Mum City, Home of ESPN, Bell City
|• Mayor||Jeff Caggiano (R)|
|• Total||26.81 sq mi (69.44 km2)|
|• Land||26.41 sq mi (68.39 km2)|
|• Water||0.40 sq mi (1.05 km2)|
|Elevation||420 ft (130 m)|
|• Density||2,270.20/sq mi (889.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||02378270|
Bristol is a suburban city located in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, 20 miles (32 km) southwest-west of Hartford. The city is also 120 miles southwest from Boston, and approximately 100 miles northeast of New York City. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 60,833.
Bristol is the location of the general studios of ESPN, and the location of Lake Compounce, the United States's oldest continuously operating theme park. Bristol was known as a clock-making city in the 19th century, and is the location of American Clock & Watch Museum. Bristol is the site of the former American Silver Company and its predecessor companies.
Bristol's nickname is the "Mum City", because it was once a leader in chrysanthemum production and still holds an annual Bristol Mum Festival.
The area that includes present-day Bristol was originally inhabited by the Tunxis Native American tribe, one of the Eastern Algonquian-speaking peoples that shared the lower Connecticut River Valley.
Originally, Bristol was within the boundaries of Farmington, Connecticut, which was incorporated in 1645. This deed was confirmed by another deed in 1650.The first actual settler of Bristol was Daniel Brownson, who built a house near West Street, but did not stay in the area very long. The first permanent settler was Ebenezer Barnes, who the next year built a home on King Street. Also in 1728, Nehemiah Manross arrived from Lebanon, and built a house north of Barnes Street, on the west side of King Street. The following year the first settlement arrived in what is now known as East Bristol when Nathaniel Messenger of Hartford and Benjamin Buck of Southington bought land and built houses along King Street.
Other houses were soon built around present-day Bristol wherever land was available for farming. This included the slope of Fall Mountain, now called Wolcott Street, and on Chippens Hill. By 1742, the families inhabiting the area petitioned the Connecticut Colony General Court for permission to create their own Congregational Society, citing the difficulties traveling to Farmington during winter. The Court approved their petition for the winter months only, and in 1744, agreed that area residents could set up through own ecclesiastical society. It was called New Cambridge. With their own congregation, area settlers began forming their own local government. However, since homes were so widely scattered, the General Court formed a committee to locate the geographic center of the settlement. The area now known as Federal Hill was deemed the center, and the first Congregationalist church was built there.
In 1785, New Cambridge was incorporated as the town of Bristol, named after Bristol, England.By 1790, the industry for which the town later became famous was established by the pioneer of clock making Gideon Roberts. Roberts began making wooden moment clocks and peddled them by horseback through Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. As Roberts' sons grew up and began helping with the business, Gideon increased production and Bristol clocks were soon sold all over the country. By the early 19th century, nearly all of the capital and skill in town was involved in the clock industry in some form or fashion. The clock business gave way to related industries, which included brass, springs, bearings, and hardware. As Bristol began to grow, many ethnic groups arrived to work in the industries.
It was incorporated as a city in 1911. Today, Bristol is mostly residential and best known as the home of ESPN (which arrived in 1979), the American Clock & Watch Museum (since 1952), and Lake Compounce, America’s oldest operating theme park—opened in 1846.
In the 1990s, the Blight Committee was formed to enforce appearance laws, and even demolishproperties which it deems are unsightly and unkempt. This committee is tasked with ensuring that properties are not abandoned and that all properties are reasonably maintained.
In 2008, the Bristol Blight Committee was disbanded in order to make way for a new committee, the Bristol Code Enforcement Committee. This new committee has even greater powers and can now deal with both appearances and structural integrity issues of buildings in Bristol. The purpose of the committee is to streamline the process of enforcing the issues the former Blight Committee was tasked with. The law requires all structures to be free of "abandoned vehicles, nuisances, refuse, pollution and filth ... broken glass, loose shingles, holes, cracked or damaged siding, crumbling brick and other conditions 'reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance.'"
