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Farmington is a town located in Hartford County in the Farmington Valley area of central Connecticutmarker in the United Statesmarker. The population was 23,641 at the 2000 census. It is home to the world headquarters of several large corporations including Carrier Corporation, Otis Elevator Company, and Carvel. As an affluent suburb of Hartfordmarker, Farmington is often regarded as one of the most posh and desirable communities in the area. The town was listed among the "preppiest" suburbs in the United States in the tongue-in-cheek 1980s best-seller The Official Preppy Handbook.

History

Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

Farmington was originally inhabited by the Tunxis Indian tribe. In 1640 a white settlement was established by residents of Hartford, making Farmington the oldest inland settlement west of the Connecticut River and one of the oldest communities in the state. They found the area ideal for settling because of its rich soil, location along the floodplain of the Farmington River, and valley geography.

The town and river were given their present names in 1645, which is considered the incorporation year of the town. The town's boundaries were later enlarged several times making it the largest in the Connecticut Colony by far. Farmington has been called the mother of towns because its vast area was divided to produce nine other central Connecticut communities. The borough of Unionville, in Farmington's northwest corner, was once home to many factories harnessing the water power of the Farmington River.

Located in the picturesque Farmington Valley, Farmington is steeped in history and New England charm. Main Street, in the historic village section, is lined with colonial estates, some of which date back to the 17th century. During the Revolutionary War George Washington passed through Farmington on several occasions and referred to the town as "the village of pretty houses." In addition, French troops under General Rochambeau encamped in Farmington en route to Westchester County to offer crucial support of General George Washington's army.

Nineteenth century

Northwest View of Farmington from Round Hill a sketch by John Warner Barber (1798–1885) for his Historical Collections of Connecticut (published 1836) shows Barber in the picture, across the Farmington River from the town


The majority of Farmington residents were firm abolitionists and were active in aiding escaped slaves. Several homes in the town were safe houses on the underground railroad, in fact the town was such a hub that it became known as "Grand Central Station" among escaped slaves and their "guides".

Furthermore, Farmington played an important role in the famous Amistad slaveship trial. In 1841, 38 Mendi Africans and Cinque, the leader of the Amistad revolt, were housed and educated in Farmington because the U.S. government refused to provide for their return to Africa following the trial. The Mendi were educated in English and Christianity while funds were raised by residents for their return to Africa.

The Farmington Canal, a minor canal connecting New Havenmarker with Northampton, Massachusetts, passed through the Farmington on the eastern bank of the river and was operated intermittently between 1828 and 1848. While never a commercial success, the canal's right of way and towpath was eventually used for a railroad, portions of which were used up to the 1990s. Much of the towpath and the railroad bed has been converted to a cycling and running trail running from New Haven to Northampton, Massachusetts.

On the National Register of Historic Places

First Church of Christ


Education

Students in Farmington have access to public schools that consistently rank among the best in the nation. The town has seven main public schools. The four K-4 elementary schools are Union School, West District School, Noah Wallace School, and East Farms School. The recently built West Woods Upper Elementary School houses all of grades 5-6 and features state of the art facilities. Irving A. Robbins Middle School houses grades 7-8. Farmington High School serves grades 9-12 for the entire town. In 2005, Farmington High School was ranked 125 on Newsweek Magazine's list of the best schools in the United States, in 2006 Farmington was ranked 269 and in 2007, 298.

Important institutions in town

UConn Health Center
Just above the village, off Mountain Road, lies the Hill-Stead Museum. The estate, completed in 1901 and designed for Alfred Atmore Pope by his daughter Theodate Pope Riddle, one of the first woman American architects, is known for its Colonial Revival architecture. Now a museum, its 19 rooms hold a nationally-recognized collection of Impressionist paintings by such masters as Manet, Monet, Whistler, Degas and Cassatt. It is also the sight of the annual Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, and is a National Historic Landmark.

Miss Porter's Schoolmarker, an exclusive college preparatory school for girls, is in Farmington. The school, whose buildings occupy much of the village center, is a significant historic and cultural institution in its own right. Founded in 1843 by educational reformer Sarah Porter, Miss Porter’s has long been one of the most selective preparatory schools for girls in the country. Famous alumni include Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lilly Pulitzer and members of the Bush, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller families.

