New Milford, Connecticut
Weantinock
Town of New Milford
The United Bank Building, located in the Center Historic District
Flag of New Milford, Connecticut
Official seal of New Milford, Connecticut
Motto: 
"Gateway to Litchfield County"[1]
New Milford's location within Litchfield County and Connecticut
Map
Map
Map
Coordinates: 41°34′37″N 73°24′30″W / 41.57694°N 73.40833°W / 41.57694; -73.40833
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
CountyLitchfield
NECTADanbury
RegionWestern CT
Settled1707
Incorporated1712[3]
Government
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorPete Bass[4]
 • Town Council
9 members[5][6]
Area
 • Total63.7 sq mi (165.0 km2)
 • Land61.6 sq mi (159.5 km2)
 • Water2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)
Elevation
236 ft (72 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total28,115[2]
 • Density457/sq mi (176.3/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
06755, 06776
Area code(s)860/959
FIPS code09-52630
GNIS feature ID209242[7]
Websitewww.newmilford.org

New Milford is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The town, part of the Greater Danbury metropolitan area, lies in Western Connecticut, 14 miles (23 km) north of Danbury, on the banks of the Housatonic River, and shares its border with the northeastern shore of Candlewood Lake. It is the largest town in the state of Connecticut in terms of land area at nearly 63.7 mi² (164.9822 km2). The population as of 2020 was 28,115 according to the 2020 census.[2] The town center is listed as a census-designated place (CDP). The northern portion of the town is part of the region of northwestern Connecticut, and the far eastern portions are part of the Litchfield Hills region.

New Milford is located roughly 50 miles (80 km) west of Hartford, and 63 miles (101 km) northeast of New York City.

New Milford consists of a number of town sub-divisions (i.e. districts, communities, or neighborhoods), including Gaylordsville, Merryall, and Northville. The town's infrastructure largely branches off of either side of the highway routes U.S. 7 and U.S. 202, which meet and split within the town and together form its main thoroughfare.

The area constituting contemporary New Milford was originally inhabited by the indigenous Wawyachtonoc people, while the town of New Milford itself was formally established by English colonists in the early 18th century.

During the American Revolution, a number of men from New Milford fought as soldiers in the American Revolutionary War.

During the early- to mid-19th century, New Milford was home to several locations that were part of the Underground Railroad network.

From the late 19th century until roughly the middle of the 20th century, the town saw significant growth in industry. In the 1960s the population of the town increased greatly. The trend of town population growth has continued but slowed since the beginning of the 21st century.

New Milford remains a common destination for visitors from both within the state of Connecticut and out of state, largely owing to its popular downtown; additionally, downtown New Milford is home to a large town green, commonly cited as the longest town green in the state of Connecticut.[8]

New Milford is also frequented on weekends between the months of April and December, when visitors attend the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market, a large outdoor flea market located near the southern end of the town which WRKI has claimed is the largest weekly flea market in New England.[9]

History

Native Americans

Further information: Wawyachtonoc

The indigenous Wawyachtonoc people were a sub-group of the Paugussett Nation, and later a Mahican-affiliated Native American tribe, that lived in the area of contemporary New Milford both before and during the colonial era. They had a farming and fishing culture, cultivating corn—mainly by the Housatonic and Still rivers[10]—squash, beans and tobacco, and fished in freshwater areas.[11] They spoke an Algonquian language. The Wawyachtonoc's primary village, "Weantinock", was located near present-day New Milford, along the Housatonic River.[citation needed]

Colonial times

In 1707, John Noble Sr., previously of Westfield, Massachusetts, and his eight-year-old daughter Sarah Noble were the first Anglo-American settlers. (A public school was later named after Sarah Noble.) They were soon joined by others who had bought land there.[12]

On October 17, 1711, twelve families (including a total about 70 people) petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly to create the town, together with the associated privilege of levying a tax to support a minister. With the legislature's approval, the town was organized the next year. The residents soon secured Daniel Boardman to preach, and he was ordained as the minister of the Congregational Church on November 21, 1716.[12][13]

In 1722, most of northwestern Connecticut (except for the town of Litchfield) was placed under the jurisdiction of New Haven County. In 1730, the eastern half of northwestern Connecticut was transferred to the jurisdiction of Hartford County. But New Milford, Salisbury and Sharon continued in New Haven County until the formation of Litchfield County in 1751.

