Thompsonville Village of Enfield, Connecticut
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
|Annexed by Connecticut||1749|
|• Town manager||Matthew Coppler|
|• Town Council||Dist 3 & Mayor
Kenneth R Nelson Jr
Joseph Bosco, Dist 1
William Edgar, Dist 2
Tom Kienzler, Dist 4
Patrick J. Crowley
Carol A. Hall
William F. Lee
Gregory T. Stokes Sr.
|• Total||34.2 sq mi (88.6 km2)|
|• Land||33.3 sq mi (86.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)|
|Elevation||56 ft (17 m)|
|• Density||1,300/sq mi (500/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0212332|
Enfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 44,654 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Longmeadow, Massachusetts and East Longmeadow, Massachusetts to the north, Somers to the east, East Windsor and Ellington to the south, and the Connecticut River (towns of Suffield and Windsor Locks) to the west.
Enfield was originally inhabited by the Pocomtuc tribe, and contained their two villages of Scitico and Nameroke. Enfield was settled in 1679 by settlers from Salem, Massachusetts. Enfield was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1683. In 1749, following the settlement of a lawsuit in which it was determined that a surveyor's error placed a section of present-day Hartford County (including Enfield) within the boundaries of Massachusetts, the town seceded and became part of Connecticut.
Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", in Enfield. It was part of the Great Awakening revival that struck New England in the mid-18th century and spread throughout Western North American civilization.
The modern town of Enfield was formed through the merging of Enfield, Thompsonville, and Hazardville, named for Colonel Augustus George Hazard (1802–1868), whose company manufactured gunpowder in the Powder Hollow area of the town from the 1830s to the 1910s. In the 1989 film Glory, boxes of gunpowder can be seen with the words Enfield, CT printed on the sides. In an episode in the 1970s police drama Hawaii Five-O, Jack Lord's character Steve McGarrett traces explosives back to "The Hazard Gunpowder Company- Enfield, CT". The capacity of the mill at the time of the Civil War was 1,200 pounds (540 kg) per day. Over 60 people died in explosions in Powder Hollow during the years when gunpowder was manufactured there. The mill blew up several times, but was set up so that if one building blew up, the rest would not follow in a chain reaction. The ruins of these buildings and the dams are open to the public. Powder Hollow is now home to baseball fields and hiking trails.
Enfield Shaker village
In 1793, a historic Shaker village, one of nineteen scattered from Maine to Kentucky, was established in the town. The Utopian religious sect practiced celibate, communal living, and is today renowned for its simple architecture and furniture. Membership eventually dwindled, however, and the village disbanded. The property has since been redeveloped by the Enfield Correctional Institution, still located on Shaker Road.
The presumption that Enfield was named for the Enfield area of London is incorrect. According to Dr. Frank Taylor, a noted historian of the town, Enfield was named, in a pattern similar to its neighboring towns of Springfield, Massachusetts (once Northfield) and Suffield, Connecticut (once Southfield). The neighborhood of Old Enfield in Austin, Texas is a namesake of Enfield, Connecticut, largely named by the family of Elisha M. Pease. former governor of Texas who was born in Enfield, and whose great-great grandfather helped found Enfield as part of Massachusetts in the late 17th century.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.2 square miles (88.6 km2), of which 33.3 square miles (86.2 km2) is land and 0.93 square miles (2.4 km2), or 2.76%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 45,212 people, 16,418 households, and 11,394 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,354.3 people per square mile (523.0/km²). There were 17,043 housing units at an average density of 510.5 per square mile (197.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.74% White, 5.61% African American, 0.20% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.57% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.74% of the population.
There were 16,418 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 110.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $52,810, and the median income for a family was $60,528. Males had a median income of $42,335 versus $31,082 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,967. About 2.8% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005|
|Party||Active voters||Inactive voters||Total voters||Percentage|
Enfield was once the home to the headquarters of the Casual Corner clothing company.
Formerly and most notably, Enfield had booming carpet and gunpowder industries. Orrin Thompson set up shop for the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Co. in the Thompsonville section of town, employing many Swedish immigrants and building housing for them, which still stand today.
