Sharon, Connecticut

Sharon, Connecticut

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Sharon, Connecticut
settlement_type = Town


imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Connecticut
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1739
subdivision_type2 =
subdivision_name2 =
government_type = Selectman-town meeting


mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = NECTA
subdivision_name = None
subdivision_type1 = Region
subdivision_name1 = Northwestern Connecticut
leader_title = First selectman
leader_name = Malcolm M. Brown
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 154.4
area_land_km2 = 152.0
area_water_km2 = 2.2
area_total_sq_mi = 59.6
population_as_of = 2005
population_total = 3052
population_density_km2 = 20
population_density_sq_mi = 52
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
area_land_sq_mi = 58.7
area_water_sq_mi = 0.9
elevation_m = 346
elevation_ft = 1135
latd = 41 |latm = 51 |lats = 38 |latNS = N
longd = 73 |longm = 26 |longs = 55 |longEW = W
region =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 06069
area_code = 860
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info =
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info =
footnotes =
website =

Sharon is a town located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the northwest corner of the state. It is bounded on the north by Salisbury, on the east by the Housatonic River, on the south by Kent, and on the west by Dutchess County, New York. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 2,968, roughly a third more than it had had 220 years earlier.

History

The first inhabitants of the area they called Poconnuck were the Mattabesec Indians. These were part of what became known as the Wappinger confederacy which in turn belonged to the loose Algonquian confederacy.
*1739: Sharon is incorporated. It is named after the Plain of Sharon.
*1765: John Cotton Smith, a prominent Connecticut politician, is born in Sharon.
*1782: The population of Sharon grows to over 2,230 people.
*1960: Young Americans for Freedom is founded at the estate of William F. Buckley, Jr. in Sharon The founding statement of this group will thus be known as the Sharon Statement.

Sharon in 1919

The following is a description of Sharon and its surroundings from a 1919 guide book to New England travel [http://www.oldandsold.com/articles16/new-england-roads-33.shtml] :

:This is a village of rural loveliness which attracts many summer boarders. The "Street", 200 feet [actually 12 rods] wide and two miles long, is bordered by grand old elms forming a natural arbor. The Soldiers' Monument with a stone cannon, and a stone clock tower are the modern features of the village. The Governor John Cotton Smith House, a fine specimen of Georgian architecture, is still perfectly preserved. The fine old George King brick house (1800) is at the head of the street. The C. C. Tiffany house (1757) is perhaps the oldest in the town. The old Pardee brick house (James Pardee House) (1782) stands by the Stone Bridge. The Prindle house is a spacious gambrel roof dwelling on Gay St. near the charming lakelet which furnishes a natural reservoir for the village water supply. The picturesque old Gay House has the builder's initials "M. G. 1765" on a stone in the gable.

:In the early days Sharon was a place of busy and varied industries. Iron was manufactured here as early as 1743, and continued an important industry up to fifty years ago. During the Civil War munitions were made here, and it was then in the shops of the Hotchkiss Company in this village that the Hotchkiss explosive shell for rifled guns was invented, which led to the expansion of the company and its removal to Bridgeport.

:To the north of the village is Mudge Pond, or Crystal Lake, and beyond, Indian Mountain (1200 ft). At the western foot of the mountain, on the [New York] State line, lies Indian Pond, now called Wequagnock Lake. On the edge of this lake was an Indian village where the Moravians early established a mission that did great work among the Indians. To the Moravians it was known as " Gnadensee," the Lake of Grace.

:From Sharon the route runs northward past Lake Wononpakook and Lake Wononskopomuc, the latter an Indian word meaning "sparkling water." Between the lakes, as the road forks right, is situated the widely known Hotchkiss School. On the right, half a mile from Lakeville, is the residence of Hon. Wm. Travers Jerome, formerly District Attorney of New York City.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 59.6 square miles (154.3 km²), of which, 58.7 square miles (152.0 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) of it is water. The total area is 1.44% water. Sharon is part of the Northwest Highlands of Connecticut, a region in and around the watershed of the Housatonic River. The Appalachian Trail passes through a few miles east of Sharon, near West Cornwall and U.S. Route 7.

Principal communities

*Amenia Union
*Ellsworth
*Sharon center

Demographics

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there are 2,968 people in the town, organized into 1,246 households and 775 families. The population density is 50.6 people per square mile (19.5/km²). There are 1,617 housing units at an average density of 27.5/sq mi (10.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 96.87% White, 0.94% African American, 0.57% Asian, 0.44% Native American, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. 1.95% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,246 households out of which 25.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% are married couples living together, 7.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% are non-families. 31.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.26 and the average family size is 2.87.

In the town the population is spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 45 years. For every 100 females there are 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town is $53,000, and the median income for a family is $71,458. Males have a median income of $42,841 versus $31,375 for females. The per capita income for the town is $45,418. 7.2% of the population and 3.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.4% of those under the age of 18 and 0.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Transportation

The town is served by state highways Route 4, Route 41, Route 343, and Route 361.

Notable residents and natives

* Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, a leading 19th century American ordnance engineer. His widow Maria Bissell Hotchkiss founded the Hotchkiss Library in Sharon in her husband's memory.
* J. Frank Grimes, who founded the Independent Grocers Association in Sharon in 1926.
* Ansel Sterling was a United States Representative from Connecticut.
* William F. Buckley Jr. grew up in Sharon, at the Buckley family home ("Great Elm").
* Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgwick have a house and live part time in Sharon.
* Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy Pollan have a house and live part time in Sharon.
* Bradley Whitford and his wife Jane Kaczmarek have a house and occasionally spend time in Sharon.
* Campbell Scott lives in Sharon.
* Jasper Johns currently resides in Sharon.
* According to recent published Associated Press news reports, former Witchblade actress, Yancy Butler currently resides in Sharon.

The presence of Sharon Hospital, a sizeable regional hospital, has led to Sharon being birthplace to several people who did not live in the town:

* Samuel Berger, U.S. National Security Advisor to President Bill Clinton, . Born in Sharon on October 28, 1945, but raised in nearby Millerton, New York.
* Michael Cole (born Michael Shawn Coulthard), announcer of WWE Friday Night SmackDown and former journalist with CBS Radio. Born in Sharon on December 8, 1966, but raised in nearby Amenia, New York.
* Philip Amelio, 1980s child actor. Born in Sharon on November 3, 1977, but raised in nearby Pine Plains, New York.

External links

* [http://www.sharonhist.org/ Sharon Historical Society]
* [http://historical.maptech.com/quad.cfm?quadname=Sharon&state=CT&series=7.5 Historic USGS map including Sharon] , in the southwest corner of the quadrangle
* [http://members.skyweb.net/~channy/CTGuideShar.html 1935 Description of Sharon]
* [http://dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/parks/housatonic.htm Housatonic Meadows State Park] in Sharon, along the Housatonic River
* [http://dep.state.ct.us/cgnhs/lakes/mudge/lake.htm Mudge Pond] , a 206 acre (834,000 m²) lake located in Sharon
* [http://www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/sharon/ Sharon Audubon Center]
* [http://www.artsnwct.org/ Northwest Connecticut Arts Council]
* [http://www.litchfieldhills.com/app/index.jsp Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.nwctc.commnet.edu/ Northwestern Connecticut Community College] in Winsted


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