On June 10, 1931, the cornerstone was laid for the Fairfield State
Hospital. At that time many area residents opposed its location.
Sixteen buildings were situated on 100 acres of land, surrounded by 670 additional acres. In the later 1940's and 50's more buildings were added. Most were built of red brick in a colonial style. When it first opened on June 1, 1933, there were only 3 Doctors and less than 500 patients. More than 4,000 patients, 20 Doctors, 50 nurses and additional staff occupied the facility in the late 1960's. Fairfield Hills was owned by the Dept. of Mental Health, Conn. Treatments of hydrotherapy, electrical shock, seclusion, drug therapy, alcoholism and frontal lobotomy were regularly performed. There was a tunnel system underground which connected all patient buildings. The tunnels were used by doctors, nurses and patients during winter months. They were also used to transport food and even corpses. Most tunnels were filled in by the town in 2009. The Fairfield Hills Authority was established (2004) by the town of Newtown. Many improvements have been made allowing for cultural and recreational uses of the land. In the past, the film Sleepers was filmed at Fairfield Hills starring Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt and Kevin Bacon.