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Deep River, Connecticut
Town Hall, Deep River
Town Hall, Deep River
Official seal of Deep River, Connecticut
Seal
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Middlesex
Metropolitan area Hartford
Established 1635
Name changed 1947
Named for A Deep River referring to the Connecticut River
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 14.2 sq mi (36.8 km2)
 • Land 13.6 sq mi (35.1 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)
Elevation
131 ft (40 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 4,415
 • Density 310.9/sq mi (119.97/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06417, 06419
Area code(s) 860/959
FIPS code 09-19130
GNIS feature ID 0213417

Deep River is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut. The population was 4,415 at the 2020 census. The town center is designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). Deep River is part of what the locals call the "Tri-town Area", made up of the towns of Deep River, Chester, and Essex.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), of which 13.6 square miles (35 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (4.30%) is water. The CDP has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2), of which 4.38% is water.

Principal communities

  • Deep River center
  • Winthrop

History

See also: Saybrook Colony

Saybrook Colony formally joined Connecticut in 1644. The portion of the original colony east of the Connecticut River was set off as a separate town in 1665. The site of the present village of Deep River was said to have been owned by John, Nathaniel, and Philip Kirtland in 1723. The village of Winthrop was said to have been settled by Baptists as early as 1729. In the early to mid-19th century, various portions of Saybrook broke off as separate towns, starting from Chester in 1836 to Old Saybrook in 1854. In 1947, the town of Saybrook changed its name to "Deep River", matching the name of the town center village.

From 1961 until 1996, Deep River Convalescent Home was in operation on West Elm Street in Deep River.

First Selectman Richard "Smitty" Smith, who had been in office since 1989, died of a heart attack on March 25, 2016. He was serving his 13th term (Over 26 years) as the Town's First Selectman when he died. He was subsequently replaced as First Selectman by Angus McDonald Jr, who had previously served at Second Selectman.

Towns created from Saybrook Colony

PostcardDeepRiverCTKeyboardLake19061916
Keyboard Lake, from an early postcard

Saybrook Colony, along the mouth of the Connecticut River, was one of the early settlements in the area. Several towns broke off and incorporated separately over the course of time. The towns which were created from parts of Saybrook Colony are listed below.

Ivory

From 1840 to around 1940, the U.S. was the world's biggest buyer of ivory and most of that ivory went to Deep River. Phineas Pratt developed an ivory lathe and eventually Deep River became known as "the queen of the valley" due to wealth from the ivory industry. The rival Comstock, Cheney & Company was established in nearby Ivoryton in the 1860s.

Points of interest

These sites in town are on the National Register of Historic Places:

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 3,233
1800 3,363 4.0%
1810 3,996 18.8%
1820 4,165 4.2%
1830 5,018 20.5%
1840 3,417 −31.9%
1850 2,904 −15.0%
1860 1,213 −58.2%
1870 1,267 4.5%
1880 1,362 7.5%
1890 1,484 9.0%
1900 1,634 10.1%
1910 1,907 16.7%
1920 2,325 21.9%
1930 2,381 2.4%
1940 2,332 −2.1%
1950 2,570 10.2%
1960 2,968 15.5%
1970 3,690 24.3%
1980 3,994 8.2%
1990 4,332 8.5%
2000 4,610 6.4%
2010 4,629 0.4%
2020 4,415 −4.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita incomeAs of the census of 2000, there were 4,610 people, 1,824 households, and 1,262 families living in the town. The population density was 340.1 people per square mile (131.4/km2). There were 1,910 housing units at an average density of 140.9 per square mile (54.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.56% White, 2.41% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.04% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.95% of the population.

There were 1,824 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.3% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $51,677, and the median income for a family was $62,260. Males had a median income of $46,268 versus $32,454 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,604. About 3.9% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

CDP

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,470 people, 1,023 households, and 652 families living in the Deep River Center CDP. The population density was 943.2 inhabitants per square mile (364.0/km2). There were 1,077 housing units at an average density of 411.3 per square mile (158.7/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.19% White, 3.72% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.94% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.81% of the population.

There were 1,023 households, out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the CDP the population was spread out, with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $44,680, and the median income for a family was $51,685. Males had a median income of $42,958 versus $30,880 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $27,261. About 3.9% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
Democratic 909 33 942 29.17%
Republican 651 31 682 21.12%
Unaffiliated 1,527 71 1,598 49.49%
Minor Parties 7 0 7 0.22%
Total 3,049 135 3,229 100%
Presidential Election Results
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 61.5% 1,785 37.1% 1,076 1.4% 41
2016 54.2% 1,412 41.4% 1,077 4.4% 115
2012 60.8% 1,479 38.3% 932 0.9% 22
2008 63.0% 1,668 35.8% 946 1.2% 32
2004 59.4% 1,548 38.6% 1,007 2.0% 51
2000 56.6% 1,348 37.6% 896 5.8% 138
1996 51.8% 1,160 31.1% 696 17.1% 382
1992 39.7% 980 30.4% 752 29.9% 738
1988 47.6% 1,053 51.2% 1,133 1.2% 27
1984 35.1% 760 64.5% 1,397 0.4% 9
1980 34.8% 707 50.4% 1,024 14.8% 294
1976 45.6% 943 53.7% 1,111 0.7% 12
1972 36.7% 716 62.5% 1,218 0.8% 16
1968 48.4% 827 46.4% 792 5.2% 88
1964 66.7% 1,073 33.3% 535 0.00% 0
1960 49.7% 843 50.3% 852 0.00% 0
1956 38.5% 642 61.5% 1,025 0.00% 0

Transportation

The Estuary Transit District provides public transportation throughout Deep River and the surrounding towns through its 9 Town Transit Service. Services include connections to the Old Saybrook Train Station, served by Amtrak and Shoreline East railroads.

Education

The towns of Deep River, Chester, and Essex make up Regional School District #4. Deep River is home to Deep River Elementary School, serving grades K-6. John Winthrop Middle School and Valley Regional High School, serve students for grades 7-8 and 9-12, and are located on Warsaw Street and Kelsey Hill Road, respectively. Additionally, the Connecticut Transition Academy at Mount Saint John which serves students for grades from elementary to high school which is located on Kirtland Street and across the river from Gillette Castle State Park, respectively.

Notable people

  • Elizabeth Jarvis Colt, wife of firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt
  • Benjamin Hyde Edgerton, surveyor and politician
  • Mysterious Dave Mather, Wild West gunfighter
  • Gretchen Mol, actress
  • Alpheus S. Williams, lawyer, judge, journalist, U.S. Congressman, and Union general in the American Civil War
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