Windham County, Connecticut

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Windham County is a county located in the northeastern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of 2000, the population was 109,091.

The entire county is within the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor, as designated by the National Park Service.

Contents

History

Windham County was created from Hartford and New London counties on May 12, 1726, by an act of the Connecticut General Court. The act establishing the county states:

In May 1749, the town of Woodstock, formerly New Roxbury, Worcester County Massachusetts, was unilaterally annexed by Connecticut and assigned to Windham County. In 1785, the town of Union (incorporated in 1734) was transferred to the newly-formed Tolland County. Over the next century, Windham County would lose several towns to Tolland and New London counties: Coventry to Tolland in 1786, Lebanon to New London in 1824, Columbia and Mansfield to Tolland in 1827, and Voluntown to New London in 1881. The final boundary adjustment occurred on April 7, 1885, when the boundary dispute between the towns of Windham and Mansfield was resolved.[2]

Government

County level government in the state of Connecticut was abolished in 1960. All government affairs and services are administered by either the state or local municipality.

The office of county high sheriff was abolished by constitutional referendum in 2000. All former functions of the county sheriff's office are now carried out by the state marshals service. The last high sheriff (or official for that matter) of Windham County was Thomas W. White, who left office in 2000 due to the discontinuation of the county sheriff's departments in Connecticut.

Transportation

Major highways through Windham County include Interstate 395, which runs north-south from the New London County line at Plainfield to the Massachusetts state line at Thompson. The southern part of I-395 is part of the Connecticut Turnpike, which branches off the interstate in Killingly and runs east-west from I-395 exit 90, to U.S. Route 6 at the Rhode Island state line.

Other north-south routes include Route 12, which parallels I-395 through many local communities, Route 169, a National Scenic Byway traveling through rural communities from the New London County line in Canterbury to the Massaschusetts state line in Woodstock. Other secondary north-south roads are Routes 89, 198, 97, 21, and 49.

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