Main Births etc
City of New London
—  City  —
Downtown on the west bank of the Thames River
Official seal of City of New London
Nickname(s): The Whaling City
Motto: Mare Liberum
Location in New London County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°21′20″N 72°05′58″W / 41.35556, -72.09944
Country United States
State Connecticut
Region Southeastern Connecticut
NECTA Norwich-New London
County New London County
Settle 1646 (Pequot Plantation)
Named 1658 (New London)
Incorporated (city) 1784
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio (D)
 • City council Michael E. Passero
Rev. Wade A Hyslop, Jr.
Marie Friess-McSparran
Donald Macrino
John J. Maynard
Anthony L. Nolan
Adam Sprecace
 • City 10.76 sq mi (27.9 km2)
 • Land 5.54 sq mi (14.3 km2)
 • Water 5.23 sq mi (13.5 km2)
 • Urban 123.03 sq mi (318.66 km2)
Elevation 56 ft (17 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 27,620
 • Density 4,985/sq mi (1,824/km2)
 • Metro 274,055
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06320
Area code(s) 860
FIPS code 09-52280
GNIS feature ID 0209237
Website City of New London

New London is a seaport city and a port of entry on the northeast coast of the United States. It is located at the mouth of the Thames River (rhymes with "James" with the "th" pronounced as in "thick") in New London County, southeastern Connecticut. New London is located about 107 miles (172 km) from Boston, Massachusetts, 56 miles (90 km) from Providence, Rhode Island, 85 miles (137 km) from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and about 128 miles (206 km) from New York City.

For several decades beginning in the early 19th century, New London was the world's third busiest whaling port after New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Nantucket. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture. New London subsequently became home to other shipping and manufacturing industries, but has gradually lost its commercial and industrial heart.[1] The city is home to Connecticut College, Mitchell College, the United States Coast Guard Academy, and The Williams School. New London Harbor is home port to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Chinook and the Coast Guard's tall ship Eagle.

New London had a population of 27,620 at the 2010 census. The Norwich-New London metropolitan area (NECTA[2]) includes twenty-one towns[3] and 274,055 people.[4]


View of New London in 1854

Historic First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ on State Street in New London – side photo taken from Citizens Bank

The area was called Nameaug by the Pequot Indians. John Winthrop, Jr. founded the first English settlement here in 1646, making it about the 13th town settled in Connecticut. Inhabitants informally named it Pequot after the tribe. The Connecticut General Assembly wanted to name the town Faire Harbour, but the citizens protested, declaring that they would prefer it to be called Nameaug. The legislature relented, and on March 10, 1658 the town was officially named after London, England.

The harbor was considered to be the best deep water harbor on Long Island Sound,[5] and consequently New London became a base of American naval operations during the Revolutionary War. Famous New Londoners during the American Revolution include Nathan Hale, William Coit, Richard Douglass, Thomas & Nathaniel Shaw, Gen. Samuel Parsons, printer Timothy Green, Reverend Seabury. New London was raided & nearly burned to the ground on September 6, 1781 Battle of Groton Heights, by Norwich Native Benedict Arnold in the attempts to destroy the colonial privateer fleet and storage of goods and naval stores within the city. Often noted that this raid on New London and Groton was to divert General Washington and the French Army under Rochambeau from their march on Yorktown, Virginia. The main defensive fort for New London, Fort Griswold, located across the Thames River in Groton, was well known by Arnold who sold its secrets to the British fleet so they could avoid its artillery fire. Ft. Griswold was attacked and the British suffered great casualties before eventually storming the fort and slaughtering many of the militia who defended the fort. All told more than 52 British soldiers and 83 militia were killed and more than 142 British and 39 militia were wounded, many mortally. New London suffered more than 6 militia killed and 24 wounded while Arnold and the British and Hessian raiding party suffered an equal amount.[6]

Connecticut's independent legislature, in its January session of 1784, made New London one of the first two cities (along with New Haven) brought from de facto to formalized incorporations.

For several decades beginning in the early 19th century, New London was the second busiest whaling port after New Bedford, Massachusetts in the world. The wealth that whaling brought into the city furnished the capital to fund much of the city's present architecture.

The New Haven and New London Railroad connected New London by rail to New Haven and points beyond by the 1850s. The Springfield and New London Railroad connected New London to Springfield, Massachusetts by the 1870s.

