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Weston, Connecticut

Town of Weston
The Onion Barn, where community bulletins are posted
The Onion Barn, where community bulletins are posted
Official seal of Weston, Connecticut
Seal
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
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Coordinates: 41°13′32″N 73°22′14″W / 41.22556°N 73.37056°W / 41.22556; -73.37056
Country  United States
U.S. state  Connecticut
County Fairfield
Metropolitan area Bridgeport-Stamford
Incorporated 1787
Government
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
Area
 • Total 20.7 sq mi (53.6 km2)
 • Land 19.8 sq mi (51.3 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation
315 ft (96 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 10,354
 • Density 491.7/sq mi (189.8/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06883, 06829
Area code(s) 203/475
FIPS code 09-83430
GNIS feature ID 0213531
Website http://www.westonct.gov/

Weston is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,354 at the 2020 census with the highest median household income in Connecticut. The town is served by Route 57 and Route 53, both of which run through the town center. About 19% of the town's workforce commutes to New York City, about 45 miles (72 km) to the southwest.

Like many towns in southwestern Connecticut, Weston is among the most affluent communities in the United States. Data collected in 2019 showed that Weston had the highest median household income in Fairfield County, Connecticut, at US $219,868. In 2015, Connecticut Magazine rated Weston as the 9th best among towns in Connecticut with median home values over $325,000. The rating considers education, crime, economy, community engagement, and culture/leisure. In 2017, SafeWise ranked Weston the safest town in Connecticut and the 6th safest town in the country.

Weston is the closest Connecticut town to New York City without a train station. Aside from a handful of stores that form the town's center, Weston has little commercial development and residential development is limited by two-acre zoning. Most of Devil's Den Preserve, a 1,746-acre (707 ha) nature reserve, which gets 40,000 visits a year, is located in the town.

History

In the 17th century, Weston's first English settlers were mostly farmers living in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut, the boundaries of which extended to Weston until the late 18th century. The Norfield Parish was created in the area now occupied by the towns of Weston and Easton. In 1787, the area was formally incorporated as the Town of Weston. In 1845, the Town of Easton was split off from Weston.

A meteor exploded above the town December 14, 1807. Six pieces, totaling 28 pounds (13 kg), were recovered and examined by scientists, who issued a report. This was the first time that people realized the nature of meteors.

Despite rocky soil, farmers in town grew apples, onions, and potatoes. Grist, cider, lumber, and fulling mills were built. The town had nine manufacturers by 1850, but two decades later only the Bradley Edge Tool Company still thrived. That factory burned down in 1911.

Unlike other nearby towns, Weston never had a railroad built through it, which stifled the development of non-agricultural businesses. Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, the town's population dropped from approximately 1,000 to a low of 670, by 1930. Artists, writers, and actors from New York became attracted to the community in the 1930s and began settling in it. Construction of the Merritt Parkway, which arrived to the south of Weston in 1938, resulted in further population growth.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.7 square miles (54 km2), of which 19.8 square miles (51 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), or 4.39%, is water.

The Saugatuck River begins to the north in Redding. It flows through the town and ends in Long Island Sound in neighboring Westport.

Weston is bordered by Westport to the south, Wilton to the west, Redding to the north, Easton to the east, and Fairfield to the southeast.

Principal communities

Other minor communities and geographic areas are Devil's Den, Norfield, Upper Parish, and Valley Forge.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 2,469
1800 2,680 8.5%
1810 2,618 −2.3%
1820 2,767 5.7%
1830 2,997 8.3%
1840 2,561 −14.5%
1850 1,056 −58.8%
1860 1,117 5.8%
1870 1,054 −5.6%
1880 918 −12.9%
1890 772 −15.9%
1900 840 8.8%
1910 831 −1.1%
1920 703 −15.4%
1930 670 −4.7%
1940 1,053 57.2%
1950 1,988 88.8%
1960 4,039 103.2%
1970 7,417 83.6%
1980 8,284 11.7%
1990 8,648 4.4%
2000 10,037 16.1%
2010 10,179 1.4%
2018 (est.) 10,247 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the 2010 census, there were 10,025 people, 3,289 households, and 2,811 families residing in the town. The population density was 506.0 people per square mile (195.7/km2). There were 3,629 housing units at an average density of 178.4 per square mile (68.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.75% White, 0.88% African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.94% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.05% of the population.

