Town library, about 1906
Location within Middlesex County, Connecticut
|Region||Connecticut River Estuary|
|• Type||Selectman-town meeting|
|• First selectman||Noel Bishop|
|• Total||21.4 sq mi (55.4 km2)|
|• Land||15.7 sq mi (40.7 km2)|
|• Water||5.7 sq mi (14.7 km2)|
|Elevation||43 ft (13 m)|
|• Density||420/sq mi (162/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0213528|
Westbrook is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 6,292 at the 2000 census. The town center is also classified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP).
Westbrook lies in the shoreline area of the state. The town is bordered by the towns of Essex, Clinton, Deep River, and Old Saybrook, where the Connecticut River empties into Long Island Sound. The Salt Meadow Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge is located in town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.4 square miles (55 km2), of which, 15.7 square miles (41 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (15 km2) (26.47%) is water. The CDP has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) of which 22.33% is water.
Westbrook encompasses three islands in Long Island Sound, all of which are uninhabited. Salt Island is the easternmost and smallest, at approximately 0.9 acres. Menunketesuck Island, which is the largest of Westbrook's islands at approximately 4.6 acres, extends into the Sound from the outlet of the Menunketesuck and Patchogue Rivers and is part of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge. Further west is Duck Island, measuring approximately 3.6 acres.
Private beach Associations in the town are: Chapman Beach, Coral Sands, Grove Beach Point, Grove Beach Terrace, Horse Hill, Island View, Kelsey Point, Little Standard, Middle Beach, Pilot's Point, Pointina, Quotonset Beach, Sagamore Terrace, Salt Works, Stannard Beach, West Beach.
Before being incorporated as a town, Westbrook was merely the west side of the Town Of Old Saybrook, still known as "Westbrook" to locals back then.
David Bushnell, the developer of the first practical military submersible, was born 1742 in Old Saybrook, now Westbrook. He built and tested the "Turtle" locally. The "Turtle" was used to attack a British warship in New York Harbor, discovered and escaped. The "Turtle" was destroyed in the subsequent American retreat from New York.
Art Carney, Academy Award-winning actor, Co-star of the successful TV Series " The Honeymooners" with Jackie Gleason, lived with his family in Westbrook on the shore of Long Island Sound for many years prior to his death in 2003. Mr. Carney was appointed as Westbrook's Official Underground Director.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,292 people, 2,605 households, and 1,693 families residing in the town. The population density was 400.3 people per square mile (154.5/km²). There were 3,460 housing units at an average density of 220.1 per square mile (85.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.76% White, 0.70% African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.51% of the population.
There were 2,605 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $57,531, and the median income for a family was $71,344. Males had a median income of $46,889 versus $32,227 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,680. About 2.7% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,238 people, 1,052 households, and 551 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,336.0 inhabitants per square mile (514.3/km²). There were 1,662 housing units at an average density of 992.2 per square mile (382.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.50% White, 1.39% African American, 0.09% Native American, 2.19% Asian, 0.63% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.19% of the population.
There were 1,052 households out of which 18.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 37.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.71.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 22.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $45,385, and the median income for a family was $59,375. Males had a median income of $40,707 versus $31,250 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $29,866. About 3.7% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.
The town's public education needs are overseen by its local school district, Westbrook Public Schools. Westbrook's public elementary school, The Daisy Ingraham Elementary School, was the recipient of a Blue Ribbon honor for excellence for 1998-99. A new middle school, connected to the high school, Westbrook High School, opened in 2005.
The town of Westbrook is the home of Connecticut State Police Troop F, located on Interstate 95 and Spencer Plains Road. Police services in Westbrook are coordinated by a Resident State Trooper and several Police Constables. Constables patrol during the day and evening hours while overnight patrol is provided by the State Police.
Fire protection is provided by the Westbrook Fire Department (a.k.a. Westbrook Chemical Engine Company), located on South Main Street. This all-volunteer department is responsible for response to alarms of fire, rescue emergencies and medical emergencies. Emergency Medical Services are provided by the Westbrook Ambulance Association, a paid-on-call basic life support service. Paramedic services are provided by Middlesex Hospital from their satellite facility in Essex, CT.
The Estuary Transit District provides public bus transportation throughout Westbrook and the surrounding towns through its 9 Town Transit Service. Services include connections to the Old Saybrook Train Station which is served by Amtrak in addition to the Shore Line East railroad.
Famous residents, past and present
- Everett Bacon (1890–1989), athlete and World War I veteran was born in town.
- George Lessey (1879–1947), silent movie actor lived his later years and died in Westbrook.
- David Bushnell (1740–1824), American inventor who built the first submarine ever used in combat.
- Art Carney (1918–2003), American actor and comedian.
- Town government Web site
- Central Regional Tourism District
- Town library Web site
- Westbrook Foundation Web site
- Westbrook Democratic Town Committee
- Westbrook Republican Town Committee
- Westbrook GIS
- Westbrook Emergency Management