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Guilford, Connecticut
Official seal of Guilford, Connecticut
"Discover A Piece Of Connecticut History"
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°17′N 72°41′W / 41.283°N 72.683°W / 41.283; -72.683Coordinates: 41°17′N 72°41′W / 41.283°N 72.683°W / 41.283; -72.683
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County New Haven
Metropolitan area New Haven
Settled May 19, 1639
Established October 15, 1644
Named for Guildford, Surrey
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
 • Total 49.7 sq mi (128.7 km2)
 • Land 47.1 sq mi (121.9 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
56 ft (17 m)
 • Total 22,227
 • Density 447.2/sq mi (172.70/km2)
 • Demonym
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 203/475
FIPS code 09-34950
GNIS feature ID 0213438

Guilford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, that borders Madison, Branford, North Branford and Durham, and is situated on I-95 and the Connecticut seacoast. The population was 22,375 at the 2010 census. In 2015 the population stands at approximately 22,413 people.


Gilford, Conn. ca. 1900
Guilford, ca. 1900

Guilford was named after the town of Guildford, in England, whose name differs from its own less in pronunciation than in spelling.

First settled by Europeans in 1639 after being purchased from Native American leader Wequash, Guilford is considered by some to have the third largest collection of historic homes in New England, with important buildings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There are five historic house museums, including Dudley Farm and the Henry Whitfield House (1639), the oldest dwelling house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in North America. The Comfort Starr House (1645–46) is one of the oldest wooden framed private dwellings in Connecticut, and one of the few houses remaining of the original signers who settled Guilford.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.7 square miles (129 km2), of which 47.0 square miles (122 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (6.9 km² or 5.39%) is water.

The primary settlement in Guilford, known as Guilford Center, is located in the southern part of town around the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Connecticut Route 77. It is served by three exits of Interstate 95, which passes just north of the town center. The Guilford Center census-designated place had a population of 2,597 at the 2010 census.

The northwest side of Guilford is flanked by the Metacomet Ridge, a mountainous trap rock ridgeline that stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. Notable features of the Metacomet ridge in Guilford include Totoket Mountain; its most notable peak, Bluff Head; and two eastern high points on the Totoket Mountain ridge named East Sugarloaf and West Sugarloaf. The 50-mile (80 km) Mattabesett Trail traverses Bluff Head; a shorter network of trails criss-cross the Sugarloaves. Guilford also contains the Westwoods Trail System which covers 39 miles (63 km) of trails on 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land.


The Shore Line East train stops at Guilford station with service to Branford, East Haven, New Haven and New London and the Connecticut Transit S bus travels between Guilford and New Haven several times each day.

Principal communities

  • Guilford Center (Guilford's Green)
  • Leetes Island
  • North Guilford
  • Nut Plains
  • Sachems Head (named after a Pequot chief who was killed there)

Other minor communities and geographic features in Guilford are Guilford Lakes, Indian Cove, and Old Quarry.


See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income
Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 4,131
1850 2,653
1860 2,624 −1.1%
1870 2,576 −1.8%
1880 2,782 8.0%
1890 2,780 −0.1%
1900 2,785 0.2%
1910 3,001 7.8%
1920 2,803 −6.6%
1930 3,117 11.2%
1940 3,544 13.7%
1950 5,092 43.7%
1960 7,913 55.4%
1970 12,033 52.1%
1980 17,375 44.4%
1990 19,848 14.2%
2000 21,398 7.8%
2010 22,375 4.6%
2014 (est.) 22,413 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 21,398 people, 8,151 households, and 6,039 families residing in the town. The population density was 454.8 people per square mile (175.6/km2). There were 8,724 housing units at an average density of 185.4 per square mile (71.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.04% White, 0.93% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.65% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.13% of the population.

There were 8,151 households, out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. Of all households 21.6% were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.4% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $76,843, and the median income for a family was $87,045 (these figures had risen to $90,026 and $104,852 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $60,623 versus $40,307 for females. The per capita income for the town was $37,161. About 2.3% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 30, 2014
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 4,743 551 5,294 33.05%
Republican 3,183 333 3,516 21.95%
Unaffiliated 5,995 1113 7,108 44.38%
Minor Parties 94 5 99 0.62%
Total 14,015 2,002 16,017 100%

In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 61.02% of the town vote, against 38.06% for Republican John McCain. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the town with 59.2% over Republican Donald Trump with 37.1%.

List of town parks

The town government operates these parks:

  • Bittner Park — 123 acres (0.50 km2) of woodlands and 15 acres (61,000 m2) of playground, a lighted softball field (Cash Mitchell Field), baseball and soccer fields, jogging/walking path; trout trail; roller sports complex with a skate park, roller hockey and roller blading. Ice skating available in winter.
  • Chaffinch Island — Picnic areas, short walking trails, salt marsh.
  • Chittenden Park — Softball and soccer fields, bocce courts, picnicking, unsupervised beach area
  • Jacobs Beach — Public swimming (salt water), playground, volleyball courts, picnicking; nonresidents may use the beach, but are charged a daily fee at the gate.
  • Lake Quonnipaug — Public swimming, picnic area, small craft launch.
  • Long Hill — 8-acre (32,000 m2) park with playing fields for baseball, football, soccer/lacrosse and field hockey
  • Mill Pond — Lighted, supervised ice skating in winter; fishing
  • Nut Plains — Lacrosse/soccer field
  • Town Green — available for special events

Notable locations

  • Bishop's Orchards
  • Rose's Orchard
  • Rothberg Institute For Childhood Diseases
  • Sachem's Head Yacht Club
  • Westwoods Trails: conservation area managed by the Guilford Land Conservation Trust

National Historic Places and other historic sites

Historic sites in or near Guilford, which may or may not be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, include:

Comfort Starr House
The Comfort Starr House
Henry Whitfield House
The Henry Whitfield House, built in 1639, is the oldest stone house in New England.


American Cruise Lines has its headquarters in Guilford. There are many small businesses throughout the town, including the shops on the Guilford Green.

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