The Onion Barn, where community bulletins are posted
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
|Region||South Western Region|
|• Type||Selectman-town meeting|
|• First selectman||Gayle M. Weinstein|
|• Town administrator||Tom Landry|
|• 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)|
|• Density||490/sq mi (190/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||203, 475|
|GNIS feature ID||0213531|
Weston is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The population was 10,179 at the 2010 census. 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 2011 showed that Weston had the highest median household income in Fairfield County, Connecticut, at US$205,173.
In 2011 Connecticut Magazine named Weston as the number one town in Connecticut among towns with populations of 10,000–15,000. The rating considers education, crime, economy, cost and leisure.
Aside from a handful of stores that form the town’s center, Weston has little commercial development. 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.
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 30's and began settling in it. Construction of the Merritt Parkway, which arrived to the south of Weston in 1938, resulted in further population growth.
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.
Other minor communities and geographic areas are Devil's Den, Norfield, Upper Parish, and Valley Forge.
As of the census of 2010, 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.
The median income for a household in the town was $209,630. Males had a median income of $220,357 versus $95,455 for females. The per capita income for the town was $92,375. About 1.5% of the population were below the poverty line.
Like many other New England towns, the government of Weston consists of the Town Meeting, and elective and appointive boards. First among the elective boards is the Board of Selectmen. Gayle Weinstein is the First Selectman. By charter, the First Selectman is the Chief Executive and Administrative Officer of the town. The town's legislative powers are divided between the Board of Selectmen and the Town Meeting. Among other elective boards are the Board of Education, the Board of Finance, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Board of Police Commissioners.
Budget and taxes
For the fiscal year of 2012–2013, the Town of Weston’s net budget was $62,240,792. That year, about 73 percent of the town’s net budget was spent on the Weston Public Schools. Weston raised taxes on the basis of property value. With real estate assessed at 70 percent of market value, the mill rate evolved as follows:
|Fiscal year||Mill rate|
To show the evolution of the mill rate, the table's asterisked numbers have been adjusted to account for the revaluation of 2008–2009. The revaluation added 2.92 percent to Weston's grand list of properties.
On the National Register of Historic Places
- Bradley Edge Tool Company Historic District – Roughly, Lyons Plains Road, north and south of the junction with White Birch Road (added December 22, 1995)
- Kettle Creek Historic District – Roughly, Weston and Old Weston Roads, north of Broad Street (added December 22, 1995)
- Norfield Historic District – Roughly, at the junction of Weston and Norfield Rds. northeast to Hedgerow Common (added August 31, 1991)
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. 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 May 2013, 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 June 2012, 24/7 Wall St. ranked Weston as the second wealthiest school district in the United States.
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.
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.
- 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
- Frank Converse (born 1938), actor
- John Curran (1953–2013), financial journalist
- Rodney Dangerfield (1921–2004), comedian
- Bette Davis (1908–1989), actress
- Jose Feliciano (born 1945), singer and songwriter
- Seth Grahame-Smith (born 1976), author, film and television producer, grew up in town
- 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
- 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
- Paul Michael Levesque (born 1969), "Triple H", wrestler, World Wrestling Entertainment
- Brent Musburger (born 1939), sportscaster
- James Naughton (born 1945), actor
- Katherine Ordway (1899–1979), 3M heiress, philanthropist, supporter of land conservation, funded the purchase of part of Devil's Den
- Jacob Pitts (born 1979), actor
- Christopher Plummer (born 1929), 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
- John Seigenthaler, Jr. (born 1955), former NBC News weekend anchor.
- James Thurber (1894–1961), writer
- U.S. Census Bureau
- CERC town profile for Weston (2008)
- Town Profiles – Economic Data in Connecticut. CERC. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- "Two acre residential and farming district". Zoning regulations. Town of Weston. June 12, 2008. pp. 9–14. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "The Weston Meteorite".
- Lerner, Edward M. (November 2009). "Rock! Bye-Bye, Baby". Analog (New York, NY: Dell Magazines). p. 43.
- The Weston Meteorite | Meteorites and Planetary Science : Collections : Yale Peabody Museum. Peabody.yale.edu. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- Radomsky, Rosalie R., "If You're Thinking of Living in: Weston", Real Estate section, The New York Times, March 15, 1992, accessed October 27, 2007
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "American Fact Finder". U.S. Census Bureau.
