Town of Westport
Westport Town Hall
|Incorporated||May 28, 1835|
|Founded by||Bankside Farmers|
|• 1st selectman||Jim Marpe (R)|
|• 2nd selectwoman||Jennifer Tooker (R)|
|• 3rd selectwoman||Melissa Kane (D)|
|• Total||33.45 sq mi (86.6 km2)|
|• Land||19.96 sq mi (51.7 km2)|
|• Water||13.49 sq mi (34.9 km2)|
|Elevation||26 ft (8 m)|
|• Density||1,322.2/sq mi (510.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0213532|
Westport is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, along the Long Island Sound within Connecticut's Gold Coast. It is 52 miles (84 km) northeast of New York City. The town had a population of 26,391 according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and is ranked 19th among America's 100 Richest Places as well as third in Connecticut, with populations between 20,000 and 65,000.
The earliest known inhabitants of the Westport area as identified through archaeological finds date back 7,500 years.Records from the first white settlers report the Pequot Indians living in the area which they called Machamux translated by the colonialists as beautiful land. Settlement by colonialists dates back to the five Bankside Farmers ; whose families grew and prospered into a community that continued expanding. The settlers arrived in 1693, having followed cattle to the isolated area. The community had its own ecclesiastical society, supported by independent civil and religious elements, enabling it to be independent from the Town of Fairfield. As the settlement expanded its name changed: it was briefly known as "Bankside" in 1693, officially named Green's Farm in 1732 in honor of Bankside Farmer John Green and in 1835 incorporated as the Town of Westport.
During the revolutionary war—on April 25, 1777, a British force of 1,850 under the command of the Royal Governor of the Province of New York, Major General William Tryon landed on Compo Beach to destroy the Continental Army’s military supplies in Danbury.Minutemen from Westport and the surrounding areas crouched hiding while Tryon's troops passed and then launched an offensive from their rear. A statue on Compo beach commemorates this plan of attack with a crouching Minuteman facing away from the beach, looking onto what would have been the rear of the troops. A sign on Post Road East also commemorates this event.
The Town of Westport was officially incorporated on May 28, 1835, with lands from Fairfield, Weston and Norwalk.Daniel Nash led 130 people of Westport in the petitioning of the Town of Fairfield for Westport’s incorporation. The driving force behind the petition was to assist their seaport’s economic viability that was being undermined by neighboring towns’ seaports. For several decades after that, Westport was a prosperous agricultural community distinguishing itself as the leading onion-growing center in the U.S. Blight caused the collapse of Westport's onion industry, leading to mills and factories replacing agriculture as the town's economic engine.
Agriculture was Westport's first major industry. By the 19th century, Westport had become a shipping center in part to transport onions to market.
Starting around 1910 the town experienced a cultural expansion.During this period artists, musicians, and authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald moved to Westport to be free from the commuting demands experienced by business people. The roots of Westport's reputation as an arts center can be traced back to this period during which it was known as a "creative heaven."
In the 20th century, a combination of industrialization and popularity among New Yorkers attracted to fashionable Westport—which had attracted many artists and writers—resulted in farmers selling off their land. Westport changed from a community of farmers to a suburban development.
In the 1950s through to the 1970s, New Yorkers relocating from the city to the suburbs discovered Westport's culture of artists, musicians and authors.The population grew rapidly, assisted by the ease of commuting to New York City and back again to rolling hills and the "natural beauty of the town." By this time Westport had "chic New York-type fashion shopping" and a school system with a good reputation, both factors contributing to the growth.
By the 21st century, Westport had developed into a center for finance and insurance, as well as professional, scientific and technical services. Many kids here go to the University of Pennsylvania for their undergrad studies, returning after graduation. [ failed verification ]
According to a publication by the 2010 Census, 33.45 square miles (86.6 km2) of which 19.96 square miles (51.7 km2) (59.67%) is land with the remaining area of 13.49 square miles (34.9 km2) (40.20%) water.Westport has a total area of
Westport is bordered by Norwalk on the west, Weston to the north, Wilton to the northwest, Fairfield to the east and Long Island Sound to the south.
