Main Births etc
Canterbury, Connecticut
—  Town  —
Official seal of Canterbury, Connecticut
Location within Windham County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°42′N 72°0′W / 41.7, -72Coordinates: 41°42′N 72°0′W / 41.7, -72
Country  United States
State Connecticut
NECTA Norwich-New London
Region Northeastern Connecticut
Incorporated 1703
 • Type Selectman-town meeting
 • First selectman Brian H. Sear
 • Total 40.2 sq mi (104.1 km2)
 • Land 39.9 sq mi (103.3 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation 351 ft (107 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,132
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06331
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-12130
GNIS feature ID 0213403
Website Canterbury

Canterbury is a town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 5,132 at the 2010 census.


The area was first settled in the 1680s as Peagscomsuck, consisting mainly of land north of Norwich, south of New Roxbury, Massachusetts (now Woodstock, Connecticut) and west of the Quinebaug River and the Plainfield Settlement. In 1703 it was officially separated from Plainfield and named as the Town of Canterbury.

In 1832, Prudence Crandall, a schoolteacher raised as a Quaker, stirred controversy when she opened a school for black girls in town. The Connecticut General Assembly passed the "Black Law" which prohibited the education of black children from out of state, but Crandall persisted in teaching, and was briefly jailed in 1832. Mobs forced the closure of the school in 1834, and Crandall married and moved out of state. Connecticut repealed the Black Law in 1838, and later recognized Crandall with a small pension in 1886, four years before her death.

The school still stands in Canterbury, and currently serves as the Prudence Crandall Museum.

Registered historic places in town[]

  • Canterbury Center Historic District — Roughly along Elmdale, Library, N. Canterbury, S. Canterbury, and Westminster Rds. (added May 10, 1998). The historic district includes Colonial, Federal, and other architectural styles.
  • Capt. John Clark House — Rte. 169, S of Canterbury (added November 6, 1970)
  • Jonathan Wheeler House — N. Society Rd. (added March 11, 1982)
  • March Route of Rochambeau's Army: Manship Road-Barstow Road — Manship Rd., Barstow Rd. from jct. with Manship Rd. to Westminster Rd. (added February 8, 2003)
  • Prudence Crandall House — Jct. of CT 14 and 169 (added November 22, 1970)
  • Westminster Congregational Church


  • John Adams, (1772–1863), born in Canterbury, noted educator and organizer of several hundred Sunday schools.[1]
  • Horace Austin (1831–1905), the sixth governor of Minnesota (1870–1874), was born in town.
  • Margaret Wise Brown (1919-1952), author of children's literature
  • Moses Cleaveland (1754–1806), a surveyor and namesake of Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Prudence Crandall (1803–1890), a schoolteacher who set up a school for black girls in town despite local resistance.
  • Sarah Harris Fayerweather (1812-1878), first black student in Prudence Crandall's school.
  • Ephraim Paine (1730–1785) delegate for New York to the Continental Congress in 1784, was born in town.
  • Charles Rocket, born Charles Adams Claverie (1949–2005), actor and former resident, who died in town.
  • Joseph Williamson, born in Canterbury and President of Maine Senate
  • William Durkee Williamson (1779–1846) a governor of Maine (1821) was born in town.


Canterbury's new administration was elected in November 2009. They will serve through November 2011. Brian Sear is First Selectman, and Second Selectman is Leslie M. Wrigley. Both were endorsed by the Democrats and the Canterbury First party. Third Selectman is Republican, Jeff Hasbargen. Natalie Ruth Cordes, also a Republican, was elected to serve as Town Clerk and Tax Collector of Canterbury CT.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005[2]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
  Republican 986 64 1,050 29.50%
  Democratic 713 40 753 21.16%
  Unaffiliated 1,652 104 1,756 49.34%
  Minor Parties 0 0 0 0.0%
Total 3,351 208 3,559 100%


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.2 square miles (104 km2), of which, 39.9 square miles (103 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.62%) is water.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 4,692 people, 1,717 households, and 1,339 families residing in the town. The population density was 117.6 people per square mile (45.4/km²). There were 1,762 housing units at an average density of 44.2 per square mile (17.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.34% White, 0.36% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.07% of the population.

There were 1,717 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 16.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 103.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $55,547, and the median income for a family was $65,095. Males had a median income of $41,521 versus $28,672 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,317. About 3.5% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.


Students from grades Kindergarten through 8 are zoned to the Canterbury School District. The district has two schools:

The local elementary school for kindergarten through fourth grades is Canterbury Elementary School, whose mascot is the Kitt Fox. The local middle school for fifth through eighth grades is Dr. Helen Baldwin Middle School, whose mascot is the bulldog.

As Canterbury has no high school of its own, Canterbury students have the option of attending H.H. Ellis Technical High School, Norwich Technical High School, Windham Vocational-Technical High School, Woodstock Academy, Norwich Free Academy, or Griswold Senior High School.


  1. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  2. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original on September 23, 2006. Retrieved October 2, 2006. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Canterbury, Connecticut. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.