Vernon, Connecticut is part of Vernon Rockville, a combination of two originally separate towns in the state’s northeast which merged in 1965, becoming neighborhoods of a larger municipality. The town lies both north and south of Interstate 84. The area is densely populated north of the road, with buildings, yards, and houses occupying much of the township’s land surface. South of the highway, the terrain is more forested, with house-lined roads looping through it and forming a few small grids; this is the neighborhood of Vernon itself.
The town is highly attractive in the usual New England way – white houses set amid trees, neat, clean streets, and gently rolling Connecticut countryside. Fox Hill is the highest summit in the area, and gives an excellent view of the Connecticut River valley and several other large hills in the distance during fine weather. A seventy-two foot brick observation tower stands on top of this hill, which is a portion of one of the town’s parks, Henry Park.
Vernon contains the facilities for taking a young citizen through the various levels of education that come before college, but has no colleges or universities – unsurprising in a town of its size. There are five elementary schools within the township, including Center Road School, Northeast Elementary, Skinner Road Elementary, Maple Street School, and Lake Street Elementary.
Once they have completed their elementary education, students move on first to Vernon Center Middle School, then to Rockville High School, which still bears the name of the now-defunct town which was swallowed in the larger community of Vernon. The high school’s student body includes 10% African-Americans, although this race only accounts for 4% of the town’s population.
There are numerous shops and stores within the confines of Vernon, allowing the residents to access most of life’s necessities fairly easily and providing the backbone of the local economy. There is actually still some manufacturing going in on Vernon Rockville, though it is greatly overshadowed by services, retail, and professional activity.
There is at least one company making tools in the town, and another which supplies a variety of machines and machine parts to both the medical sector and the military. Interstate 84 provides a ready means of commuting to other towns or Hartford itself for the area’s working adults as well.
Vernon, like all Connecticut towns, is predominantly white, with this race making up 89.95% of the town’s population. The second largest group are African-Americans, at 3.99% of the inhabitants. Asians occupy third place, with 2.65% of the town made up of them. Median household income is quite low by Connecticut standards at $56,282 annually; there is an unemployment rate of 7.6%, and 5.9% of the people in Vernon live below the property line.
The town’s population is divided into 12,269 households, of which fully a third are people living alone and 45% of which are married couples living together. Children under 18 live in around 26.5% of households, putting the juvenile population below that of many Connecticut towns.
Location within State
Vernon is located in northeast Connecticut’s Tolland County, on the west side of the county facing towards the Connecticut River valley. It is the third town down from the Massachusetts border and is closer to Hartford than Springfield. The town is neatly bisected by Interstate 84, which at this point has only a slight northeast to southwest tilt, and is mostly east to west.
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