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Oxford, Connecticut
Motto(s): 
"A Place to live, a town to love"
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Country United States
State Connecticut
Metropolitan area New Haven
Incorporated 1798
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 33.3 sq mi (86.3 km2)
 • Land 32.7 sq mi (84.8 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
Elevation
705 ft (215 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 12,706
 • Density 381.33/sq mi (147.23/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06478
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-58300
GNIS feature ID 0213486

Oxford is a residential town located in western New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 12,706 at the 2020 Census. Oxford is the 26th-wealthiest town in the state by median household income. Distinct settled areas in the town include Oxford Center, Quaker Farms, and Riverside. Oxford belongs to the BridgeportStamfordNorwalk Metropolitan Statistical Area, a subregion of the New York metropolitan area.

History

In the 18th century, farmers herded livestock through Oxford from as far away as Litchfield on the way to the port of New Haven. In the 19th century, the town lost population as farmers moved to work in better-paying factories.

Oxford was incorporated in October 1798.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.3 square miles (86.3 km2), of which 32.7 square miles (84.8 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2), or 1.78%, is water.

The towns bordering Oxford are Monroe, Newtown, Southbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour and Shelton.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,683
1850 1,564
1860 1,269 −18.9%
1870 1,338 5.4%
1880 1,120 −16.3%
1890 902 −19.5%
1900 952 5.5%
1910 1,020 7.1%
1920 998 −2.2%
1930 1,141 14.3%
1940 1,375 20.5%
1950 2,037 48.1%
1960 3,292 61.6%
1970 4,480 36.1%
1980 6,634 48.1%
1990 8,685 30.9%
2000 9,821 13.1%
2010 12,683 29.1%
2020 12,706 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 12,683 people, 4,504 households, and 3,672 families residing in the town. Oxford's population increased 29.1% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest-growing municipality in Connecticut for that period. The population density was 387.9 people per square mile (149.6/km2). There were 4,746 housing units at an average density of 145.1 per square mile (56.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.5% White, 1.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.6% some other race, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.

There were 4,504 households, out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.4% were headed by married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% were non-families. 14.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81, and the average family size was 3.12.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.3% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 33.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

Oxford belongs to Connecticut's 4th congressional district, which stretches from lower Fairfield County to western New Haven County.

In 2016, the average income for a household in the town was $137,766, with a median income of $110,602. The median home value was $405,900.

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest

  • Quaker Farms Historic District — 467-511 Quaker Farms Road (added September 9, 1991)
  • Wooster Sawmill and Gristmill Site (added September 17, 2001)
  • Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Center and Museum

Museum Hours: First and Third Sundays of each month 2 - 4 p.m. 60 Towner Lane, Oxford, CT.
The people of Oxford and the Oxford Historical Society were honored for their work in preserving the Homestead, and designated with a Connecticut Trust Preservation Award. The award was presented in Hartford at the State Capitol on April 4, 2012. The following is from the Connecticut Trust website: "Built in 1755, this house has a long connection with prominent local families and is listed on the State Register of Historic Places. When development threatened the house, the developer was convinced to donate it to the Town. Moved to a new, town-owned site, the house received a new foundation and chimney base, and was restored by the Oxford Historical Society. A multitude of workers donated their labor to the project, including members of building trades, Boy and Girl Scouts, area foundations, and many local volunteers. The people of Oxford succeeded where many towns and small nonprofits fail by involving a wide range of people throughout the community. The task of managing so many different groups and individuals alone is a remarkable achievement. " Source: http://www.cttrust.org/12635 (added March 26, 2015)

Parks and recreation

Among the parks serving Oxford residents are Southford Falls State Park in the northern section of town, Jackson Cove Beach, and Kirks Pond in the center of town. The 10.4-mile (16.7 km) Larkin State Bridal Trail, created in the 1940s from the path of a former train track, is one of the earliest examples of the "rails-to-trails" movement.

The Golf Club at Oxford Greens, a public golf course with over 400 homes for "active adults" over the age of 55, is located in town.

Mysterious death

In 2001, Oxford made international headlines when 94-year-old Ottilie Lundgren mysteriously died of anthrax. At the time, there was a spread of anthrax attacks in New York and Washington, and this case baffled law enforcement. No additional cases in the area suggested Lundgren's death was the result of accidental cross-contamination of the mail.



Economy

A University of Connecticut development study spanning 1985-2006 showed that Oxford had the largest increase of development by percentage, growing 62% during that time. The median household income in town grew 20%, ranking Oxford the 26th wealthiest of 169 communities in the state.

Education

Oxford has two elementary schools, one middle school, and a high school.

  • Quaker Farms School: 550 students in grades K through 2;
  • Great Oak School (formerly Oxford Center School): 499 students in grades 3 through 5;
  • Oxford Middle School (formerly Great Oak Middle School): 501 students in grades 6 through 8;
  • Oxford High School: 554 students in grades 9 through 12.

Great Schools ranks Oxford Public Schools a 9 out of 10, or Excellent. In 2008, 90 percent of fourth grade students met state standards in math (as compared to 85 percent statewide); 82 percent in reading (statewide: 74 percent); 95 percent in writing (statewide: 85 percent). A total of 92 percent of eighth graders in town met state math standards (statewide: 85 percent), 94 percent in reading (statewide: 81 percent); and 94 percent in writing (statewide: 84 percent).

Oxford High School is a member of the Naugatuck Valley League, or NVL, for athletics.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Oxford Airport
Waterbury-Oxford Airport

The town is bisected by Connecticut Route 67 that begins in Woodbridge and ends in New Milford. Route 188 runs through the Quaker Farms section of town. Other major roads in town are Route 34 along the Housatonic River (and which crosses the Housatonic into Monroe via the Stevenson Dam Bridge) and Route 42 in the eastern section of town.

Waterbury-Oxford Airport, with the second largest runway in Connecticut is located in Oxford and Middlebury. The airport, which is owned and operated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, has become one of the largest and fastest growing corporate aviation centers in the Northeast. There are 252 aircraft based at the airport, with 80 of those aircraft being large corporate business jets.

Notable people

  • John Lyman Chatfield (1826–1863), U.S. Civil War colonel
  • Barbara Hershey (born 1948), actress
  • Orson Hyde (1805–1878), leader in the early Latter Day Saint movement and member of the first Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
  • Kurt Kepshire (born 1959), former pitcher for the Saint Louis Cardinals
  • Andrew Leete Stone (1815–1892), pastor, author, and Civil War chaplain
  • Elliot M. Sutton (1841–1908), politician (mayor of Burlington, Vermont, member of the Vermont Senate)

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