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Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington, Connecticut by drone, May 2020
Farmington, Connecticut by drone, May 2020
Official seal of Farmington, Connecticut
Seal
Motto(s): 
"Respecting History, Planning The Future"
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°43′40″N 72°50′25″W / 41.72778°N 72.84028°W / 41.72778; -72.84028Coordinates: 41°43′40″N 72°50′25″W / 41.72778°N 72.84028°W / 41.72778; -72.84028
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Hartford
NECTA Hartford
Region Capitol Region
Settled June 1640
Incorporated December 1645
Consolidated 1947
Communities Farmington
Bensted Corner
East Farmington Heights
Farmington Station
Oakland Gardens
River Glen
Unionville
Government
 • Type Council-manager
Area
 • Total 28.8 sq mi (74.5 km2)
 • Land 28.0 sq mi (72.6 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)
Elevation
161 ft (49 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 25,340
 • Density 880.9/sq mi (340.13/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
06032, 06085
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-27600
GNIS feature ID 0213430
Interstates I-84.svg
U.S. Highways US 6.svg
State Routes Connecticut Highway 4.svg Connecticut Highway 10.svg Connecticut Highway 177.svg

Farmington is a town in Hartford County in the Farmington Valley area of central Connecticut in the United States. The population was 25,340 at the 2010 census. It sits 10 miles west of Hartford at the hub of major I-84 interchanges, 20 miles south of Bradley International Airport and two hours by car from New York City and Boston. It is home to the world headquarters of several large corporations including Otis Elevator Company and Carvel. The northwestern section of Farmington is a suburban neighborhood called Unionville.

History

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Town Date of separation
Southington 1779
Berlin 1785
Bristol 1785
Wolcott (eastern part) 1796
Burlington 1806
Avon (as Northington) 1845
New Britain 1850
Plainville 1869

Farmington was originally inhabited by the Tunxis Indian tribe. In 1640, a community of English immigrants was established by residents of Hartford, making Farmington the oldest inland settlement west of the Connecticut River and the twelfth oldest communities in the state. Settlers found the area ideal because of its rich soil, location along the floodplain of the Farmington River, and valley geography.

The town and river were given their present names in 1645, which is considered the incorporation year of the town. The town's boundaries were later enlarged several times, making it the largest in the Connecticut Colony. The town was named after Farmington, in England.

Farmington has been called the "mother of towns" because its vast area was divided to produce nine other central Connecticut communities. The borough of Unionville, in Farmington's northwest corner, was once home to many factories harnessing the water power of the Farmington River.

Farmington is steeped in New England history. Main Street, in the historic village section, is lined with colonial estates, some of which date back to the 17th century. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington passed through Farmington on several occasions and referred to the town as "the village of pretty houses." In addition, French troops under General Rochambeau encamped in Farmington en route to Westchester County to offer crucial support to General Washington's army.

Nineteenth century

John Warner Barber - Northwest View of Farmington from Round Hill
Northwest View of Farmington from Round Hill, a sketch by John Warner Barber (1798–1885) for his Historical Collections of Connecticut (published 1836), shows Barber in the picture, across the Farmington River from the town.

The majority of Farmington residents were abolitionists and were active in aiding escaped slaves. Several homes in the town were "safe houses" on the Underground Railroad. The town became known as "Grand Central Station" among escaped slaves and their "guides".

Farmington played an important role in the famous Amistad trial. In 1841, 38 Mende Africans and Cinqué, the leader of the revolt on the Amistad slave ship, were housed and educated in Farmington after the U.S. government refused to provide for their return to Africa following the trial. The Mende were educated in English and Christianity while funds were raised by residents for their return to Africa.

The Farmington Canal, connecting New Haven with Northampton, Massachusetts, passed through the Farmington River on its eastern bank and was in operation between 1828 and 1848. The canal's right of way and towpath were eventually used for a railroad, portions of which were active up to the 1990s. Part of the canal and railroad line has now been converted to a multi-use trail.

Important institutions in town

UConn Health Center
UConn Health Center

Just above the village, off Mountain Road, lies the Hill-Stead Museum. The estate, completed in 1901 and designed for Alfred Atmore Pope by his daughter Theodate Pope Riddle, one of the first woman American architects, is known for its Colonial Revival architecture. Now a museum, its 19 rooms hold a nationally-recognized collection of Impressionist paintings by such masters as Manet, Monet, Whistler, Degas and Cassatt. It is the site of the annual Sunken Garden Poetry Festival and is a National Historic Landmark.