|Climate data for Westport, Connecticut|
|Record high °F (°C)||68|
|Average high °F (°C)||37|
|Average low °F (°C)||19|
|Record low °F (°C)||−15|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.2|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||7.6|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||6.3||5.9||6.8||7.3||7.7||7.1||6.6||6.5||6.3||5.7||6.4||6.3||78.9|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||3.5||2.9||1.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.1||1.4||9.1|
|Source 1: The Weather Company Record Low & High Data & Average Low & High Data & Average Precipitation Data|
|Source 2: USA.com Average snowfall inches & Average precipitation days & Average snowy days|
Both the train station and a total of 26 percent of town residents live within the 100-year floodplain. [ citation needed ]The floodplain was breached in 1992 and 1996 resulting in damage to private property, the 1992 flooding of the train station parking lot and the implementation of flood mitigation measures that include town regulations that affect renovations and additions to building within the floodplain zone.
The 2010 US Census counted the total number of households in Westport being 9,573 of which 7,233 (75.6%) were family households. 1,322.2 inhabitants per square mile (510.5/km2). There were 10,065 housing units at an average density of 503.0 per square mile (194.2/km2).The population density was
According to the 2010 Census, the population of Westport was 92.6% White, 4.0% Asian, 1.2% Black or African American, and 0.1% American Indian. Individuals from other races made up 0.6% of Westport's population while individuals from two or more races made up 1.6%.In addition, Latinos of any race made up 3.5% of Westport's population. About 29.8% of Westport residents were younger than age 18 as of 2010; higher than the U.S. average of 24%.
According to the 2000 Census, there were 9,586 households, of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.1% were married couples living together, 6.8% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 25.2% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.9% under the age of 18, 2.7% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $147,391, and the median income for a family was $176,740. As of the 2000 Census, males had a median income of $100,000 versus $53,269 for females. The per capita income for the town was $73,664. 2.6% of the population and 1.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 2.7% are under the age of 18 and 2.1% are 65 or older.
In July 2008, Westport was named the fifth top-earning city in the US, with a median family income of $193,540 and median home price of $1,200,000.In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Westport was the 9th wealthiest city in the United States.
|2016||68.99%10,655||26.99% 4,169||4.01% 620|
|2012||56.45%8,495||42.79% 6,439||0.76% 114|
|2008||65.05%10,067||34.52% 5,342||0.43% 66|
|2004||59.47%9,115||39.56% 6,063||0.98% 150|
|2000||57.35%8,304||38.61% 5,590||4.05% 586|
|1996||51.61%7,331||40.73% 5,785||7.67% 1,089|
|1992||48.10%7,799||38.02% 6,166||13.88% 2,251|
|1988||44.32% 6,519||54.73%8,051||0.95% 140|
|1984||38.58% 5,774||61.21%9,162||0.21% 31|
|1980||30.26% 4,381||53.95%7,810||15.79% 2,285|
|1976||40.97% 6,053||58.73%8,677||0.30% 44|
|1972||40.23% 5,937||58.98%8,705||0.79% 116|
|1968||42.34% 5,435||54.82%7,037||2.84% 365|
|1964||59.54%6,939||40.46% 4,716||0.00% 0|
|1960||35.86% 3,825||64.14%6,842||0.00% 0|
|1956||24.60% 2,232||75.40%6,842||0.00% 0|
Westport, like Connecticut as a whole, is heavily Democratic. Hillary Rodham Clinton outscored Donald J. Trump by 42 points in 2016, marking the best performance for a Democratic presidential nominee in the town in over 60 years.
Westport was one of five towns in Connecticut that backed former Governor John Kasich over Donald J. Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Kasich received 1,098 votes (46.19 percent) ahead of Trump who garnered 1,053 votes (44.30 percent). U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas finished third with 165 votes (6.94 percent).
The town switched to a Representative Town Meeting style governance in 1949. The government consists of a three-member Board of Selectmen, a Representative Town Meeting (RTM), a Board of Finance, a Board of Education, a Planning and Zoning Commission, and various other commissions, boards, and committees.
As of 2019, the current mill rate of Westport is 16.86.
