Main Births etc
Wallingford, Connecticut
—  Town  —
Official seal of Wallingford, Connecticut
Motto: "A Great New England Town"[1]
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°27′23″N 72°48′15″W / 41.45639, -72.80417Coordinates: 41°27′23″N 72°48′15″W / 41.45639, -72.80417
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA New Haven
Region South Central Region
Established 1670
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor William W. Dickinson, Jr.
 • Total 39.9 sq mi (103.3 km2)
 • Land 39.0 sq mi (101.1 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2.2 km2)
Elevation 151 ft (46 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 45,135
 • Density 1,100/sq mi (440/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06492
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-78740
GNIS feature ID 0213522

Wallingford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 45,135 at the 2010 census.[2] The urban center of the town is delineated as the Wallingford Center census-designated place, with a 2010 population of 18,210.[3] Official tree: Callery Pear Tree.


Wallingford was established on October 10, 1667, when the Connecticut General Assembly authorized the "making of a village on the east river" to thirty-eight planters and freemen. The "long highway" located on the ridge of the hill above the sandy plain along the Quinnipiac River is the present Main Street in Wallingford. On May 12, 1670, Wallingford was incorporated and about 126 people settled in the town. Six acre lots were set out and by the year 1675 forty houses stretched along today's Main Street. In 1775 and again in 1789, George Washington passed through Wallingford.

In the 1690s Wallingford was the site of one of the last Witch trials in New England. Winifred King Benham, known as the "Witch of Wallingford", and her daughter Winifred were thrice tried for witchcraft. While found innocent, they were compelled to leave Wallingford to settle in Staten Island, New York.[4]

During the 19th century, Wallingford industry expanded with a considerable concentration of small pewter and Britannia ware manufacturers. By mid-century, Robert Wallace acquired the formula for nickel silver and established with Samuel Simpson, R. Wallace & Company the forerunner of Wallace Silversmiths. It was also during this period that many of the small silver and Britannia plants were combined to form the International Silver Company with its headquarters in Meriden and several plants in Wallingford. In 1877 the H.L. Judd Manufacturing Company began an almost hundred year dominance of the town's lower downtown with a sprawling metalware factory complex on South Cherry Street. Over the years it evolved as a maker of brass ware, drapery hardware and armaments during World War II, until 1989 when it became a prominent industrial-to-residential conversion called Judd Square Condominiums.

In October 1871, Wallingford's railroad station was completed for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Noted for its mansard roof, ornamental brackets and stone quoins — the interlocking exterior corners — the station is among the few remaining of its kind that were built during President Grant's administration at the height of railway expansion. The town undertook an overhaul to the roof and exterior with the help of state and federal grants in the early 1990s. The station, currently scheduled for replacement as part of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail Line-up, is served by Amtrak's Vermonter and Northeast Regional. Two notable disasters were the Tornado of 1878 and the Great Arborcide of 2014. ? Wallingford was the birthplace of Aaron Jerome (1764–1802), the great-great-grandfather of Winston Churchill; inventor and publisher Moses Yale Beach (1800–1868), who would go on to found the Associated Press in 1846; singer Morton Downey (1901-1985); conservative talk show host Morton Downey, Jr. (1932–2001); and Georgia governor and signer of the Declaration of Independence Lyman Hall (1724-1790). It was also the childhood home of World War I flying ace Raoul Lufbery (1885-1918).


Bank, Opera House and Congregational Church, from a postcard sent in 1912

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.9 square miles (103.3 km²), of which 39.0 square miles (101.1 km²) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²), or 2.16%, is water.

The town of Wallingford sits astride the Quinnipiac River in northern New Haven County. It is 5 miles (8 km) south of Meriden and about 13 miles (21 km) north of New Haven. Situated in the Hartford-New Haven-Springfield corridor, Wallingford is traversed by U.S. Route 5, Interstate 91, and State Highways Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway), Route 68, Route 71 and Route 150.

Principal communities[]

  • East Wallingford
  • Quinnipiac (partly in North Haven)
  • Tracy
  • Wallingford Center
  • Yalesville


Wallingford is home to the Choate Rosemary Hall school, whose graduates have included John F. Kennedy, John Dos Passos, Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Bill Simmons, Ivanka Trump, and Adlai Stevenson.

