Open main menu

Guilford is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, that borders Madison, Branford, North Branford and Durham, and is situated on I-95 and the Connecticut seacoast. The population was 22,375 at the 2010 census. In 2015 the population stands at approximately 22,413 people. It was named one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2005.[3]

Guilford, Connecticut
Totoket Mountain in Guilford
Totoket Mountain in Guilford
Official seal of Guilford, Connecticut
"Discover A Piece Of Connecticut History"[1]
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°17′N 72°41′W / 41.283°N 72.683°W / 41.283; -72.683Coordinates: 41°17′N 72°41′W / 41.283°N 72.683°W / 41.283; -72.683
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
CountyNew Haven
Metropolitan areaNew Haven
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanMatthew T. Hoey III (D)[2]
 • SelectmanCharles Havrda (R)
 • SelectmanSusan Renner (R)
 • SelectmanLouis Federici (D)
 • SelectmanSandra Ruoff (D)
 • Total49.7 sq mi (128.7 km2)
 • Land47.1 sq mi (121.9 km2)
 • Water2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
56 ft (17 m)
 • Total22,227
 • Density450/sq mi (170/km2)
 • Demonym
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)203/475
FIPS code09-34950
GNIS feature ID0213438


Guilford, c. 1900

Guilford was named after the town of Guildford, in England,[4] the native home of a share of its first settlers.[5] In early maps of the Connecticut Colony, the town is seen on several maps as Gilford.

First settled by Europeans in 1639 after being purchased from Native American leader Wequash, Guilford is considered by some to have the third largest collection of historic homes in New England, with important buildings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.[6] There are five historic house museums, including Dudley Farm and the Henry Whitfield House (1639), the oldest dwelling house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house built by English settlers in North America. The Comfort Starr House (1645–46) is one of the oldest wooden framed private dwellings in Connecticut, and one of the few houses remaining of the original signers who settled Guilford.[7]

In June 1781, a skirmish was fought in Guilford between a British raiding party and locals.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.7 square miles (129 km2), of which 47.0 square miles (122 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (6.9 km² or 5.39%) is water.

The primary settlement in Guilford, known as Guilford Center, is located in the southern part of town around the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Connecticut Route 77. It is served by three exits of Interstate 95, which passes just north of the town center. The Guilford Center census-designated place had a population of 2,597 at the 2010 census.[8]

The northwest side of Guilford is flanked by the Metacomet Ridge, a mountainous trap rock ridgeline that stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. Notable features of the Metacomet ridge in Guilford include Totoket Mountain; its most notable peak, Bluff Head; and two eastern high points on the Totoket Mountain ridge named East Sugarloaf and West Sugarloaf. The 50-mile (80 km) Mattabesett Trail traverses Bluff Head; a shorter network of trails criss-cross the Sugarloaves. Guilford also contains the Westwoods Trail System which covers 39 miles (63 km) of trails on 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land.


The Shore Line East train stops at Guilford station with service to Branford, East Haven, New Haven and New London, and the Connecticut Transit S bus travels between Guilford and New Haven several times each day.

Principal communitiesEdit

  • Guilford Center (Guilford's Green)
  • Leetes Island
  • North Guilford
  • Nut Plains
  • Sachems Head (named after a Pequot chief who was killed there and his severed head placed in the crotch of a tree on the knoll.[9])

Other minor communities and geographic features in Guilford are Guilford Lakes, Indian Cove, and Old Quarry.


Census Pop.
Est. 201422,413[10]0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 21,398 people, 8,151 households, and 6,039 families residing in the town. The population density was 454.8 people per square mile (175.6/km²). There were 8,724 housing units at an average density of 185.4 per square mile (71.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.04% White, 0.93% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.65% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.13% of the population.

