Ellington, Connecticut

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Ellington, Connecticut
Town Green, Ellington CT.jpg
The town green
"A Great Place to Grow" [1]
Tolland County Connecticut Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Ellington Highlighted 2010.svg
Location in Tolland County and the state of Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°55′00″N72°27′28″W / 41.91667°N 72.45778°W / 41.91667; -72.45778 Coordinates: 41°55′00″N72°27′28″W / 41.91667°N 72.45778°W / 41.91667; -72.45778
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
U.S. state Flag of Connecticut.svg  Connecticut
County Hartford
NECTA Hartford
Region Capitol Region
  Type Selectman-town meeting
   First Selectman Lori Speilman (R)
  SelectmenJohn W. Turner (R)
Ronald F. Stomberg (R)
Lori L. Spielman (R)
James M. Prichard (R)
A. Leo Miller (D)
Melinda M. Ferry (D)
  Total34.6 sq mi (89.6 km2)
  Land34.1 sq mi (88.2 km2)
  Water0.6 sq mi (1.4 km2)
246 ft (75 m)
  Density379.4/sq mi (146.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-25360
GNIS feature ID0212330
Website www.ellington-ct.gov

Ellington is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States. Ellington was incorporated in May 1786, from East Windsor. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 15,602.



Originally the area in what is now Ellington was named by the natives as “Weexskashuck” which translates to “Great Marsh”. The earliest settlers called the area Great Marsh or Goshen. In 1671, the town of Windsor, purchased the land of East Windsor and Ellington from the Indians to recover land loss from the Connecticut-Massachusetts border dispute. Though no one attempted to settle the fertile lands for another 50 years. Samuel Pinney was the first settler in today's Ellington (Pinney Road bears his name in town). In 1733, Ellington was established as a Parish of the town of Windsor. East Windsor then split off from Windsor and held land in what is today's East Windsor, South Windsor and Ellington in May 1768. Ellington split off twenty years later and incorporated itself in May 1786. Mostly known as an agricultural community, the Crystal Lake section of town was for a while a popular summer resort location. [2] Ellington still has a significant amount of property dedicated to agriculture including cattle and corn farming.

Ellington's sole representative to the voting on the adoption of the United States Constitution by Connecticut was Ebenezer Nash. Nash was an anti-federalist and voted against the ratification, which passed 128–40.[ citation needed ]

Ellington is home to one of America's oldest roadside memorials. A stone in the southwest corner of the town marks the site where Samuel Knight was killed "by a cartwheel rolling over his head in the 10th year of his age, Nov 8, 1812". The Christian hymn, "I love to steal awhile away" was written by Phoebe Hinsdale Brown in Ellington based on a personal experience in August 1818.

During the late 19th century and early 20th century, Ellington became the center of a community of Jewish immigrant farmers who were settled there by the philanthropist Baron Maurice de Hirsch's Jewish Colonization Association. They built a synagogue, Congregation Knesseth Israel, [3] that is still standing and in use by an active Modern Orthodox congregation today and is on the National Register of Historic Places. [4]

The Ellington Supermarket in May 2006, which has closed now. EllingtonSupermarketExterior.JPG
The Ellington Supermarket in May 2006, which has closed now.

On January 1, 1967, Ellington made national news when its residents assisted the city fire department in rescuing a pilot whose plane was having engine trouble and was unable to locate a runway in a fog that cut visibility to 200 feet. Under the direction and quick thinking of Resident State Trooper, Lionel Labreche, Connecticut State Police, dozens of people assembled at the town's unlit airstrip, Hyde Field, and illuminated the runway with their headlights, allowing the pilot to land safely. [5]

In 1991, Ellington was proposed as a potential site for a low-level nuclear waste dump. Strong dissent from area residents forced the state to abandon the plan. [6]

As it enters the 21st century, Ellington has had the 6th fastest growth rate of all the towns in Connecticut, [7] and has been experiencing changes in growing from a rural farming town to a bedroom community. Exemplative of this change was the displacement of the locally owned Ellington Supermarket by competition from the regional Big Y supermarket chain when a new Big Y was built adjacent to the older supermarket. [8] An independent film entitled The Supermarket, was made about the incident. [9] [10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.6 square miles (90 km2), of which, 34.0 square miles (88 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (1.59%) is water.

Ellington is bordered by the towns of East Windsor, South Windsor, Vernon, Tolland, Willington, Stafford, Somers, and Enfield.

The town has a panhandle extending to the east that extends to the Willimantic River and encompasses Crystal Lake. A large portion of the town's eastern portion is occupied by the Shenipsit State Forest which is bounded on the south by Shenipsit Lake and on the north by Soapstone Mountain. [11]



Historical population
1820 1,196
1850 1,399
1860 1,5107.9%
1870 1,452−3.8%
1880 1,5698.1%
1890 1,539−1.9%
1900 1,82918.8%
1910 1,9999.3%
1920 2,1276.4%
1930 2,2535.9%
1940 2,47910.0%
1950 3,09925.0%
1960 5,58080.1%
1970 7,70738.1%
1980 9,71126.0%
1990 11,19715.3%
2000 12,92115.4%
2010 15,60220.7%
2019 (est.)16,467 [12] 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census [13]

As of the census [14] of 2000, there were 12,921 people, 5,195 households, and 3,470 families residing in the town. Ellington's population increased 20.8% between 2000 and 2010, making one of just four municipalities in Connecticut to achieve a growth rate of at least 20% for that period. [15] The population density was 379.4 people per square mile (146.5/km2). There were 5,417 housing units at an average density of 159.1 per square mile (61.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.23% White, 0.99% African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.40% of the population.

