Cornwall, Connecticut

Cornwall is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,420 at the 2010 census.

Cornwall, Connecticut
West Cornwall covered bridge
West Cornwall covered bridge
Official seal of Cornwall, Connecticut

Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut
Location in Litchfield County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°50′43″N 73°19′53″W / 41.84528°N 73.33139°WCoordinates: 41°50′43″N 73°19′53″W / 41.84528°N 73.33139°W
Country United States
U.S. state Connecticut
RegionNorthwest Hills
Incorporated (city)May 1740[1]
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanGordon M. Ridgway (D)
 • SelectmanRichard Bramley (D)
 • SelectmanHeidi L. Kearns (R)
 • Total46.3 sq mi (119.9 km2)
 • Land46.0 sq mi (119.2 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
709 ft (216 m)
 • Total1,434
 • Density32/sq mi (12/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
06754, 06796
Area code(s)860
FIPS code09-17240
GNIS feature ID0213412


Cornwall was incorporated in May 1740,[1] and was named after Cornwall, England.[2]

In 1939 poet Mark Van Doren wrote "The Hills of Little Cornwall", in which the seductive beauties of the countryside were portrayed:[3]

The mind, eager for caresses,
Lies down at its own risk in Cornwall;


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.3 square miles (120 km2), of which, 46.0 square miles (119 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.54%) is water. The town is located on the east bank of the Housatonic River and also contains a major portion of the Mohawk State Forest.

Principal communities

  • Cornwall Bridge (has its own post office)
  • Cornwall Village (has its own post office)
  • Cornwall Hollow
  • East Cornwall
  • West Cornwall (has its own post office)


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20141,398[4]−1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,434 people, 615 households, and 389 families residing in the town. The population density was 31.2 people per square mile (12.0/km²). There were 873 housing units at an average density of 19.0 per square mile (7.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.49% White, 0.21% African American, 0.70% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.46% of the population.

A sketch of the village by John Warner Barber (1835) shows the buildings used by the Foreign Mission School, to the right of the church at center.

There were 615 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 3.3% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $54,886, and the median income for a family was $64,750. Males had a median income of $46,875 versus $30,536 for females. The per capita income for the town was $42,484. About 1.0% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or over. Some of the main features of Cornwall include the Cream Hill Lake, the Covered Bridge, Mohawk Ski Mountain and the town which contains a library and tennis courts. It is a very enjoyable place for young children who enjoy activity.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005[7]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
Democratic 330 6 336 31.97%
Republican 246 4 250 23.79%
Unaffiliated 447 8 455 43.29%
Minor Parties 10 0 10 0.95%
Total 1,033 18 1,051 100%


Cornwall is a member of Regional School District 01, which also includes the towns of Canaan, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon. Public school students attend the Cornwall Consolidated School for grades K-8 and Housatonic Valley Regional High School for grades 9-12.

Arts and culture

The Cornwall Library [2], organized in 1869, constructed a new building in 2002 that houses a collection of over 28,000 items. It also sponsors a long-running art show along with many other events.

The Cornwall Chronicle [3] is a non-profit monthly newspaper that publishes news and feature stories about Cornwall, a calendar of events, and drawings by local artists. It was started in 1991 and has not missed an issue since.

Museums and other points of interest

The town was also home to the Foreign Mission School.



West Cornwall Covered Bridge, West Cornwall, Connecticut

The town is served by Route 4, US 7, Route 43, and Route 128.

The covered bridge in West Cornwall is also one of only three covered bridges in Litchfield County. It has been in continuous service since 1864. The span is 242 feet and it crosses the Housatonic River.

Notable people

Popular culture

  • The fictional private boarding high school Cornwall Academy from the 1999 film Outside Providence is located in Cornwall, Connecticut.
  • In the eleventh episode of the second season of Supernatural, Sam and Dean Winchester explore a haunted bed and breakfast in Cornwall.
  • In Season 4, Episode 11 of the television show Gossip Girl, Juliet Sharp returns to her hometown of Cornwall, Connecticut.
  • Covered Bridge appears in opening credits of Valley of the Dolls


  1. ^ a b "Cornwall, Connecticut". Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  2. ^ The Connecticut Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly. Connecticut Magazine Company. 1903. p. 331.
  3. ^ [1] Website of the Academy of American Poets, Web page titled "The Hills of Little Cornwall" accessed November 21, 2006
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 25, 2005" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-10-02.
  8. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967.
  9. ^ "J. Lawrence Pool, MD". The Society of Neurological Surgeons.
  10. ^ "John Sedgwick". Who’s Who In The Civil war. Retrieved September 19, 2012.

External links

Carl Van Doren

Carl Clinton Van Doren (September 10, 1885 – July 18, 1950) was an American critic and biographer. He was the brother of critic and teacher Mark Van Doren and the uncle of Charles Van Doren.