As of 2020, the Westport Police Department has a full-time complement of 64 sworn police officers that serve the Town of Westport.This department is one of few Police Departments in the country to invest in electric and hybrid fleets.
The town of Westport is protected by the paid, full-time firefighters of the Westport Fire Department (WFD). Established in 1929, the Westport Fire Department currently operates out of 4 fire stations, located throughout the town, and maintains a fire apparatus fleet of 6 Engines, (4 first line and 2 reserve) 1 truck, 1 rescue, 1 fireboat, 1 High Water Unit, 1 utility unit and 1 Shift Commander's unit. The fire department also holds the Fairfield County Hazardous Materials Truck, housed at Westport Fire Headquarters. The Westport Fire Department responds to, on average, approximately 4,000 emergency calls annually.
Below is a complete listing of all fire station locations and apparatus in the town of Westport.
|Engine company||Special unit||Address||Neighborhood|
|Engine 2||Rescue 3, Fireboat, High Water Unit, Utility Unit||515 Post Rd. E.||Downtown|
|Engine 4||555 Riverside Ave.||Saugatuck|
|Engine 5||66 Center St.||Greens Farms|
|Engine 6||FireBoat||61 Easton Rd.||Coleytown|
Staples High School is Westport's only public high school. Staples High School was ranked No. 4 for best high schools in Connecticut and 279th best nationwide."
The district has two middle schools, Bedford Middle School and Coleytown Middle School, the latter being down for renovations due to mold issues.In September 2009, Bedford Middle School was awarded the government-honored Blue Ribbon Award. In 2020, Bedford Middle and Coleytown Middle schools were ranked No. 3 and No. 7 in the state, respectively.
There are five elementary schools with a total of 2,556 students:
There are numerous preschools in Westport, including Stepping Stones Pre-school, Greens Farms Nursery School, Saugatuck Nursery School, Earthplace Nursery School and the YMCA Childcare.
For the 2020–21 fiscal year, the school district's adopted budget is $121.9 million.The school district had an estimated $109.1 million budget for the 2009–10 fiscal year, giving it an average per pupil expenditure of $16,266. The average 2010 class size for kindergarten through first grade was 22 students and 25 students for second through fifth grade.
Greens Farms Academy, located in the 1920s Vanderbilt estate overlooking Long Island Sound, is a K-12 private preparatory school located in the Greens Farms section of town. Pierrepont School, opened in 2002 on Sylvan Road, is a private K-12 school for gifted students.
The Rolnick Observatory, operated by the Westport Astronomical Society, is open to the public for free on clear Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The observatory is located at 182 Bayberry Lane, on a former Nike missile site.
Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, is a natural history museum, nature center and wildlife sanctuary located at 10 Woodside Lane. The organization is dedicated to the promotion of public environmental education, preservation and conservation. Activities include maintaining a 62-acre (250,000 m2) open space wildlife sanctuary with trails, presenting public nature education programs, a water quality monitoring program, an interactive nature discovery area, a nursery school and summer camp.
Westport's first newspaper dates back to the printing and publication of the first issue of The Saugatuck Journal on December 26, 1828.
Westport is served by both English-language newspapers and news websites including Westport Newsand WestportNow. The town is also home to a monthly magazine Westport.
The financial services sector employs 7,171 in Westport; half of whom commute daily to Westport.The financial services industry is a major segment of the local economy. The major financial services companies in Westport now are Bridgewater Associates, a global investment manager and Westport's largest employer, Canaan Partners, an early stage venture capital firm focusing on IT and life sciences, and BNY Mellon. Professional, scientific, and technical services companies include Terex, a Fortune 500 company manufacturing industrial equipment and offering professional and technical services around those products, and dLife, a multimedia diabetes education (and marketing) company.
Comprising 234 acres (0.95 km2), Sherwood Island State Park is located on Long Island Sound and includes beach access. Compo Beach and Burying Hill Beach are municipal beaches that are open to out-of-town visitors in the summer for a fee. The state's 9/11 memorial was put in Sherwood Island State Park in Westport; on a clear day the New York City skyline can be seen.
In 1960, Westport purchased Longshore Club Park.
In 2011, Paul Newman's estate gave land to Westport to be managed by the Aspetuck Land Trust.
