History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Connecticut
Connecticut USA Map
A real estate professional living in Red Bank, NJ offers a picturesque description of Connecticut. "Connecticut. is beautiful with many small quaint towns, tree
lined winding roads, with easy access to New York City from Fairfield County." Every word true and describes part of the overall story.
Similar to a number of states, Connecticut is very diverse: rural, urban and suburban; poor, rich, agricultural and industrial. Three of the eight Connecticut
counties are considered as part of the Tri-State New York region (New Jersey, Connecticut and New York), however the rest are a portion of New England, while the
culture of the state, in many ways, is more similar to Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts than New York.
The Dutch navigator, Adriaen Block, was the first European of record to explore the area, sailing up the Connecticut River in 1614. In 1633, Dutch colonists built a
fort and trading post near present-day Hartford but soon lost control to English Puritans from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. English settlements established in the
1630s at Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford united in 1639 to form the Connecticut Colony under the Fundamental Orders, the first modern constitution.
Connecticut played a prominent role in the Revolutionary War, serving as the Continental Army's major supplier. Sometimes called the “Arsenal of the Nation,
Connecticut has a generally temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The January mean temperature is 27°F
while the July mean is 70°F. Coastal areas have warmer winters and cooler summers than the interior.
The state's flagship public university is the University of Connecticut, which is also the largest school in the state. The remainder of the state's public institutions
constitute the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, comprising four state universities, twelve community colleges, and an online school, Charter Oak State College.
Connecticut is also the home of one of the five federally-run service academies, the United States Coast Guard Academy. The oldest college in the state, founded in 1701, is
Connecticut's economy started 2018 with a spurt of growth that stood out in New England and in comparison with other states, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported
economic growth in the three months from Jan. 1 to March 31 was 1.6 percent, the second fastest in New England, behind only Vermont.
Flora and Fauna
Connecticut Flower - Mountain Laurel
Connecticut State Tree - White Oak
There is an impressive diversity of vegetation zones in the state. Along the shore of Long Island Sound are tidal marshes with salt grasses, glasswort, purple gerardia, and seas lavender. On slopes fringing the marshes are black grass, switch grass, marsh elder, and sea myrtle.
The swamp areas feature various ferns, abundant cattails, cranberry, tussock
sedge, skunk cabbage, sweet pepperbush, spicebush, and false hellebore. The
state's hillsides and uplands support a variety of flowers and plants, including
mountain laurel (the state flower), pink azalea, trailing arbutus, Solomon's
seal, and Queen Anne's lace.
The first Connecticut settlers 1630s found a land abundant with wildlife. Roaming the forests and meadows were black bear, white-tailed deer, red and gray foxes, timber wolf, cougar, panther, raccoon, and enough rattlesnakes to pose a serious danger. The impact of human settlement on wildlife
in the state has been profound, however. Only the smaller mammals—the woodchuck, gray squirrel, cottontail, eastern chipmunk, porcupine, raccoon, and striped skunk—remain common.
There are plenty of snakes although most are harmles, with the exception of the northern copperhead and timber rattlesnake. Freshwater fish are abundant, and aquatic life in Long Island Sound even more so. Common birds include the robin (the state bird), blue jay, song sparrow, wood thrush, and many species of waterfowl; visible in winter are the junco, pine grosbeak, snowy owl, and winter wren.
The Connecticut State Capitol is located north of Capitol Avenue and south of Bushnell Park in Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. The building houses the Connecticut General Assembly; the upper house, the State Senate, and lower house, the House of Representatives, as well as the office of the Governor of the State of Connecticut.
Elected members of the executive branch are the governor and lieutenant governor (who run jointly and must each be at least 30 years of age), secretary of state, treasurer, comptroller, and attorney general. All are elected for four-year terms and may be reelected. The governor, generally with the advice and consent of the general assembly, selects the heads of state departments, commissions, and offices
To vote in state elections, a person must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, a state resident, and a resident in the town where he or she will vote. Restrictions apply to convicted felons.
Connecticut is the southernmost of the six New England States and one of the original Thirteen Colonies. The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle, near today's Hartford, soon followed by the English from Plymouth, Massachusetts' colony, eager to establish a trading position for lucrative beaver pelts. New Haven's four-mile-wide harbor soon made it one of the most active ports in the northeast, providing access to markets that helped its growing manufacturing industry. New Haven became an early center for education with the founding of Yale University. Attractions for today's
visitirs recall these early influences, as well as the contributions of the Native Americans, whose culture is still active in Connecticut. From a recreated 16th-century native Pequot village and the last surviving whaling ship to a working model of Eli Whitney's cotton gin and a premier aquarium, you'll find
lots of things to do in Connecticut.
Five Mile Point Lighthouse
Lighthouses in Connecticut
Connecticut has fourteen active lighthouses in the state, two of which
are maintained as private aids; six are standing but inactive. Another was
destroyed after its deactivation. The earliest lighthouse in the state was
erected in 1760, but that tower, the first New London Harbor Light, was replaced
in 1801, and its successor is the oldest surviving light in Connecticut, as well
as the tallest.
An amusement park located in Bristol and Southington, Connecticut. Opened in 1846, it is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in the
nation covering 332 acres and includes a beach and a water park called Crocodile Cove included in the admission
price. In addition to the 14th oldest wooden roller coaster in the world, Wildcat its newer wooden roller coaster, Boulder Dash, has won the Golden Ticket Award for the #1 Wooden Coaster in the World
over five consecutive years.
