Named for the British town where the king Edmund Ironside was crowned, Glastonbury stands beside a sharp bend in the Connecticut River, on the eastern back opposite Wethersfield. Due to the erosive action of millennia of running water seeking the river valley, the area is very hilly, almost mountainous in some places by Connecticut standards. The town is built on the hills, and includes part of a State Forest, with Kongscut Mountain – also known as Rattlesnake Mountain after its rather retiring serpentine inhabitants – which is partly developed and partly still in a natural state.
The hilltops provide a view of Hartford and East Hartford, which abut on the town to the north. Meshomasic State Forest is an area that is very popular for outdoor recreation in all seasons, while the local lake, Diamond Lake, is privately owned by a property owners’ association. There is even enough wildlife in the area for some hunting and fishing to be undertaken.
Given its moderate population – which may qualify it either as a large town or a small city – Glastonbury has plenty of school to serve the educational needs of area families. There are half a dozen elementary schools in the town, including Buttonball Lane School, Hebron Avenue, Eastbury, Naubuc, Nayaug, and Hopewell Schools. From there, students move on to one of two middle schools, Smith Middle School and Gideon Wells School. A single high school, Glastonbury High School, rounds out the educational establishments of the town.
Because of the presence of running water to operate sawmills, and oak forests to the east, Glastonbury was once a shipbuilding center on the Connecticut River. Soap, ink, and shaving materials were also manufactured here for many years. Today, manufacturing is practically extinct. A few orchards survive from the town’s agricultural past, but close to 80% of the town’s working adults are involved in retail, service, or professional trades, and only 4.99% are involved in transport and manufacturing.
With its location adjacent to Hartford, Glastonbury has a somewhat lower white population than more remote towns in the state, with 93.1% white. Asians are second, with 3.4% of the population, and African-Americans are third, at 1.53%. The median income is a robust $97,557, with 2.1% of the inhabitants under the poverty line and 6.3% unemployment.
12,257 households make up the town of Glastonbury, close to 64% of which are married couples living together. The median age is 40, rather higher than is usual in the Nutmeg State, and some 27% of households have dependent children living in them. The number of women, interestingly, is almost 20% higher than the number of men in the town.
Location within State
Glastonbury is located at both the physical and population center of the state, just a little to the southeast of Hartford proper and immediately adjoining East Hartford, which forms the town’s north boundary. The Connecticut River delimits the township on the west, and much of the state’s economic and other activity occurs within a few miles of the town.
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