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East Haven, Connecticut
Town
Quinnipiac River from Fair Haven.jpg
Official seal of East Haven, Connecticut
Seal
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA New Haven
Region South Central
Incorporated 1785
Area
 • Total 13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2)
 • Land 12.3 sq mi (31.8 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (3.0 km2)
Elevation 30 ft (9 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 29,257
 • Density 2,183/sq mi (840.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06473, 06512, 06513
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-22910
GNIS feature ID 0213425
Website www.townofeasthavenct.org

East Haven is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 29,257. Located 3 miles (5 km) east of New Haven, it is part of the Greater New Haven area. East Haven is 35 miles (56 km) from Hartford, 82 miles (132 km) from N.Y. City, 99 miles (159 km) from Providence, Rhode Island, and 140 miles (230 km) from Boston.

History

EH Welcome
Welcome to East Haven

This area was long settled by indigenous peoples. Long before European encounter, Algonquian peoples occupied settlements along the coastline and rivers.

The area now known as East Haven was obtained by Puritan settlers Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton on November 29, 1638, as part of the purchase of New Haven from Sachem Momauguin of the local Quinnipiack tribe. Additional land, in what is now known as Foxon, was purchased from Chief Montowese on December 11, 1638.

In 1639 Thomas Gregson petitioned for the purchase of Solitary Cove, later called Morris Cove. This was granted on August 5, 1644, and was the last piece of land that made up the original town of East Haven. The original town boundaries were from the harbor and Quinnipiac River on the west to the Branford and North Branford town line on the east. The southern boundary is Long Island Sound, and the North Haven town line is the northern boundary.

East Farms, as it was first called, was considered a parish of the New Haven Colony. Settlers settled into Morris Cove and what is now the "center" of East Haven in 1639. The first Connecticut ironworks, the third in New England, was founded on the shores of Furnace Pond in 1655. Called Lonotononket (Great Pond) by the Quinnipiac, it was renamed by English-speaking settlers as Lake Saltonstall. With Branford and North Branford having had settlers since 1643, people from the New Haven Colony started to settle the Foxon section in 1683.

In 1665, the New Haven Colony was merged with the Connecticut Colony (Hartford) under a charter from King Charles II. With the success of the ironwork mill, the area became known as Iron Works Village. In 1675 Iron Works Village petitioned the Connecticut Colony to become a separate Town. Negotiations with New Haven regarding land never succeeded. This eventually led to the relinquishing of village privileges in 1685. Efforts were again made in 1703.

The Connecticut Colony granted the town petition for Township in May 1707 and colonists changed the name from Iron Works Village to East Haven. Some outstanding land issues with New Haven and a minor feud with Governor Gurdon Saltonstall resulted in the rescinding of the township status; the area was made a parish of New Haven.

In 1706 the first public school building was built in East Haven, followed by the appointment of a School Committee in 1707.

Jacob Hemingway, one of the first Yale students, served as the first pastor (1704–1754) of the Congregational church in East Haven. Several meeting houses were built over the years. In January 1772 the Society of East Haven authorized the expense of $1,000 to build a new 65-by-50-foot (20 by 15 m) meeting house. while under construction, the building was extended by 8 feet (2.4 m) and a steeple was added. In 1774 the Old Stone (Congregational) Church was finished, and Nicholas Street was named its first minister.

During the American Revolution, this area was subject to troop movement and encampment by both revolutionary and British forces. On July 5, 1779, British forces led by General William Tryon landed from war ships, attacked Black Rock Fort in Morris Cove and captured its 19 defenders. The British attacked New Haven and East Haven. General Lafayette and revolutionary forces also visited town and encamped on the green. During the Revolution, East Haven lost 16 men. John Howe was killed at the Black Rock Fort. Fifteen other men died, mostly of disease while held on British prison ships in Long Island Sound. After the war, the United States military abandoned Black Rock Fort.

East Haven became an incorporated town of the new republic in May 1785. At the initial town meeting, on July 5, 1785, Isaac Chidsey was named first selectman.

When relations between the United States and Britain deteriorated in the early 19th century preceding the War of 1812, the government decided to re-fortify Black Rock Fort. A new masonry wall was built for fortification. Six guns were installed, and a new barracks for 50 men and a magazine were built. The fort was renamed Fort Nathan Hale, in honor of the Connecticut patriot. During the War of 1812, the fort successfully defended the area from several British raids.