The gunpowder industry was founded by Colonel Augustus Hazard. Hazard was instrumental in implementing water power and other technologies to allow his business to prosper. Hazard's company was among the biggest gunpowder suppliers for the American Civil War. Enfield was the headquarters of Pilch Meat Breeders, which was once the second-largest broiler breeder in the world. The company was founded by Chester Pilch in 1936, and sold in 1969 to DeKalb Agricultural Research Corp. At its peak, Pilch owned 230 acres in Enfield, had farms in four countries, and produced about 24 million chickens a year. DeKalb moved the operation to North Carolina, taking 365 jobs from Enfield.
Enfield was the headquarters of Pilch Meat Breeders, which was once the second-largest broiler breeder in the world. The company was founded by Chester Pilch in 1936, and sold in 1969 to DeKalb Agricultural Research Corp. At its peak, Pilch owned 230 acres in Enfield, had farms in four countries, and produced about 24 million chickens a year. DeKalb moved the operation to North Carolina, taking 365 jobs from Enfield.
Enfield is currently the headquarters of Precision Camera and Video Repair.
The town contains several shopping centers, including the Enfield Square Mall.
According to Enfield's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|5||Brooks Brothers Group||400|
|6||Connecticut Department of Correction||311|
|9||Specialized Technology Resources||125|
The neighborhoods of Enfield are:
Enfield Historical District- Listed in the National Register of Historical Districts, the Enfield Historical District runs along Enfield Street/King Street (U.S. Route 5). Many old homes dating back to the mid-18th century were built from 1106-1492 Enfield Street. Varying styles of architecture are noted including Late Victorian, Georgian and 19th Century Revival. The Enfield Town Hall museum as well as one of the oldest Congregational Churches in America can be found here.
Hazardville - Named after Colonel Augustus Hazard, this neighborhood encompasses a few smaller burbs, including Powder Hollow, and more recently, the center of Enfield began to encroach on this historical area. The center of Hazardville is located between the streets of Park Street and North Street on Hazard Avenue. Notable small shops include The Connecticut Valley Tobacconist, Gayle's Thyme Herbal Apothecary, The Cranberry Scoop Gift Shop, Smoke n' Leather, and numerous pizzerias. The Powder Hollow Park is located in the Hazardville neighborhood district.
North Thompsonville - Contains mostly residential and partially commercial areas of Enfield with many parks and schools.
Presidential Section - This entirely residential area contain streets that are all named after former presidents of the United States. Houses are mid-sized to large in this area.
Scitico - located in the eastern end of town. Green Manor is considered part of Scitico. This is a suburb in the purest sense, with winding roads, sidewalks, a park, and cul-de-sacs. Green Manor is approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from the main highway Interstate 91 and borders the town of Somers. Across from Nathan Hale Elementary School is a residential park with tennis court, skate boarding ramps, and a playground for younger kids. Green Manor Park contained a pool at one time but was removed due to the lack of maintenance by the town.
Shaker Pines - This neighborhood consists mostly of quaint lakeside houses with tall pine trees towering overhead. Shaker Pines was originally part of the Shaker settlement in Enfield. The lake was built by the Shakers to power a mill. The mill stood vacant by the dam at the end of the lake into the late 1990s. This mill provided shelter for Frederick Merrill in 1987 after he escaped from the local high security prison. He was dubbed "The Peanut Butter Bandit" after his mother sneaked him supplies for his first prison escape in 1968 in a jar of peanut butter. The mill was subsequently torn down for safety reasons.
Southwood Acres - A residential neighborhood in the south part of town.
Thompsonville - Named after Orrin Thompson, Thompsonville is the town center of Enfield with a more urban environment. In the past few years, there has been an attempt to revitalize the downtown area. On the southbound portion of Pearl Street there are many old Victorian houses. There are also many boat launches onto the bordering Connecticut River. Commuter rail service is expected to begin in 2013, and planning has started for renovating an old building into a train station and transportation hub on the proposed New Haven–Hartford–Springfield commuter rail line. Enfield and Thompsonville are currently served by the Connecticut Transit commuter bus services for easy access to and from Hartford.
Parks and recreation
- Brainerd Park: on Brainard Road, features softball fields, children's swing sets. Note the difference in spelling.
- Connecticut River
- Green Manor Recreational Area: off Taylor Road, features playscape, skate park
- Hazardville Park: off Hazard Avenue, features playscapes, basketball courts, covered picnic area
- Mark Twain Recreational Area: off South Road, features tennis courts, ball fields
- Scantic River State Park: near South Maple Street Bridge, rapids for canoeing and kayaking, fishing
Enfield is home to the New England Lightning girls AAU basketball program.