There were 8,151 households out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. Of all households 21.6% were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $76,843, and the median income for a family was $87,045 (these figures had risen to $90,026 and $104,852 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[13]). Males had a median income of $60,623 versus $40,307 for females. The per capita income for the town was $37,161. About 2.3% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 30, 2014[14]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 4,743 551 5,294 33.05%
Republican 3,183 333 3,516 21.95%
Unaffiliated 5,995 1113 7,108 44.38%
Minor Parties 94 5 99 0.62%
Total 14,015 2,002 16,017 100%


American Cruise Lines has its headquarters in Guilford.[15][16] There are many small businesses throughout the town, including the shops on the Guilford Green.

List of town parksEdit

The town government operates these parks:[17]

  • Bittner Park: 123 acres (0.50 km2) of woodlands and 15 acres (61,000 m2) of playground, a lighted softball field (Cash Mitchell Field), baseball and soccer fields, jogging/walking path; trout trail; roller sports complex with a skate park, roller hockey and roller blading. Ice skating available in winter.[17]
  • Chaffinch Island: Picnic areas, short walking trails, salt marsh.[17]
  • Chittenden Park: Softball and soccer fields, bocce courts, picnicking, unsupervised beach area[17]
  • Jacobs Beach: Public swimming (salt water), playground, volleyball courts, picnicking; nonresidents may use the beach, but are charged a daily fee at the gate.[17]
  • Lake Quonnipaug: Public swimming, picnic area, small craft launch.[17]
  • Long Hill: 8-acre (32,000 m2) park with playing fields for baseball, football, soccer/lacrosse and field hockey[17]
  • Mill Pond: Lighted, supervised ice skating in winter; fishing[17]
  • Nut Plains: Lacrosse/soccer field[17]
  • Town Green: available for special events[17]

Notable locationsEdit

Guilford, Connecticut is noted for its rolling farmland, its avoidance of the density and sprawl that has occurred from land use regulations of its neighboring communities, and its numerous historic homes and sites.[18]

National Historic Places and other historic sitesEdit

The Comfort Starr House
The Henry Whitfield House, built in 1639, is the oldest stone house in New England [21]

Historic sites in or near Guilford, which may be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, include:

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Town of Guilford Connecticut". The Town of Guilford Connecticut. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Board of Selectmen". Town of Guilford, Connecticut. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  3. ^ Money Top 100 Best Places to Live 2005 Retrieved on 2008-01-09
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 146.
  5. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 332.
  6. ^ The Connecticut Nutmegger, Connecticut Society of Genealogists (Connecticut Society of Genealogists, 1981).
  7. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1938). Connecticut. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-1-60354-007-0.
  8. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Guilford Center CDP, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  9. ^ Smith, Ralph (1877). The History of Guilford Connecticut. Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell. pp. 46–47.
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 30, 2014" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  15. ^ "General Information". American Cruise Lines. Retrieved on January 15, 2012. "American Cruise Lines, Inc. operates from headquarters in Guilford, Connecticut[...]"
  16. ^ "Cruise News". (Archive) American Cruise Lines. Retrieved on January 15, 2012. "741 Boston Post Road ٠ Suite 200 ٠ Guilford, CT"
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j [1] Web page titled "Guilford" at Hartford Courant Web site, dated August 16, 2006, accessed January 14, 2007
  18. ^ Hughes, C. J., Guilford, Conn.: Proud of Its Place in New England, the New York Times, September 29, 2019
  19. ^ Guilford Green
  20. ^ Guilford Land Conservation Trust
  21. ^
  22. ^ Guilford-Acadians website retrieved on 2009-05-13
  23. ^ "Historic Buildings of Connecticut » Blog Archive » Benton-Beecher House (1740)". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  24. ^ "Harriet Beecher Stowe's Life". Archived from the original on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  25. ^ "Abraham Baldwin (1754–1807)", New Georgia Encyclopedia (2009-01-06), Retrieved on 2013-07-21
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Jennifer Westfeldt biography at IMDB". Retrieved 2015-05-26.

External linksEdit