Hamden's History

Hamden, affectionately known as the Land of the Sleeping Giant, is a thriving town midway between New York and Boston which is considered one of Connecticut's finest mid-sized communities.

Hamden was originally settled in 1638 as part of the New Haven Colony. Over a century later, two different settlements -- the inhabitants of the parish of Mount Carmel and members of the 17th Militia Company -- sought independence. In 1786 they incorporated as a separate town, naming it after the English statesman John Hampden (who pronounced his name with a silent "p"). The population at the time was recorded as roughly 1400 "souls."

As Hamden grew, it was composed of small independent-minded villages, including Mt. Carmel, Whitneyville, Highwood and the State Street section, some of which still retain a suggestion of their original identity.

Hamden played a historic role in the Industrial Revolution, thanks to Eli Whitney, who invented mass production at his arms factory, and to A.C. Gilbert and Charles Goodyear.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the town attracted Italian, German and Irish immigrants searching for work, first in stone quarries and sawmills, and later in factories. Eventually small businesses, shops and banks sprouted up.

Today, Hamden is recognized as an attractive residential and business community. It boasts a rich and varied landscape with mountains, parks and hiking trails, and offers a wide variety of cultural and recreational attractions, educational resources, community services, shopping areas and an ever-expanding selection of restaurants.


Land Area: 33 square miles
Population (2000): 56,913
Government: Mayor/Council
Nickname: Land of the Sleeping Giant
Voting Districts: Nine
Mil Rate: 35.59
Town Budget: $129,277,682
Grand List: $2,571,890,487
Public School Enrollment: 6,444
Dollars Spent Per Pupil : approx. $9,000
Per Capita Income: $25,175
Government Center: 2750 Dixwell Avenue

*SOURCE 2000 Census

Hamden Government Center • 2750 Dixwell Avenue • Hamden, CT 06518 • 203.287.7000