The first human inhabitants of present-day Burlington were members of the Tunxis Tribe, who belonged to a confederation of Algonquian Indians. Legend holds they used the area as a hunting ground.
The first English settlers of Connecticut arrived in 1636, settling the plantations of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield. Shortly thereafter the settlers of Hartford desired to expand their land holdings. In 1640, John Haynes, governor of Connecticut, negotiated on behalf of the Hartford settlers a purchase from the Tunxis of a large tract of land west of Hartford. The newly acquired land, named by the Tunxis as Tunxis Sepus, or "Bend in the little river" was renamed Tunxis Plantation and in 1645 was incorporated as the town of Farmington. The original land area of Farmington included the present-day towns of Avon, Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Farmington, New Britain, Plainville, Southington and parts of other towns.
For many years after its initial settlement Farmington's remote and heavily forested western lands, known simply as the West Woods (Present-day Burlington and Bristol), remained uncharted and undeveloped. It was not until 1721 that the Farmington proprietors divided the area into tiers and lots. Six tiers of lots were laid out, each three hundred and fifty rods wide, and about 11 miles long, with reservations between for twenty, thirty and forty rod highways.