EH Cannon
Civil War cannon from Fort Hale, installed on the East Haven Green

In 1863, during the Civil War, a new Fort Hale was built to defend against possible raids by the Confederate States. Built next to the ruins of the original fort, the fortification included an earthen rampart, five fortified bunkers, eighteen guns and a moat with a drawbridge. The fort did not see any action during the Civil War. East Haven lost 15 men during the war. Two men, Charles Benoit and James Murphy died at Andersonville prison in Georgia.

East Haven's western border was the Quinnipiac River, and the town was in charge of four bridges that crossed it. In 1881 East Haven was facing a financial problem. The repair and maintenance of the four bridges that crossed the Quinnipiac River, along with highway maintenance, and payments to Civil War soldiers, presented the town with a $200,000 debt. The bridges contributed $180,000 of that debt. Combined with requests for additional town services, the Board of Selectman voted to sell Fair Haven, Granniss Corners, and Morris Cove to New Haven. After a public vote, in which East Haven residents voted 123 to sell and 9 against, it ceded those three sections to New Haven. The town cleared its debt, at the same time losing 70% of its population and 33% of its land area.

Since the 1850s, Lake Saltonstall had become a major amusement center in the region. The lake was used heavily during the summer and by skaters in the winter. The lake, which borders the towns of East Haven and Branford, was sold in 1895 to the New Haven Water Company.

The new East Haven continued to grow. In 1892, after several businesses and the town hall were destroyed in a fire, the Board of Selectmen voted to install fire hydrants in the center of town and ordered 500 feet (150 m) of hose. Fighting town fires was handled by citizen volunteers who came to the fire. By 1899, several young town members formed a volunteer fire department. They applied for state recognition and started serving the town on January 2, 1900.

1900 to present

Policing East Haven was handled by New Haven sheriffs until 1900 or so when the town hired Jim Smith to be the town's first constable. Smith used the barn on his farm as the jail. The constable staff continued to grow until it was organized in 1925 under the Board of Public Safety. This included the East Haven Fire Department and the newly organized East Haven Police Department.

Technology was improving the lives of the residents. In 1898 gas lights were installed in East Haven. By 1903, four streets were lighted by gas lights. The town established its own telephone company in 1899 and had 75 customers before selling its holding to the local telephone company. Electric lights made their debut in 1918.

The East Haven Library was established in 1909. With an increase in population, especially Catholic immigrants and descendants of Irish and Italian ancestry, the first Roman Catholic church opened in East Haven in 1916. Five East Haven men died while serving in World War I.

The town voted to build a new town hall in 1927. Built at a cost of $135,000, the new town hall was dedicated on August 11, 1928. More than 5,000 residents attended the open house. The next month, on September 22, 1928, the new East Haven Library was opened and dedicated.

During World War II many men from East Haven served overseas. Twenty-four died in the war.

After World War II, East Haven benefited from suburbanization, as families followed newly constructed highways and moved out of the older, dense cities into less settled areas. The GI Bill helped veterans buy the new houses built in outer areas. The population of East Haven nearly doubled from the end of the war to 1960. The population increase was also assisted by the building of Interstate 95 through the center of town in 1951. A less beneficial effect was drawing off retail business and dividing residential areas of town.

During the Vietnam War, Lance Corporal Richard J. Wolcheski, USMC, was the only East Haven man killed.

Following the highways, large retail stores and fast food franchises started to build outlets on both U.S. 1 and State Route 80 in the 1960s and 1970s. The downtown area was redeveloped in the 1970s with construction of the East Haven Mall to compete with suburban malls. Condominiums were built in the Center and Foxon sections. The town added its athletic complex, a new swimming pool to the high school. The new East Haven Police headquarters was finished in 1973.

New Haven and neighboring towns such as East Haven have been destinations for a new wave of immigrants since the late 20th century, the majority of whom in East Haven are Latinos from Ecuador. In the 2010 census, Hispanics and Latinos made up more than 10% of the town's population.

Following successful Main Street renovations in other older towns, since 2004, the downtown area has been revitalized to emphasize its historic attractions and scale, based on its tradition as a New England town. Period lighting was installed and brick sidewalks to emphasize pedestrian appeal. It has a weekly Farmers' Market held on Sunday at the Town Hall square.

