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Cornwall, Connecticut
West Cornwall covered bridge
West Cornwall covered bridge
Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut
Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Litchfield
Region Northwest Hills
Incorporated (city) May 1740
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 46.3 sq mi (120.0 km2)
 • Land 46.1 sq mi (119.3 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation
709 ft (216 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,567
 • Density 33.821/sq mi (13.058/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
06754, 06796
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-17240
GNIS feature ID 0213412

Cornwall is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,567 at the 2020 census.

History

Cornwall was incorporated in May 1740, and was named after Cornwall, England.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.3 square miles (120 km2), of which, 46.0 square miles (119 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.54%) is water. The town is located on the east bank of the Housatonic River and also contains a major portion of the Mohawk State Forest.

Principal communities

  • Cornwall Bridge (has its own post office)
  • Cornwall Village (has its own post office)
  • Cornwall Hollow
  • East Cornwall
  • West Cornwall (has its own post office)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,661
1850 2,041
1860 1,953 −4.3%
1870 1,772 −9.3%
1880 1,583 −10.7%
1890 1,283 −19.0%
1900 1,175 −8.4%
1910 1,016 −13.5%
1920 834 −17.9%
1930 878 5.3%
1940 907 3.3%
1950 896 −1.2%
1960 1,051 17.3%
1970 1,177 12.0%
1980 1,288 9.4%
1990 1,414 9.8%
2000 1,434 1.4%
2010 1,420 −1.0%
2020 1,567 10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,434 people, 615 households, and 389 families residing in the town. The population density was 31.2 people per square mile (12.0/km2). There were 873 housing units at an average density of 19.0 per square mile (7.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.49% White, 0.21% African American, 0.70% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.46% of the population.

BarberSketchOfCornwall
A sketch of the village by John Warner Barber (1835) shows the buildings used by the Foreign Mission School, to the right of the church at center.

There were 615 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.4% under the age of 18, 3.3% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $54,886, and the median income for a family was $64,750. Males had a median income of $46,875 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the town was $42,484. About 1.0% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or over.

Some of the main features of Cornwall include the Cream Hill Lake, the Covered Bridge, Mohawk Ski Mountain and the town which contains a library and tennis courts.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 330 6 336 31.97%
Republican 246 4 250 23.79%
Unaffiliated 447 8 455 43.29%
Minor Parties 10 0 10 0.95%
Total 1,033 18 1,051 100%
Presidential Election Results
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 73.6% 760 24.2% 250 2.2% 22
2016 67.4% 622 26.9% 248 5.7% 53
2012 71.2% 629 28.3% 250 0.5% 4
2008 76.0% 732 22.6% 218 1.4% 13
2004 66.2% 625 31.4% 296 2.4% 23
2000 54.2% 455 32.9% 277 12.9% 108
1996 49.2% 408 32.4% 269 18.4% 153
1992 53.2% 473 28.7% 255 18.1% 161
1988 53.2% 448 45.6% 384 1.2% 10
1984 44.5% 347 55.0% 429 0.5% 4
1980 34.6% 268 43.5% 337 21.9% 169
1976 37.8% 284 61.4% 461 0.8% 6
1972 36.6% 281 62.6% 481 0.8% 6
1968 38.2% 246 58.5% 377 3.3% 21
1964 63.8% 407 36.2% 231 0.00% 0
1960 31.1% 209 68.9% 463 0.00% 0
1956 21.2% 133 78.8% 493 0.00% 0

Arts and culture

The Cornwall Library [1], organized in 1869, constructed a new building in 2002 that houses a collection of over 28,000 items. It also sponsors a long-running art show along with many other events.

The Cornwall Chronicle [2] is a non-profit monthly newspaper that publishes news and feature stories about Cornwall, a calendar of events, and drawings by local artists. It was started in 1991 and has not missed an issue since.

Museums and other points of interest

  • Cathedral Pines - a 42-acre nature conservatory and old growth forest.
  • Cornwall Bridge - built in 1930 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
  • Cornwall Bridge Railroad Station - added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
  • Cornwall Historical Society - located in a converted carriage barn, features annual exhibits on Cornwall's history.
  • House VI ("the Frank residence") - an example of Deconstructivist architecture.
  • Mohawk Mountain Ski Area - a ski resort.
  • West Cornwall Covered Bridge - listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975

The town was also home to the Foreign Mission School.

Popular culture

  • The fictional private boarding high school Cornwall Academy from the 1999 film Outside Providence is located in Cornwall, Connecticut.
  • In the eleventh episode of the second season of Supernatural, Sam and Dean Winchester explore a haunted bed and breakfast in Cornwall.
  • In Season 4, Episode 11 of the television show Gossip Girl, Juliet Sharp returns to her hometown of Cornwall, Connecticut.



Education

Cornwall is a member of Regional School District 01, which also includes the towns of Canaan, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon. Public school students attend the Cornwall Consolidated School for grades K-8 and Housatonic Valley Regional High School for grades 9-12.

Infrastructure

Transportation

The town is served by Connecticut Route 4, U.S. Route 7, and Connecticut Routes 43, 125 and 128. Route 4 leads east 13 miles (21 km) to Torrington and west 11 miles (18 km) to Sharon, while Route 7 leads north 14 miles (23 km) to North Canaan and south 25 miles (40 km) to New Milford. Routes 43, 125 and 128 are entirely within the town of Cornwall, Route 43 running from North Corners near Cornwall village to Cornwall Hollow, Route 128 running from North Corners to West Cornwall, and Route 125 running from Cornwall Village north to Route 128.

The covered bridge in West Cornwall, crossing the Housatonic River, is one of only three covered bridges in Litchfield County. It has a span of 242 feet (74 m) and has been in continuous service since 1864.

Notable people

  • Ethan Allen (1738–1789), Revolutionary War hero (Green Mountain Boys) and co-founder of the state of Vermont
  • Ira Allen (1751–1814), one of the founders of Vermont
  • Major Andre Andrews (1792–1834), mayor of Buffalo, New York
  • Norman Dorsen (1930-2017), Law Professor, former president American Civil Liberties Union
  • Edward L. Ferman (b. 1937), editor and publisher, most notably of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Theodore Sedgwick Gold (1818–1906), Connecticut state secretary of the board of agriculture
  • Ralph C. Harrison (1833–1918), attorney and Supreme Court of California justice
  • Tom Jones (b. 1928), composer, The Fantasticks
  • Alexandra Paul (b. 1963), actress; raised in Cornwall
  • Oliver Platt (b. 1960), actor
  • Tim Prentice (b. 1930), sculptor
  • Abraham A. Ribicoff (1910–1998), governor of Connecticut and U.S. senator
  • Roxana Barry Robinson, (b. 1946), novelist and biographer
  • John Sedgwick (1813–1864), Union Army general killed by a sniper at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House
  • Oscar Serlin (1901–1971), Broadway producer, Life with Father
  • Marc Simont (1915–2013), artist, political cartoonist and illustrator of children's books
  • James Thurber (1894–1961), author (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), cartoonist and celebrated wit
  • Charles Van Doren (1926–2019), historian, notable quiz show contestant, resident
  • Mark Van Doren (1894–1972), poet and teacher
  • Sam Waterston (b. 1940), actor; lives in West Cornwall
  • Richard Schlesinger, veteran CBS News correspondent
  • Josepha Newcomb Whitney (1871–1957), suffragist, pacifist, elected to Connecticut legislature
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