There were 3,289 households, out of which 49.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.4% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.1% were non-families. 11.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.28.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 31% under the age of 18, 4% from 18 to 24, 31% from 25 to 49, 23% from 50 to 64, and 11% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

As of 2017, the median income for a household in the town was $219,868. Males had a median income of $168,472 versus $103,345 for females. The per capita income for the town was $95,534. About 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line.

In 2019, The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Weston the 4th safest town in the state of Connecticut. The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked the safest towns and cities in Connecticut based on the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics and population sizes.

On the National Register of Historic Places

Parks

The landscape of Weston is characterized by open spaces. Almost one quarter of the town is permanently devoted to open space use, including:

  • Devil’s Den Preserve, with a wide variety of flora and fauna, and with a 20-mile (32 km) trail system that connects with the extended 70-mile (110 km) Saugatuck Valley Trails System;
  • Bisceglie Park, with baseball fields, a swimming hole, a two-mile (3 km) jogging trail and fitness stations, along the west branch of the Saugatuck River;
  • Morehouse Farm Park, with eight, partially overlapping ball fields;
  • Sixteen preserves of the Aspetuck Land Trust, for a total of 645 acres (2.61 km2), scattered all around town;
  • Katherine Ordway Preserve, with 62 acres (250,000 m2) of woodland, three miles (5 km) of trails and an arboretum;
  • Keene Park, with 6 acres (24,000 m2), along the each branch of the Saugatuck River;
  • Open land around the Saugatuck Reservoir, with trails and opportunities for fishing.

Education

WestonCTIntermediateSchool08042007
Weston Intermediate School entrance

There are four public schools in the Weston Public Schools district, all located on School Road:

  • Weston High School – grades 9–12, with about 800 students. Some Weston High School (WHS) seniors go on to attend selective colleges and universities. Recently the high school underwent a significant building expansion, which included construction of a new science department and new playing fields. The high school auditorium was also updated in 2008.
  • Weston Middle School (WMS) – grades 6–8, with about 600 students.
  • Weston Intermediate School (WIS) – grades 3–5, with about 600 students. The school opened in September 2005 as the town's newest school.
  • Hurlbutt Elementary School (HES) – pre-kindergarten-grade 2, with about 600 students

In June 2012, 24/7 Wall St. ranked Weston as the second wealthiest school district in the United States.

In May 2013, and again in 2014 U.S. News & World Report ranked Weston High School as the third best high school in the state and 240th best high school in the country out of more than 22,000 high schools assessed throughout the country including public and private. Weston High School was awarded the gold medal for its high level of student performance. The methodology of ranking the high schools is based on student performance on standardized tests as well as student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. The AP exam participation rate is 60% of Weston High School students.

In August 2015, Newsweek ranked Weston High School #47 for America's Top High Schools in the country, public and private.

In Aug 2015, Weston High School was ranked the best in the state and 47th best in the country according to a survey conducted by Newsweek magazine. Each year, the magazine ranks the top 500 high schools in the country based on which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. According to the study, Weston High School has a 97.2% college enrollment rate, a 100% graduation rate, an AP/IB/Dual Enrollment Composite of 73, a weighted SAT/ACT score composite of 69.4, a student retention rate of 91.7% and a counselor-to-student ratio of 1:156. In addition, the average SAT score at Weston High School is 1784, the average ACT score is 26.6, and the average AP test score is 3.87. [

In April 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Weston High School second best high school in the state and 169th best high school in the country out of 17,245 high schools ranked. In addition, Weston High School was also ranked 65th in STEM High Schools with a town graduation rate of 100%. U.S. News gave Weston a scorecard of 99.02% out of a possible 100. The Best High Schools rankings identify the country's top-performing public high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest to lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.

The Connecticut State Department of Education has ranked the Weston schools in District Reference Group A (formerly the Educational Reference Group A), the nine most affluent and low-need-for-extra-assistance districts among the 162 school districts in Connecticut.

Several pre-schools in town are run by various churches, including Emmanuel Nursery School and Norfield Nursery School.

