Cheshire, Connecticut

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Cheshire is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 28,543 at the 2000 census. The center of population of Connecticut is located in Cheshire.[1] In 2009 Cheshire was ranked 72 in Money Magazine's 100 Best Places to Live.[2]

Contents

History

When Cheshire was originally settled in 1694[citation needed] by Europeans, it was part of the town of Wallingford and known locally as "Northfarms". In 1780, Cheshire separated from Wallingford to become its own town, and remained a small but prosperous farming town until the 1950s.

In the post-war period, Cheshire began to urbanize as residents of New Haven began moving outwards from the urban core. Several industrial plants also located themselves in one of the town's many planned industrial parks. Despite significant residential development, Cheshire has remained a highly agricultural town that has found an economic niche in producing bedding plants for local and national consumers. The town's slogan is "The Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut".

Connecticut's 2nd worst air disaster took place over Cheshire on January 18, 1946, when an Eastern Airlines DC-3 crashed in town. The crash occurred near Wolf Hill Road and Copper Valley Court, on land that is today occupied by a country club. All seventeen people aboard the aircraft lost their lives.[3]

Home invasion case

On January 6, 2008, over 130,000 luminary candles were lit in front of thousands of homes across Cheshire in "Cheshire Lights of Hope", a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis and a tribute to the Petit family. The Petits were victims of the highly publicized July 23, 2007, home invasion, during which mother Jennifer and daughters Hayley and Michaela Petit were murdered, leaving behind sole survivor Dr. William Petit. Founded by local couple, Don and Jenifer Walsh, the event raised over $100,000 for Hayley's Hope and Michaela's Miracle Memorial funds.[4] The murder and the aftermath was featured in a segment that aired on the NBC-TV newsmagazine show Dateline NBC on October 5, 2010. The segment was titled "The Family on Sorghum Mill Drive".[5] In 2010, Steven Hayes was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death;[6] his alleged accomplice Joshua Komisarjevsky faces trial in 2011.

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