- Town Charter, Town of Weston, Connecticut
- "Budget History". Town of Weston. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- "Because of revaluation, the grand list (the total assessed value of taxable property in town) will change by 3.67%. However, the 'normalized' grand list – what the change would have been if the town had not done a revaluation this year – is just a 0.75% increase." Source: The Weston Forum, 2009-02-05, Officials expect the mill rate to dip. The 2.92 percent adjustment is the difference between 3.67 percent and 0.75 percent. The unadjusted mill rates for the five periods were 20.25, 22.05, 22.75, 23.39, and 24.05, respectively.
- Weston Public Schools website. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- Liebeskind, Ken. "Weston Is Second Wealthiest U.S. School District". The Weston Daily Voice. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- District Reference Groups Connecticut Voices for Children, June 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
- "Forever Green". About Weston. Town of Weston. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "Map of Bisceglie Park". Town of Weston. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "Map of Morehouse Farm Park". Town of Weston. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "Weston Maps". Aspetuck Land Trust. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Radomsky, Rosalie (March 15, 1992). "If You’re Thinking of Living in: Weston". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- "Recreation Program". Aquarion. February 1, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Office of the Secretary of the State: State of Connecticut
- Dannatt, Adrian, "Obituary: Paul Cadmus" The Independent of London, February 4, 2000 ("Paul Cadmus, artist: born New York December 17, 1904; died Weston, Connecticut December 19, 1999")
- "John J. Curran, 59". WestportNow. 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
- Elder, Janet, "If you're thinking of living in: Weston, Connecticut", article, The New York Times Real Estate section, July 7, 1985, ("Perhaps it is Weston's discreet anonymity that has attracted such entertainment figures as Robert Redford, Bette Davis, Rodney Dangerfield and Brent Musburger, as well as Erica Jong") accessed March 30, 2008
- Google cache of Home page, "News Around Our Town" feature, Town of Weston website("World-renowned guitarist, composer, singer, and long-time Weston resident, Jose Feliciano, will perform a benefit concert Sunday"), accessed September 25, 2007
- Yarbrough, Tinsley E., "John Marshall Harlan, Great Dissenter of the Warren Court" Oxford University Press, 1992
- Kelly, Kevin, "Mariette Hartley takes a turn at Center Stage", article in The Boston Globe, January 23, 1994 ("Hartley was born in Weston, Conn., on June 20, 1940")
- "Transitions: Passings", feature in The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 10, 2005 ("EVAN HUNTER, 78: Also writing under the name Ed McBain, [...]died Wednesday at his home in Weston, Conn."), accessed September 24, 2007
- Chamoff, Lisa, "Eartha Kitt no stranger to local stages", The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, December 26, 2008, retrieved same day ("Eartha Kitt, who moved to Weston in 2002"); Thomas, Jack, "The importance of being Eartha", article, The Boston Globe, August 11, 2005 ("WESTON, Conn. – Waiting for Eartha Kitt in her living room [...]"), accessed September 24, 2007
- Google Books page for Sagolla, Lisa Jo, The Girl Who Fell Down: A Biography of Joan McCracken, published 2003, UPNE, ISBN 1-55553-573-9 page 160 ("[...] Lawrence Langner and his wife, Armina Marshall. Residing in the nearby town of Weston, Connecticut, Langner and Marshall purchased [...]"), accessed September 25, 2007
- Klein, Alvin, "THEATER; Solo Act, Jeep Voice As Well", article, The New York Times, June 14, 1998 ("Mr. Naughton, who has been living in Weston for 22 years"), accessed September 25, 2007
- "Devil's Den: a Personal Legacy". 25 Deals that Led the Way. The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Klein, Alvin, "Council for arts getting new home", article in The New York Times, November 11, 1984 ("The actor Christopher Plummer, a former Darien resident who now lives in Weston"), accessed September 24, 2007
- [dead link]
- "Record of sale". Land records. Town of Weston. June 15, 1998. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
- Fritz Reiner: A Biography
- Landman, Beth, "Johnny Depp: Suburbanite? Weston, ho!" brief article in New York Magazine, November 14, 2005 ("Weston’s top-ranked schools attracted Depp [...] Depp apparently fell in love with the town when he was visiting Keith Richards"), accessed September 24, 2007
- "People & Places" column, Business section, The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, July 22, 2008, p A7 (both Stamford and Norwalk editions; Greenwich Time newspaper publishes the same business section: "John Seigenthaler of Weston has joined Seigenthaler Public Relations Inc. [...]"