Redding, Connecticut

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Redding, Connecticut
Official seal of Redding, Connecticut
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°18′16″N 73°23′34″W / 41.30444°N 73.39278°W / 41.30444; -73.39278Coordinates: 41°18′16″N 73°23′34″W / 41.30444°N 73.39278°W / 41.30444; -73.39278
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA Bridgeport–Stamford–Norwalk
Region Housatonic Valley
Incorporated 1767
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
 • First selectman Julia Pemberton
 • Total 32.1 sq mi (83.1 km2)
 • Land 31.5 sq mi (81.6 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.4 km2)
Elevation 472 ft (144 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,158
 • Density 290/sq mi (110/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06896
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-63480
GNIS feature ID 0213495

Redding is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 9,158 at the 2010 census.[1]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.1 square miles (83 km2), of which 31.5 square miles (82 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), or 1.75%, is water. Redding is rural compared to the towns along Connecticut's Gold Coast.[citation needed] Although Redding humbly shows the wealth that is identified with Fairfield County, it is a more secluded option for home ownership. As such, real estate prices have remained at a premium for the last couple years. It borders the towns of Bethel, Danbury, Easton, Newtown, Ridgefield, Wilton and Weston.

Sections of Redding[edit]

Georgetown is partly in Redding. West Redding (including Lonetown, Sanfordtown, and Topstone), Redding Center, and Redding Ridge are three other parts of town.


Metro-North Railroad's Danbury Branch has a station at West Redding.


According to Fairfield County and state records from the time Redding was formed, the original name of the town was Reading, after the town in Berkshire, England. Probably more accurately, however, town history attributes the name to John Read, an early major landholder who was a prominent lawyer in Boston as well as a former Congregationalist preacher who converted to Anglicanism. John Read helped in demarcating the boundaries of the town and in getting it recognized as a parish in 1729. In 1767, soon after incorporation, the name was changed to its current spelling of Redding to better reflect its pronunciation. The resulting confusion lasted into the mid-1880s, when the U.S. Post Office formalized the name. The first land grant was given to Cyprian Nichols in 1687, and two more followed soon after the start of the 18th century.

On the National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Redding Center[edit]

The town center contains the town hall, Congregational church, and several historic homes, as well as former agricultural outbuildings. The town center was designated the Redding Center Historic District in 1992 and is noted for buildings designed in the Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, and Italianate architectural styles.


The two secondary schools are Joel Barlow High School and John Read Middle School.

Mark Twain Library[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,503
1800 1,632 8.6%
1810 1,717 5.2%
1820 1,678 −2.3%
1830 1,686 0.5%
1840 1,674 −0.7%
1850 1,754 4.8%
1860 1,652 −5.8%
1870 1,624 −1.7%
1880 1,540 −5.2%
1890 1,546 0.4%
1900 1,426 −7.8%
1910 1,617 13.4%
1920 1,315 −18.7%
1930 1,599 21.6%
1940 1,758 9.9%
1950 2,037 15.9%
1960 3,359 64.9%
1970 5,590 66.4%
1980 7,272 30.1%
1990 7,927 9.0%
2000 8,270 4.3%
2010 9,158 10.7%
Population 1774–2000[2]

Mark Twain, a resident of the town in his old age, contributed the first books for a public library which was eventually named after him.


Redding is governed by an open town meeting form of government. Day-to-day administration of the town is performed by a board of selectmen composed of three elected persons. Executive authority is vested in the first selectman, held by Julia Pemberton. Legislative authority is vested in the Town Meeting. All town residents aged 18 and over who own property worth at least $1,000 can participate in the Town Meeting, which is held on an as needed basis.

Municipal elections are held every odd-numbered year. In addition to the board of selectmen, other elected town positions are the Town Clerk, Treasurer, Tax Collector, Constables, and members of various Boards.