He won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Benjamin Franklin.

Cathedral Pines

Cathedral Pines is a 42-acre (17 ha) nature preserve owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy in Cornwall, Connecticut. It is an old-growth white pine and hemlock forest which had been donated in 1967 by the Calhoun family who had purchased it in 1883 to prevent logging. It was mostly destroyed by tornadoes in July 1989 and has become a study site for ecological restoration. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1982.The remaining white pines are approximately 120 feet (37 m) to 140 feet (43 m) high. It is open to the public.

In his book "Second Nature", writer Michael Pollan uses the aftermath of the 1989 tornado damage at Cathedral Pines as a case for an insightful discussion of environmental ethics.

Connecticut Route 128

Route 128 is a minor state highway in northwestern Connecticut, running from U.S. Route 7 in Sharon to Route 4 in Cornwall.

Connecticut Route 45

Route 45 is a Connecticut state highway from US 202 in Washington to US 7 in Cornwall, in the rural northwest of the state. It is 10.29 miles (16.56 km) long and runs north–south.

Dudleytown, Connecticut

Dudleytown, was founded as a small settlement in Cornwall, Connecticut in the mid-1740s and was abandoned in the 1800s. Since the mid-1920s, the land occupied by the village has been maintained by philanthropists as a private land trust, who worked to reforest the land after decades of agricultural use. Few traces, such as cellar holes, remain of the original village. Due to rumors of ghost activity beginning in the 1980s, the village site has been subject to frequent vandalism, and the owners have since closed the land to the public.

Edward Rogers (representative)

Edward Rogers (May 30, 1787 – May 29, 1857) was a U.S. Representative from New York.

Born in Cornwall, Connecticut, Rogers completed preparatory studies and was graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1809.

He moved to New York State about the close of the War of 1812.

He was graduated from Yale College.

He studied law.

He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Madison, New York.

He served as delegate to the State convention to revise the constitution in 1822.

He served as judge of the court of common pleas for Madison County.

Rogers was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1841).

He resumed the practice of law.

He also engaged in literary pursuits.

He died in Galway, New York, May 29, 1857.

He was interred in Madison Cemetery, Madison, New York.

He was the father of Hezekiah Gold Rogers, the United States charge d'affaires in Sardinia from 1840-41.

Housatonic Meadows State Park

Housatonic Meadows State Park is a public recreation area covering 452 acres (183 ha) along the Housatonic River in the towns of Sharon and Cornwall, Connecticut. The state park offers opportunities for camping, hiking, picnicking, canoeing, and fly-fishing. It is crossed by the Appalachian Trail and is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Housatonic State Forest

Housatonic State Forest is a Connecticut state forest occupying 10,894 acres (4,409 ha) in the towns of Sharon, Canaan, Cornwall, and North Canaan. The state forest includes two Connecticut natural area preserves, Gold’s Pines and Canaan Mountain, and is the only Connecticut state forest that includes a portion of the Appalachian Trail. The forest is open for hiking, hunting, mountain biking, and snowmobiling.

Ira Allen

Ira Allen (April 21, 1751 in – January 7, 1814) was one of the founders of the U.S. state of Vermont and a leader of the Green Mountain Boys during the American colonial period. He was the younger brother of Ethan Allen.

John Sedgwick

John Sedgwick (September 13, 1813 – May 9, 1864) was a teacher, a career military officer, and a Union Army general in the American Civil War.

He was wounded three times at the Battle of Antietam while leading his division in an unsuccessful assault, causing him to miss the Battle of Fredericksburg. Under his command, the VI Corps played an important role in the Chancellorsville Campaign by engaging Confederate troops at the Second Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Salem Church. His corps was the last to arrive at the Battle of Gettysburg and thus did not see much action. Sedgwick was killed by a sharpshooter at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House on May 9, 1864, making him and Major General John F. Reynolds (July 1, 1863, Gettysburg) the highest-ranking United States soldiers to be killed in the war. He is well remembered for his ironic last words: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

Joseph Rose

Joseph Rose (born May 6, 1969, in Wenatchee, Washington, United States) is an American journalist and radio personality formerly based in Portland, Oregon. Rose was on the staff of The Oregonian as a writer, columnist and multimedia producer from 1999 until 2016. He has written about crime, prisons, government, popular culture, music, film, Oregon's methamphetamine epidemic and transportation. He is also a former freelance writer for As of January 2017, he was residing in Cornwall, Connecticut, and described himself as retired from The Oregonian.In 2004, he wrote the newspaper's "Faces of Meth" story, which was turned into billboards and posters as well as replicated by other American media outlets, including PBS's Frontline. He has also written about the childhood and family of Portland-native Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.Rose's articles on a Gulf War war veteran secretly living in the wilderness of Portland's Forest Park with his young daughter were the inspiration for the 2018 film "Leave No Trace."In 2008, Rose became The Oregonian's chief transportation writer, with a daily blog and weekly Metro column called "Hard Drive". In 2012, KXL-FM Radio in Portland began to feature Rose as an on-air contributor for segments on the culture and science of commuting. He left KXL in April 2016.

