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Cheshire, Connecticut
Town of Cheshire
First Congregational Church of Cheshire
First Congregational Church of Cheshire
Nickname(s): 
The Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°30′44″N 72°54′13″W / 41.51222°N 72.90361°W / 41.51222; -72.90361Coordinates: 41°30′44″N 72°54′13″W / 41.51222°N 72.90361°W / 41.51222; -72.90361
Country  United States
State Connecticut
County New Haven
Metropolitan area New Haven
Settled 1694
Incorporated 1780
Named for Cheshire, England
Government
 • Type Council-manager
Area
 • Total 33.4 sq mi (86.4 km2)
 • Land 33.1 sq mi (85.6 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)
Elevation
230 ft (70 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 28,733
 • Density 861.3/sq mi (332.56/km2)
Demonym(s) Cheshirite
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
06410
Area code(s) 203, 475
FIPS code 09-14160
GNIS feature ID 0213406

Cheshire, formerly known as New Cheshire Parish, is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. At the time of the 2020 census, the population of Cheshire was 28,733. The center of population of Connecticut is located in Cheshire.

History

Cheshire, Connecticut was first settled in 1694 as part of Wallingford, Connecticut. It was then known as New Cheshire Parish. After many attempts in securing their independence from Wallingford, New Cheshire Parish in 1784 was granted secession and was later incorporated as a town in May 1780 as Cheshire.

Prospect, Connecticut was formerly part of Cheshire before 1829, and was then known as Columbia Parish.

Preparedness Shelter

Cheshire has a Cold War-era fallout shelter constructed in 1966, located underneath the local AT&T tower.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,230
1850 1,626
1860 2,407 48.0%
1870 2,344 −2.6%
1880 2,284 −2.6%
1890 1,929 −15.5%
1900 1,989 3.1%
1910 2,560 28.7%
1920 2,855 11.5%
1930 3,263 14.3%
1940 4,352 33.4%
1950 6,295 44.6%
1960 13,383 112.6%
1970 19,051 42.4%
1980 21,788 14.4%
1990 25,684 17.9%
2000 28,543 11.1%
2010 29,261 2.5%
2020 28,733 −1.8%
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census of 2020, there were 28,733 people, 10,169 households, and 7,562 families residing in the town. The population density was 860 people per square mile (330/km2). There were 10,401 housing units at an average density of 291.4 per square mile (469/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 81.07% White, 4.40% African American, 0.07% Native American, 6.24% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.70% from other races, and 5.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.33% of the population. The largest ethnic groups in the town are Italian Americans and Irish Americans.

There were 10,169 households, out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.8% were married couples living together, 19.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.64% were non-families. 21.39% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 19.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 20 to 24, 20.1% from 25 to 44, 33.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.3 males.

In 2019, the median household income was $120,546 and the per capita income was $52,013. About 1.6% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

The central area of the town is a census-designated place identified as Cheshire Village. As of the 2020 census, Cheshire Village had a population of 6,499.

Geography

Environment

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.4 square miles (86.4 km2), of which 33.1 square miles (85.6 km2) is land and 0.31 square miles (0.8 km2), or 0.89%, is water.

Cheshire is situated in the midst of several major cities of Connecticut. It lies 14 miles (23 km) north of New Haven, 25 miles (40 km) south of the capital Hartford, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Bridgeport, and Waterbury is adjacent to Cheshire. Cheshire shares borders with Southington on the north and northeast, Meriden on the northeast, Wallingford on the east, Hamden on the south, Bethany for a short distance on the southwest, Prospect on the west, Waterbury on the northwest, and Wolcott on the northwest

Climate

Climate data for Cheshire, Connecticut
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 35
(1.7)
39
(3.9)
47
(8.3)
59
(15)
70
(21.1)
78
(25.6)
83
(28.3)
81
(27.2)
74
(23.3)
63
(17.2)
52
(11.1)
41
(5)
60.2
(15.65)
Average low °F (°C) 15
(-9.4)
18
(-7.8)
26
(-3.3)
36
(2.2)
46
(7.8)
56
(13.3)
61
(16.1)
59
(15)
51
(10.6)
39
(3.9)
31
(-0.6)
22
(-5.6)
38.3
(3.52)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.64
(117.9)
3.61
(91.7)
4.38
(111.3)
5.52
(140.2)
4.64
(117.9)
4.74
(120.4)
4.59
(116.6)
4.78
(121.4)
4.84
(122.9)
4.18
(106.2)
4.41
(112)
4.24
(107.7)
54.57
(1,386.1)

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

The Barker Character, Comic and Cartoon Museum, located in the northern section of Cheshire, holds a large collection of memorabilia, novelties and ephemera such as lunch boxes and Pez dispensers bearing the likenesses of characters from television, cartoons and comics.

