Town of Hamden
Hamden Memorial Town Hall
Flag of Hamden
Official seal of Hamden
"Land of the Sleeping Giant"
Coordinates: 41°23′52″N 72°55′18″W / 41.39778°N 72.92167°W / 41.39778; -72.92167
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
CountyNew Haven
RegionSouth Central CT
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorLauren Garrett (D)
 • Total33.1 sq mi (56.2 km2)
 • Land32.8 sq mi (84.9 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1.4 km2)
184 ft (56 m)
 • Total61,169
 • Density1,800/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
06514, 06517–06518
Area code(s)203/475
FIPS code09-35650
GNIS feature ID0213440

Hamden is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The town's nickname is "The Land of the Sleeping Giant". The town is part of the South Central Connecticut Planning Region. The population was 61,169 at the 2020 census.[1]


The peaceful[citation needed][dubiousdiscuss] tribe of Quinnipiacs were the first residents of the land that is now Hamden, they had great regard awe and veneration for the Blue Hills Sleeping Giant Mountain. Hamden was purchased by William Christopher Reilly and the Reverend John Davenport in 1638 from the local Quinnipiac Native American tribe. It was settled by Puritans as part of the town of New Haven. It remained a part of New Haven until 1786 when 1,400 local residents incorporated the area as a separate town, naming it after the English statesman John Hampden.[2]

Largely developed as a nodal collection of village-like settlements (which remain distinct today), including Mount Carmel (home to Quinnipiac University), Whitneyville, Spring Glen, West Woods, and Highwood, Hamden has a long-standing industrial history. In 1798, four years after Eli Whitney began manufacturing the cotton gin in New Haven, he made arms for the U.S. government at a mill site in Hamden, where a waterfall provided a good source of power. At that site, Whitney introduced the modern era of mass production with the concept of interchangeable parts.

The major thoroughfare through Hamden is named Whitney Avenue in honor of Eli Whitney, and it runs past Whitney's old factory, now the Eli Whitney Museum.

An 1827 painting of Whitneyville by William Giles Munson.

Whitney constructed stone houses for his employees in the nearby area, which is still referred to as Whitneyville; this is believed to be the first example of employer-provided homes in U.S. history. In 1806, the dam that Eli Whitney built at the mill site was enlarged to create a reservoir, Lake Whitney. The first truss bridge in the United States was erected nearby over the Mill River in Whitneyville in 1823, but has since been replaced.

The Farmington Canal, which ships traveled from New Haven northward, passed through Hamden between 1825 and 1848 until it was supplanted by railroad travel. The canal right-of-way has become, in recent years, a popular walking and bicycling trail, passing by some of the well-preserved locks of the canal, as well as some of Hamden's oldest sites. Before its use as a walking and bicycling trail, many local residents rode their motocross bikes on the Farmington Canal.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hamden received a steady influx of immigrants, most notably from Italy and Ireland. To this day, a large part of Greater New Haven's Italian-American community resides in Hamden.

During the post-war period, Hamden underwent significant suburban development. Much of the southern section of town is urbanized and is difficult to distinguish from neighboring New Haven. The northern section of town, however, retains a more rural character, and has the distinct neighborhood of Mount Carmel. This area of town is the location of the unique Sleeping Giant hill formation that is the source of the town's nickname.


Hamden Connecticut's Sleeping Giant Mountain from the Quinnipiac river.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.3 square miles (86 km2), of which 32.8 square miles (85 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), or 1.62%, is water. The town features the Mill River, which runs from the northern part of town, is dammed to form Lake Whitney, and flows from there to Long Island Sound. The town also has the Quinnipiac River and Lake Wintergreen, as well as numerous small streams.



Notable areas

Edgerton Park Conservancy

The Town Hall at the center of Hamden has a distinctive appearance. The rotunda includes commemorative stained glass windows. Across the street is Freedom Park, which contains a fountain with concrete stepping stones leading to a sign that pleads for peace in several different languages. The Town recently completed new facilities for the police and fire departments in the newly renovated Town Hall.