Since 2008, Bristol has begun another renovation of the downtown area. The Bristol Downtown Development Corporation was formed to manage the downtown renovation.This has included a complete overhaul of a park in the center of the city. In addition, the outdated and underused Bristol Centre Mall from the mid-1960s was purchased by the city, then demolished in 2008, yielding a 17-acre site suitable for development, christened Depot Square by the city. Also, North Main Street was improved in 2008 by adding islands in the road, elegant street lighting and a brick median when the road was repaved.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Bristol has a total area of 26.8 square miles (69.5 km2), of which 26.4 square miles (68.4 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2), or 1.51%, is water. Bristol contains several distinct sections, including Cedar Lake in the southwestern quarter, Chippens Hill in the northwestern quarter, Edgewood in the northeastern quarter, Forestville in the southeastern quarter and the city in the approximate middle of Bristol. The majority of Bristol's area is residential in character, though since 2008 there has been a push for commercial development in the city. The city is part of the Naugatuck Valley Regional Planning Organization following the closure of the Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency, the metropolitan planning organization for Bristol, New Britain, and surrounding towns for decades.
Forestville was the hunting grounds of the Tunxis tribe until the 19th century.The village was established in 1833 and named Forestville for its wooded surroundings. Forestville today has grown into a mini-metropolis of suburban neighborhoods and local businesses. The boundaries of Forestville go from the Plainville town line, south to the Southington town line, west up to the industrial development along Middle street and crosses King Street, including properties on Kingswood Drive and Bernside Drive, north up to Bristol Eastern High School, then north up to the south edge of properties on Louisiana Avenue, then to the west of properties on the west side of Brook Street and from there, goes up to commercial development along Farmington Avenue. Within the Forestville area, there are two subsections known as East Bristol and the Stafford District. Forestville village has a library branch (Manross), post office, meeting hall, community group (Forestville Village Association), fire station, cemetery, funeral home, two urban parks (Quinlan Veterans Park and Clock Tower Park), Pequabuck Duck Race, Memorial Day Parade, Summer Concert Night, Pumpkin Festival, and a railroad station (no longer in use). At one time all of Forestville had its own zip code.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 census, there were 60,477 people, 25,189 households, and 16,175 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,265.8 inhabitants per square mile (874.8/km2). There were 26,125 housing units at an average density of 985.6 per square mile (380.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city is 87.74% White, 3.84% African American, 9.64% Hispanic, 0.19% Native American, 1.94% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.72% from other races, and 2.54% from two or more races.
In 2000 there were 24,886 households in Bristol, of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. Of all households 28.9% were made up of individuals, and 10.7% consisted of a sole resident who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38, and the average family size was 2.94.
The age diversity at the 2000 census was 23.2% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city in 2010 was $57,610. The per capita income for the city was $30,573. Of the population 10.5% was living below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.7% of those under the age of 18 and 5.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
The companies below are some of the most notable in Bristol. These, in addition to Bristol Hospital, are the largest private employers in the area.
Founded in 1857 and headquartered in Bristol, Barnes Group is a diversified international manufacturer of precision metal components and assemblies and a distributor of industrial supplies, serving a wide range of markets and customers. Barnes Group consists of three businesses with 2005 sales of $1.1 billion.
ESPN houses its broadcast studios in Bristol on Middle Street. ESPN is the largest taxpayer to the City of Bristol.
ESPN's former parent, Capital Cities Communications, once owned the local ABC affiliate WTNH, but sold it after acquiring ABC (which owned ESPN), and later merged with The Walt Disney Company.
Though its beginnings were in Yonkers, New York, Otis Elevator Company possesses the tallest elevator test tower in the United States in Bristol. Located near ESPN and Lake Compounce, the 383-foot (117 m)-high tower is easily visible from the surrounding roads.