On March 16, 2009, the town came to an agreement with neighboring New Haven over the future of Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, which straddles the boundary between the two municipalities. This ended 40 years of competition.

On August 9, 2013, a Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B crashed on approach, hitting two houses in an East Haven residential neighborhood near the airport. The impact and the resulting fires destroyed both houses. The private plane had taken off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. The incident resulted in four deaths: the pilot of the plane; his passenger, the pilot's 17-year-old son; and two children in one of the houses. They were girls of 13 years and one year of age.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2), of which 12.3 sq mi (31.8 km2) of it is land and 1.19 sq mi (3.08 km2) of it (8.57%) is water. East Haven also contains Stony Island, approximately 660 yards (600 m) from East Haven Town Beach in Long Island Sound.

The shape of East Haven on a map is taller than it is wide. It is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New Haven, on the north by North Haven, and on the east by Branford, Lake Saltonstall, and North Branford. East Haven shares with New Haven the land belonging to local Tweed New Haven Airport and Alling Memorial Golf Course.

Geology

During the Paleozoic Era, 450 to 250 million years ago, several tectonic plates collided to form the supercontinent called Pangaea. East Haven was located in the middle of this collision, and the results can be seen today with the schists, gneisses and granites which are exposed.

When Pangaea was broken up, during the Triassic and Jurassic periods, volcanic activity occurred, depositing basalt or trap rock. Earthquakes can still be felt in the area. In February 2001 the area was rocked by a 1.8 magnitude earthquake originating in Madison, Connecticut.

It is estimated that Connecticut was covered by glaciers at least two times. The last glacier is estimated to have been 1,800 feet (550 m) thick in the New Haven area. 22,000 years ago, the glacier moved south, eroding mountains and pushing through East Haven to deposit large amounts of glacial till to form Long Island. 14,000 years ago the glacier retreated and shaped the coastline, formed Long Island Sound and created Lake Saltonstall. It also deposited glacial till, soil, sand, rocks and boulders that the ice carried south from the north.

The coast is primarily covered by gneiss rock (including granite), schist and quartzite. The remaining sections are part of the Central Valley of Connecticut and are covered with clastic sedimentary rock (redbeds, conglomerate, sandstone, brownstone and shale). This soft surface has been resedimented by a number of floods, making the soil soft and fertile and ideal for farmland.

Brownstone, a sedimentary rock that erodes easily, was easily dug into by glaciers and carved out many lakes and valleys. The area surrounding Farms River and Lake Saltonstall on the East Haven and Branford border is an example of this. The brownstone that did not erode was used for building foundations and rock fences found throughout New England.

Deposits of basalt (lava flow) can be found in the north and northeast sections of East Haven. Several quarries can be found in this area. Traprock (basalt) is turned into crushed stone. It is primarily used in construction and in the bedding of roads. Sand and gravel from glacial till is the second most profitable quarried rock. They are used as fill, in concrete, leach fields or for road sand.

Animals and plants

When Pangaea was broken up, East Haven had forests. Dinosaurs, reptiles and mammals roamed the area. Dinosaur trackways like those found in Rocky Hill at Dinosaur State Park were recently found at a construction site near Lake Saltonstall. The tracks were made by Eubrontes. Fossils of Triassic period reptiles have been found in the area. Stegomus was covered with armor plates and looked similar to an armadillo.

Today, East Haven is mostly covered with broadleaf, hardwood trees. There are a few conifer (evergreen) forests, mostly around Lake Saltonstall. Salt marshes are located in areas around Long Island Sound.

Dinosaurs were long ago succeeded by deer, coyotes, squirrels, foxes, chipmunks and rabbits. Garter snakes can be found in the area. Pheasants, grouse, ducks and wild turkeys can be found in East Haven, as well as cardinals, blue jays, warblers, crows, sparrows, parrots, woodpeckers and sea gulls. Trout can be found in the fresh water lakes. Bluefish, bass, flounder, blackfish, sand sharks, eels, lobsters, crabs and clams can be found in Long Island Sound.

Communities

EH Old Stone Church
Old Stone Church

The residents of the town divide it into three large "sections" rather than smaller neighborhoods. These sections are:

Foxon

The area borders Branford and North Branford on the east, New Haven on the west to about Grannis Pond in the south, and surrounds State Route 80. This is the hilliest section of town. It counts among its landmarks the town high school, Foxon Park Beverage (a locally famous soda manufacturer), and Camp Murray, a Girl Scouts day camp. Grannis Pond used to host a YMCA camp until the land was sold and developed.