Hamden was host to the Ghost Parking Lot, a notable roadside public art installation located in front of the Hamden Plaza shopping center in Hamden's commercial district on Dixwell Avenue. Erected in 1978, it consisted of 15 car hulks, specially treated and encased in asphalt. Although featured in over 100 art books, the attraction was torn down in 2003 due to the excessive cost of restoration and repair.[6][7]

Adjacent municipalities

Hamden is bordered by six other towns:[8]


Hamden is governed by a mayor-council form of government, with a 15-member legislative council. Six councilors are elected at large while the other nine are elected by district. Town elections are held biennially during odd years in November. Other elected positions in the town government are the Town Clerk and members of the Board of Education. Positions in the various town boards and commissions are generally appointed by the Mayor subject to approval by the Legislative Council.

Lauren Garrett became the town's 14th mayor in November 2021.[9] Past mayors of Hamden are:

John DeNicola Sr. was the town's last first selectman before becoming the town’s first mayor, in November 1965.


Top employers

Top employers in Hamden according to the town's 2022 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report[10]

# Employer # of Employees
1 Town of Hamden/Board of Education 1,612
2 Quinnipiac University 850-900
3 Arden House 300-325
4 Whitney Center 300-325
5 CT Transit 250-300
6 AAA Hamden 250-300
7 ACES 200-250
8 Home Depot 150-200
9 XL Care Agencies of CT 150-200
10 Stop & Shop 100-150

The main industries in the town are retail trade, computer products, manufacture of wire and cable, concrete, pump mixer products, fabricated metals, construction and business services. Business services account for 49.4% of employment in the town, with retail trade accounting for 22.8%, and manufacturing accounting for 9.6%. The top four major employers are the Town government and school district, Quinnipiac University, Harborside Health Care, and Area Cooperative Education Services (ACES).

Shaw's Supermarket was one of the top five major employers, but the Hamden Shaw's was sold to ShopRite in a sale of Shaw's Connecticut stores announced on February 13, 2010.[11] The Shaw's supermarket has been shut down and the new ShopRite store has opened.

Hamden is a residential suburb for New Haven, with more residents commuting to work in New Haven than residents working in Hamden.


The Wilbur Cross Parkway runs through the center of the town serving as a connection to Hartford to the north and the New York metropolitan area to the south. The town is connected to Interstate 91 via Connecticut Route 40, a spur expressway to the Mount Carmel section of town. The main route from the town center to New Haven passing through the commercial areas of Hamden is Dixwell Avenue (Route 10). Another route to New Haven via the Spring Glen and Whitneyville residential neighborhoods is Whitney Avenue.

Public transportation is provided by Connecticut Transit New Haven. The main bus routes in the town are the Dixwell Avenue (238, formerly D) and the Whitney Avenue (228/229, formerly J) routes. Other secondary routes serving the town are the State Street (224, formerly M), Winchester Avenue (234, formerly O), and Shelton Avenue (237, formerly G) bus routes.

North Haven Station, a station on the Hartford Line commuter railroad, is planned be built next to the Hamden–North Haven border near the Route 40 Connector, serving both towns.[12]

Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN) in East Haven and Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks are the closest commercial airports to Hamden.



The public school district for the town, Hamden Public Schools, operates eight elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, enrolling a total of about 5,398 students.[13]

Elementary schools

Middle school

High school

Magnet schools

In addition to the town's public schools, Hamden is the site of two magnet schools, Wintergreen Magnet School (Kindergarten through grade 8) and Highville Mustard Seed Charter School (high school).

Technical high school

Eli Whitney Technical High School is located in Hamden.


Hamden is home to several private and religious schools, including:

Colleges and universities

Small portions of the campuses of Southern Connecticut State University[16] and Albertus Magnus College[17] in New Haven extend just over the city line into southernmost Hamden, as do a few outlying buildings of Yale University.[18]

19th-century schools

Quality of life

Within the town limits, there are 16 banks, six lodging facilities, and 29 day care facilities. There are no hospitals in the town, although it is close to the major hospitals in New Haven. In 2004, the crime rate was 2,084 per 100,000 residents, lower than the statewide average of 2,981 per 100,000 residents. The town library has 166,358 volumes (as of 2001).