Miss Porter's School, an exclusive college preparatory school for girls, is in Farmington. The school, whose buildings occupy much of the village center, is a significant historic and cultural institution in its own right. Founded in 1843 by educational reformer Sarah Porter, Miss Porter's has long been one of the most selective preparatory schools for girls in the country. Famous alumni include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lilly Pulitzer and members of the Bush, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller families.

The town is home to the University of Connecticut Health Center, which employs over 5,000 people. The Health Center also houses John Dempsey Hospital. The hospital provides the only full-service emergency department in the Farmington Valley and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of only two in Connecticut.

Farmington is home to TRUMPF Inc., the largest manufacturer of fabricating machinery in the United States and a world market leader in lasers used for industrial production technology.

Connecticut's first Mormon temple opened in Farmington in 2016.

Development issues

PostcardPO&StageCoachFarmingtonCT1906
Post office and stage coach, 1907 postcard

Many residents have repeatedly fought proposals by the state to widen Route 4, a main thoroughfare linking northwestern Connecticut to Interstate 84, fearing that such a move would compromise the character and integrity of the town. With the recent relocation of Parsons Chevrolet, "on that crazy corner" just above the village, there is some suspicion that this widening of Route 4 will come sooner rather than later. Work has been delayed because of the town's fight to maintain the village aesthetic and requests for modifications to the proposed plan.

Farmington faces a relatively strong demand for housing. The lure of Farmington's quality public school system, convenient location for commuters, charm, and name recognition continue to attract new home buyers. As such, town officials are faced with the task of accommodating new growth while respecting the preservation and need for open space. Farmington's real estate values are among the highest in Greater Hartford.

In January 2008, town residents overwhelmingly approved the purchase of nearly 100 acres (0.40 km2) of farmland along Route 177, just north of Tunxis Community College. This blocked a proposal to convert the farm into a residential strip, something many feared would have compromised the town's rural feel.

Geography

Ct rattle west
Rattlesnake Mountain

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.8 square miles (74.5 km2), of which 28.0 square miles (72.6 km2) is land and 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), or 2.65%, is water.

After its founding, Farmington gave up territory to form Southington (1779), Bristol (1785), Avon (1830), Plainville (1869), and parts of Berlin (1785) and Bloomfield (1835). Farmington presently borders the towns of Avon, Burlington, Newington, West Hartford, and Plainville, and the cities of New Britain and Bristol.

Farmington is mostly wooded, but there are also meadows and hills in the east and southeast. There are also numerous ponds and lakes. The Farmington River runs through the town from the northwest from Burlington, enters Unionville, then takes a sharp turn near Farmington Center and flows north towards Avon. The Metacomet Ridge, a 100-mile (160 km) range of low traprock mountain ridges, occupies the east side of Farmington as Pinnacle Rock, Rattlesnake Mountain, Farmington Mountain, and Talcott Mountain. The ridge is traversed by the 51-mile-long (82 km) Metacomet Trail, a hiking trail, and contains several rock walls and chimneys suitable for technical climbing in places such as Pinnacle Rock and the Green Wall. These climbing areas, as well as several other rock climbing locations in central Connecticut, are documented in the 1995 book Hooked on Traprock.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1756 3,707 —    
1774 6,069 +63.7%
1782 5,542 −8.7%
1790 2,696 −51.4%
1800 2,809 +4.2%
1810 2,748 −2.2%
1820 3,042 +10.7%
1830 1,901 −37.5%
1840 2,041 +7.4%
1850 2,630 +28.9%
1860 3,144 +19.5%
1870 2,616 −16.8%
1880 3,017 +15.3%
1890 3,179 +5.4%
1900 3,331 +4.8%
1910 3,478 +4.4%
1920 3,844 +10.5%
1930 4,548 +18.3%
1940 5,313 +16.8%
1950 7,026 +32.2%
1960 10,813 +53.9%
1970 14,390 +33.1%
1980 16,407 +14.0%
1990 20,608 +25.6%
2000 23,641 +14.7%
2010 25,340 +7.2%
Source: Interactive Connecticut State Register & Manual and U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census of 2010, there were 25,340 people, 9,496 households, and 6,333 families residing in the town. The population density was 879.9 people per square mile (339.7/km2). There were 11,072 housing units at an average density of 351.2 per square mile (135.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 85.92% White, 2.21% African American, 0.04% Native American, 9.59% Asian, 0.49% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.98% of the population.

There were 10,522 households, out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.7% were non-families. Of all households, 29.6% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.0% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

In 2018, the median household income was $94,606 and the per capita income for the town was $56,571. About 3.1% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

On the National Register of Historic Places

1stChurchofChrist FarmingtonCT
First Church of Christ. Photo by Jack Boucher.

