Stonington, Connecticut

From Academic Kids

The Town of Stonington, Connecticut, in the southeastern corner of the state, includes the communities of the Borough of Stonington, Mystic, Old Mystic, Pawcatuck and Wequetequock, the site of the first European settlement in 1649, in lands that had belonged to the Pequots. The town of North Stonington was set off from Stonington in 1724 and incorporated in 1807.

The Borough of Stonington occupies a point of land that projects into Little Narragansett Bay. The lack of through traffic or modern industry, together with the Borough's role as a fashionable summer residence since the Civil War era, have preserved its Colonial, Federal, and outstanding Greek Revival domestic architecture, while the activity of Connecticut's last remaining fishing and lobstering fleet save it from preciousness. There is a large Portuguese community.

In the waters off Stonington, the States of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island comes together.

Stonington repulsed two British naval bombardments, one, during the American Revolution a desultory bombardment by Sir James Wallace in the frigate Rose, August 30, 1775, the other more damaging three-day bombardment, of 9-12 August 1814, from a squadron under Capt. Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, in whose arms Nelson died at Trafagar. The British were again repulsed. The American versifier Philip Freneau wrote (in part)

"The bombardiers with bomb and ball
Soon made a farmer's barrack fall,
And did a cow-house badly maul
That stood a mile from Stonington.
They kill'd a goose, they kill'd a hen
Three hogs they wounded in a pen—
They dashed away and pray what then?
This was not taking Stonington.
But some assert, on certain grounds,
(Beside the damage and the wounds),
It cost the king ten thousand pounds
To have a dash at Stonington.'

The Stonington lighthouse, a low stone building, was the first lighthouse established by the U.S. Federal Government, in 1823. In the 19th century Stonington supported a small fishing, whaling and sealing fleet, with some direct trade with the West Indies, enough in volume for it to be made a Port of Entry in 1842. The very young Capt. Nathaniel Palmer, in charge of the sloop Hero was seal hunting in the South Shetland Islands in the winter season of 1820, when he was sent southwards to investication a volcanic eruption under the horizon, and sighted Antarctica.

Other famous residents of Stonington have included the explorer Edmund Fanning, who discovered Palmyra Island south of Hawai'i; the Beaux-Arts architect Edward P. York, of York and Sawyer; the poets Stephen Vincent Benet and James Merrill, whose 'Water Street' evokes Stonington; and the garden essayist Eleanor Perenyì


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 129.6 km² (50.0 mi²). 100.2 km² (38.7 mi²) of it is land and 29.4 km² (11.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 22.68% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 17,906 people, 7,665 households, and 4,897 families residing in the town. The population density is 178.7/km² (462.8/mi²). There are 8,591 housing units at an average density of 85.7/km² (222.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 95.81% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.26% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. 1.30% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 7,665 households out of which 26.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% are married couples living together, 8.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% are non-families. 30.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.31 and the average family size is 2.88.

In the town the population is spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 27.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $52,437, and the median income for a family is $63,431. Males have a median income of $45,596 versus $32,069 for females. The per capita income for the town is $29,653. 5.0% of the population and 2.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.4% of those under the age of 18 and 5.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

See also: Stonington (borough), Connecticut


Henry Robinson Palmer, Stonington by the Sea, 1957de:Stonington


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