Momauguin

The area is located in the southern section of East Haven, from the Caroline Creek section of East Haven on the west to Branford on the east and starting at Short Beach Road in the north. This section includes the town beach, numerous condominiums, and summer cottages. The area near Tweed New Haven Airport has an industrial park that includes Town Fair Tire Centers Headquarters and Calabro Cheese Corporation.

"The Center"

The Center is not the geographical center of town but the hub of the administrative facilities. Landmarks include the Town Hall, Fire Department Headquarters, Hagaman Memorial Library, the "old" East Haven High School, and other administrative buildings. The old high school has been adapted for use by the East Haven Historical Society, and a teen center. The Police Department and Public Works Department reside on the "Center" - Foxon line.

The most recognizable landmark in East Haven is the Old Stone Church. Built in 1774, the steeple of the church stands out against the low horizon.

The Town Green is a 2.4-acre (9,700 m2) park located at the eastern end of the central business district (two blocks east of the town hall) and is mostly covered by trees. Monuments are dedicated to honor war veterans and firefighters. The focal point of the green is the gazebo or bandstand. The Green is the site of the annual East Haven Fall Festival and summer concerts.

Margaret Tucker Park is considered the second East Haven Green, with its location across the street from Town Hall and the Old Stone Church. They have developed additional land to the park, along with a water fountain.

Included in this section is the "West End", which borders New Haven. Since the late 20th century, conditions have declined in this area of older housing. Efforts are underway to revitalize the area that most residents think have been overlooked with all the focus of the re-development efforts in the center of town.

The Senior Center is located one block from Town Hall. The town has a weekly Farmers' Market held at the Town Hall on Sundays. This market features fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and crafts. Some weeks feature fundraising for town institutions.

Climate

EH 2001 snow
Looking north on Thompson Avenue in February 2001. The steeple of the Old Stone Church can be seen in the center of the photo.

East Haven's climate is tempered by its location on Long Island Sound; it has a continental climate which is common in New England. Winters are usually milder, with less snow accumulation, than those found inland. In a normal winter East Haven averages 27 inches (68.58 cm) of snowfall. It is not unusual to have a dusting of snow by the coast and an inch of snowfall in the northern areas of East Haven. The town is vulnerable to Nor'easter weather systems that can drop heavy rain or snow in the region. The Blizzard of 1888 dropped about 40 inches of snow, while the Blizzard of 1978 dropped almost 2 feet (0.61 m).

Summers are moderately warm and humid, though cooler than inland. Though rare, the region does experience high [heat waves] and some 100 °F (38 °C) days. Precipitation is evenly spread throughout the year.

East Haven enjoys a fairly long growing season with the last frost occurring in mid April and the first frost occurring in mid October. On average, East Haven has 207 sunny days and 158 cloud or rainy days.

Severe weather does occur in East Haven. The area has been hit by several hurricanes, most recently in August 2011 when Hurricane Irene severely damaged numerous shore areas, destroying houses along Cosey Beach. In 1985, the eye of Hurricane Gloria came across state 22 west of East Haven. The area was without electricity, telephone and cable TV service for 7 days.

Tornadoes sometimes occur in Connecticut. Though the town was not directly affected, a tornado touched down in Hamden on July 10, 1989, 7 miles (11 km) away. On August 11, 2016 a tornado touched down in North Haven, 5 miles (8.0 km) away.

Climate data for East Haven
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 35.4
(1.9)
38.7
(3.7)
48
(8.9)
59.5
(15.3)
70.9
(21.6)
79.3
(26.3)
83.8
(28.8)
81.3
(27.4)
73
(22.8)
62.1
(16.7)
50.7
(10.4)
39.6
(4.2)
60.3
(15.7)
Average low °F (°C) 18
(−8.0)
19.2
(−7.1)
27.3
(−2.6)
36.3
(2.4)
46.8
(8.2)
55.8
(13.2)
61
(16.1)
59.2
(15.1)
51.3
(10.7)
39.7
(4.3)
28.6
(−1.9)
22.8
(−5.1)
39
(3.9)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.74
(95)
3.7
(94)
4.13
(105)
3.7
(94)
3.74
(95)
3.31
(84)
3.98
(101)
4.21
(107)
3.58
(91)
3.46
(88)
3.74
(95)
3.82
(97)
45.08
(1,145)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 10 8 10 14 11 9 9 8 7 8 9 9 109
Source: Weatherbase,

