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East Hampton, Connecticut
—  Town  —

Seal
Nickname(s): Belltown, USA
East Hampton, Connecticut is located in Connecticut
East Hampton, Connecticut
Location within the state of Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°34′05″N 72°30′20″W / 41.56806°N 72.50556°W / 41.56806; -72.50556
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA Hartford
Region Midstate Region
Incorporated 1767
Government
 - Type Council-manager
 - Council Melissa H. Engel (R), Chm
Thomas M. Cordeiro (R), Vice
William G. Devine (R)
Christopher J. Goff (D)
Scott A. Minnick (C)
Susan B. Weintraub (C)
John W. Tuttle (D)
 - Town manager Vacant.
Robert Drewry - Acting
Area
 - Total 36.8 sq mi (95.3 km2)
 - Land 35.6 sq mi (92.2 km2)
 - Water 1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)
Elevation 354 ft (108 m)
Population (2005)[1]
 - Total 15,363
 - Density 343/sq mi (132/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06424,06414
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-22490
GNIS feature ID 0213423
Website www.easthamptonct.org

East Hampton is a town in Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 13,352 at the 2000 census. East Hampton includes the villages of Cobalt, Middle Haddam, and Lake Pocotopaug.

The southern trailhead of the Shenipsit Trail is in Cobalt, and the Airline State Park (a rail trail) has its southern trailhead in East Hampton, at Smith Street. The 884-acre (3.6 km²) Hurd State Park, Meshomasic State Forest and Salmon River State Forest are located in town. Comstock Covered Bridge, the only remaining covered bridge in eastern Connecticut, spans the Salmon River near Route 16 in East Hampton.

The Chatham Historical Society Museum and the Joseph N. Goff House Museum and Cultural Center are located in the town.

Contents

History

The first settlers of the area arrived in 1739 by sea from Eastham, Massachusetts. They traveled up the Connecticut River to Middle Haddam parish between the two adjacent towns of Middletown and Haddam. Led by Isaac Smith, some of these settlers went on to the hills near Lake Pocotopaug, the present-day location of East Hampton. In 1746, the settlers named their community Easthampton parish after their former home of Eastham. In 1767, the community was separated from Middletown incorporated by the Connecticut General Assembly as the township of Chatham, after Chatham, Medway due to the important shipbuilding industries that both places had in common. In the 1800s, East Hampton became the center of the manufacturing of bells, with the first factory being constructed in 1808. During this period, thirty firms were known to have built and run factories producing these bell products, the four most prominent being Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company, Starr, Hill, and Gong Bell. In 1841, the East Middletown parish, which had been a part of Chatham, separated and became a new township called Conway (later renamed to Portland).

Main Street, about 1907

Chatham was renamed to East Hampton in 1915, which had long been a second name for the township. The name "East Hampton", however, is confusing, since the town is, in fact, approximately 30 miles southwest of Hampton, Connecticut. In addition, there is often confusion between East Hampton and the continguous Town of East Haddam, Connecticut which was named in 1734. The bell companies that dominated the economy of East Hampton continued to flourish until The Great Depression. Today, the only remaining company is Bevin Brothers Manufacturing Company, at a much reduced scale. Many of the brick factories from this remain untouched in the center of the town, due to heavy metal poisoning. Others have been converted into offices, stores, and other small businesses.

Capt. Jesse Hurd was a master ship builder in Middle Haddam after the Revolutionary War until his death in 1839. Interest in ship building in Middle Haddam dwindled thereafter. Captain Hurd was also the owner and creator of the New York Screw Dock Company, a "dry dock" facility for ship repairs. Captain Hurd was married to Drusilla Dart. Drusilla's brother, Joseph Dart, Esq. married Sarah Hurd. Hurd's father was Capt. Jacob Hurd, II, who married Thankful Hurlbut, daughter of Capt. Hurlbut of Middletown. Capt. Jacob Hurd held worship services, twice a day, in his home. Perhaps that was done because there was no Methodist Episcopal Church until 1786, though records indicate the Hurds, Darts, Smiths, Higgins, et al. were married at the Congregational Church. He died at the age of 92 due to falling off his horse. His father, Jacob, married Rebecca Higgins, great grand daughter of Thomas Rogers, of the Mayflower. Jacob was son of John Hurd who emigrated to Boston from the Highlands of Scotland.

Railroad station, about 1907

Capt. Jesse Hurd's son was Capt. Cyrus Hurd, shipmaster. Cyrus Hurd married Belinda Norton Smith, daughter of Capt. Hezekiah Smith. Their daughter Emma Eugenia Smith married Russel Dart, II, Esq. Their son was Russel Dart, III, Esq., who owned the Alfaduct Company whose manufacturing plant was in Jersey City, New Jersey. The office was in Manhattan. His home was a townhouse on the upper west side. Russel renovated the Cyrus Hurd's Connecticut River Valley home, adding a large, stylish addition on the north side. He also renovated the library, with the Hurds, which had been given to Middle Haddam by Cyrus' daughter, Delia. Russel gave the large parcel of property, a few miles south, which is known as Hurd State Park to the State. He also gave his Connecticut River island, known as Dart Island to the State. Russel married Ida Stuyvesant Woodhouse, a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant. Russel and Ida had two children: Russel Stuyvesant Dart and Margaret Stuyvesant Dart, author of Yankee Traders, at Sea and Ashore. Russel S. Dart had two sons: Russel B. Dart and John R. Dart. John had three sons: Ralph, Richard and Christopher.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.8 square miles (95.4 km²), of which, 35.6 square miles (92.2 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.2 km²) of it (3.37%) is water, due to the large Lake Pocotopaug, which used to be inhabited by Native American tribes.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 13,352 people, 4,126 households, and 3,003 families residing in the town. The population density was 375.2 people per square mile (144.9/km²). There were 4,412 housing units at an average density of 124.0/sq mi (47.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.36% White, 2.04% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 2.39% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.69% of the population.

There were 4,126 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.7% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.4% under the age of 18, 22.4% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $66,326, and the median income for a family was $74,409. Males had a median income of $50,157 versus $35,867 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,769. About 2.2% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[3]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
  Democratic 2,185 85 2,270 27.49%
  Republican 1,648 75 1,723 20.86%
  Unaffiliated 4,036 212 4,248 51.44%
  Minor Parties 15 2 17 0.21%
Total 7,884 374 8,258 100%

Famous East Hampton Residents

  • William A. O'Neill (August 11, 1930 – November 24, 2007), a twentieth century U.S. political figure, most notably as Governor of Connecticut from 1980 to 1991, was a native and lifelong resident of East Hampton.
  • Mark Mulcahy, the former front-man for the New Haven-based band Miracle Legion and current solo recording artist, is a native of East Hampton.
  • Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd, a popular novelist, lived at "Faraway Farm" near East Hampton in the early 20th century.

References

Factory, 1906

External links

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