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Madison, Connecticut
Beach on Long Island Sound in Madison
Beach on Long Island Sound in Madison
Official seal of Madison, Connecticut
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County New Haven
Metropolitan area New Haven
Incorporated 1826
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
 • Total 36.8 sq mi (95.3 km2)
 • Land 36.2 sq mi (93.8 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
223 ft (68 m)
 • Total 17,691
 • Density 480.7/sq mi (185.63/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 203/475
FIPS code 09-44560
GNIS feature ID 0213454

Madison is a town in the southeastern corner of New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, occupying a central location on Connecticut's Long Island Sound shoreline. The population was 17,691 at the 2020 census.

Madison was first settled in 1641. Throughout the 18th century, Madison was known as East Guilford until it was incorporated as a town in 1826. The present name is after James Madison, 4th President of the United States.


Hammonasset Beach State Park possesses the state's longest public beach, with campsites, picnic areas, and a fishing pier, and is extremely popular in the summer, causing traffic jams on I-95 on peak days.

Surf Club Beach is the town's major public beach with lifeguards and recreational facilities for baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, and horseshoes. It features playgrounds for children and picnic tables for families, as well as sailboat and kayak racks. It is also home to several athletic fields, including Strong Field, the town's multi-purpose athletic complex.

East Wharf, sometimes referred to as the "purple sand beach," has lifeguards, a pier, kayak and sailboat racks in addition to a gazebo.

West Wharf has a pier, rock formations to the west, a small sunbathing beach and boat spaces.

The Madison Beach Club has its own beach and is located near Madison Country Club, a private golf course.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.8 square miles (95.3 km²), of which 36.2 square miles (93.8 km²) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.5 km²), or 1.6%, is water. Madison is bordered by the municipalities of Clinton and Killingworth to the east, Durham to the north, Guilford to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south.

Principal communities

  • East River
  • Hammonasset Point
  • Madison Center
  • North Madison
  • Rockland

Madison Center

Madison's center of town is the main area for businesses and the location of the town library and Madison Green Historic District. Madison Center is a census-designated place, with a population of 2,290 at the 2010 census. The center has many boutiques and eateries. Although it is called "the center," it is not the geographic center of Madison, but is located in the southern part of town, halfway between Clinton and Guilford.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,837
1860 1,865 1.5%
1870 1,814 −2.7%
1880 1,672 −7.8%
1890 1,429 −14.5%
1900 1,518 6.2%
1910 1,534 1.1%
1920 1,857 21.1%
1930 1,918 3.3%
1940 2,245 17.0%
1950 3,078 37.1%
1960 4,567 48.4%
1970 9,768 113.9%
1980 14,031 43.6%
1990 15,485 10.4%
2000 17,858 15.3%
2010 18,269 2.3%
2020 17,691 −3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income
Madison Sunset
The beach at sunset

As of the 2000 census, there were 17,858 people, 6,515 households, and 5,120 families residing in the town. The population density was 493.3 people per square mile (190.5/km2). There were 7,386 housing units at an average density of 204.0 per square mile (78.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.62% White, 0.40% African American, 0.06% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.34% of the population.

There were 6,515 households, out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.8% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.4% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.12.

The town's population was distributed with 28.2% under the age of 18, 3.8% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $87,437, and the median income for a family was $101,297. Males had a median income of $73,525 versus $41,058 for females. The per capita income for the town was $40,537. About 0.9% of families and 1.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.5% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 27, 2020
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Republican 3,900 283 4,183 27.5%
Democratic 4,450 270 4,720 31.0%
Unaffiliated 5,579 494 6,073 39.9%
Minor Parties 236 17 253 1.7%
Total 14,165 1,064 15,229 100%

Madison was once overwhelmingly Republican in federal elections. In 1924, a strong year for the GOP, town voters gave 85.83% to Republican Calvin Coolidge. The town voted against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in each of his successful campaigns. Even in 1964, a strong Democratic year, the town gave Barry Goldwater 1,605 votes against Lyndon Johnson with 1,470 votes.

However, Madison residents have delivered Democratic wins in recent years. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.78% of the vote in Madison, winning against Republican John McCain with 43.25%. In 2016, voters gave Democrat Hillary Clinton 54.5% of the vote, while Republican opponent Donald Trump won 41.3% In 2020, voters gave Democrat Joe Biden 53% of the vote, while Republican Donald Trump received only 37.3%.


