Canterbury, Connecticut

Canterbury is a town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 5,234 at the 2010 census.

Canterbury, Connecticut
Official seal of Canterbury, Connecticut
Location in Windham County and the state of Connecticut.
Location in Windham County and the state of Connecticut.
Coordinates: 41°42′N 72°0′W / 41.700°N 72.000°W / 41.700; -72.000Coordinates: 41°42′N 72°0′W / 41.700°N 72.000°W / 41.700; -72.000
Country United States
NECTANorwich-New London
RegionNortheastern Connecticut
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanChristopher J. Lippke (R)
 • SelectmanRobert B. Veach (R)
 • SelectmanLeslie M. Wrigley, Jr. (D)
 • Total40.2 sq mi (104.1 km2)
 • Land39.9 sq mi (103.3 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
351 ft (107 m)
 • Total5,132
 • Density130/sq mi (49/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)860
FIPS code09-12130
GNIS feature ID0213403


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, Peagscomsuck Island, and the Plainfield Settlement.[2] In 1703 it was officially separated from Plainfield and named The Town of Canterbury.[1][3] The town's name is a transfer from Canterbury, in England.[4]

Prudence Crandall's School (1831–1834)Edit

Canterbury was a very influential town at this period, and was particularly noted for the public spirit and high character of its leading men, and its cultivated and agreeable society. Andrew T. Judson, State attorney and successful lawyer, Dr. [Andrew] Harris, the skillful surgeon. Esquire Frost, the devoted champion of temperance, Rufus Adams, with his fund of dry humor, George S. White, with his strong character and multifarious knowledge, Luther Paine, John Francis, Thomas and Stephen Coit, Samuel L. Hough, all solid men interested in public affairs — had their homes at or near Canterbuiy Green, and gave tone and prominence to the town. Few country towns could boast such social attractions. Dr. Harris was one of the most genial and hospitable of men, and his new model house with its rare appendage of a conservatory and choice flower-garden, was the wonder of all the County. Mrs. Harris had inherited the social characteristics of her distinguished father, General Moses Cleaveland, and received their unnumbered guests with all his ease and heartiness. A handsome new house had been also built by Mr. Judson, in which much company was entertained, although it was said that Mrs. Judson as a Windham lady assumed superiority over her neighbors. Her husband, who liked to rally her upon this weakness, once called her down to the parlor to receive a Windham visitor, and most blandly piesented to her an intrusive frog, which had hopped into the hall. His own tact and courtesy made ample amends for liis wife's reputed deficiencies. Pleasant familiar intercourse was maintained among the village residents. All united with uncommon unanimity in plans for village improvement and public benefit, and it was in carrying out one of these projects that they struck upon the rock which foundered them.[5]:490

In 1832, Prudence Crandall, a schoolteacher raised as a Quaker, stirred controversy when she opened the Canterbury Female Boarding School and admitted black girls to it. Prominent Canterbury resident Andrew T. Judson led efforts against the school. The Connecticut General Assembly passed a "Black Law" which prohibited the education of black children from out of state, but Crandall persisted in teaching, and in 1833 was arrested and spent a night in jail. Drawn- outlegal proceedings not leading to success, violence by a mob of Canterbury residents forced the closure of the school in 1834. Crandall left the state snd never returned. Connecticut repealed the Black Law in 1838, and later recognized Crandall with a small pension in 1886, four years before her death. In 1995, the Connecticut General Assembly designated Prudence Crandall as the state's official heroine because she opened the first school in the United States for black girls. The school still stands in Canterbury, and currently houses the Prudence Crandall Museum. It is a National Historic Landmark,[6][7] and the leading tourist attraction in Canterbury. In 2009 a life-size bronze statue of Prudence Crandall with one of her African-American students was installed in the state capital.[8]


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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20145,088[9]−0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the census[11] 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.

Arts and cultureEdit

Museums and other points of interestEdit


Canterbury's new administration was elected in November 2019. They will serve through November 2021. Christopher J. Lippke (R) is First Selectman, Mark O. Weeks (R) is Second Selectman, Jonathan T. Lane (D) is Third Selectman. Natalie Ruth Ellston was elected to serve as Town Clerk and Tax Collector of Canterbury CT. Laurie Epler is the hired Town Treasurer.[12]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 29, 2019[13]
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage
Republican 1,105 31 1,136 30.35%
Democratic 805 27 832 22.23%
Unaffiliated 1,657 51 1,708 45.63%
Minor Parties 64 3 67 1.79%
Total 3,631 112 3,743 100%


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

  • Canterbury Elementary School
  • Dr. Helen Baldwin Middle School

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.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Town of Canterbury Connecticut". Town of Canterbury Connecticut. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "Canterbury, Windham County, Connecticut History". Connecticut Genealogy. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Profile for Canterbury, Connecticut, CT". ePodunk. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  4. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 331.
  5. ^ Larned, Ellen D. (1880). History of Windham County, Connecticut. 2. Worcester, Massachusetts: The Author – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ "Prudence Crandall Educated All". Scholastic. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  7. ^ "Prudence Crandall (1803–1890)". National Women’s History Museum. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "Prudence Crandall Statue". State of Connecticut. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 29, 2019" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  14. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  15. ^ "Minnesota Governor Horace Austin". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  16. ^ "CLEAVELAND, MOSES - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History". The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  17. ^ "Frank Dascoli (1913-1990)". Find A Grave.
  18. ^ "JEWETT, Luther, (1772 – 1860)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  19. ^ "PAINE, Ephraim, (1730 - 1785)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  20. ^ "Charles Rocket (1949–2005)publisher=IMDb". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  21. ^ "Joseph Williamson". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  22. ^ "Maine Governor William Durkee Williamson". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 2, 2012.

External linksEdit