Middlefield, in Middlesex County, is so named because it is halfway between Middletown and Durham, and Middletown and Meriden. For such a small community, Middlefield has an abundance of wonderful history that goes back to the late 17th century and many first settlers of Connecticut. The Old North Burying Ground was established for those living west of Middletown and the first burial was in 1738.
Middlefield became a town in 1866 by an act of the Connecticut Legislature. The town was previously part of the City of Middletown.
First Selectmen Charles R. "Charlie" Augur (in office 1995–2005) and Jon A. Brayshaw (in office 2005-2015) having both served five terms as First Selectman have been the longest-serving First Selectmen of the town. Dr. Harold Ellsworth Smith, son of Dr. Ernest Ellsworth Smith and his wife Lilian Irene [Church] Smith, was Middlefield's physician for 45 years.
Middlesex County was created on May 2, 1785 from Hartford and New Haven counties. The county was named for Middlesex, England. Middlesex County is in south-central Connecticut. It is bordered to the south by Long Island Sound and to the southwest by the Hammonasset River, and the Connecticut River bisects the county from north to south. Other waterways are the Menunketesuck River, the Moodus Reservoir, and Bashan Lake. The topography is mostly upland terrain, with river valleys and coastal lowlands. Parklands include Cockaponset State Forest, Meshomasic State Forest Preserve, and Hurd and Devil's Hopyard state parks.
The Western Nehantic Indians inhabited the area when John Winthrop the Younger established the Puritan settlement of Saybrook in the 1630s. Later renamed Old Saybrook, it was where David Bushnell invented and built the Turtle (1775), a submarine used during the American Revolution. The county was formed in 1785 and named for Middlesex, England. Essex, a center of shipbuilding from the 1720s to the 1840s, was raided during the War of 1812. There is no county seat because the state abolished county government in 1960. The largest city is Middletown, home of Wesleyan University (founded 1831).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.3 square miles (34 km2), of which, 12.7 square miles (33 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (4.65%) is water.
The west side of Middlefield is flanked by the Metacomet Ridge, a mountainous trap rock ridgeline that stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. Notable mountains of the Metacomet Ridge in Middlefield include Higby Mountain and Besek Mountain. The 50 mile Mattabesett Trail traverses the ridge. The Nature Conservancy manages the summit and ledges of Higby Mountain.
Middlefield offers many seasonal activities. Residents can also go ice-skating on one of the many ponds located at the edge of Peckham Park. In the summer Peckham Park has little league baseball games going on almost everyday of the week. The smaller kids can play on the jungle gym or play basketball and soccer. Some other summer activities could be golfing on one of the two local golf courses or go to the beach located on Lake Beseck just off of Route 147. Residents can also enjoy picking fruit, playing golf, shopping, and eating at Lyman Orchards. Middlefield is also home to the Powder Ridge Ski Area.
Middlefield, along with Durham, forms Regional School District 13. It offers a traditional as well as an "Integrated Day" program of education for students in the two communities. The schools in Regional School District 13 are: Brewster Elementary School (K-2), John Lyman Elementary School (grades K–4), Korn Elementary School (grades 3–4), Memorial Middle School (grades 5–6), Strong Middle School (grades 7–8) and Coginchaug Regional High School (grades 9–12). The town is also home to the private pre-school–8 school The Independent Day School.
The town seal is a view of Middlefield as seen through a gun sight. The crosshairs represent the gun sight manufacturing that has taken place in Middlefield for many years. The four quadrants of the gun sight are broken into different aspects of the town of Middlefield. The upper left-hand quadrant is a picture of the 1700s saltbox homes that still stand in Middlefield. The upper right-hand quadrant represents the orchards and farmland that make up much of the open space of Middlefield. The lower left-hand quadrant represents many of the outdoor activities that go on in Middlefield such as fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, golfing, and many other activities. The lower right-hand quadrant is the old pistol shop that used to be a major part of Middlefield's makeup. The seal was designed by Donald Ginter.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,203 people, 1,645 households, and 1,199 families residing in the town. The population density was 330.9 people per square mile (127.8/km²). There were 1,740 housing units at an average density of 137.0 per square mile (52.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.76% White, 0.74% African American, 0.02% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.33% of the population.
There were 1,645 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $59,448, and the median income for a family was $69,267. Males had a median income of $43,953 versus $31,487 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,711. About 0.6% of families and 1.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 25, 2005|
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Middlefield, Connecticut.|