According to Bristol's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,the top employers in the city were:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|2||City of Bristol & Board of Education||1,601|
|6||Sheriden Woods Health Care Center||200|
|7||IDEX Health & Science LLC||175|
|8||Stop & Shop||150|
|10||The Pines at Bristol||115|
Bristol holds an annual street festival in September with a car show and a family farms weekend at Minors Farm, Shepherd Meadows and Roberts Orchard.
The first Bristol Mum Festival began on July 7, 1962, and included a parade. The members of the Chamber of Commerce and City of Bristol officials met and completed a list of activities to take place over six days. They wanted to focus on the positive things that were occurring in Bristol. When the festival opened it was originally known as the "Fall Festival". In 1963 the chrysanthemum ("Mum") was also added to the festival's name. Prior to 1986 the nurseries in Bristol would produce over 80,000 mum plants.[ citation needed ] In 2014, city leaders elected to adopt a new "brand" for the city. "All Heart" became the new logo on letterheads and T-shirts and even the "Mum Festival" leaders were "encouraged" to adopt the new image at the festival and parade.
Located in Bristol are the American Clock & Watch Museum, Imagine Nation, A Museum Early Learning Center,Bristol Military Memorial Museum, Bristol Historical Society Museum, Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, and the Harry Barnes Memorial Nature Center which is part of the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut. There is also a Polish-American Dożynki festival every September, at St Stanislaus Church.
Bristol has a summer collegiate baseball team called the Bristol Blues who play home games at Muzzy Field.
Muzzy Field is one of the oldest ballparks in the United States. In 2012 and 2013, the City of Bristol approved funding for a significant renovation project of the historic ballpark.
Bristol hosts the Little League New England and Mid-Atlantic Regional playoffs every August at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Center.
Parks in Bristol include Peck, Page, Rockwell, Bracket, Barnes Nature Center, Indian Rock, and Forestville Memorial.The city is also home to Lake Compounce (1846), the oldest continuously operated amusement park in North America, and to the New England Carousel Museum.
|2020||51.89%15,463||46.42% 13,834||1.69% 503|
|2016||47.25% 12,499||48.20%12,752||4.55% 1,204|
|2012||57.91%14,146||40.95% 10,004||1.14% 279|
|2008||60.10%15,966||38.41% 10,203||1.49% 397|
|2004||56.34%14,201||42.13% 10,619||1.53% 386|
|2000||61.81%14,665||33.50% 7,948||4.69% 1,112|
|1996||57.59%13,616||27.74% 6,560||14.67% 3,468|
|1992||41.99%11,872||29.73% 8,407||28.28% 7,995|
|1988||54.39%13,462||44.58% 11,034||1.03% 256|
|1984||43.53% 10,782||56.00%13,872||0.47% 116|
|1980||46.32%11,123||39.91% 9,583||13.77% 3,306|
|1976||54.07%13,330||45.23% 11,151||0.70% 173|
|1972||46.92% 11,609||52.19%12,913||0.89% 219|
|1968||57.59%12,316||37.66% 8,053||4.76% 1,017|
|1964||76.13%15,600||23.87% 4,892||0.00% 0|
|1960||62.82%13,365||37.18% 7,909||0.00% 0|
|1956||39.28% 7,602||60.72%11,751||0.00% 0|
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 29, 2019|
|Party||Active Voters||Inactive Voters||Total Voters||Percentage|
The city is governed under a Mayor-council form of government. Both the mayor and councilpersons are elected every two years. The city's Treasurer, Board of Assessment Appeals, and Board of Education are also elected every two years.Jeff Caggiano (R) was elected as mayor on November 2, 2021. Ellen Zoppo-Sassu (D), first elected in the 2017 municipal election and was re-elected in 2019. The last municipal election was held on November 2, 2021.
The City Council is made up of six members, elected every two years from three two member districts. As of the 2021 municipal elections, the members of the city council are:
Bristol is represented in the Connecticut House of Representatives by state representatives Cara Pavalock D’Amato (R-77), Whit Betts (R-78), and Chris Ziogas (D-79). State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) represents Bristol in the Connecticut Senate. At the federal level, Bristol is in Connecticut's 1st congressional district and is currently represented by Democrat John B. Larson.