National Register of Historic Places

Parks and recreation

Roaring Brook Falls
Roaring Brook Falls as seen in late October after substantial rainfall.

The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, a popular non-motorized recreational trail, runs through Cheshire along its route between Suffield, Connecticut to the north and New Haven, Connecticut to the south.

The Hitchcock-Phillips House, a historic home, is located in town.

Roaring Brook Falls along the Quinnipiac Trail in the southwest corner of town is Connecticut's tallest single drop waterfall, and is owned by the Cheshire Land Trust.

Community parks and recreational facilities in town include:

  • Cheshire Park, a 75-acre park geared towards active recreation
  • Bartlem Recreational Area, a park with a playscape, skate park and picnic area.
  • Mixville Recreation Area, offering swimming and fishing at Mixville Pond
  • Cheshire Community Pool, a swimming facility which was renovated in 2016 to offer a year-round, indoor pool.

Transportation

I-691 in Cheshire CT
I-691 in Cheshire.

Transportation within Cheshire is largely by car. Interstate 691 skirts the northern edge of the town. Interstate 84 passes through the northwest part of the town. The main north-south artery is Connecticut Route 10, a difficult passage that is busy, sometimes congested, and includes many stoplights. There are two east-west routes: Route 42 and Route 68/Route 70. Route 10 is by far the busiest road in Cheshire, with the worst Route 10 traffic occurring between Routes 68/70 and Route 42 every weekday during the morning commute, evening commute, and after the high school gets out at 2 pm. West Main Street and Main Street, Route 68/70 between Route 10 and Waterbury Road, is the next busiest road in town. The intersection of Route 10 and Route 68/70 is the busiest intersection in town. The second busiest intersection is the Cheshire High School and Route 10 intersection right before school starts and right after school ends.

The J line of Connecticut Transit New Haven which runs from Waterbury to New Haven travels through Cheshire on Routes 70 and 10. A commuter express bus also runs from the commuter lot near Interstate 84 to Hartford.

Education

Public School building, Cheshire, Connecticut
Cheshire School Administration building

Cheshire, a part of Cheshire Public Schools, is home to one public high school, Cheshire High School, and one public middle school, Dodd Middle School. There are four public elementary schools: Chapman, Doolittle, Highland, and Norton Elementary.

There are also several private and alternative schools in the town, including Cheshire Academy (originally the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut), which was founded in Cheshire in 1794 and currently educates students in the Upper School (grades 9-12/Post-Graduate Year). St. Bridgets is a Catholic school in Cheshire for grades preschool to 8th grade. Humiston is an alternative high school in Cheshire.

The Legion of Christ, a Roman Catholic congregation, runs their novitiate and college of humanities on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) complex on Oak Avenue. About 100 seminarians undergo two to four years of training for the priesthood there, including religious formation and classical humanities.

Notable people

  • Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888), schoolmaster
  • Brad Ausmus, professional baseball player and MLB manager
  • Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient
  • Henry Washington Benham (1813–1884), Union army general
  • Chris Berman, ESPN sportscaster
  • Jay Bontatibus, actor
  • Albert E. Burke (1919-1999), professor and pioneer of educational television
  • John Chamberlain (1903–1995), journalist
  • Michael Chasen, co-founder and CEO of ClassEDU and co-founder of Blackboard Inc.
  • Amos Doolittle (1754–1832), engraver of Battle of Concord scenes
  • Eliakim Doolittle (1772-1850), composer
  • George Henry Durrie, painter
  • Elizabeth Esty, U.S. Congresswoman
  • Samuel A. Foot (1780–1846), 28th Governor of Connecticut, United States Representative and United States Senator
  • Seabury Ford (1801–1855), 20th Governor of Ohio
  • James J. Greco, businessman, lived in town from 1992 to 2011
  • Sunil Gulati, President of the United States Soccer Federation
  • Peter Hitchcock (1781–1854), judge
  • John Holmstrom, cartoonist, writer
  • John Frederick Kensett (1816–1872), painter
  • Brian Leetch, ice hockey defenseman and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee
  • Rollin Carolas Mallary, U.S. Representative from Vermont
  • Legs McNeil, journalist, rock music historian
  • J. P. Morgan, businessman
  • Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator
  • Anjul Nigam, actor
  • Marc Tyler Nobleman, author
  • Matt Generous, ice hockey defenseman
  • Ron Palillo, actor
  • Paul Pasqualoni, athletic coach
  • Lonnie Quinn, meteorologist
  • Ramamurti Shankar physicist
  • Edward Tufte, professor
  • Justin Tussing, novelist
  • Vijay Vaitheeswaran, journalist
  • James Van Der Beek, actor

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