The family of Nobel and Pulitzer-Prize playwright Eugene O'Neill, and most of his own first 26 years, were intimately connected to New London. He lived for years there, and as an adult was employed and wrote his first seven or eight plays in the city. A major O'Neill archive is located at Connecticut College, and a family home there is a museum and registered national historic landmark operated by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Dutch's Tavern on Green Street was a favorite watering hole of Eugene O'Neill and still stands today.

Towns created from New London[]

When established, New London originally had a larger land area. Towns set off since include:

  • Groton in 1705
    • Ledyard (originally North Groton) created from a part of Groton in 1836
  • Montville in 1786
    • Salem created from parts of Montville, Colchester and Lyme in 1819
  • Waterford in 1801
    • East Lyme created from parts of Waterford and Lyme in 1839
  • Fishers Island officially left Connecticut and became part of New York in 1879.


49% of New London's area is water.

In terms of land area, New London is one of the smallest cities in Connecticut. Of the whole 10.76 square miles (27.9 km2), nearly half is water; 5.54 square miles (14.3 km2) is land.[7]

The town and city of New London are coextensive. Between 1705 and 1801 sections of the original town were ceded to form newer towns. The towns of Groton, Ledyard, Montville, and Waterford; and portions of Salem and East Lyme; now occupy what had earlier been the outlying area of New London.[8]

New London is bounded on the west and north by the town of Waterford, on the east by the Thames River and Groton, and on the south by Long Island Sound.

The geographic coordinates of the state superior courthouse in New London are 41°21′20″N 72°5′58″W / 41.35556, -72.09944.[9]

Principal communities[]

  • Downtown
  • Ocean Beach

Other minor communities and geographic features are: Bates Woods Park, Fort Trumbull, Glenwood Park, Green's Harbor Beach, Mitchell's Woods, Pequot Colony, Riverside Park, Old Town Mill.


New London, like the rest of coastal Connecticut lies in the transition between a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfa) and humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), as is typical for much of the Tri-State Area (NY/NJ/CT). New London enjoys a sunny climate, averaging 2600 hours of sunshine annually. New London is the mildest large city in Connecticut in winter.

In the summer months the southerly flow from subtropical high pressure (the Atlantic/Bermuda High) often creates hot and humid weather. Daytime heating produces occasional thunderstorms with heavy, but brief downpours. Spring and Fall is mild in New London - with daytime highs in the 55 to 70 F range and lows in the 40 to 50 F range. The seaside geography of New London allows a long growing season compared to areas inland. The first frost in the New London area is normally not until early November - almost three weeks later than parts of northern Connecticut. Winters are cool to cold with a mix of rainfall and snowfall, or mixed precipitation. New London normally sees less than 25 days annually with snow cover. In mid-winter, the differences in low temperatures between areas along the coastline and areas well inland can be large at times - often as much as 15 F.

Although infrequent, tropical cyclones (hurricanes/tropical storms) have struck Connecticut and the New London metropolitan area. Hurricane landfalls have occurred along the Connecticut coast in 1903, 1938, 1944, 1954 (Carol), 1960 (Donna), 1985 (Gloria). Tropical Storm Irene (2011) also caused moderate damage along the Connecticut coast, as did Hurricane Sandy (which made landfall in New Jersey) in 2012.

Coastal Connecticut (including New London) is the broad transition zone where so-called "subtropical indicator" plants and other broadleaf evergreens can successfully be cultivated. New London averages about 90 days annually with freeze - about the same as Baltimore, Maryland. As such, Southern Magnolias, Needle Palms, Windmill palm, Loblolly Pines, and Crape Myrtles are grown in private and public gardens. Like much of coastal Connecticut/Long Island, NY, the growing season in New London is quite long, averaging 210 days from April 8 to November 5.