Education in Bristol is conducted using seven elementary schools (grades kindergarten through five), two middle schools (grades six, seven and eight), and two high schools. In addition to these public schools, there are three private Catholic Schools, and one Lutheran School available. These add an additional three pre-kindergarten through grade 8 schools and one additional high school.
A recent press release shows good scores on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, a standardized test which students take statewide in tenth grade. The report states that more than 87% of Bristol students scored at or above the proficient level in each of the content areas assessed.
|Elementary schools||Middle schools||K-through-8 schools||High schools|
(closed June 2010)
|Chippens Hill Middle School||Saint Anthony School|
(Closed June 2016)
|Bristol Central High School|
|Edgewood School||Memorial Boulevard Middle School|
(Closed June 2012)
|Saint Matthew School||Bristol Eastern High School|
|Greene-Hills School||Northeast Middle School||Saint Joseph School||St. Paul Catholic High School|
|Hubbell School||Immanuel Lutheran School|
|Ivy Drive School|
(closed June 2012)
|Mountain View School|
(closed June 2012)
|South Side School|
|West Bristol School|
Recently,[ when? ] it has been proposed that the educational system of the city be redesigned. Because some of the schools are in historic buildings, new schools are being sought by the city. In addition, it has been proposed that the entire education system of the city be redesigned, eliminating the middle school category. In other words, all schools would be kindergarten through eighth grade or high school. The Bristol Board of Education's appeals for support for this project have been met with mixed emotions.
The local daily newspaper is The Bristol Press,and town news is also featured in a small weekly called the Bristol Observer.
Bristol has a bus service that connects urban centers and hospitals with the rest of the city.It is part of the CTtransit system, which serves the Greater Hartford area.
Bristol's emergency medical services program has been provided by Bristol Hospital since 1977. It was designed to assume the responsibility previously carried by the Bristol Police Department. The Bristol Hospital's EMS are carried out using 6 emergency ambulances (including spares), 2 paramedic intercept vehicles and 4 wheelchair vans.
The Bristol, Connecticut Fire Department is a full-service fire department with five engine companies (or stations) and one tower ladder company. The Bristol Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five members appointed by the Mayor who establish the primary policies of the fire department.
The Bristol Police Department is a full-service police department with approximately 125 sworn officers. The Bristol Board of Police Commissioners consists of five members appointed by the Mayor who establish the primary policies of the police department. In addition to a vehicular patrol division, downtown Bristol is also policed by a bicycle division. During any shift, there may be as many as 12 officers on duty, not including detectives and officers from other divisions.
Hartford is the capital city of the state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. It is the core city in the Greater Hartford metropolitan area. Census estimates since the 2010 United States census have indicated that Hartford is the fourth-largest city in Connecticut with a 2020 population of 121,054, behind the coastal cities of Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stamford.
Hartford County is a county located in the north central part of the U.S. state of Connecticut. According to the 2020 census, the population was 899,498, making it the second-most populous county in Connecticut. Hartford County contains the city of Hartford, the state capital of Connecticut and the county's most populous city, with 121,054 residents at the 2020 census. Hartford County is included in the Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown metropolitan statistical area.
Southington is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2020 United States Census, it had a population of 43,501. Southington contains the villages of Marion, Milldale, and Plantsville.
Windsor is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, and was the first English settlement in the state. It lies on the northern border of Connecticut's capital, Hartford. The population of Windsor was 29,492 at the 2020 census.
Plymouth is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is named after Plymouth, Devon, England. The population was 11,671 at the 2020 census, down from 12,243 at the 2010 census. The town of Plymouth includes the villages of Plymouth Center, Terryville and Pequabuck.
Winsted is a census-designated place and an incorporated city in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is part of the town of Winchester. The population of Winsted was 7,712 at the 2010 census, out of 11,242 in the entire town of Winchester.
Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, centrally located between New Haven and Hartford, and Boston and New York City. The population was 44,396 at the 2020 census. The community was named after Wallingford, in England.