Public high schools[]

  • Lyman Hall
  • Mark T. Sheehan

Public middle schools[]

  • Dag Hammarskjold
  • James H. Moran Middle School

Public elementary schools[]

  • Rock Hill
  • Pond Hill
  • Moses Y Beach
  • Cook Hill
  • Parker Farms
  • Yalesville
  • Evart C. Stevens
  • Highland

Parochial schools[]

  • Holy Trinity

Private schools[]

  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Heritage Baptist Academy

International Relations[]

Wallingford is twinned with:

  • Portugal Aveiro, Portugal


New York Insulated Wire Company, 1910

Wallingford has diversified its commercial and industrial base over the past decade attracting high technology industries as compared to traditional heavy manufacturing. The town has its own electric division and maintains rates well below the state's average. It is the home of a large variety of industries and major corporations spanning the spectrum of the pharmaceutical, health care, service, and high-tech specialty manufacturing industries.But with this concentration of industry Wallingford holds the distinction of having the second highest concentration in Ct of Title V permitted polluters. This group contains Ct's highest volume polluter, Allnex (The former American Cyanamid, infamous for its pollution and its' attempt to discredit Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring). Much of this industrial development, however, has been outside of the town center, most of it in new suburban industrial parks along Interstate 91. The Bristol-Myers Squibb company, the town's largest employer, has established a research and development campus adjacent to the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 68, where a special Interchange Zone has been created to allow for high-density development of office buildings, hotels, and high-tech manufacturing facilities. However, Wallingford's 19th century downtown shopping streets (North and South Main Streets, Center Street, Hall Avenue, Quinnipiac Avenue, and the adjacent parts of Colony Road) have struggled in recent years to retain its historic character. In 2014 Up with Downtown Wallingford, a grassroots effort by the Democratic Women of Wallingford, was formed to help promote its revitalization.

Appearances in pop culture[]

Penny Marshall's film, based on Beverly Donofrio's memoir, Riding in Cars with Boys includes scenes that take place in Wallingford, although not filmed in Wallingford. Drew Barrymore's character is portrayed as a young girl eager to leave her hometown. More recently, A.D. Calvo, a Wallingford resident, wrote and directed his first feature, The Other Side of the Tracks, which takes place almost entirely in Wallingford. Mayor William Dickinson has a cameo appearance in the film as a bartender. Wallingford locations featured in the film include Trackside Pizza, Jake's Bar, Choate Rosemary Hall, and an 1841 farmhouse situated on the east side of town. In December 2009, Calvo filmed his sophomore feature, The Melancholy Fantastic, in Wallingford. Locations included Salas Corner Store, North Main Street, and the fields off Cheshire Road. In April 2012, Calvo filmed his fourth feature film, The Midnight Game, in Wallingford. Locations included the town library and the historic Samuel Simpson House.

Scenes from the independent feature film Without Mercy about the death of Ken McElroy were shot in Wallingford, though the setting was actually Skidmore, Missouri. Ralph Server, born and raised in Wallingford won the grand jury prize for best picture at the New York International Film Festival for his film which he also wrote, produced and directed. The landscape, and cornfields of the town were extensively used to mimic Skidmore, Missouri, including Sala's tiny store.

Disney's College Road Trip shows scenes of the Paul Mellon Arts Center of Choate as one of the "colleges".

In the TV show Gilmore Girls, the fictional town of Stars Hollow's ZIP code is shown as 06492, the same as the real town of Wallingford.


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 43,026 people, 16,697 households, and 11,587 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,102.7 people per square mile (425.7/km²). There were 17,306 housing units at an average density of 443.5 per square mile (171.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.77% White, 1.02% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.75% Asian, 1.16% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.52% of the population.

There were 16,697 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $57,308, and the median income for a family was $68,327. Males had a median income of $47,017 versus $34,074 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,947. About 2.4% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.