As of the census of 2010,[3] there were 9,158 people, 3,470 households, and 2,593 families residing in the town. The population density was 285.3 people per square mile (110.2/km²). There were 3,811 housing units at an average density of 118.7 per square mile (45.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town as of 2010 was 94.90% White, 0.70% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 2.10% from other races or from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.60% of the population.

There were 3,470 households out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.1% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 3.2% from 18 to 24, 16.3% from 25 to 44, 36.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.4 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $104,137, and the median income for a family was $109,250. In 2009, the median family income rose to $141,609.[4] Males had a median income of $77,882 versus $52,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $50,687. About 1.2% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.


Redding was selected as the 2nd best small town by Connecticut Magazine in 2012.[5] It was selected as the 4th Best Town to Live In (in the country) by CNNMoney in 2009.[6]

Notable residents, past and present[edit]

Many well-known people have lived in town, including numerous actors, musicians and other entertainers. Among them are Leonard Bernstein (in the 1950s),[7] Comedian Michael Ian Black, Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates),[7] Jascha Heifetz (in the 1940s),[7] Charles Ives,[7] Hope Lange,[7] film director Barry Levinson, rock singer Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday who was Joel Barlow High School softball coach while his daughters attended the school during the 1990s), actress Jessica Tandy and her husband Hume Cronyn (in the 1940s and 1950s)[7] Christopher Walken and Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary.

The photographer Edward Steichen purchased a farm that he called Umpawaug in 1928.[8] Steichen lived there until his death in 1973.[9] After his death, Steichen's farm was made into a park, known as Topstone Park.[10] Topstone Park is open seasonally to this day.[11]

Authors and writers who have lived in Redding include Mark Twain, who lived on present-day Mark Twain Lane and owned property in town until his death in 1910; Joel Barlow, a poet and diplomat, born in town; Howard Fast (in the 1980s);[7] Flannery O'Connor (who wrote her novel Wise Blood while a boarder at the home of fellow writer Robert Fitzgerald and family on Seventy Acre Road from 1949 to 1951). Dan Beard, an illustrator and one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, lived on Great Pasture.[7] Dick Morris, political consultant and author, is a current town resident. Charlie Morton, a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, grew up in Redding and attended Joel Barlow High School. Joan Walsh Anglund, born January 3, 1926, author and illustrator of children's books, moved to Redding in 1976. She lived with her husband on the corner of Blackrock Turnpike and Church Hill Road. Ruth Stout (1884–1980), writer about organic gardening and author of "How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back", lived on Poverty Hollow.

Lawrence Kudlow, host of Kudlow and Company television program, is a current resident. John Byrum, film director and screenwriter, is a longtime resident. Orville Schell, civil Liberties lawyer,[7] has lived in town. Alfred Winslow Jones, called "the father of the hedge fund industry," lived on Poverty Hollow Road.[7] Major General Samuel Holden Parsons, commander in the Continental Army under Gen. Israel Putnam, later chief judge of the Northwest Territory, lived on Black Rock Turnpike.[7]


The fictional book My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier was based in Redding during the Revolutionary War.[12]

Movies filmed at least in part in Redding[edit]

(in reverse chronological order)


  1. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Redding town, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Office of the Secretary of the State. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  3. ^ [1]. Retrieved on 2014-02-27.
  4. ^ "6-Figure Towns". CNN. July 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ Rating the Towns 2012: 6,500-10,000 - Connecticut Magazine - March 2012 - Connecticut. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  6. ^ 6-figure towns - Redding, CT (4) - Money Magazine. (2009-07-21). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k [2]"History of" web site, Web page titled "Famous People of Redding Connecticut" accessed September 10, 2006
  8. ^ Niven, Penelope (1997). Steichen: A Biography. New York: Clarkson Potter. ISBN 0-517-59373-4, p. 530
  9. ^ Niven (1997), p. 698
  10. ^ Prevost, Lisa, the New York Times, "An Upscale Town With Upcountry Style," 3 January 1999
  11. ^ Town of Redding - Topstone Park. (2013-05-30). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  12. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]