|Hartford County, Connecticut|
|• Town manager||Jeff Bridges|
|• Town council||Mayor Donna H. Hemmann (R)
Dep. Mayor John J. Console (R)
David L. Drake (R)
Mike J. Hurley (R)
Jeffrey R. Kotkin (D)
Stathis Manousos (R)
Jim McAlister (R)
Paul F. Montinieri (D)
Gerri Roberts (D)
|• Total||13.1 sq mi (34.0 km2)|
|• Land||12.3 sq mi (31.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)|
|Elevation||135 ft (41 m)|
|• Density||2,000/sq mi (780/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0213533|
Wethersfield is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. Many records from colonial times spell the name "Weathersfield", while Native Americans called it "Pyquag". The population was 26,668 at the 2010 census. The town's motto is "Ye most auncient towne in Connecticut".
Founded in 1634 by a settlement party including John Oldham and Robert Seeley, Wethersfield is recognized as the oldest town in Connecticut. Along with Windsor and Hartford, Wethersfield is thought by some to be represented by one of the three grapevines on the Connecticut state flag signifying the state's three oldest settlements.
During the Pequot War, on April 23, 1637, Wongunk chief Sequin attacked Wethersfield with Pequot help. They killed six men and three women, a number of cattle and horses, and took two young girls captive. They were daughters of Abraham Swain and were later ransomed by Dutch traders.
Four witch trials and three executions for witchcraft occurred in the town in the 17th century. Mary Johnson was convicted of witchcraft and executed in 1648, Joan and John Carrington in 1651. Landowner Katherine Harrison was convicted, and although her conviction was reversed, she was banished and her property seized by her neighbors.
Silas Deane, commissioner to France during the American Revolutionary War, lived in the town. His house is now part of the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. In May 1781, at the Webb House on Main Street, General George Washington and French Lt. Gen. Rochambeau planned the Siege of Yorktown, which culminated in the independence of the then rebellious colonies.
The Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department was chartered by the Connecticut Legislature on May 12, 1803, making it the first formally chartered fire department in Connecticut, and is the oldest chartered volunteer fire department in continuous existence in the United States.
Wethersfield was "for a century at least, the centre of the onion trade in New England", during the late 1700s and early to middle 1800s. According to Yankee magazine, "Outsiders dubbed the Connecticut village 'Oniontown,' with a crosshatch of affection and derision, for this was home of the world-famous Wethersfield red onion."
In addition, the town was home to William G. Comstock, a well-known 19th century gardening expert, author of the era's most prominent gardening book, Order of Spring Work. In 1820 Comstock founded Comstock, Ferre & Company, currently America's oldest continuously operating seed company, pioneering the commercial sale of sealed packets of seeds as he had learned from the Amish. Other nationally prominent seed companies in and around the town are the offspring of this agricultural past.
A meteorite fell on Wethersfield on November 8, 1982. It was the second meteorite to fall in the town in the span of 11 years, and crashed through the roof of a house without injuring the occupants, as the first Wethersfield meteorite had also done. The Wethersfield Meteor was taken up as part of a collection at the Yale Peabody Museum.
Wethersfield is located at 41° 42' 43" North, 72° 39' 48" West (41.7122° -72.6636°).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.1 square miles (34.0 km2), of which 12.3 square miles (31.9 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.1 km2), or 6.10%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,268 people, 11,214 households, and 7,412 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,119.9 people per square mile (818.7/km²). There were 11,454 housing units at an average density of 924.3 per square mile (356.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.19% White, 2.09% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.58% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.82% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.19% of the population.
There were 11,214 households out of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the town the population was spread out with 20.1% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 23.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $53,289, and the median income for a family was $68,154 (these figures had risen to $66,044 and $86,432 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $43,998 versus $37,443 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,930. About 2.4% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.
Government and infrastructure
Greater Hartford's major system of public transportation is Connecticut Transit (CT Transit), a Connecticut Department of Transportation-owned bus service operating routes throughout the New Haven, Stamford, Hartford and other metro areas. Wethersfield is served by route numbers 20, 43, 47, 53, 55, 61, and 91.
Major roads include:
- Main Street in Old Wethersfield
- Connecticut Route 175 (Wells Road)
- Connecticut Route 99 (Silas Deane Highway)
- Connecticut Route 15 (Berlin Turnpike and Wilbur Cross Highway)
The Wethersfield public school system encompasses five elementary schools (Highcrest School, Charles Wright School, Emerson-Williams School, A.W. Hanmer School and Samuel B. Webb Elementary School), one middle school (Silas Deane Middle School) and one high school (Wethersfield High School).
Wethersfield is also the home of Corpus Christi School, and a Catholic K-8 school of 440 students.
