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Wallingford, Connecticut
—  Town  —
Location in Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°27′23″N 72°48′15″W / 41.45639°N 72.80417°W / 41.45639; -72.80417
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA New Haven
Region South Central Region
Established 1670
 - Type Mayor-council
 - Mayor William W. Dickinson, Jr.
 - Total 39.9 sq mi (103.3 km2)
 - Land 39.0 sq mi (101.1 km2)
 - Water 0.9 sq mi (2.2 km2)
Elevation 151 ft (46 m)
Population (2005)[1]
 - Total 44,736
 - Density 1,147/sq mi (443/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06492
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-78740
GNIS feature ID 0213522

Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 43,026 at the 2000 census.



Wallingford was established on October 10, 1667, when the Connecticut General Assembly authorized the "making of a village on the east river" to 38 planters and freemen. The “long highway” located on the ridge of the hill above the sandy plain along the Quinnipiac River is the present Main Street in Wallingford. On May 12, 1670, Wallingford was incorporated and about 126 people settled in the town. Six acre lots were set out and by the year 1675, 40 houses stretched along today's Main Street. In 1775 and again in 1789, George Washington passed through Wallingford.

During the nineteenth century, Wallingford industry expanded with a considerable concentration of small pewter and Britannia ware manufacturers. By mid-century, Robert Wallace acquired the formula for nickel silver and established with Samuel Simpson, R. Wallace & Company the forerunner of Wallace Silversmiths. It was also during this period that many of the small silver and Britannia plants were combined to form the International Silver Company with its headquarters in Meriden, Connecticut and several plants in Wallingford.

In October, 1871, Wallingford's train station was completed for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Noted for its mansard roof, ornamental brackets and stone quoins — the interlocking exterior corners — the station is among the few remaining of its kind that were built during President Grant's administration at the height of railway expansion. The town undertook an overhaul to the roof and exterior with the help of state and federal grants in the early 1990s. The station is served by the Springfield Route of Amtrak.

Wallingford was the birthplace of Aaron Jerome (1764-1802), the great-great-grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill; inventor and publisher Moses Yale Beach (1800–1868), who would go on to found the Associated Press; singer Morton Downey; conservative talk show host Morton Downey, Jr. (1932-2001); and Georgia governor and signer of the Declaration of Independence Lyman Hall. It was also the childhood home of World War I flying ace Raoul Lufbery. The town produces its own electricity and maintains an electric company with rates well below the state's average.


Bank, Opera House and Congregational Church, from a postcard sent in 1912

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.9 square miles (103.3 km²), of which, 39.0 square miles (101.1 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) of it (2.16%) is water.

The town of Wallingford sits astride the Quinnipiac River in northern New Haven County. It is five miles (8 km) south of Meriden and about thirteen miles (19 km) north of New Haven. Situated in the Hartford-New Haven-Springfield corridor, Wallingford is traversed by U.S. Route 5, Interstate 91, State Highways Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway), Route 68, Route 71 and Route 150.


Principal communities

  • East Wallingford
  • Quinnipiac (partly in North Haven)
  • Tracy
  • Wallingford Center
  • Yalesville


Wallingford is home to the Choate Rosemary Hall school (which graduated John F. Kennedy, John Dos Passos, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Bill Simmons, Ivanka Trump, and Adlai Stevenson)

Public High Schools
Lyman Hall High School or website Lyman Hall
Mark T. Sheehan High School or website Mark T. Sheehan

Public Middle Schools
Dag Hammarskjold (also named New England Spotlight School)
James H. Moran

Public Elementary Schools
Rock Hill
Pond Hill
Moses Y Beach
Cook Hill
Parker Farms
Evart C. Stevens

Pariochial Schools
Holy Trinity

Private Schools
Choate Rosemary Hall


Wallingford has diversified its commercial and industrial base over the past decade attracting high technology industries as compared to traditional heavy manufacturing. It is the home of a large variety of industries and major corporations spanning the spectrum of the medical, health care, service, hi-tech specialty metal manufacturing and research development.

The development of the Barnes Industrial Park, Casimir Pulaski Industrial Park, Wharton Brook Industrial Park, and the South Turnpike Road area have greatly contributed to this transition. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has established a research and development facility in Wallingford’s MedWay Industrial Park. An Interchange Zone which permits high-density commercial development of office parks, research and development centers, and hotels has been created at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 68..