Climate data for Sikorsky Airport (1981–2010 normals), ~74 mi (119 km) to the southwest, Snowfall data from NWS Norwich - 12 mi to the north.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 37.1
Average low °F (°C) 23.1
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.10
Snowfall inches (cm) 6.8
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 10.9 9.7 11.3 11.0 11.8 11.1 8.9 8.9 8.2 8.8 10.0 11.1 121.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch) 5.0 3.6 2.4 .3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .5 3.1 15.0
Source: NOAA[10]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 5,150
1810 3,238 −37.1%
1820 3,330 2.8%
1830 6,335 90.2%
1840 5,519 −12.9%
1850 8,991 62.9%
1860 10,115 12.5%
1870 9,576 −5.3%
1880 10,537 10.0%
1890 13,757 30.6%
1900 17,548 27.6%
1910 19,659 12.0%
1920 25,688 30.7%
1930 29,640 15.4%
1940 30,456 2.8%
1950 30,551 0.3%
1960 34,182 11.9%
1970 31,630 −7.5%
1980 28,842 −8.8%
1990 28,540 −1.0%
2000 25,671 −10.1%
2010 27,620 7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

Population since 1810

2006–08 estimates[]

According to the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, non-Hispanic whites made up 54.6% of New London's population. Non-Hispanic blacks made up 14.0% of the population. Asians of non-Hispanic origin made up 4.6% of the city's population. Multiracial individuals of non-Hispanic origin made up 4.3% of the population; people of mixed black and white ancestry made up 1.7% of the population. In addition, people of mixed black and Native American ancestry made up 1.0% of the population. People of mixed white and Native American ancestry made up 0.7% of the population; those of mixed white and Asian ancestry made up 0.4% of the populace. Hispanics and Latinos made up 21.9% of the population, of which 13.8% were Puerto Rican.[11]

The top five largest European ancestry groups were Italian (10.5%), Irish (9.7%), German (7.4%), English (6.8%) and Polish (5.0%)

According to the survey, 74.4% of people over the age of 5 spoke only English at home. Approximately 16.0% of the population spoke Spanish at home.[12]

2000 census[]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 25,671 people, 10,181 households, and 5,385 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,635.5 per square mile (1,789.8 /km2). There were 11,560 housing units at an average density of 2,087.4 per square mile (805.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 63.49% White, 19.71% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 18.64% African American, 0.88% Native American, 2.12% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.13% from other races, and 5.67% from two or more races.

There were 10,181 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.4% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 17.6% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,809, and the median income for a family was $38,942. Males had a median income of $31,405 versus $25,426 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,437. About 13.4% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.



New London Union Station

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas passing USCG Barque Eagle

By land, New London is almost exactly midway between New York City and Boston. The major seaboard interstate highway, I-95, passes through the city, and New London's Amtrak station is on the passenger rail Northeast Corridor. The city of Worcester, Massachusetts is 74 mi (119 km) northward, principally via Interstate 395, and the Connecticut capital, Hartford, is 53 mi (85 km) to the northwest and reachable via several different state highways (principally CT-2 and CT-9). New Haven is 47 mi (76 km) to the west along I-95.

New London Union Station is served by Amtrak's Northeast Regional and Acela Express regional rail services, plus Shore Line East (SLE) commuter rail service. Downtown New London is also served by local taxi companies, regional Southeast Area Transit buses, interstate Greyhound Lines buses, the Cross Sound Ferry to Long Island, the Fishers Island Ferry District, and in summer by the Block Island Express ferry. In 2010, the Estuary Transit District began public transit service between the New London transportation center and Old Saybrook.

The Groton-New London Airport is located in neighboring Groton, and two major airports – T. F. Green and Bradley International Airport are within 75 minutes driving time, as is the smaller Tweed New Haven Regional Airport.

Rail freight is by the Providence & Worcester Railroad and the New England Central Railroad. Seagoing cargo at the State Pier is handled by Logistec Corporation.

New London is also occasionally visited by cruise ships.[14]

Fire department[]

The city of New London is protected 24/7, 365 by the 56 paid, professional firefighters and EMTs of the city of New London Fire Department(NLFD). Established in 1786, the NLFD currently operates out of 3 Fire Stations, located throughout the city, under the command of a Battalion Chief per shift. The New London Fire Department also operates a fire apparatus fleet of 3 Engines, 2 Trucks, 2 Ambulances, 1 Fire Investigation Unit, 1 Canteen Unit, and several other special, support, and reserve units. The NLFD currently responds to approximately 6,600 emergency calls annually.[15][16][17]

Fire station locations and apparatus[]

Engine Company Truck Company Ambulance Special Unit Command Unit Address
Engine 11 Ambulance 100 Fire Investigation Unit Battalion Chief 289 Bank St.
Engine 21 Truck 25 Ambulance 200 Haz-Mat./Decon. Unit 240 Broad St.
Engine 31 Truck 35 (Spare) Ambulance 400 (Spare) 25 Lower Blvd.