Quassy consists of a full-fledged amusement park plus a waterpark called Splash Away Bay. Swimming in Lake Quassapaug
is available, It is one of only thirteen trolley parks still operating in the
nation. There are 38 rides on its 20 acres. The park is home to the award-winning Wooden Warrior roller coaster, which opened in 2011. Quassy offers swimming, picnicking, a catering service, an arcade, a water park, and live entertainment including school bands, dance groups and magic shows.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
From the Sound to the Summits: the New England Trail covers 215 miles from Long Island Sound across long ridges to scenic mountain summits in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The trail offers panoramic vistas and close-ups of New England’s natural and cultural landscape: traprock ridges, historic village centers, farmlands, unfragmented forests, quiet streams, steep river valleys and waterfalls.
In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.
There are no National Forests in the state
The Connecticut Huskies are the team of the University of Connecticut (UConn); they play NCAA Division I sports. Both the men's basketball and women's basketball teams
have won multiple national championships; UConn became the first school in NCAA Division I history to have its men's and women's basketball programs win the national
title in the same year. The UConn women's basketball team holds the record for the longest consecutive winning streak in NCAA college basketball at 111 games, a
streak that ended in 2017. The UConn Huskies football team has played in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 2002, and has played in four bowl games.
Gas tax: 39.3 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 41.7 cents per gallon of diesel
Food court and shopping hall connecting the East and West concourses of Terminal A Photo by Peteg913
Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the United States and as a result, airports in Connecticut attract a lot of traffic. Connecticut Airports connect the state with virtually every state in the United States. Airports in Connecticut are a well maintained property.
There are many airports in Connecticut, though the state is a smaller one. Of all the airports in Connecticut, only one is an international airport. Bradley International Airport in the city of Windsor Locks welcomes passengers from around the world. This airport has 17 major airlines flying daily from its runway. It is accessible for the disabled as it offers wheelchairs, assistants for the disabled and telecommunication equipment specifically for the hearing and speech impaired. Bradley International Airport receives 8 million passengers annually. The main airlines operating from here are United Airline, Delta, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and US Airways Express.
Other major airports in Connecticut are Groton-New London Airport at Groton, Tweed-New Haven Airport at New Haven and Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport at Bridgeport.
The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry travels between Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port Jefferson, New York by crossing Long Island Sound. Ferry service also operates out of New London to Orient, New York; Fishers Island, New York; and Block Island, Rhode Island, which are popular tourist destinations. Small local services operate the Rocky Hill – Glastonbury Ferry and the Chester–Hadlyme Ferry which cross the Connecticut River.
Connecticut is home to three deepwater ports (Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London) and a multitude of small harbors, rail lines, and interstate highways crisscrossing the state. Connecticut is uniquely located at the intersection of maritime access and distribution networks, and a thriving maritime industry in Connecticut means stronger economic growth across each of these assets.
Rail is a popular travel mode between New Haven and New York City's Grand Central Terminal. Southwestern Connecticut is served by the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and
offering commuter service to New York City and New Haven, with branches serving New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury. Connecticut lies along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor which features frequent Northeast Regional and Acela Express service from New Haven south to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Norfolk, VA.
Coastal cities and towns between New Haven and New London are also served by the Shore Line East commuter line. Several new stations were completed along the Connecticut shoreline recently, and a commuter rail service called the Hartford Line between New Haven and Springfield on Amtrak's New Haven-Springfield Line began operating in June 2018.
Amtrak also operates a shuttle service between New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts, serving Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor Locks, and Springfield, MA and the Vermonter runs from Washington to St. Albans, Vermont via the same line.
The Interstate highways in the state are Interstate 95 (I-95; the Connecticut Turnpike) traveling southwest to northeast along the coast, I-84 traveling southwest to northeast in the center of the state, I-91 traveling north to south in the center of the state, and I-395 traveling north to south near the eastern border of the state. The other major highways in Connecticut are the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway, which together form Connecticut Route 15 (Route 15), traveling from the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York parallel to I-95 before turning north of New Haven and traveling parallel to I-91, finally becoming a surface road in Berlin. Other major arteries in the state include U.S. Route 7 (US 7) in the west traveling parallel to the New York state line, Route 8 farther east near the industrial city of Waterbury and traveling north–south along the Naugatuck River Valley nearly parallel with US 7, and Connecticut Route 9 in the east.
Between New Haven and New York City, I-95 is one of the most congested highways in the
nation. Although I-95 has been widened in several spots, some areas are only 3 lanes and this strains traffic capacity, resulting in frequent and lengthy rush hour delays. Frequently, the congestion spills over to clog the parallel Merritt Parkway and even US 1. The state has encouraged traffic reduction schemes, including rail use and ride-sharing.
Connecticut Cities, & Towns
Connecticut's basic local government is the form of New England town. The state is made up of of 169 towns. Nineteen of these towns are chartered as cities, in
addition to one borough. To incorporate a city in Connecticut requires a Special Act by the Connecticut General Assembly. All cities in Connecticut are dependent
municipalities, meaning they are located within and subordinate to a town. However, except for one, all currently existing cities in Connecticut are consolidated with
their parent town.
Towns in Connecticut may adopt a city form of government without the need to re-incorporate as a city. Connecticut state law also makes no distinction between a
consolidated town/city and a regular town. The most populated city is Bridgeport. Population figures are from the 2010 United States Census where available. Windham County
and Tolland County are the only counties in Connecticut without a single city in them.
The median home value in Connecticut is $241,800. Connecticut home values have gone up 3.7% over the past year and predictions
are they will rise 3.9% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Connecticut is $172. The median price of homes currently listed in Connecticut is $315,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $237,500. The median rent price in Connecticut is $1,800.