There were 5,195 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.2% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 35.0% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $62,405, and the median income for a family was $77,813. Males had a median income of $47,334 versus $32,460 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,766. About 2.7% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005 [16]
PartyActive VotersInactive VotersTotal VotersPercentage
Republican 1,926671,99322.61%
Democratic 1,905551,96022.23%
Minor Parties5160.07%
Presidential Election Results [17] [18]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 50.4%4,78747.6% 4,5152.0% 189
2016 43.2% 3,53151.4%4,1995.4% 437
2012 47.3% 3,59851.2%3,8941.5% 114
2008 53.9%4,23644.8% 3,5191.3% 99
2004 47.7% 3,46750.9%3,7001.4% 104
2000 48.9%3,11345.7% 2,9105.4% 339
1996 47.7%2,64338.9% 2,15213.4% 737
1992 34.8% 2,17335.3%2,20529.9% 1,858
1988 42.7% 2,17156.5%2,8730.8% 39
1984 31.9% 1,53867.5%3,2460.6% 23
1980 34.5% 1,59946.9%2,17218.6% 860
1976 45.4% 1,99554.1%2,3760.5% 20
1972 38.7% 1,43260.6%2,2420.7% 23
1968 46.6% 1,32848.3%1,3775.1% 146
1964 69.0%1,79531.0% 8060.00% 0
1960 48.2% 1,24651.8%1,3400.00% 0
1956 36.5% 75363.5%1,3110.00% 0


Ellington is a rapidly growing community, and is going through the process of suburbanization, [7] [19] which is related to the phenomenon of urban sprawl.


Ellington Public Schools belong to the Ellington Public Schools school district. [20] [21] The district has five public schools:

Elementary schools

Middle school

High school



Though no Interstate Highways run through it, Ellington is approximately equidistant to both Interstate 84 and Interstate 91, each being about a ten- to fifteen-minute drive from most parts of town.

Several Connecticut State Roads run through town:


Ellington was formerly served by a seven-mile-long rail line built in 1876 running from Vernon to Melrose, that roughly paralleled Pinney St. and Sadds Mill Rd. The rail line became defunct in the middle part of the 20th century. [22]

Ellington's town beach, Sandy Beach, located on Crystal Lake Sandy Beach, Crystal Lake, Ellington Connecticut USA.JPG
Ellington's town beach, Sandy Beach, located on Crystal Lake



Crystal Lake, in the Eastern section of town, is used by many for Recreational boating.

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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Crystal Lake, Connecticut Census-designated place in Connecticut, United States

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Connecticut Route 140

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Shenipsit Trail

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Connecticut Route 286

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Ellington Public Schools

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  1. "Town of Ellington Connecticut". Town of Ellington Connecticut. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  2. Staff; "Ellington Town Information"; The Hartford Courant; August 16, 2006
  3. Raider, Mark; Jewish Immigrant Farmers in the Connecticut Valley: The Rockville Settlement
  4. The National Register of Historic Places listings in Tolland County, Connecticut
  5. "Town Guides Lost Plane to Safe Landing— Light Small Airstrip with Cars, Trucks", Chicago Tribune, January 2, 1964, p1A-2
  6. "NUCLEAR WASTE Connecticut’s First Site Selection Process for a Disposal Facility";Report to Congressional Requesters U.S. General Accounting Office; April 1993
  7. 1 2 "Coming to Terms with Growth; Town of Ellington Newsletter; September 2004; p2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-12-06.
  8. "Customers Bemoan The Imminent Closing Of Ellington Supermarket"; Journal Inquirer; July 8, 2006
  9. "Former Employee Turns Ellington Supermarket Into Film Icon"; Journal Inquirer; November 10, 2006
  10. "Former Supermarket Worker Makes Film At Old Store"; Progressive Grocer; November 15, 2006
  11. "Map of Shenipsit State Forest; Connecticut DEP" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2006-11-26.
  12. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/cph-2-8.pdf "Connecticut: 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts," U.S. Census Bureau, June 2012, page 32. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  16. "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
  17. "General Election Statements of Vote, 1922 – Current". CT Secretary of State. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  18. "Election Night Reporting". CT Secretary of State. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  19. Sacks, Michael P. (September 2004). "Suburban Sprawl, Urban Decline and Racial/Ethnic Segregation: Shifting Dimensions of Inequality in a U.S. Metro Area" (PDF). The Office of Population Research at Princeton University. Retrieved 2007-01-30.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. "Ellington Public Schools". Ellington Public Schools. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  21. "Ellington School Districtn School District". Great Schools, Inc. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  22. Vernon Depot/The Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad/Vernon, Connecticut
  23. Airnav.com summary for Ellington Airport (7B9)

There are three different public elementary schools in Ellington,ct the schools are, center school, windermere, and crystal lake. There is also one public middle school, and a public high school.