Municipal Building on State Street in New London

Ballot on New London voting machine

New London recently changed their form of government from council-manager to Strong Mayor-Council after a charter revision. Distinct town and city government structures formerly existed, and technically continue. However, they now govern exactly the same territory, and have elections on the same ballot on Election Day in November, the first Tuesday after the first Monday, of odd-numbered years; the officials of town and city interact essentially as do the officials of a single town or city who have different but related responsibilities and powers.

Recent policy challenges[]

Jordan v. New London (2000)

On August 23, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided in Jordan v. New London that "prevent[ing] frequent job turnover caused by hiring overqualified applicants" was legal grounds for disqualifying an applicant seeking a job with the New London Police.[18] The plaintiff, Robert Jordan, took the Wonderlic Personnel Test as part of the city's application process; his score on that test was above the range required by the police department to legally narrow down the list of who qualify to take the next step in the application process. According to the city, Jordan was too smart to join the police, since in their experience, his intelligence correlated with an increased risk of job dissatisfaction, which in turn led to increased costs in hiring and training.

Kelo v. New London (2005)

On February 22, 2005, the United States Supreme Court decided in Kelo v. City of New London, that the city may seize privately owned real property under eminent domain so that it could be used for private economic development, deciding the tax revenue from the private development satisfied the requirement for public interest for eminent domain.

In spite of the city's legal victory, the project never got off the ground. The city's chosen redeveloper was not able to get financing for the project. Even though the city expended over eighty million dollars acquiring and demolishing homes, the area where the taken homes once stood is now vacant. In November, 2009, Pfizer, which was to be the primary beneficiary of the redevelopment, announced that they instead are closing their facility adjacent to the site and moving those operations across the Thames River to their site in Groton.[19][20] The New London campus was sold to General Dynamics in 2010. Today, New London Main Street, non-profit civic organization founded in 1998 devoted to the New London Historic Waterfront District, runs programs that promote the district's cultural and economic vitality and also campaigns for various initiatives to keep and enhance the district's streetscapes. All of the group's efforts are put toward the preservation of its neighborhood.

Arts and culture[]


New London has a respected symphony orchestra, a military wind ensemble, and a local tradition of R&B and rock-n-roll. Notable artists and ensembles include:

  • Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1946 and led by Toshiyuki Shimada, who is also conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra in New Haven.
  • The Idlers of the United States Coast Guard Academy, an all-male vocal group specializing in sea chantys and patriotic music.
  • United States Coast Guard Band, founded in 1925 with the assistance of John Philip Sousa. Stationed at the United States Coast Guard Academy and attracting talented musicians from all parts of the country, the band is the official musical representative of the nation's oldest continuous seagoing service.
  • The Can Kickers, a folk punk band.
  • Dawn Robinson, a R&B singer.

Sites of interest[]

  • Ye Antientist Burial Ground
  • Hygienic Arts[21]
  • Connecticut College Arboretum
  • Flock Theatre[22]
  • Fort Griswold (Groton)
  • Fort Trumbull
  • Garde Arts Center[23]
  • Joshua Hempsted House (1678)[24]
  • List of Registered Historic Places in New London
  • Lyman Allyn Art Museum
  • Monte Cristo Cottage & Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (Waterford)[25]
  • Ocean Beach Park[26]
  • Olde Town Mill (1650)
  • Second Congregational Church (1835)[27]
  • New London County Historical Society – Shaw-Perkins Mansion (1758)[28]
  • New London Maritime Society – U.S. Custom House (1833),[29] landing site of Amistad (1839)
  • Winthrop Mill
  • Fishers Island (7 miles off the coast of New London, but currently part of New York).[30]

Notable people[]