Currently, Wallingford is the twenty-third most populous community of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns, ranks 21st in terms of 2001 Equalized Net Taxable Grand List ($3,723,201,280) and is 97th in the state in terms of estimated 2002 nominal income per capita ($29,788) of its residents.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005[6]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
  Democratic 6,919 278 7,197 25.85%
  Republican 4,714 257 4,971 17.85%
  Unaffiliated 14,862 770 15,632 56.15%
  Minor Parties 39 0 39 0.15%
Total 26,534 1,305 27,839 100%


From 1943 to 1944 the Boston Braves held spring training in Wallingford at Choate's Winter Exercise Building.[7]

Notable people[]

  • June Anderson, operatic soprano
  • Alice Blaski, outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League[8]
  • Stephen R. Bradley, United States Senator[9]
  • Bates Cooke, US Congressman[10]
  • D.J. Cotrona, actor, Detroit 1-8-7[11]
  • Beverly Donofrio, author[12]
  • Morton Downey, singer, businessman and father to Morton Downey, Jr.[13]
  • Morton Downey, Jr. (1932–2001), political talk show host[14]
  • Marilyn Giuliano, member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
  • Hostage Calm, Punk band released album Die Onstage in 2014
  • Dorothy Kosinski, scholar of nineteenth and twentieth-century art and the director of The Phillips Collection[15]
  • Raoul Lufbery, spent his childhood in Wallingford, later known as a World War I flying ace[16]
  • John A. McGuire, member of the United States House of Representatives from Connecticut in the Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses (January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953)[17]
  • Jay Allen Sanford, author and cartoonist known for Rock 'N' Roll Comics, Revolutionary Comics and the San Diego Reader, spent his childhood in Wallingford circa mid-1960s-1970s [18]

Points of interest[]

Bridge and falls at Quinnipiac River in Wallingford, 1907

  • Center Street Cemetery
  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • John Barker House
  • Nehemiah Royce House
  • Oakdale Theatre/Chevrolet Theatre
  • Octagon House
  • Old Gungywamp
  • Paul Mellon Arts Center
  • Reverend Samuel Street Home
  • Samuel Parsons House
  • Wallingford Public Library
  • Yalesville Underpass
  • Trail of Terror
  • Train Station

National Register of Historic Places[]

Library and Marlborough House, about 1909

Ten buildings and districts in Wallingford are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:[19]

  • John Barker House, added August 3, 1974
  • Joseph Blakeslee House, added April 13, 1998
  • Center Street Cemetery, added August 1, 1997
  • Franklin Johnson House, added November 23, 1998
  • Theophilus Jones House, added January 30, 1992
  • Nehemiah Royce House, added August 24, 1998
  • Samuel Parsons House, added April 12, 1982
  • Samuel Simpson House, added June 18, 1986
  • Wallingford Center Historic District, added December 2, 1993
  • Wallingford Railroad Station, added November 19, 1993


  1. ^ "Town of Wallingford, Connecticut". Town of Wallingford, Connecticut. Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Wallingford town, New Haven County, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Wallingford Center CDP, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Witchcraft cases in the 17th Century New England as exerped from John Putnam Demos' book Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, 1983,
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  7. ^ The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Sterling Publishing. 2007. pp. 1789. ISBN 1-4027-4771-3. 
  8. ^ "Alice Blaski". All American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association, Inc. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "BRADLEY, Stephen Row, (1754 - 1830)". Biographical Directory of the United Sates Congress. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ "COOKE, Bates, (1787 - 1841)". Biographical Directory of the United Sates Congress. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ "D.J. Cotrona". Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Donofrio's Unique Life Is, at Last, a Film". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ Galon, Buddy (2005). Dearly Departed: A Personal View of Celebrity Funerals. AuthorHouse. p. 51. 
  14. ^ Bradley, Edwin M. (2004). The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 Through 1932. McFarland. p. 31.,+Jr.+wallingford+ct&hl=en&sa=X&ei=X2nUUvP6Ho7isASyjYHoCw&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Morton%20Downey%2C%20Jr.%20wallingford%20ct&f=false. 
  15. ^ "Phillips Collection Taps Dallas Curator To Succeed Director". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "World War I Flying Ace Raoul Lufbery". Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "McGUIRE, John Andrew, (1906 - 1976)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "San Diego Reader staff bios". San Diego Reader. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  19. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 


  • Charles Henry Stanley Davis, History of Wallingford, Conn., from Its Settlement in 1670 to the Present Time, Including Meriden, which was One of Its Parishes until 1806, and Cheshire, which was Incorporated in 1780. Meriden, CT: Charles Henry Stanley Davis, 1870.
  • John B. Kendrick, History of the Wallingford Disaster. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood and Brainard Co., 1878.
  • Charles Bancroft Gillespie, Souvenir History of Wallingford, Connecticut, 1895. New Haven, CT: Journal Publishing Co., 1895.

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