In 2010, the historic Wakeman Farm was reopened to the public as the Wakeman Town Farm and Sustainability Center. The town's website describes as an "organic demonstration homestead open to the public. The Farm is a model facility created to educate the community with local healthy food production, responsible land stewardship, sustainable practices and community service orientation."
Interstate 95, the Merritt Parkway, and U.S. 1, as well as the Saugatuck River, run through Westport.
Westport has two train stations, Green's Farms and Westport on the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, which serves Stamford and Grand Central Terminal in New York City or New Haven-Union Station. This line is shared with Amtrak trains as it is part of the Northeast Corridor, but no Amtrak services stop at Green's Farms or Westport. The nearest Amtrak stations are at Bridgeport (10 miles) and Stamford (12 miles).
A recent initiative by residents of the Town of Westport, Connecticut, culminating in a 2019 report.It is part of a greater interest to improve pedestrian and cyclist options from the major places of interest in town: downtown Westport to the Westport Train Station. This approximate two-mile stretch of road is most directly accessible via Post Road East (U.S. Route 1) to Riverside Avenue. The third iteration of the study will more specifically address ways in which this path can be improved for people not traveling by car; the first report considered the conditional state of the path and the second analyzed traffic conditions.
The Westport Planning and Zoning Commissionis interested in offering more sustainable and accessible transit options: in 2017 the Commission released a report on alternate transit options, complete with surveys of town residents and maps of current sidewalks and bike paths. The lack of sidewalks on some two-way arterial and many collector streets may increase the potential for accidents. This is occurring in tandem with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s notable laws which support users of all transit forms: the Complete Streets Law of 2009, the 2014 Vulnerable User Law, and the 2015 Bike Bill. A true application of change in the post-Complete Streets law is the restriping of road shoulders by the DOT across the state, including the many, already narrow, two-way streets. The narrowing of roads is known to encourage slower, safer driving, which protects pedestrians and cyclists, as well as auto users. This form of traffic calming is thus in line with Vision Zero, an interest by New Urbanists and city planners focused on reducing traffic-caused injuries and fatalities.
The Norwalk Transit District, with several routes available for Westporters due to support by the Town of Westport, offers another form of transit for mainly commuting use.
Among the many actors, singers and other entertainers who have lived in town is Paul Newman who resided in Westport from 1960 until his death in 2008. His wife, Joanne Woodward, still resides in town.Fala (1940–1952), President Franklin D. Roosevelt's dog, was an early Christmas gift from Mrs. Augustus G. Kellogg, a town resident. Actress Grace Carney moved to Westport in 1979, when she became president of United Tool and Die, a company started by her father. She died in the city in 2009. Actress Gene Tierney grew up in Greens Farms. Adult film star Marilyn Chambers grew up in Westport under her given name Marilyn Briggs. Martha Stewart also lived in Westport at her historic estate of Turkey Hill. Jean Donovan, a lay Roman Catholic missioner martyred in El Salvador in 1980 grew up in Westport and graduated from Staples High School. She is honored on the litany of saints by the Lutheran World Federation and by The Anglican Communion. Academy Award winner Sandy Dennis lived in Westport until her death in 1992. Actor Christopher Walken lives in Westport. Former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a resident of Westport.
As of 2020 [update] , Westport has three sister cities:
Fairfield County is a county in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut, and its most populous and fastest-growing from 2010 to 2018. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 916,829, estimated to have increased by 3.6% to 949,921 in 2017, and decreased to 943,332 in 2019. The most populous county in the state, the county population represents a little over 25% of Connecticut's overall population and is one of its fastest-growing counties. The closest to the center of the New York metropolitan area, the county contains four of the state's largest cities–Bridgeport (1st), Stamford (3rd), Norwalk (6th), and Danbury (7th)–whose combined population of 433,368 is nearly half the county's total population.
Easton is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 7,490 at the 2010 census. Easton contains the historic district of Aspetuck.
Fairfield is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It borders the city of Bridgeport and towns of Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport along the Gold Coast of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 59,404. In September 2014, Money magazine ranked Fairfield the 44th best place to live in the United States and the best place to live in Connecticut.
