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Kent, Connecticut
St. Andrew's Church
St. Andrew's Church
Official seal of Kent, Connecticut
Seal
Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut
Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Litchfield
Region Northwest Hills
Incorporated 1739
Named for Kent, England
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 49.6 sq mi (128.5 km2)
 • Land 48.5 sq mi (125.7 km2)
 • Water 1.0 sq mi (2.7 km2)
Elevation
466 ft (142 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 3,019
 • Density 60/sq mi (24/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP codes
06757, 06785
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-40290
GNIS feature ID 0213446

Kent is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, alongside the border with New York. The population was 3,019 according to the 2020 census. The town is home to three boarding schools: Kent School, the Marvelwood School, and South Kent School. The Schaghticoke Indian Reservation is also located within town borders. The town is also home to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

History

The Town of Kent was sectioned in 1737 and settled about 1739. The community was important in the growth of iron production.

Geography

Kent is in Litchfield County. Its location is 41°43′29″N 73°28′39″W / 41.72472°N 73.47750°W / 41.72472; -73.47750. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.6 square miles (128 km2), of which, 48.5 square miles (126 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (2.26%) is water. Bulls Bridge, one of two covered bridges open to vehicles in Connecticut, is located in the town. The town is bisected by the Housatonic River. The western half contains Macedonia Brook State Park, the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation, as well as a section of the Appalachian Trail.

Principal communities

  • Bulls Bridge
  • Flanders
  • Kent center
  • Kent Furnace
  • Macedonia
  • North Kent
  • South Kent (has its own post office)
  • Schaghticoke Indian Reservation

Points of interest

Macedonia Brook State Park

Macedonia Brook State Park was first opened in 1918 with a donation of 1,552 acres (6.28 km2) from White Memorial Foundation of Litchfield. Since then, it has now grown to a size of 2,300 acres (9.3 km2) and is used for outdoor recreation throughout the year.

Besides the pure beauty of Appalachia, the park also boasts extensive trails, campgrounds, a venue for large group picnics, a small hilltop lake and of course, Macedonia Brook. Visitors can also take advantage of the numerous grills set up around the park. From peaks on the Blue Trail, hikers can take in fantastic views of the Catskill Mountains and the Taconic Mountains.

Kent Falls State Park

KentFalls
Kent Falls, before its 2005-2006 renovation

Kent Falls State Park is often called “The Jewel of the Inland Parks” with its scenic view of 17 different waterfalls. The falls are fed by wetlands which are located in Warren, and empties directly into the Housatonic River, which is across the street from the park.

A trail winds a quarter of a mile up along the falls and although it is not difficult to walk it is steep, rising 250 feet (76 m) in just a quarter mile. In 2006 a 1.1 million dollar trail renovation was finished which provided new viewing platforms and a redesigned trail. Swimming was at one time allowed along the entire length of the falls but due to a number of serious accidents, and large scale damage to the natural environment which thrives in the park all of the area along the water above the bottom level is now closed by state law.

The park is designated as a Trout Park and is stocked with trout from the state's hatcheries. Due to the Trout Park designation the daily creel limit in the park is two fish.

Bulls Bridge

Bulls Bridge Kent CT 09
Bulls Bridge, Kent, Connecticut

Bull's Bridge is one of three remaining covered bridges in Connecticut dating from the 19th century. George Washington crossed the Housatonic River near the site of the present bridge in 1781.

Sloane-Stanley Museum

A museum featuring the studio and antique collections of Eric Sloane.

Connecticut Antique Machinery Association

A museum dedicated to antique machinery, as the name implies. One notable exhibit is its 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad, which features an operating steam locomotive.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,956
1850 1,848
1860 1,855 0.4%
1870 1,744 −6.0%
1880 1,622 −7.0%
1890 1,383 −14.7%
1900 1,220 −11.8%
1910 1,122 −8.0%
1920 1,086 −3.2%
1930 1,054 −2.9%
1940 1,245 18.1%
1950 1,392 11.8%
1960 1,686 21.1%
1970 1,990 18.0%
1980 2,505 25.9%
1990 2,918 16.5%
2000 2,858 −2.1%
2010 2,979 4.2%
2020 3,019 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,858 people, 1,143 households, and 744 families residing in the town. The population density was 59 inhabitants per square mile (23/km2). There were 1,463 housing units at an average density of 30.2/sq mi (11.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.77% White, 0.56% Black or African American, 0.77% Native American, 0.98% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The most numerous ethnic groups in Kent are:

  • English - 19%[1]
  • Irish - 16%
  • German - 14%
  • Italian - 7%
  • Scottish - 5%

There were 1,143 households, out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.8% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $53,906, and the median income for a family was $66,065. Males had a median income of $46,343 versus $31,493 for females. The per capita income for the town was $38,674. About 0.1% of families and 3.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 26, 2021
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 936 68 1,004 44.17%
Republican 422 20 442 19.45%
Minor Parties 25 4 29 1.28%
Unaffiliated 719 79 798 35.11%
Total 2,102 171 2,273 100%

Transportation

U.S. Route 7 is the main north–south highway in the town, while Connecticut Route 341 is the main east–west highway. Route 7 leads north 25 miles (40 km) to North Canaan and south 28 miles (45 km) to Danbury, while Route 341 leads east 8 miles (13 km) to Warren and west to the New York border and the town of Amenia.

Education

Kent is a member of Regional School District 01, which also includes the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon. Public school students attend Kent Center School from grades K-8 and Housatonic Valley Regional High School from grades 9-12. Kent also has three private schools: Kent School, a coed Episcopal independent school serving grades 9-12/PG, South Kent School, an all-boys Episcopal independent school, and Marvelwood School, a coed non-sectarian independent school.

Notable people

See also: List of Kent School people
  • William H. Armstrong, author of Sounder
  • Herman R. Beardsley, Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
  • Joe Bouchard, founding member of rock group Blue Öyster Cult
  • Rex Brasher, ornithologist and watercolor painter; lived in Kent
  • James Burnham, American political theorist, spent his final years in Kent, where he died
  • Ted Danson, actor and graduate of Kent School
  • Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer
  • Lana Del Rey, singer and graduate of Kent School
  • Brendan Fraser, actor
  • Clinton Kelly, television host
  • Adam Kennedy, actor, author, painter; died in Kent
  • Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State; has a home in town and often does television interviews from Kent
  • Trudie Lamb-Richmond, Schaghticoke elder, former tribal chairwoman, American Indian activist, author, educator, cultural leader, storyteller, and tribal historian
  • Patti LuPone, singer and actress
  • Seth MacFarlane, animator, TV producer and director and voice actor who created Family Guy, Cleveland Show, and American Dad!; born in Kent, as well as his sister Rachael MacFarlane
  • Edmund Morris, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer
  • Lynn Redgrave, actress
  • Brooke Stevens, novelist

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