Government and infrastructure
Connecticut Department of Correction prisons are located in Enfield. Enfield Correctional Institution, Robinson Correctional Institution, and Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution are in Enfield.
In January 2013, the town began running the Magic Carpet public bus service. The in-town bus provides service to Thompsonville, Hazard Avenue, and Elm Street.
Enfield Public Schools operates the town's public schools.
Enfield High School and Enrico Fermi High School are the district's high schools. John F. Kennedy Middle School is the town's middle school. There are nine elementary schools in the district. The Enfield Elementary School system runs from kindergarten through grade 5, the Enfield School Junior High School runs from grade 6 through grade 8, and the Senior High Schools run from grade 9 through grade 12.
Thomas G. Alcorn School was originally a high school until it was converted to an elementary school when the current high school (Enfield High School) was built. It was later extensively renovated in 1993. As of 2005, Enfield Public Schools manages approximately 3,500 students.
Capitol Region Education Council has its own magnet school in Enfield. The Public Safety Academy ranges from grade 6 through 12
Three Catholic schools, grades K-8, serve the Enfield community. Typically, these schools operate on the same academic calendar as the public schools.
In 2012, the Enfield Board of Education decided to consolidate the two high schools into one. The school to be used will be Enfield High, as the athletic fields of Fermi prevent expansion and add-ons. The consolidation is anticipated to happen between the 2016-2018 school years.
Notable residents, past and present
- Jeremiah Mervin Allen, (1833–1903), born in Enfield, noted educator, engineer, and president of the YMCA
- Johnny April, bassist for the alternative metal/hard rock band Staind
- John Ashton, actor, attended Enfield High School
- Elijah Churchill, soldier in the American Revolutionary War and recipient of the medal later known as the Purple Heart
- Kevin Foxe, film producer, writer, executive producer of The Blair Witch Project; born and raised in Enfield, graduated Enfield High School
- Obed Hale, Wisconsin farmer and politician, born in Enfield
- Craig Janney, Olympian and professional ice hockey center (former resident)
- Peter King, football columnist for Sports Illustrated and author
- Elisha M. Pease, politician and two-term governor of Texas (elected in 1853 and 1855). Renamed 15th Street in Austin, Texas, Enfield Road after the town where he was born.
- Paul Robeson, singer and actor (former resident)
- Karen Scavotto, Olympic archer
- Bill Spanswick, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
- Nathaniel Terry, congressman from Connecticut (served 1817-1819)
- The Last Goodnight, band originally from Enfield and formerly called Renata; attended Enfield High School
Notable historical sites
- The Strand Theatre (Enfield Cinema), most prominently active in the 1940s and '50s. In the '70s the Strand had to resort to X-rated films to remain afloat until finally closing doors in the 1980s. Locals have many ideas for the future of the theater, but it is in great disrepair.
- Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Co., now Bigelow Commons, a renovated apartment complex. These buildings were the site of a large carpet company that employed many in the town. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Enfield town, Hartford County, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- Bob Clark (18 December 2006). Enfield Connecticut: Stories Carved in Stone. Dog Pond Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-0-9755362-5-4. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "Public Act No. 09-203", State of Connecticut, July 7, 2009, As Retrieved 2010-03-12
- "The Adventists at Terry Island", The New York Times, November 28, 1873, As Retrieved 2010-03-12
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
- Navarro Alejandra (December 13, 1997). "Chester Pilch Dies". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- Navarro Alejandra (December 13, 1997). "Chester Pilch Dies". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
- Town of Enfield CAFR
- Lightman, David and Larry Smith (2007-04-14). "Constituents Make A Pitch". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
- "Zoning Map." Enfield, Connecticut. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- "Enfield Correctional Institution." Connecticut Department of Correction. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- "Robinson Correctional Institution." Connecticut Department of Correction. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- "Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution." Connecticut Department of Correction. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- "Welcome." Asnuntuck Community College. Retrieved on August 16, 2010.
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- "Austin Streets: Street Name Origins." Retrieved on May 10, 2011.
- Town of Enfield official website
- Enfield Historical Society
- Enfield School District
- Enfield Shakers Historic District, Shaker Historic Trail
- Hartford Courant: Enfield iTowns Blog
- Journal Inquirer: Enfield news