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,237
1850 2,987
1860 2,292 −23.3%
1870 2,714 18.4%
1880 3,057 12.6%
1890 955 −68.8%
1900 1,167 22.2%
1910 1,795 53.8%
1920 3,520 96.1%
1930 7,815 122.0%
1940 9,094 16.4%
1950 12,212 34.3%
1960 21,388 75.1%
1970 25,120 17.4%
1980 25,036 −0.3%
1990 26,144 4.4%
2000 28,189 7.8%
2010 29,257 3.8%
Est. 2014 29,044 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census of 2010, there were 29,257 people and 11,492 households residing in the town. The population density was 2,377.7 people per square mile (896.8/km²).

The total gender makeup of the town is 13,956 (47.7%) male and 15,301 (52.3%) female. Age distribution of the estimated 2010 population of the town is as follows:

  • ages 0 to 4 years old - 1,463 (5%)
  • ages 5 to 17 years old – 5,647 (19.3%)
  • ages 18 to 64 years old – 12,259 (58.1%)
  • ages 65 and above – 5,149 (17.6%)

The racial makeup of the town is 82.6% White, followed by 10.3% Hispanic or Latino, 2.9% African American, 3.3% Asian, .7% from other races and 0.2% Native American.

The median age of a house is 40.0 years. The median house purchase price is $240,500.00 and median monthly rental is $1,200.00.

The town is primarily considered a Democratic town, though it has elected a Republican mayor in the last 6 of 7 elections. There are 15,925 registered voters in East Haven. 5,683 registered Democrats, 2,544 Republicans, 7,681 unaffiliated and 17 registered to minor parties.

The median income for a household in the town was $63,136. About 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line.

44% of the adult population (25 years and old) possess a high school diploma, 6% have associate degrees, and 19% have bachelor's degree or higher.

Geography

Quinnipiac River in East Haven, 1907]] According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.9 square miles (103.3 km²), of which 39.0 square miles (101.1 km²) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²), or 2.16%, is water.

The town of East Haven sits astride the Quinnipiac River in southeastern New Haven County. It is 5 miles (8 km) south of Northford and about 13 miles (21 km) north of New Haven. Towns bordering East Haven are Durham, Branford, Meriden, Middlefield, North Branford and North Haven. Situated in the East Haven is traversed by U.S. Route 1, Interstate 91, and State Highways Route 100, Route 17, Route 80

East Haven has a labor force of 16,751. 15,128 are employed and 1,623 are not. East Haven has an unemployment rate of 9.7%. There are 527 work units in East Haven, employing 6,260 staff members.

There were 25 registered sex offenders living in East Haven as of December 2012.

People and culture

East Haven is known for its Italian-American ethnic heritage.

Media and newspapers

  • Newspapers: The town is served by one daily newspaper and two weekly newspapers. The New Haven Register is printed seven days a week. The East Haven Courier is the weekly paper.
  • Media: The town is served by ETV, a local public-access television cable TV channel on the Comcast system. A local ABC affiliate is in New Haven, WTNH TV Channel 8. East Haven can receive 15 on-air television channels, 13 AM radio stations, and 20 FM radio stations.

Museums

  • East Haven Historical Society
  • The Shore Line Trolley Museum was founded in 1945 as the Branford Electric Railway Association (BERA). The Branford Electric Railway Association was founded to preserve the heritage of the trolley car, as well as artifacts and documents from the trolley era. The museum holds nearly one hundred trolley vehicles. The Shore Line Trolley Museum, just past the East Haven Green, operates the Branford Electric Railway, a National Historic Site. The railway is the oldest continuously operating suburban trolley line in the United States.

National Register of Historic Places

East Haven has two nationally registered historic sites:

  • East Haven Green Historic District (added April 11, 2002)
  • First Congregational Church of East Haven (added March 25, 1982)

Town events

  • Every fifth year the town hosts the Columbus Day Parade (which is shared between New Haven, West Haven, North Haven, and Hamden).
  • The town of East Haven sponsors a town-wide beach party to celebrate Independence Day.
  • The town also hosts the Fall Festival, which is patterned after a New England town fair.

Images for kids


East Haven, Connecticut Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.