Economy

Top employers in Farmington according to the town's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

# Employer # of Employees
1 University of Connecticut Health Center 6,355
2 Otis Worldwide 800
3 Town of Farmington 723
4 Connecticare 700
5 Raytheon Technologies 550
6 Macy's 500
7 Trumpf 500
8 Tunxis Community College 500
9 American Red Cross 388
10 Allied World Assurance Company 350

Farmington is home to a significant and growing number of corporations. Fortune 500 industrial conglomerate United Technologies is headquartered on Farm Springs Road along with its subsidiary Otis Elevator. Carvel, ConnectiCare, Farmington Displays, and Horizon Technology Finance, all maintain corporate headquarters in Farmington. Other prominent employers include the American Red Cross, Bank of America, Farmington Sports Arena, McKesson, Stanley Black & Decker and TRUMPF Inc.

Farmington Bank was headquartered in town until it was acquired by People's United Bank in 2018.

The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, is building a new facility on the grounds of the University of Connecticut Health Center, which specializes in the research and development of genomic medicine. The project is part of BioScience Connecticut, an initiative designed to launch Connecticut into the forefront of biomedical research. A growing collection of doctor's offices and medical practices is concentrated in the vicinity of the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Farmington is unique in that more people work within the town lines than actually live there, a characteristic atypical of a traditional suburb.

Education

Farmington Public Schools operates public schools.

Students in Farmington have access to public schools that consistently rank among the best in the nation. The town has seven main public schools. The four K–4 elementary schools are Union School, West District School, Noah Wallace School, and East Farms School. The recently built West Woods Upper Elementary School houses all of grades 5 and 6. Irving A. Robbins Middle School houses grades 7 and 8. Farmington High School serves grades 9–12 for the entire town. In 2005, Farmington High School was ranked 125 on Newsweek magazine's list of the best schools in the United States, in 2006 Farmington was ranked 269 and in 2007, 298.

Miss Porter's School, an exclusive college preparatory school for girls, is in Farmington. The school, whose buildings occupy much of the village center, is a significant historic and cultural institution in its own right. Founded in 1843 by educational reformer Sarah Porter, Miss Porter's has long been one of the most selective preparatory schools for girls in the country. Famous alumni include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lilly Pulitzer and members of the Bush, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller families.

Tunxis Community College is in the southwest part of the town.

Infrastructure

UConn Health Center
UConn Health Center

The University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington employs over 5,000 people. The Health Center also houses John Dempsey Hospital. The hospital provides the only full-service emergency department in the Farmington Valley and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of only two in Connecticut.

Connecticut's first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened in Farmington in 2016.

Transportation

Connecticut Transit Hartford provides local bus service.

Notable people

  • Tim Abromaitis, professional soccer player for Zenit Saint Petersburg
  • Steve Addazio, Boston College head football coach
  • Richard M. Bissell Jr., Central Intelligence Agency officer responsible for the U-2 spy plane project and the Bay of Pigs Invasion
  • Nick Bonino, NHL hockey player
  • Anna Roosevelt Cowles, eldest sister of President Theodore Roosevelt and aunt of Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Ron Francis, NHL hockey player, former Farmington resident
  • Kevin Galvin, business and health care advocate
  • Michael Gladis, actor, raised in Farmington and graduated from Farmington High School
  • George Gleason, Wisconsin state assemblyman
  • Orville Hungerford, U.S. congressman
  • Curtis Jackson, hip hop rapper and entrepreneur, more commonly known as 50 Cent
  • Tebucky Jones, former New England Patriots football player
  • Chauncey Langdon, U.S. congressman from Vermont, born in Farmington
  • Timothy Merrill, Secretary of State of Vermont
  • Erin Pac, U.S. Olympic Women's bobsled team and two-woman bobsled event bronze medalist at the 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Alfred Atmore Pope, industrialist and art collector, resided at Hill-Stead from 1901 to 1913; father of Theodate Pope Riddle
  • Theodate Pope Riddle, noted architect and founder of Hill–Stead Museum
  • Aric Rindfleisch, professor of business administration and department head at the College of Business at Illinois
  • Kathleen Rubins, NASA astronaut and 60th woman in space; born in Farmington
  • Pawel Szajda, actor, born and raised in Farmington, graduated from Farmington High School
  • Kristen Taekman, model and cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, born and raised in Farmington
  • Eli Todd, pioneer in the treatment of mental disorders
  • John Treadwell, fourth governor of the state of Connecticut
  • Mike Tyson, former resident. In 2004, 50 Cent bought Tyson's 18-acre (73,000 m2) compound, which is located about 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast from the town center.
  • Suzy Whaley, the first female golfer to qualify for a PGA event; currently the president of the LPGA
  • Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), born in Farmington
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