American Revolution

Roger Sherman lived in New Milford before moving to New Haven in 1761.[12] He later became a member of the Continental Congress and signed both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. The lot of his former house is the site of the present Town Hall.

During the American Revolution, the 7th Connecticut Regiment (also known as the 19th Continental Regiment) was raised in town on September 16, 1776. The regiment, and the New Milford men in it, would see action in the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown and the Battle of Monmouth. In total, the town "sent 285 men to fight in the War out of a total population of 2,776."[12]

The Boardman family

Elijah Boardman, 1789, by Ralph Earl
Portcard drawing of the Public library, built in 1897–1898, as it appeared c. 1905
Town Hall
The town green, 2007
New Milford, 2007

19th and 20th centuries

In the second half of the 19th century, many new industries came to town. The Water Witch Hose Company No. 2, local telephone and electricity companies, and newspapers were all founded. Factories in town made buttons, paint and varnish, hats, furniture, pottery, lime, dairy products and pasteboard, among other goods. Tobacco became the major crop in the area, and tobacco warehouses sprang up to handle its storage and processing before sales.[12]

In 1942 Buck's Rock Camp was founded off Bucks Rock Road, and has remained in operation ever since.

The house that inspired the 1946 novel and 1948 film, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, still stands in the Merryall section of town.

21st century

The town has constructed a 1,000,000-gallon sewer plant expansion on West Street, a sewer pump station on Boardman Road, reconstruction of the Rte. 67/ Grove Street Intersection, and ambulance facility on Scovill Street.

The town has added a skate park at Young's Field (2006), reconstructed the tennis and basketball courts at Young's Field (2010), reconstructed the basketball court at Williamson Park in Gaylordsville (2010), and improved Lynn Deming Park (2017), and is working on the New Milford River Trail,[14] which will eventually join the existing 1.5-mile Sega Meadows Park trail (2012), 3.5 miles of River Road, and the 0.25-mile Young's Field River Trail (2017) and link them to the greenways in the neighboring towns of Brookfield and Kent.[15] Several streetscape projects were completed by the Department of Public Works (DPW) with grant money on Church Street, Whittlesey Avenue, and the west side of East Street (2009/2010). Candlewoof Dog Park is completed on Pickett District Road. A bocce ball court was constructed at the Senior Center by Boy Scout Troop 66 (2012).

National Register of Historic Places sites

Geography

New Milford is located on the northeastern shore of Candlewood Lake. The Aspetuck River, Still River and Housatonic River flow through the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 63.7 square miles (165.1 km2), making it the largest town in Connecticut. Behind New Milford is Greenwich with 47.62 square miles . 61.6 square miles (159.5 km2) of New Milford is land, and 2.2 square miles (5.6 km2) of New Milford (3.40%) is water.[16] The CDP corresponding to the town center has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2). 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.88%) is water.

Principal communities

Climate

New Milford has a humid continental climate, with mild to warm humid summers and cold to very cold winters. The highest recorded temperature was 103 °F (39 °C) in July 1966, while the lowest recorded temperature was −18 °F (−28 °C) in January 1968.[17] Snowfall is generally frequent in winter while average precipitation is most common in September.