Redding is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 9,158 at the 2010 census.
Weston is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 10,179 at the 2010 census with the highest median household income in Connecticut. The town is served by Route 57 and Route 53, both of which run through the town center. About 19% of the town's workforce commutes to New York City, about 45 miles (72 km) to the southwest.
The Saugatuck River is a 23.7-mile-long (38.1 km) river in southwestern Connecticut in the United States. It drains part of suburban and rural Fairfield County west of Bridgeport, emptying into Long Island Sound.
Staples High School is a public high school located in the town of Westport, Connecticut, United States. Staples High School is named after Horace Staples, who founded the school on April 26, 1884. Westport is one of eight school districts in District Reference Group A.
Westport Country Playhouse, is a not-for-profit regional theater in Westport, Connecticut.
Southport is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut. It is located along Long Island Sound between Mill River and Sasco Brook, where it borders Westport. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 1,585. Settled in 1639, Southport center has been designated a local historic district since 1967, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 as the Southport Historic District.
Route 57 is a secondary state highway in western Connecticut serving as the "Main Street" of and connecting the towns of Westport and Weston. The road continues north through Redding to end at US 7 just after crossing into Wilton, in the village of Georgetown.
The Saugatuck Reservoir is a reservoir in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, that straddles the border between the towns of Redding, Weston, and Easton. Its completion is marked by the creation of the Samuel P. Senior dam of the Saugatuck River in January 1942, and provides water to several of the nearby towns. The reservoir is surrounded by the Centennial Watershed State Forest and a small section of the Trout Brook Valley State Park Reserve on the southeast end of the reservoir. The Saugatuck Reservoir utilizes an uncontrolled spillway adjacent to the Samuel P. Senior dam that effectively limits the maximum water level. There is also a concrete levee positioned on the southeastern side of the reservoir that prevents water from flooding Trout Brook Valley.
Green's Farms is the oldest neighborhood in the town of Westport in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States.
Henry Burr Sherwood was an inventor, miller, and farmer in Westport, Connecticut.
The Fairfield County Railroad was chartered May 1835. Its goal was to give Danbury, Connecticut, a rail link with the outside world. It became the Danbury and Norwalk Railroad by 1850 which in turn did not operate until 1852. This company preceded Danbury and Norwalk Railroad and by 1950 ceased to exist.
The Battle of Ridgefield was a battle and a series of skirmishes between American and British forces during the American Revolutionary War. The main battle was fought in the village of Ridgefield, Connecticut, on April 27, 1777. More skirmishing occurred the next day between Ridgefield and the coastline near Westport, Connecticut.
The Westport Library is a public library in the town of Westport, Connecticut, established on February 4, 1886, by members of the Westport Reading-Room and Library Association.
The Saugatuck River Bridge is a bridge in Connecticut carrying Route 136 over the Saugatuck River in Westport. The bridge, built in 1884, is the oldest surviving movable bridge in Connecticut and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The total length of the bridge is 87.5 metres (287 ft) with a deck width of 6.1 metres (20 ft) and a minimum vertical clearance of 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) above the river. The bridge carries an average of about 16,000 vehicles per day. In 2007, the bridge was named the William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge.
The Greens Farms School is a historic school building at Morningside Drive South and Boston Post Road in Westport, Connecticut. It was built in 1925 and received an addition in 1950. It was designed by architect Charles Cutler in a Tudor Revival style, and is a fine example of such style. It is the only Tudor Revival school building in Westport. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
The Aspetuck Land Trust is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967 that seeks to preserves open spaces in the towns of Westport, Fairfield, Weston and Easton in Fairfield County, Connecticut. In 2011 it was reported that the trust covered an area of 1,700 acres over 43 sites which include public trails.
The Gold Coast, also known as Lower Fairfield County or Southwestern Connecticut not limited to the Connecticut panhandle, is an affluent part of Western Connecticut that includes the entire southern portion of Fairfield County as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, Super-Public Use Microdata Area (Super-PUMA) Region 09600. The area is about 50 miles northeast of New York City, and is home to many wealthy Manhattan business executives. Parts of the region are served by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Westport, Connecticut .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Westport, Connecticut .|