Major roads in Madison include Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, and state highway Routes 79 and 80.

The Madison train station is served by the Shore Line East commuter railroad, with service to New Haven's Union Station to the west and the Old Saybrook train station to the east, facilitating connections to the MTA's Metro-North Railroad and to Amtrak's Northeast Regional and Acela Express services.

9 Town Transit routes 641 and 645 provide public bus service between Madison Center and Old Saybrook and Middletown, respectively, along U.S. Route 1. From June 20, 2021 to September 6, 2021, 9 Town Transit also operated the Madison Shuttle, providing service between Madison Park and Ride and Hammonasset Beach. CT Transit's route 201 bus connects Madison Center to New Haven.

From 1931 to 2007, Madison was served by Griswold Airport.

Camp Hadley

In 1935–1942, Madison served as the site of Camp Hadley, one of 23 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Connecticut. In the winter of 2013, Daniel Hand High School math teacher and 'Woodsy Club' advisor Jason Engelhardt led an iniatiative to clean and preserve the site.

CampHadley IMG 1318
CCC Memorial plaque for Camp Hadley ruins, at entrance off Copse and Warpas Roads.

List of National Historic Sites in Madison

Deacon John Graves House Madison
Deacon John Grave House, Madison, Historic American Buildings Survey

Sister city


Madison Public Schools serve grades K-12 and include Ryerson Elementary School, Jeffery Elementary School, Brown Middle School, Polson Middle School, and Daniel Hand High School. Year-round residents boast of a superior school system, an expansive recreational program, and many opportunities for volunteer work. In 2013, Madison ranked as number 9 on the CBS News list of most-attractive school districts in the United States.

Private elementary schools in Madison include Our Lady of Mercy School, The Country School, and Grove School.

E.C. Scranton Memorial Library, about 1906

The E.C. Scranton Memorial Library was a 1901 gift to the townspeople from Mary Scranton. The original building was designed by architect Henry Bacon, who later designed the Lincoln Memorial. A 1906 postcard shows the library as it appeared at that time. After an expansion in 1989, the main building (in the postcard at right) became the children's section, and the expansion to the right of the main door became the main entrance. As of 2006, this popular library featured 114,000 volumes and had an average of 360 visits per day and 860 programs per year.

Notable people

Madison, CT sunset
Sunset over the beach in Madison
  • Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times
  • Brad Anderson (b. 1964), film director
  • Jack Beebe (1925-2015), NASCAR team owner
  • Sally Benson, writer of Meet Me in St. Louis
  • Elizabeth Bentley, Soviet spy
  • Mac Bohonnon, Olympic skier
  • John Brent (1938–1985), comedian
  • Cornelius Bushnell, financier for the ironclad ship USS Monitor and a railroad pioneer and investor
  • Jim Calhoun (b. 1942), head coach of 3-time NCAA champion Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
  • Thomas Chittenden, founder of independent Vermont Republic and first Governor of the state of Vermont
  • Douglas Clayton, global frontier investment pioneer
  • Ranulf Compton (1878–1974), congressman
  • Duo Dickinson (b. 1955), architect
  • Zachary Donohue, figure skater
  • Jack Driscoll, (b. 1997), NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles
  • Frank Duryea, inventor and builder of first American gasoline-powered automobile
  • Peter Hastings Falk, expert on American art
  • David Dudley Field I (1781–1867), Congregational clergyman
  • John Gunther, author of Death Be Not Proud and Inside Europe
  • Arnold Jackson, Olympic track gold medalist and World War I brigadier general in British army
  • Edwin D. Kilbourne, developer of influenza vaccines
  • Charles Kullman, tenor with Metropolitan Opera
  • Kiley McKinnon (b. 1995), world champion skier
  • Rob Moroso, NASCAR driver
  • John-Michael Parker, member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Westbrook Pegler, journalist, anti-New Deal columnist
  • Jacques Pépin, celebrity chef
  • Joseph A. Scranton (1838–1908), congressman
  • Streeter Seidell, comedian, writer, actor, and TV host
  • Edgar Snow, journalist, author, and Cold War-era China expert
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen, German composer
  • Grover Whalen, politician and public relations professional known as "Mr. New York"
  • John Willard, U.S. Marshal for Vermont, husband of Emma Willard
  • Wheeler Williams (1897–1972), sculptor
  • Laurence Witten, antiquarian collector and dealer who sold Vinland map to Yale University
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