Climate data for New Milford, Connecticut (Candlelight Farms Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(22)
77
(25)
87
(31)
95
(35)
97
(36)
100
(38)
103
(39)
102
(39)
100
(38)
92
(33)
82
(28)
76
(24)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 36
(2)
40
(4)
49
(9)
61
(16)
72
(22)
80
(27)
85
(29)
83
(28)
75
(24)
63
(17)
51
(11)
40
(4)
61
(16)
Average low °F (°C) 16
(−9)
19
(−7)
27
(−3)
37
(3)
48
(9)
56
(13)
62
(17)
60
(16)
53
(12)
42
(6)
32
(0)
22
(−6)
40
(4)
Record low °F (°C) −18
(−28)
−14
(−26)
−8
(−22)
14
(−10)
26
(−3)
36
(2)
40
(4)
38
(3)
28
(−2)
19
(−7)
6
(−14)
−13
(−25)
−18
(−28)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.76
(96)
3.30
(84)
4.43
(113)
4.36
(111)
4.57
(116)
4.74
(120)
4.99
(127)
4.55
(116)
4.66
(118)
4.89
(124)
4.54
(115)
4.16
(106)
52.95
(1,345)
Source: [18]

Demographics

See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

Historical population
YearPop.±%
17561,137—    
17742,776+144.2%
17823,015+8.6%
17903,167+5.0%
18003,221+1.7%
18103,537+9.8%
18203,830+8.3%
18504,508+17.7%
18603,535−21.6%
18703,586+1.4%
18803,907+9.0%
18903,917+0.3%
19004,804+22.6%
19105,010+4.3%
19204,781−4.6%
19304,700−1.7%
19405,559+18.3%
19505,799+4.3%
19608,318+43.4%
197014,601+75.5%
198019,420+33.0%
199023,629+21.7%
200027,121+14.8%
201028,142+3.8%
202028,115−0.1%
Population of Connecticut Towns 1756-1820

As of the census[19] of 2010, there were 28,142 people, 10,618 households, and 7,503 families residing in the town. The population density was 456.9 inhabitants per square mile (176.4/km2). There were 11,731 housing units at an average density of 190.4 per square mile (73.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.71% White, 1.72% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 2.77% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.65% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 6.02% of the population.

Of the 10,618 households, 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town, the population had 24.30% under the age of 18, 6.87% from 18 to 24, 24.90% from 25 to 44, 31.75% from 45 to 64, and 12.18% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

As of the 2000 Census the median income for a household in the town was $65,354, and the median income for a family was $75,775. Males had a median income of $50,523 versus $34,089 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,630. About 2.1% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of November 1, 2022[20]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 4,918 313 5,231 27.58%
Republican 4,959 290 5,249 27.67%
Unaffiliated 7,555 586 8,141 42.92%
Minor parties 321 25 346 1.83%
Total 17,753 1,214 18,967 100%

Religion

The Merryall Union Chapel in Lower Meryall, New Milford.

New Milford is known for its large church and religious school, the nondenominational Faith Church. It is also home to two Catholic churches; a Lutheran church; a Christian Science community; a longstanding Quaker community; a house of worship belonging to the United Church of Christ; a United Methodist church; and an Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) church; as well the Episcopalian (Anglican) St. John's Episcopal Church, located next to the town green. A Jewish Reform synagogue, Temple Sholom, is located near the town's border with Sherman.[21]

St. John's Episcopal Church in downtown New Milford.

The Canterbury School, a well-known Catholic boarding school, is located near downtown New Milford.

Sports

GMS Rowing Center

New Milford is home to the GMS Rowing Center.[22] Founded in 2003, it manages a US Rowing Training Center Program. It has a highly successful Middle and High School (Junior) Program which competes at Youth National Championships, Junior National Team Trials, The "Royal Canadian Henley" and has sent rowers to the Junior World Rowing Championships.[23] In 2011 GMS also had rowers representing the US at the Under 23 World Championships in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and at the World Rowing Championships at Bled, Slovenia.[24]

Education

Elementary schools

Intermediate schools

High schools

Private schools

Infrastructure

Transportation

New Milford is served by fixed-bus routes of the Housatonic Area Regional Transit. The main highways of the town are U.S. Route 7 and U.S. Route 202.

