Bethany

Bethany

[beth-uh-nee]
Bethany. 1 Village, at the southeastern foot of the Mount of Olives, the modern El Aziriye, 2 mi (3.2 km) E of Jerusalem. In the Gospels, it is the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. An important stop for pilgrims coming to Jerusalem, it was frequently visited by Jesus. It is closely associated with the final events of his life and with the Ascension. 2 See Bethabara.
Bethany, city (1990 pop. 20,075), Oklahoma co., central Okla.; inc. 1910. Its manufactures include small airplanes and tires. Bethany was settled in 1906 by members of the Nazarene church, and Southern Nazarene College is there.
Bethany is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 5,040 at the 2000 census. Bethany was first settled in 1717 but it was not until May 1832 before Bethany separated from Woodbridge to become incorporated as a town. This slightly remote, sparsely populated, residential town retains its rural character. There is some dairying and agriculture. The town is dotted with reservoirs serving Naugatuck and, principally, New Haven.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.4 square miles (55.3 km²), of which, 21.0 square miles (54.3 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (1.83%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,040 people, 1,755 households, and 1,449 families residing in the town. The population density was 240.4 people per square mile (92.8/km²). There were 1,792 housing units at an average density of 85.5/sq mi (33.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.04% White, 1.83% African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.02% of the population.

There were 1,755 households out of which 40.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.8% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.4% were non-families. 13.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $74,898, and the median income for a family was $79,493. Males had a median income of $52,037 versus $44,427 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,403. About 1.5% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 0.6% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 25, 2005
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage Republican 1,073 45 1,118 28.64% Democratic 830 21 851 21.80% Unaffiliated 1,850 71 1,921 49.21% Minor Parties 13 1 14 0.36%
Total 3,766 138 3,904 100%

History

There has been inhabitants in Bethany since before 1638, with the Naugatucks of the Paugusset Tribe and the Mattabessitts of the Wanguck Tribe. The first European settlers arrived in the area in around April 1638, creating the towns of Milford and New Haven, with a boundary split down the middle of what is now Bethany. The boudary was settled on in 1678, 12 years after New Haven County was organized. In 1717, the Amity Parish is accepted by the General Assembly of the Connecticut Colony and in 1832, Bethany is incorporated as a town. In the mid to late 1800s, the population of the town and the land decrease as parts are annexed by the neighboring town of Woodbridge and the new town of Beacon Falls is incorporated into the general geography of Connecticut. The population would continue to decrease until about the 1940s, when the population would spike.

In 1923, the Bethany Airport opened up, one of the first in New England. Soon after, Troop I of the Boy Scouts of America was chartered in Bethany, as well as an organized police staff and volunteer fire fighter organization. In 1954, a senior high school was built in Woodbridge to serve Woodbridge, Bethany, and Orange. Earlier Bethany students had been sent to public high schools in neighboring towns as tuition students for grades nine through twelve. In 1963, Amity Junior High School was created in Bethany.

In a span of 2 years (1997-1999), the town purchased of land for the new Veterans Memorial Park. In 1999, the man-made Hockanum Lake at Veterans Memorial Park was opened for swimming. In 2000, the first Summer Sparkler was held there.

Town Seal

Bethany's town seal (as seen to the right) is a perfect circle within which appears another circle. The inner circle is a circle of rope. In the upper aspects of the seal appear the words TOWN OF BETHANY CONNECTICUT in two curved lines of print bordering the inner aspect of the rope circle. On the bottom of the seal also bordering the inner aspect of the rope circle appear the words INCORPORATED 1832. These words form the top and bottom edges of a third inner circle the sides of which are made of a string of inverted oak leaves on each side. A roadway bisecting the seal and extending from bottom to center is pictured within the third inner most circle. Surrounded by trees are Christ Episcopal Church pictured on the right, and First Church of Christ Congregational and the carriage shed on the left.

Interesting facts

The Budweiser Clydesdale (breed) horses are shoed and cared for in Bethany for parades and related events.

Bethany is the home to Amity Middle School (Bethany). Bethany is served by the regional Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.

The Bethany Airfield (no longer in service) was once popular with New England pilots during the early days of aviation. Today it serves as an assembly area for the popular Firemens' and Memorial Day parades.

In 2007, Bethany was named Connecticut's #1 Small Town by Connecticut Magazine. The honor evoked pride from residents but also drew concerns over the attention; residents continually seek to maintain Bethany's small-town charm and lifestyle.

The town has recently been rocked by sex scandals at the local church.

Notable residents

References

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