Electricity in the town is provided by the United Illuminating company; natural gas is provided by the Southern Connecticut Gas company; the water provider is the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority; Cable TV is provided by Comcast of New Haven.

There are several parks and museums located in Hamden. Hamden Town Center Park hosts fireworks, free concerts, outdoor movies, and other seasonal festivals. Other parks include the Eli Whitney Museum in Whitneyville, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, parts of West Rock Ridge State Park (including Lake Wintergreen) and East Rock Park (including the Pardee Rose Garden), Brooksvale Park and the adjoining Mount Sanford block of Naugatuck State Forest, and the Sleeping Giant State Park. The Farmington Canal Trail runs through the town. Two blue-blazed hiking trails, the Quinnipiac Trail and the Regicides Trail, also run through the town.

The Jonathan Dickerman House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in Mount Carmel. Hamden also has an all-volunteer orchestra, the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, providing concerts throughout the year.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

As of the census[21] of 2010, there were 60,690 people, 23,727 households, and 14,300 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,867.3 inhabitants per square mile (721.0/km2). There were 25,114 housing units at an average density of 769.2 per square mile (297.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 68.45% White, 20.19% African American, 0.15% Native American, 5.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.00% from other races, and 2.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.74% of the population.

There were 23,727 households, out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 31.2% 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 2.37 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.4% under the age of 20, 10.6% from 20 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $66,695, and the median income for a family was $88,613. The per capita income for the town was $34,596. About 3.8% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 29, 2013[22]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 16,158 664 16,822 47.94%
Republican 4,020 180 4,200 11.97%
Unaffiliated 13,128 669 13,797 39.32%
Minor parties 262 6 268 0.76%
Total 33,568 1,519 35,087 100%

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Hamden town, New Haven County, Connecticut". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  2. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 332.
  3. ^ Hartley, R. (1959), The History of Hamden, Connecticut, 1786-1959, map in frontispiece.
  4. ^ "Charles Churchill - Graces Guide". www.gracesguide.co.uk.
  5. ^ Hamden Zoning Regulations Archived November 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Section 452: Spring Glen Village District
  6. ^ "Ghost Parking Lot Will Rest In Peace". planetizen.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Ghost Lot Being Exhumed", Hartford Courant, August 8, 2003
  8. ^ "American Indian Areas, Counties, County Subdivisions, and Places - Section 1", p. F-3 Connecticut
  9. ^ "Garrett Sworn In; Vows Change, Diversity". www.newhavenindependent.org. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  10. ^ "Town of Hamden Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For the Fiscal Year July 1, 2022- June 30, 2023". Town of Hamden. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  11. ^ "Hartford Courant: Connecticut breaking news, UConn sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic". mobile.courant.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "NHHS Rail" (PDF). www.ct.gov. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  13. ^ Goeler, Jody; Melillo, Christopher; Belden, Michael. "Hamden Board of Education FY 2018-2019 Budget Approved by the BOE on March 8, 2018" (PDF). Hamden Public Schools. Hamden Board of Education. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "Hamden Middle School - Hamden Public Schools". www.hamden.org.
  15. ^ "Home - St. Rita School - Hamden". www.stritaschool.org.
  16. ^ "North Campus Midrise". www2.southernct.edu.
  17. ^ "Residential Halls at Albertus Magnus College". www.albertus.edu.
  18. ^ "Library Shelving Facility - Yale University Library". web.library.yale.edu.
  19. ^ Hartley, R. (1943). The history of Hamden, Connecticut, 1786-1936. Hamden, CT.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 29, 2013" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  23. ^ "NEW HAVEN 200: Introducing a summer series looking back on two centuries of sports". New Haven Register. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  24. ^ Weir, William (September 19, 2013). "Lyme Disease Pioneer Stephen Malawista Dies". Hartford Courant. Retrieved October 14, 2013.