The town is also home to the University of Connecticut Health Center, which employs over 5,000 people. The Health Center also houses John Dempsey Hospital. The hospital provides the only full-service emergency department in the Farmington Valley and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of only two in Connecticut.

Farmington is also home to TRUMPF Inc. TRUMPF is the largest manufacturer of fabricating machinery in the United States and a world market Leader in lasers used for industrial production technology.

Development issues

Post Office and stage coach, 1907 postcard
Many residents have repeatedly fought proposals by the state to widen Route 4marker, a main thoroughfare linking northwestern Connecticut to I-84, fearing that such a move would compromise the character and integrity of the town. With the recent relocation of Parsons Chevrolet, "on that crazy corner" just above the village, there is some suspicion that this widening of Route 4 will come sooner rather than later. Work has been delayed because of the town's fight to maintain the village aesthetic and requests for modifications to the proposed plan.

Farmington also faces a relatively strong demand for housing. The lure of Farmington's quality public school system, convenient location for commuters, charm, and name recognition continue to attract new home buyers. As such, town officials are faced with the task of accommodating new growth while respecting the preservation and need for open space. Farmington's real estate values are among the highest in Greater Hartford.

In January 2008, town residents overwhelmingly approved the purchase of nearly of farmland. This blocked a proposal to convert the farm into a residential strip, something many feared would have compromised the town's rural feel.

Notable residents



Historical populations

1756 3,707
1774 6,069
1782 5,542
1790 2,696
1800 2,809
1810 2,748
1820 3,042
1830 1,901
1840 2,041
1850 2,630
1860 3,144
1870 2,616
1880 3,017
1890 3,179
1900 3,331
1910 3,478
1920 3,844
1930 4,548
1940 5,313
1950 7,026
1960 10,813
1970 14,390
1980 16,407
1990 20,608
2000 23,641
2005 24,941 (estimate)
Sources: Interactive Connecticut State Register & Manual and U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division

Geography

Rattlesnake Mountain
to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.8 square miles (74.5 km²), of which, 28.1 square miles (72.7 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (2.50%) is water.

Farmington borders the towns of Avonmarker, Burlingtonmarker, Newingtonmarker, West Hartfordmarker, and Plainvillemarker, and the cities of New Britainmarker and Bristolmarker.

Farmington is mostly wooded. But there are also a myriad of meadows and hills in the east and southeast. There are also numerous ponds and lakes. The Farmington River runs through the town from the northwest from Burlington, enters Unionville, then takes a sharp near Farmington Center and flows north towards Avon. The Metacomet Ridge, a range of low traprock mountain ridges, occupies the east side of Farmington as Pinnacle Rockmarker, Rattlesnake Mountainmarker, Farmington Mountainmarker, and Talcott Mountainmarker. The ridge is traversed by the Metacomet Trail, a hiking trail and contains several rock walls and chimneys suitable for technical climbing. These climbing areas, as well as several other rockclimbing locations in Central Connecticut are documented in the 1995 book, Hooked on Traprock[16281]

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 23,641 people, 9,496 households, and 6,333 families residing in the town. The population density was 842.6 people per square mile (325.3/km²). There were 9,854 housing units at an average density of 351.2/sq mi (135.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.91% White, 1.55% African American, 0.12% Native American, 3.72% Asian, 0.59% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.19% of the population.

There were 9,496 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $67,073, and the median income for a family was $85,396 (these figures had risen to $82,455 and $106,599 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $57,113 versus $39,156 for females. The per capita income for the town was $39,102. About 2.8% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 28, 2008
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage

Democratic 5,579 186 5,765 31.96%

Republican 4,467 172 4,639 25.72%

Unaffiliated 7,229 380 7,609 42.18%

Minor Parties 21 6 27 0.15%
Total 17,296 744 18,040 100%


Economy

Interstate 84 passes through the eastern edge of the town. The sprawling Westfarms Mallmarker is also located on this end of town. The mall houses anchor stores Nordstrommarker, Lord and Taylor, and Macy'smarker as well as a host of other retailers and restaurants.

See also



References

External links




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