Appearances in pop culture

Penny Marshall's film Riding in Cars with Boys includes scenes that take place in Wallingford; although not filmed in Wallingford. Drew Barrymore's character is portrayed as a young girl eager to leave her hometown. More recently, A.D. Calvo, a Wallingford resident, wrote and directed his first feature, The Other Side of the Tracks, which takes place almost entirely in Wallingford. In addition, Mayor William Dickinson has a cameo appearance in the film as a bartender. Wallingford locations featured in the film include Trackside Pizza, Jake's Bar, Choate Rosemary Hall, and an 1841 farmhouse situated on the east side of town.

Scenes from the independent feature film "Without Mercy" about the death of Ken McElroy were shot in Wallingford, though the setting was actually Skidmore, Missouri.

Disney's College Road Trip also shows scenes of the Paul Mellon Arts Center of Choate as one of the "colleges".

In the TV show Gilmore Girls, the fictional town of Stars Hollow's ZIP code is shown as 06492, the same as the real town of Wallingford.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 43,026 people, 16,697 households, and 11,587 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,102.7 people per square mile (425.7/km²). There were 17,306 housing units at an average density of 443.5/sq mi (171.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.77% White, 1.02% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.75% Asian, 1.16% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.52% of the population.

There were 16,697 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $57,308, and the median income for a family was $68,327. Males had a median income of $47,017 versus $34,074 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,947. About 2.4% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.

Currently, Wallingford is the twenty-third most populous community of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns, ranks 21st in terms of 2001 Equalized Net Taxable Grand List ($3,723,201,280) and is 97th in the state in terms of estimated 2002 nominal income per capita ($29,788) of its residents.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[3]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
  Democratic 6,919 278 7,197 25.85%
  Republican 4,714 257 4,971 17.85%
  Unaffiliated 14,862 770 15,632 56.15%
  Minor Parties 39 0 39 0.15%
Total 26,534 1,305 27,839 100%

Notable people, past and present

  • Nehemiah Royce, (1636 - 1706), was one of Wallingford's original proprietors and his home, The Nehemiah Royce House, is the oldest extant house in Wallingford. George Washington visited the house in 1775, and addressed Wallingford residents from the site.

Points of interest

Bridge and falls at Quinnipiac River in Wallingford, 1907

National Register of Historic Places

Library and Marlborough House, about 1909

Ten buildings and districts in Wallingford are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:[4]

  • John Barker House, added August 3, 1974
  • Joseph Blakeslee House, added April 13, 1998
  • Center Street Cemetery, added August 1, 1997
  • Franklin Johnson House, added November 23, 1998
  • Theophilus Jones House, added January 30, 1992
  • Nehemiah Royce House, added August 24, 1998
  • Samuel Parsons House, added April 12, 1982
  • Samuel Simpson House, added June 18, 1986
  • Wallingford Center Historic District, added December 2, 1993
  • Wallingford Railroad Station, added November 19, 1993


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WALLINGFORD, a township of New Haven county, Connecticut, U.S.A., S.W. of the centre of the state, in the valley of the Quinnipiac river. It contains the villages of East Wallingford, Tracy and Yalesville, and the borough of Wallingford. Pop. of the township (1900) 9001, (1910) 11,155; of the borough (1900) 6 737, of whom 1796 were foreign-born and 21 were negroes, (1910) 8690. Area of the township, about 38 sq. m. The borough is 12 m. N.E. of New Haven, on a hill about 1 z m. long, and is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway (which has stations also at East Wallingford and Yalesville) and by an interurban electric line connecting with Meriden and New Haven. The borough has a public library (1881), a Masonic Home, the Gaylord Farm Sanatorium of the New Haven County Anti-Tuberculosis Association, the Phelps School (for girls) and the Choate School (1896, for boys). Among the manufactures of the borough are sterling silver articles, plated and britannia ware, brass ware, rubber goods, cutlery and edge tools. The township of Wallingford was settled in 1670. At a meeting held in January 1766, in protest against the Stamp Act, it was declared, that "Whereas it appears from ancient Records and other Memorials of Incontestible Validity that our Ancestors with a great Sum Purchased said township, with great Peril possessed and Defended the Same, we are Born free (having never been in bondage to any), an inheritance of Inestimable Value," and a penalty of 20S. was imposed upon any one who should introduce or use stamped paper or parchment. During the War of Independence patriotic sentiment here was strong and Loyalists were sometimes exiled to Wallingford, where they could have no effective influence. The borough of Wallingford was incorporated in 1853 and re-incorporated in 1868. From 1851 to 1880 there was a communistic settlement, a branch of the Oneida Community, here; its property was bought by the Masonic Order and made into the Masonic Home.

See C. H. S. Davis's History of Wallingford (Meriden, 1870).

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