Windham County, Connecticut

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Windham County, Connecticut
Map of Connecticut highlighting Windham County
Location in the state of Connecticut
Map of the United States highlighting Connecticut
Connecticut's location in the U.S.
Founded 1726
Seat none; since 1960 Connecticut counties no longer have a county government
Largest town Windham
Area
 • Total 521.47 sq mi (1,351 km2)
 • Land 512.75 sq mi (1,328 km2)
 • Water 8.71 sq mi (23 km2), 1.67%
Population
 • (2010) 118,428
 • Density 231/sq mi (89.1/km²)
Congressional district 2nd

Windham County is a county located in the northeastern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of 2010, the population was 118,428.

The entire county is within the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, as designated by the National Park Service.

History[edit]

Windham County was created from Hartford and New London counties on 12 May 1726 by an act of the Connecticut General Court. The act establishing the county states:

That the west bounds of the town of Lebanon, the north
bounds of Coventry, the north bounds of Mansfield till it
meet with the southwest bounds of Ashford, the west bounds
of Ashford, the east bounds of Stafford, the Massachusetts
line on the north, and Rhode Island line on the east, the north
bounds of Preston, and north bounds of Norwich, containing
the towns of Windham, Lebanon, Plainfield, Canterbury,
Mansfield, Coventry, Pomfrett, Killingly, Ashford, Voluntown
and Mortlake, shall be one entire county, and called by the
name of County of Windham.[1]

In May 1749, the town of Woodstock, formerly New Roxbury, Worcester County Massachusetts, was unilaterally annexed by Connecticut and assigned to Windham County. In 1785, the town of Union (incorporated in 1734) was transferred to the newly formed Tolland County. Over the next century, Windham County would lose several towns to Tolland and New London counties: Coventry to Tolland in 1786, Lebanon to New London in 1824, Columbia and Mansfield to Tolland in 1827, and Voluntown to New London in 1881. The final boundary adjustment occurred on April 7, 1885, when the boundary dispute between the towns of Windham and Mansfield was resolved.[2]

Government[edit]

County level government in the state of Connecticut was abolished in 1960. All government affairs and services are administered by either the state or local municipality.

The office of county high sheriff was abolished by constitutional referendum in 2000. All former functions of the county sheriff's office are now carried out by the state marshals service. The last high sheriff (or official for that matter) of Windham County was Thomas W. White, who left office in 2000 due to the discontinuation of the county sheriff's departments in Connecticut.

Transportation[edit]

Major highways through Windham County include Interstate 395, which runs north-south from the New London County line at Plainfield to the Massachusetts state line at Thompson. The southern part of I-395 is part of the Connecticut Turnpike, which branches off the interstate in Killingly and runs east-west from I-395 exit 90, to U.S. Route 6 at the Rhode Island state line.

Other north-south routes include Route 12, which parallels I-395 through many local communities, Route 169, a National Scenic Byway traveling through rural communities from the New London County line in Canterbury to the Massachusetts state line in Woodstock. Other secondary north-south roads are Routes 89, 198, 97, 21, and 49.

Major east-west routes are U.S. Route 44 from the Tolland County line at Ashford to the Rhode Island state line at Putnam, and U.S. Route 6 from the Tolland County line at Windham to the Rhode Island state line at Killingly. U.S. Route 6 has short expressway segments in Windham and Killingly. Other secondary east-west roads are Routes 14, 101, 171, and 197.

Geography[edit]

Bison Farm

There are no incorporated cities in Windham County. There is one incorporated borough, Danielson.

Two areas formerly incorporated as cities were re-organized as Special Service Districts, Willimantic (1983) and Putnam (1984).

The highest point in Windham County is Snow Hill in Ashford at 1,210 feet.

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 521.47 square miles (1,350.6 km2), of which 512.75 square miles (1,328.0 km2) (or 98.33%) is land and 8.71 square miles (22.6 km2) (or 1.67%) is water.[3]

Law enforcement[edit]

The primary law enforcement agency in most Windham County towns is the Connecticut State Police, primarily Troop D based in Danielson which serves Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Pomfret, Putnam (outside the SSD), Scotland, Sterling, Thompson, Woodstock and I-395 between exit 87 and the MA border. Troop C, based in Tolland, covers the town of Ashford, and Troop K, based in Colchester, covers the town of Windham.

Only three municipalities in the county (the town of Plainfield, the Willimantic Special Services District, and the Putnam Special Services District), have their own local police departments that serve as the primary law enforcement in those areas.

The Windham County Sheriff's Department was disbanded in 2000 and their former duties are now carried out by the Connecticut State Marshals Service.

Most towns in the county have local Constables that carry out some municipal legal and security functions.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 28,881
1800 28,222 −2.3%
1810 28,611 1.4%
1820 31,684 10.7%
1830 27,082 −14.5%
1840 28,080 3.7%
1850 31,081 10.7%
1860 34,747 11.8%
1870 38,518 10.9%
1880 43,856 13.9%
1890 45,158 3.0%
1900 46,861 3.8%
1910 48,361 3.2%
1920 52,815 9.2%
1930 54,086 2.4%
1940 56,223 4.0%
1950 61,759 9.8%
1960 68,572 11.0%
1970 84,515 23.3%
1980 92,312 9.2%
1990 102,525 11.1%
2000 109,091 6.4%
2010 118,428 8.6%
Est. 2012 117,599 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[5]

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 118,428 people, 44,810 households, and 30,343 families residing in the county. The population density was 231 people per square mile (89/km²). There were 49,073 housing units at an average density of 95 per square mile (37/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.6% White, 2.2% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.0004% Pacific Islander, 4.2% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. 9.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 44,810 households: 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 28.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.2 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $58,489, and the median income for a family was $72,958. Males had a median income of $51,900 versus $39,248 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,456. About 9.2% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.7% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Demographics breakdown by town[edit]

Income[edit]

Data is from the 2010 United States Census and the 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.[7][8]

Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
1 Eastford Town $36,784 $76,786 $93,295 1,749 690
2 Woodstock Town $36,342 $74,000 $88,737 7,964 3,151
3 Hampton Town $34,642 $79,943 $84,079 1,863 747
4 Pomfret Town $33,910 $68,278 $82,917 4,247 1,582
5 Ashford Town $32,842 $69,407 $79,157 4,317 1,716
6 Chaplin Town $32,188 $62,679 $72,426 2,305 920
7 Canterbury Town $30,453 $70,902 $84,093 5,132 1,934
8 Scotland Town $29,371 $75,417 $79,722 1,726 637
9 Thompson Town $27,222 $60,951 $74,613 9,458 3,730
10 Putnam Town $26,506 $51,180 $61,168 9,584 3,950
11 Sterling Town $25,557 $64,500 $74,405 3,830 1,383
12 Killingly Town $25,215 $53,192 $65,496 17,370 6,749
13 Brooklyn Town $25,124 $68,851 $76,224 8,210 2,989
14 Plainfield Town $24,825 $61,500 $69,096 15,405 5,726
15 Danielson Borough $22,798 $55,097 $56,831 4,051 1,627
16 Windham Town $20,272 $40,063 $48,145 25,268 8,906

Cities, towns, boroughs, and villages*[edit]

The Frog Bridge in the Willimantic section of Windham.

* Boroughs are incorporated portions of one or more towns with separate borough councils, zoning boards, and borough officials. Villages are named localities, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CCR: Volume 07, Page 11". Retrieved 2008-06-17. [dead link]
  2. ^ Newberry Library -- Connecticut Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
  3. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  8. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°50′N 71°59′W / 41.83°N 71.99°W / 41.83; -71.99