He is a graduate of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. In 2018, he began studying for his Master of Divinity at Yale University.

When he was living in Oregon, Rose was also a leader of the "alternative liturgy" worship movement in the U.S. Episcopal Church. The movement creates worship services based on the music of popular contemporary musicians such as U2, Radiohead, Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen. A March 2012 story in Willamette Week called Rose "the King of Hymns". In the article, Rose describes the spirit of the events: "We get a lot of folks who come but really aren’t connected to a church. They’re part of the very secular Oregon. But they feel a spiritual connection to popular music."Rose's journalism awards include one for breaking news in the 2011 C.B. Blethen Awards and one of the 2013 National Headliner Awards in the category of special or feature column.Since mid-2016, Rose has been the co-director of Trinity Church's West Cornwall Center retreat facility, in Cornwall, Connecticut.

Major Andre Andrews

Major Andre Andrews (1792–1834) was the second mayor of Buffalo, New York, serving 1833–1834. He was born at Cornwall, Connecticut on July 8, 1792, and named after Major John André. He studied law and became a lawyer, practicing in Middletown, Connecticut before moving to Buffalo about 1820. While at Middleton, he married Sarah Mehitabel Hosmer, granddaughter of General Samuel Holden Parsons. He amassed a 79-acre (320,000 m2) property on which he built his home. His residence was located on the site now occupied by the Electric Tower.

In 1826 he was elected to his first political position as a Trustee of the Village of Buffalo. He held this position again in 1827. In 1829 he campaigned unsuccessfully, for a seat on the New York State Assembly. In 1830, he became a founding member of the first Bank of Buffalo, along with Benjamin Rathbun, Hiram Pratt, and William Ketchum, the latter two future mayors of Buffalo. During Mayor Johnson's first term, Andrews served on the Streets, Alleys, Canals and Ferries committee and the Police committee.In 1833, the Common Council voted Major Andre Andrews Buffalo's second mayor. In 1834, cholera returned to Buffalo and, on August 18, 1834, claimed Mayor Andrews. Andrews is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Mohawk Mountain Ski Area

Mohawk Mountain is a ski area located in Cornwall, Litchfield County, Connecticut. The ski area was built on the northwest slope of Mohawk Mountain by Walt Schoenknecht in 1947. It is a popular destination for both day and night skiers and snowboarders in the Connecticut area. It is also a popular day skiing destination for the New York City Metropolitan Area demographic as it is approximately a 95-mile ride to Mohawk Mountain from Manhattan. This resort is also famous for its pioneering efforts in creating and popularizing the snow gun and artificial snow.

Mohawk State Forest

Mohawk State Forest, also known as Mohawk State Forest/Mohawk Mountain State Park, encompasses over 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) in the towns of Cornwall, Goshen, and Litchfield in the southern Berkshires of Litchfield County, Connecticut. As overseen by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the area is used for hiking, picnicking, and winter sports by the public, while being actively managed to produce timber and other forest products.

Ruth Maxon Adams

Ruth Maxon Adams (1883–1970) was an American architect.

Thomas R. Gold

Thomas Ruggles Gold (November 4, 1764 – October 24, 1827) was a United States Representative from New York.

Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area

The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area is a federally designated National Heritage Area in the U.S. states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. The heritage area interprets and promotes the historical, cultural and scenic features of the upper Housatonic River valley in the western part of both states. The heritage area focuses on five themes: the area's role as a resort for writers, artists, actors and musicians, the scenic landscape, the area's role in industry, the American Revolutionary War, and the social and religious groups associated with the area.The National Heritage Area comprises the towns of Colebrook, Norfolk, North Canaan, Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Cornwall, Warren and Kent in Connecticut, and New Marlborough, Sheffield, Mount Washington, Egremont, Alford, Great Barrington, Monterey, Tyringham, Becket, Washington, Lee, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Richmond, Lenox, Hancock, Pittsfield, Lanesborough, Dalton and Hinsdale in Massachusetts.

Victory Birdseye

Victory Birdseye (December 25, 1782 – September 16, 1853) was an American politician and a U. S. Representative from New York.

Wyantenock State Forest

Wyantenock State Forest is a Connecticut state forest located in the towns of Warren, Kent and Cornwall. The forest consists of nine scattered parcels and was originally part of Mohawk State Forest. The forest is one of the least visited and developed state forests with little or no public access.

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