Lyman Allyn Art Museum, designed by Charles A. Platt

  • Eliphalet Adams, clergyman
  • Theresa Andrews, winner of 2 Olympic gold medals.
  • Peter C. Assersen, Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
  • James Avery, politician and military commander
  • Nathan Belcher, congressman
  • Augustus Brandegee, judge, congressman, abolitionist
  • Frank B. Brandegee, congressman and senator
  • Amy Brenneman, actress
  • Henry Burbeck, brigadier general
  • Daniel Burrows, congressman
  • Magic Dick, musician
  • David Dorfman, choreographer
  • Richard Douglass, cooper and soldier
  • Larry Elgart, musician
  • John Ellis, baseball player
  • Richard P. Freeman, congressman
  • L. Patrick Gray, lawyer and Watergate figure
  • Timothy Green, official printer for the colony of Connecticut; first of the Green printing dynasty
  • Nathan Hale, schoolmaster and patriot
  • Doc Hammer, multimedium artist and co-creater of the Venture Brothers
  • Matt Harvey, MLB pitcher for the New York Mets
  • Glenne Headly, actress
  • Barkley L. Hendricks, painter
  • Sarah Kemble Knight, diarist, teacher and businesswoman
  • John Law, congressman
  • Bryan F. Mahan, congressman
  • Richard Mansfield, actor
  • John McCain, senator and Republican presidential nominee (lived in New London as a child when his father, John S. McCain, Jr., worked at the naval submarine base)
  • Thomas Miner, diarist
  • James O'Neill, actor, father of Eugene O'Neill
  • Eugene O'Neill, playwright
  • Walter Palmer, founder
  • Elias Perkins, congressman
  • Edward Clark Potter, sculptor
  • Art Quimby, basketball player
  • Jordan Reed, Tight End for the Washington Redskins
  • Dawn Robinson, singer
  • John Rogers, 17th and 18th century religious leader, founder of the Rogerenes
  • Moses Rogers, captain of first steam-powered ship to cross the Atlantic[31]
  • Dudley Saltonstall, naval officer
  • Samuel Seabury, bishop
  • Benjamin Stark, senator
  • Dana Suesse, composer, songwriter, musician
  • Ron Suresha, author and editor
  • Casandra Ventura, singer
  • John T. Wait, former U.S. Representative for Connecticut[32]
  • Thomas M. Waller Mayor of New London and 51st Governor of Connecticut
  • John Winthrop, the Younger, statesman and founder


  1. ^ Downey, Kirstin (May 22, 2005). "Nation & World | Supreme Court ruling due on use of eminent domain". Seattle Times. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ "About Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas". August 19, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "CBSA 01". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007.*/ 
  5. ^ "1911 Encyclopædia Britannica". September 4, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Battle of Groton Heights & Burning of New London". August 31, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ "New London County, Connecticut – County Subdivision and Place". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau.;-format=ST-7%7CST-7S&-amp;-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-_caller=geoselect&-context=gct&-amp;-mt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1_ST7&-mt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1_ST7&-redoLog=true&-amp;-_lang=en%20U.S.%20Census%20Bureau&-_lang=en&-geo_id=05000US09011&-CONTEXT=gct&-format=CO-2&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U&-amp;-tree_id=4001&-amp;-geo_id=04000US09&-amp;-context=gct&-amp;-CONTEXT=gct. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ "New London Courthouse". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  10. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  11. ^ "New London city, Connecticut – ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2006–2008". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "New London city, Connecticut – Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2006–2008". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ 2010. Connecticut's Port of New London. The Connecticut Cruise Ship Task Force, Inc.
  15. ^ "City of New London, Connecticut - Firefighting Division". Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  16. ^ "City of New London, Connecticut - Ambulance Division". Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  17. ^ "City of New London, Connecticut - History". Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  18. ^ "Jordon v. New London". AELE Law Enforcement Legal Center. August 23, 2000. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  19. ^ "Pfizer and Kelo's Ghost Town". The Wall Street Journal: p. A20. November 11, 2009. "Pfizer bugs out, long after the land grab." 
  20. ^ "A 'wrong turn': From giddy optimism to stunning disappointment". The Day. November 11, 2009. 
  21. ^ Hygienic Arts
  22. ^ Flock Theatre
  23. ^ Garde Arts Center
  24. ^ Joshua Hempsted House Connecticut Landmarks
  25. ^ Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
  26. ^ Ocean Beach Park
  27. ^ Second Congregational Church
  28. ^ New London Historical Society
  29. ^ New London Maritime Society
  30. ^ Fishers Island
  31. ^ Baker, Edward (Nov 1, 2010). "Captain Moses Rogers Gets His Due". New London County Historical Society. 
  32. ^ "WAIT, John Turner, (1811 - 1899)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 

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Coordinates: 41°21′15″N 72°06′04″W / 41.354069, -72.10104

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