The long-awaited completion of Super 7 happened in November 2009. The realignment of Grove Street and Prospect Hill Road (Rte. 67) was completed in the fall of 2010. The Department of Public Works (DPW) awarded Stimulus ARRA Project 95-249 Grove Street (south of Anderson Ave) and Boardman Road (west of O+G Quarry). This was completed in the fall of 2010.

There has been continued talk about a proposal to electrify and restore the Danbury Branch of the Metro-North Railroad north of Danbury to New Milford. These efforts have included a Rail Study in 2008,[25] proposed state legislation in 2017,[26] and stimulus money in 2021.[27]

New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport are located 68 miles away southwest. While Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT is located 68 miles away east.

Notable people

Movies filmed in New Milford

The following movies with their actual or expected year of release have been filmed in New Milford:[33]

References

  1. ^ "Town of New Milford Connecticut". New Milford, Connecticut. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Census - Geography Profile: New Milford town, Litchfield County, Connecticut". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  3. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 333.
  4. ^ "Mayor". Town of New Milford, Connecticut. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Town Council Members". Town of New Milford, Connecticut. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Lyle, Kaitlyn. "Skelly reappointed to New Milford Town Council". The News-Times. Hearst Connecticut Media. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  7. ^ "New Milford". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  8. ^ "20 Towns in 20 Days: New Milford".
  9. ^ "New Milford's Elephant's Trunk Flea Market is Now Open for the 2022 Season".
  10. ^ "Weantinock Homeland".
  11. ^ Charles W. Brilvitch (2007). A History of Connecticut's Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe. The History Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-1-59629-296-3.
  12. ^ a b c d e "New Milford History" Archived 2006-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, Learning Zone section, Historical Society of New Milford website, accessed August 2, 2006
  13. ^ "History" Archived 2007-02-08 at the Wayback Machine, New Milford Congregational Church, accessed 23 Dec 2010
  14. ^ "The River Trail".
  15. ^ "New Milford approves $193,000 to plan 8-mile Housatonic River trail". February 27, 2017.
  16. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001), New Milford town, Litchfield County, Connecticut". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "Average weather for New Milford, CT". weather.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  18. ^ "Monthly Averages for New Milford, CT". Weather.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014
  19. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010". United States Census Bureau. US Census Bureau. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  20. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of November 1, 2022" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  21. ^ "Worship : Town of New Milford, CT".
  22. ^ "The Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce - Member Directory". Archived from the original on September 6, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  23. ^ "Elizabeth Youngling". Archived from the original on December 3, 2011. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  24. ^ "2011 World Rowing Championships Athlete Bios". Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  25. ^ "New Milford Town Web Site 12/27/2007: Rail Study". Archived from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  26. ^ "New bill would require passenger rail to New Milford 01/10/2017". January 10, 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  27. ^ Kirby, Rich (November 19, 2021). "Local Legislators Push To Fund Danbury Branch Train Line". The Patch. Patch Media. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  28. ^ Carlson, Wendy, "Did I Mention The Graves Out Back?", news article, The New York Times, page 1 of the "Real Estate" section, April 18, 2010, retrieved same day
  29. ^ Montebello, Joseph (January 12, 2022). "Actor Peter Gallagher is living the high life". Connecticut magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  30. ^ Catlin, Roger (February 1, 2001). "Vertical Horizon Reaches For Stars: From Acoustic To Metal, Band Finally Hits It Big". Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  31. ^ "Famous alumni of the Canterbury School". NewsTimes. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  32. ^ Death notice in American Masonic Register and Literary Companion (issue of September 5, 1840; pg. 7)
  33. ^ [1] "Internet Movie DataBase" Web site, "New Milford, Connecticut" Web page, accessed August 2, 2006