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Killingworth, Connecticut
Killingworth Public Library
Killingworth Public Library
Official seal of Killingworth, Connecticut
Map highlighting Killingworth's location within Middlesex County.
Map highlighting Killingworth's location within Middlesex County.
Killingworth, Connecticut is located in Connecticut
Killingworth, Connecticut
Killingworth, Connecticut
Location in Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Middlesex
Metropolitan area Hartford
Named 1667
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
 • Total 35.8 sq mi (92.7 km2)
 • Land 35.3 sq mi (91.5 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2)
390 ft (119 m)
 • Total 6,174
 • Density 175/sq mi (67.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern In)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 860/959
FIPS code 09-40710
GNIS feature ID 0213448

Killingworth is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 6,174 at the 2020 United States Census.


Killingworth ct historical town sign1
Town historical marker along Route 81

Killingworth was established from the area called Hammonasset, taken from the local Native American tribe of the same name. The area originally incorporated the town of Clinton, which were separated along ecclesiastical borders. Part of New London County prior to May 1785, Killingworth was then included in the newly formed Middlesex County, where it remains today.

It was named after Kenilworth, England in honor of one of the first settlers, Edward Griswold. Kenilworth's name was more similar to "Killingworth" during the American colonial period, and over time the pronunciation and spelling drifted towards the modern one. Coincidentally, there is a town and village in England called Killingworth and Killingworth Village in the county of Tyne and Wear, which do not seem to have any connection with Killingworth, Connecticut.

In the late 17th century, Killingworth became the birthplace of what would eventually become Yale University. The Rev. Abraham Pierson, the college's first president, taught some of the first classes in his Killingworth home - which is actually in present-day Clinton, Connecticut. However, in 1701, the college's first official home was constructed in Old Saybrook on the peninsula known as Saybrook Point. Eventually the school was moved to its present-day home in New Haven.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has an area of 35.8 square miles (93 km2). Of this total, 35.3 square miles (91 km2) is dry land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) – or 1.34% – is water-covered.

Killingworth also contains Chatfield Hollow State Park.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 2,156
1800 2,047 −5.1%
1810 2,244 9.6%
1820 2,342 4.4%
1830 2,484 6.1%
1840 1,130 −54.5%
1850 1,107 −2.0%
1860 1,126 1.7%
1870 856 −24.0%
1880 748 −12.6%
1890 582 −22.2%
1900 651 11.9%
1910 660 1.4%
1920 531 −19.5%
1930 482 −9.2%
1940 1,230 155.2%
1950 677 −45.0%
1960 1,098 62.2%
1970 2,435 121.8%
1980 3,976 63.3%
1990 4,814 21.1%
2000 6,018 25.0%
2010 6,525 8.4%
2020 6,174 −5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of July 1, 2015, there were 6,455 people, 2,513 households, and 1,765 families residing in the town. The population density was 184.7 people per square mile (65.8/km2). There were 2,598 housing units at an average density of 70.6 per square mile (24.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.4% White, 0.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.2% Hispanic or Latino, and 1.3% Two or More Races.

There were 2,513 households, with a 95.3% occupancy rate, out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.8% were married couples living together, 4.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.6% were non-families. 16.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 4% under the age of 5, 23.9% under the age of 18, 3.6% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 16% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $112,137. The per capita income for the town was $48,537. None of the families and 1.7% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 1.4% of those over 64.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25,  2005 (2005 -10-25)
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
Republican 1,149 17 1,166 25.28%
Democratic 892 8 900 19.51%
Unaffiliated 2,511 33 2,544 55.15%
Minor Parties 3 0 3 0.07%
Total 4,555 58 4,613 100%


The Estuary Transit District provides public transportation throughout Killingworth 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.

Popular culture

The town was the subject of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Birds of Killingworth" published in Tales of a Wayside Inn.

1999: The largest tree in Rockefeller Center history, 100 feet (30 m) high, was chosen from Killingworth, CT.

National Historic Sites

  • United States Census Bureau


Students attending school in Killingworth are a part of Connecticut's Regional School District #17, which consists of Haddam and its villages of Haddam Neck (located on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River) and Higganum. The high school, Haddam-Killingworth High School (often abbreviated as simply "HK"), is located in Higganum. The middle-school, Haddam Killingworth Intermediate School, was built in Killingworth in 2006 and houses grades 4 through 8. The elementary schools, Burr Elementary School and Killingworth Elementary School are located in Higganum and Killingworth respectively. The school's sports teams are called the 'Cougars'.

Notable people

  • Jeff Bagwell, Hall of Fame Major League Baseball player for the Houston Astros.
  • Carleton Beals, journalist, author, historian, and a crusader with special interests in Latin America.
  • Abel Buell, publisher of the first map of the new United States created by an American.
  • Jonathan Bush, American banker, brother of President George H. W. Bush.
  • Titus Coan, missionary to Hawaii.
  • Silas Halsey, former US Congressman
  • Haynes Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author and political analyst.
  • Camille Kostek, model who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
  • Ricki Lake, television personality.
  • Hugh Lofting, author of the Doctor Dolittle series.
  • Washington F. Willcox, U.S. Congressman (March 4, 1889 – March 3, 1893), born on North Chestnut Hill on August 22, 1834.

See also

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