Notable people

Weston town vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2016 66.65% 3,807 28.59% 1,633 4.76% 272
2012 53.27% 2,947 45.84% 2,536 0.89% 49
2008 62.21% 3,571 37.33% 2,143 0.46% 26
2004 55.90% 3,136 42.96% 2,410 1.14% 64
2000 52.07% 2,767 43.88% 2,332 4.05% 215
1996 46.69% 2,252 45.97% 2,217 7.34% 354
1992 41.56% 2,306 42.65% 2,366 15.79% 876
1988 37.89% 1,901 61.43% 3,082 0.68% 34
1984 32.68% 1,639 66.92% 3,356 0.40% 20
1980 23.73% 1,117 59.91% 2,820 16.36% 770
1976 36.55% 1,608 63.06% 2,774 0.39% 17
1972 36.73% 1,500 62.24% 2,542 1.03% 42
1968 38.14% 1,246 59.35% 1,939 2.51% 82
1964 57.36% 1,473 42.64% 1,095 0.00% 0
1960 30.51% 655 69.49% 1,492 0.00% 0
1956 26.41% 455 73.59% 1,268 0.00% 0
  • Lucie Arnaz (born 1951), actress, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
  • George Balanchine (1904–1983), choreographer and influential figure in ballet
  • Paul Cadmus (1904–1999), painter
  • Liz Cho (born 1970), television anchor
  • Frank Converse (born 1938), actor
  • John Curran (1953–2013), financial journalist
  • Rodney Dangerfield (1921–2004), comedian
  • Bette Davis (1908–1989), actress
  • José Feliciano (born 1945), singer and songwriter
  • Seth Grahame-Smith (born 1976), author, screenwriter, film and television producer and director, grew up in town
  • Patti Hansen (born 1956), model, actress and wife of Keith Richards.
  • John Marshall Harlan II (1899–1971), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, summered in Weston, buried in Weston's Emmanuel churchyard
  • Mariette Hartley (born 1940), actress, native of Weston
  • Fred Hellerman (1927-2016), singer and songwriter, founding member of The Weavers. Hellerman died on September 1, 2016, at his home in Weston.
  • Evan Hunter (1926–2005), author who wrote under the pen name "Ed McBain"
  • Erica Jong (born 1942), author
  • Eartha Kitt (1927–2008), entertainer, moved to town in 2002
  • Lawrence Langner (1890–1962), playwright, author, and producer. Lived on what is now called Langner Lane.
  • Eva Le Gallienne (1899–1991), actress
  • Stanley Matthews, former Wimbledon Boys' Champion and son of Sir Stanley Matthews
  • Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), actress, lived on Fanton Hill in 1955 after completing the Seven Year Itch
  • Brent Musburger (born 1939), sportscaster
  • James Naughton (born 1945), actor
  • Sachi Parker (born 1956), actress, daughter of Shirley Maclaine, frequent visitor of Weston
  • Jacob Pitts (born 1979), actor
  • Christopher Plummer (1929–2021), actor
  • Paul Rand (1914–1996), graphic designer
  • Robert Redford (born 1936), actor, had a home in town
  • Fritz Reiner (1888–1963), conductor of the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and other notable orchestras. Lived on Davis Hill beginning in 1938.
  • Jamey Richard (born 1984), pro football player
  • Keith Richards (born 1943), musician, member of The Rolling Stones
  • Billy Mann (born 1968), songwriter, record producer
  • John Seigenthaler, Jr. (born 1955), former NBC News weekend anchor.
  • Donna Summer (1948-2012), singer, had a home in town on Crystal Lake
  • James Thurber (1894–1961), writer
  • Jayne Atkinson (Gill) (born 1959), Emmy-winning actor (ensemble, "24"), writer, producer (Hidden Meadow)
  • Michel Gill (born 1960), actor, Pres. Walker, House of Cards, Mr. Robot (Golden Globe/ensemble), writer, producer
  • Mike Vranos (born 1961), hedge fund manager and philanthropist
  • Christopher Walken actor, lives in city
  • Patricia Kalember actor, thirtysomething and Sisters.
  • Daniel Gerroll actor, Chariots of Fire
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