Landmarks and historic district
- Buttolph-Williams House — 249 Broad St. (added December 24, 1968)
- Joseph Webb House — 211 Main St. (added November 15, 1966)
- Silas Deane House — 203 Main St. (added November 6, 1970)
In 1970, Old Wethersfield, the district bounded by Hartford, the railroad tracks, I-91 and Rocky Hill, was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, the largest such in Connecticut; two square miles containing 1,100 buildings.
Other points of interest
- Ancient Burying Ground
- Broad Street Green
- Roger Butler House
- Captain James Francis House
- Great Meadows
- Heritage Way — a "linear park" and multi-use path that connects Wethersfield's open areas and recreation facilities
- Hurlbut-Dunham House
- Keeney Memorial Culture Center
- Millwoods Park/Pond
- Wethersfield Cove
- Wethersfield Historical Society
- Wethersfield Skate Park
- Willard Pool
- Wintergreen Woods — 100 acres (0.40 km2) forest with vernal pools and walking trails
- Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center
- 9/11 Memorial Sports Center
Appearances in popular culture
The short film Disneyland Dream features the Barstow family from Wethersfield, including footage of their neighborhood.
Notable people, past and present
- William G. Comstock (1810–1899), gardening expert, author, and founder of seed company
- Kenneth F. Cramer (1894–1954), United States Army Major General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau
- John Deming (c.1615–1705), early Puritan settler and original patentee of the Connecticut Colony and a founder the town of Wethersfield
- Tony DiCicco, coach, United States women's national soccer team, 1994–1999
- Bruce Edwards, Tom Watson's caddy of almost 30 years
- Krista Flanigan, actress
- Thomas Ian Griffith, actor
- Betsey Johnson, fashion designer
- Mark Linn-Baker, actor and director
- Chris Murphy, former state senator and current congressman from Connecticut's 5th District
- Tyler Murphy, starting quarterback for the University of Florida Gators
- John Oldham (1592–1636), an original settler
- John Pinone, basketball player for Villanova University and the Atlanta Hawks
- Annabella Sciorra, actress
- Robert Seeley (1602–1668), an original settler
- Karen Smyers, world champion triathlete
- Richard Treat (or Trott) (1584–1669), an original settler of Wethersfield and a Patentee of the Royal Charter of Connecticut, 1662
- Tom Tryon, actor and novelist
- Sophie Tucker, comedienne and singer, interred in Emanuel Cemetery
- Levi Warner, congressman from Connecticut
- Benjamin Wright, chief engineer of the Erie Canal
- Charles Wright (1811–1885), botanical explorer and collector
- Connecticut Towns in the Order of their Establishment, Secretary of the State of Connecticut. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Wethersfield town, Hartford County, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- Official Web Site of the Town of Wethersfield
- Phil Konstantin, "This Day in North American Indian history", pp. 99-100
- List of New England witchcraft cases
- Another list of New England witchcraft cases
- Brief summary of Katherine Harrison case
- Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Dept
- "A Great Trade Vanished. How Connecticut's Onion Monopoly Was Lost", New York Times, June 2, 1889
- "Wethersfield, CT, and Onions", Yankee Magazine, August 1993
- Connecticut seed company Comstock, Ferre & Co. returns to its roots, Boston Globe, October 16, 2011
- "Comstock, Ferre & Co"
- Wethersfield: The Cradle of American Seed Companies, Wethersfield Historical Society, January 23, 2012
- The Wethersfield Meteorite | Meteorites and Planetary Science : Collections : Yale Peabody Museum. Peabody.yale.edu (1982-11-08). Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- American FactFinder. Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- Contact Us. Connecticut Department of Correction, 24 Wolcott Hill Road, Wethersfield, CT 06109. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Contact Information. Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, 60 State Street, Wethersfield, CT 06161. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Location Details. United States Postal Service, 67 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, CT 06109. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Routes & Schedules, Connecticut Transit. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- Great Meadows Conservation Trust, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill and Glastonbury CT
- Introduction to Heritage Way, Wethersfield CT
- Keeney Memorial Culture Center, Wethersfield CT
- Wethersfield Historical Society, Wethersfield CT
- Eleanor Buck Wolf Nature Center, Wethersfield CT
- Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, First Church of Christ, Wethersfield
- William G. Comstock, Smithsonian Libraries.
- Troupes present light fare for summer audiences, The Blade (Toledo), July 15, 2010
- Department of Theatre and Dance, Otterbein University, Summer 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wethersfield, Connecticut.|
- Town of Wethersfield official website
- Wethersfield Library
- Wethersfield Historical Society
- Historic Wethersfield Tourism Commission
- Tocqueville in Wethersfield - Segment from C-SPAN's Alexis de Tocqueville Tour
- Wethersfield Chamber of Commerce