where it did because it was mid-way between the two more important settlements at the time of:

 

  • Cos Cob, CT
  • And Byram

 

Some of the older homes you can appreciate here are:

Phebe Seaman House

The Phebe Seaman House, built in 1794, is a rare example of an intact vernacular Colonial dwelling. It has a two-and-a-half-story, three-bay frame with original wide clapboards and a saltbox roof on both side elevations. The small, six-over-six windows and gabled entry foyer of the house are anachronistic Colonial features.

 

Thomas Lyon House

The Thomas Lyon House, located at 1 Byram Road, was built around 1739 and is the oldest unaltered structure in Greenwich, Connecticut. The restoration of the house, a Colonial saltbox, is the primary project of the Greenwich Preservation Trust. This non-profit organization grew out of the Byram Neighborhood Association’s Thomas Lyon House Committee. Thomas Lyon was the first occupant and son of the aforementioned Thomas Lyon. Lyon lived here with his wife Abigail and their children. The house passed down through the Lyon family until the twentieth century. This building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Former Byram School

The former Byram School is a large brick structure with masonry load-bearing walls and Colonial Revival features. It was completed in 1926 on a knoll overlooking the Byram River by local architect Errol Coffin and is a well-preserved example of institutional Colonial Revival architecture. The school was originally rectangular, but an unknown architect extended it in 1936. Much of its interior decorative material was removed in the 1960s for code modernization. It was used as an elementary school until 1978 before being converted to senior housing in 1987-89.

 

Dorothy Hammill Skating Rink

For many years, the Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink has been a local favorite. Aside from public skating, guests can participate in a variety of other ice skating activities on the rink, such as hockey, figure skating competitions, skating lessons, and more. They even offer classes, if you’re not to sure of yourself on the ice. The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink is the destination for ice skating in Greenwich!

 

Shopping & Restaurants in Byram, Connecticut

storefront of the Marketplace by Fofie & Mia

Funky, quirky, and a bit eclectic is how to describe the shopping and dining along Mill Street and Delavan Avenue.

 

The Marketplace by Fofie & Mia is a well-known vintage shop in Byram that features a daily rotation of new items. Sophie Karipides and Maria “Mia” Katsaros, two Greek sisters who opened an interior design and decorating store in Larchmont, NY, before opening their sister store, inspired the name. The store is run on a consignment basis, with 90% of the merchandise coming from estate sales, flea markets, and Facebook marketplaces, and 10% donated. The prices are low in comparison to other vintage stores, especially Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the quality of what you’ll find here is excellent.

 

The Firehouse Deli has been selling sandwiches and prepared dishes for more than 20 years.

 

Famous Greek, a local pizza and souvlaki joint, was first opened in 1979 by Karipedes, who was known as the “mayor” of Byram. The restaurant’s exterior remains unchanged, but inside has undergone significant changes. The Karapides family’s second generation renamed the eatery Famous Greek Kitchen, with Sophie designing the new interior with white leather banquettes and plum and brown grasscloth walls. Steve, their son, has expanded the menu and Maria, another daughter, is running the show as manager, continuing the family’s hospitality tradition at one of the best restaurants in Greenwich, CT.

 

Coby Blount and Jared Falco co-founded Bar Rosina’s, named after their partner Frank Carpenteri’s late mother, Rosina Carpenteri. They chose a 100-seat space that had previously housed Mill Street Bar & Table and opened quietly in the midst of a pandemic. The menu features Italian specialties such as fresh pastas, pizzas, appetizers, and entrees such as veal Milanese and dry-aged ribeye.

 

You’ll enjoy pizza full of flavor and a perfect balance of cheese and sauce at Byram Pizza Company. The truffle pizza is especially popular.

 

Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay near Byram, CT

Common areas of Stanton House Inn

This village is located between Long Island Sound and the Byram River. You’ll have to look outside the borough for a hotel or inn.

 

Your nearby options are:

 

  • The elegantly charming Stanton House Inn in downtown Greenwich, CT, is just a short drive from Byram, CT. This historic inn provides a one-of-a-kind combination of cozy accommodations and warm hospitality. It’s an excellent choice for travelers looking for peace and quiet. It’s the ideal home away from home, with its beautiful gardens, inviting common rooms, and comfortable guest rooms.

 

  • Delamar Greenwich Harbor, a luxurious waterfront hotel in Greenwich, CT, provides an elegant retreat. This boutique hotel is known for its refined comfort, personalized service, and one-of-a-kind charm.

 

  • The well-known chain hotel Courtyard by Marriott Rye is conveniently located in Rye, New York. It’s right next to where the Westchester Cross-County Parkway splits from I-95 near Port Chester.

 

Directions to Byram, Connecticut

Greenwich, CT to Port Chester, NY is only a 10-minute drive. The ride from Greenwich train station to Port Chester train station is even faster, taking only 5 minutes.

 

The Port Chester station, which is part of Metro-North’s New Haven line, is located in the heart of downtown Port Chester. During rush hour, the trip to Grand Central takes just under an hour.

 

You’re even able to walk. It takes an hour to get from our Greenwich, CT, bed and breakfast to the Port Chester train station. And, yes, I was bored enough one day to figure it out on my own two feet. Thank you, pandemic.

 

More Towns and Neighborhoods to Explore Near Byram, CT

Home along the walk from downtown Rye, NY, to Long Island Sound

Byram has a certain charm, but there’s plenty more to explore nearby once you’ve visited Byram Park and the surrounding neighborhood. Some more options close by include:

 

Port Chester, NY

Port Chester, New York, is a historical village known for its diverse immigrant population and culinary offerings. It began as a boat-building community and has since evolved into a vibrant downtown restaurant scene. And it’s right across a small bridge from Byram.

 

Downtown Greenwich, Connecticut

Downtown Greenwich, CT, is the center of town famous for its high average income. The area features a variety of restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. And all in a wonderfully walkable borough.

 

Rye, New York

A picturesque coastal city on the other side of Port Chester from Byram, Rye, NY offers:

  • Beautiful Long Island Sound beachfront
  • An upscale atmosphere
  • A charming downtown district
  • Wonderful parks
  • Historic locations

Rye Playland is also located here for a little seaside nostalgia. Rye is an ideal day trip or weekend getaway destination in New York State.

 

Cos Cob, CT

Cos Cob, CT, is a charming borough of Greenwich with an interesting history. It was Connecticut’s first Impressionist artist colony. It was also one of Greenwich’s first commercial areas, named after the Coe Family and Robert Coe’s sea wall. The neighborhood was home to notable artists, playwrights, writers, and journalists. It was also the birthplace of the Kewpie doll. The charming downtown area provides quaint shops and restaurants.

 

Old Greenwich, CT

Old Greenwich, CT, the town’s oldest neighborhood, is peaceful and historic. It was founded in 1640 and is known as a “quieter money” neighborhood. Greenwich Point Park is one of the best things to do in all Greenwich, CT. The center of town, is home to beautiful homes, the First Congregational Church, Binney Park, and the Perrot Library. The shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars in Old Greenwich make the neighborhood its own little self-contained world.

 

And for all the best attractions, activities, and things to do in Greenwich, CT, be sure to download the Greenwich Visitor’s Guide.

 

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