Willimantic is a city located in the town of Windham in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. It is a former Census-designated place and borough, and is currently organized as one of two tax districts within the Town of Windham. Known as "Thread City" for the American Thread Company's mills along the Willimantic River, it was a center of the textile industry in the 19th century. Originally incorporated as a city in 1893, it entered a period of decline after the Second World War, culminating in the mill's closure and the city's reabsorption into the town of Windham in the 1980s. Heroin use, present since the 1960s, became a major public health problem in the early 2000s, declining somewhat by the 2010s. Though the city was a major rail hub, an Interstate Highway has never passed within ten miles, despite early plans to connect it.
Milford is a coastal city in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, located between New Haven and Bridgeport. The population was 50,558 at the 2020 United States Census. The city includes the village of Devon and the borough of Woodmont. Milford is part of the New York-Newark Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.
New Britain is a city in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. It is located approximately 9 miles (14 km) southwest of Hartford. According to 2020 Census, the population of the city is 74,135.
Waterbury is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Hartford and 77 miles (124 km) northeast of New York City. Waterbury is the second-largest city in New Haven County, Connecticut. According to the 2020 US Census, in 2020 Waterbury had a population of 114,403. As of the 2010 census, Waterbury had a population of 110,366, making it the 10th largest city in the New York Metropolitan Area, 9th largest city in New England and the 5th largest city in Connecticut.
Lake Compounce is an amusement park located in Bristol and Southington, Connecticut. Opened in 1846, it is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States. It spans 332 acres (134 ha), which includes a beach and a water park called Crocodile Cove included in the price of admission. The park was acquired from Kennywood Entertainment Company by Palace Entertainment, the U.S. subsidiary of Parques Reunidos. In addition to the 14th oldest wooden roller coaster in the world, Wildcat, its newer wooden roller coaster, Boulder Dash, has won the Golden Ticket Award for the #1 Wooden Coaster in the World for five consecutive years.
Greater Hartford is a region located in the U.S. state of Connecticut, centered on the state's capital of Hartford. It represents the only combined statistical area in Connecticut defined by a city within the state, being bordered by the Greater Boston region to the northeast and New York metropolitan area to the south and west. Sitting at the southern end of the Metacomet Ridge, its geology is characterized by land of a level grade along the shores of Connecticut River Valley, with loamy, finer-grained soil than other regions in the state. Greater Hartford, had a total population of 1,213,531 at the 2020 United States census.
Route 72 is a state highway in the western part of the Greater Hartford area. Route 72 is an L-shaped route with a north–south section in Plymouth and Harwinton and an east–west section from Bristol to New Britain. Route 72 is a freeway from Route 9 in New Britain to Route 372 in Plainville. Although ConnDOT logs it as a north-south route, it is signed as east-west with the exception of signage on route 4 at its northwest terminus for route 72 south.
The greater Hartford–Springfield area is an urban region and surrounding suburban areas that encompasses both north-central Connecticut and the southern Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts; its major city centers are Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut.
Bristol Central High School is a public high school in Bristol, Connecticut, United States. Its mascot is the Ram, and its colors are maroon and white. The school is known for its performing arts group, Central Stage, as well as for its athletics. The Rams have excelled in basketball, baseball, wrestling, and track in recent years. In 2017, principal Peter Wininger was awarded Varsity Brands 'Principal of Principles,' deeming him the best principal in the United States. The schools Italian Language teacher Gina Gallo-Reinhardt nominated Wininger for the award, and he and his family were sent to Florida for the ceremony where he was crowned the winner.
Route 229 is a state highway in the western Greater Hartford area of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It runs north–south from Interstate 84 in Southington to U.S. Route 6 in Bristol. Along the way, it intersects Route 72 in the Forestville section of Bristol.
The Tunxis Trail is a 79-mile (127 km) Blue-Blazed hiking trail "system" that traverses the western ridge of the central Connecticut Valley. The mainline trail is not completely contiguous, notably there are two gaps of several miles.