Colchester, one of the fastest-growing towns in the state, is located in the northern part of New London County. Westchester and North Westchester and the Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation reservation villages lie within the town’s border. The first settlers came here in 1691 to create an ecclesiastical society with the permission of the Colony’s General Assembly. The early inhabitants were involved in the iron and textile industries. In the 19th century, the Hayward Rubber Company greatly expanded the town’s economy. Today, Colchester is known as the first Connecticut town certified as a “Community Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation.