East Haven, CT, incorporated in 1785, sits just east of New Haven and has a population of 30,000 and is known for its Italian-American heritage. Median household income (per the 2010 census) was just over $63,000, with 8% of the population below the poverty line. East Haven is situated 35 miles from Hartford, 82 miles from New York City, 99 miles from Providence, Rhode Island, and 140 miles from Boston, along the I-95 corridor. New Haven and neighboring towns such as East Haven have been destinations for a new wave of immigrants since the late 20th century, the majority of whom in East Haven are Latinos from Puerto Rico. In the 2010 census, Hispanics and Latinos made up more than 10% of the town’s population.
The town has a long history, starting with its original settlement by indigenous peoples, the Algonquian, who occupied settlements along the coastline and rivers. The area now known as East Haven was obtained by Puritan settlers Reverend John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton on November 29, 1638, as part of the purchase of New Haven from Sachem Momauguin of the local Quinnipiack tribe. Additional land, in what is now known as Foxon, was purchased from Chief Montowese on December 11, 1638. Then in 1639, Thomas Gregson petitioned for the purchase of Solitary Cove, later called Morris Cove. This was granted on August 5, 1644, and was the last piece of land that made up the original town of East Haven. During the American Revolution, this area was subject to troop movement and encampment by both revolutionary and British forces. On July 5, 1779, British forces led by General William Tryon landed from war ships, attacked Black Rock Fort in Morris Cove and captured its 19 defenders. The British attacked New Haven and East Haven. General Lafayette and revolutionary forces also visited town and encamped on the green.
East Haven is home to Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport, which is located on the border between East Haven and New Haven. One of its claims to fame is Henry Winkler, actor and director who played “The Fonz” on the hit show Happy Days. Winkler lived in the Momaugin area of East Haven while he attended the Yale School of Drama. Another point of interest is that the town limits include an island; Stony Island is located approximately 660 yards out into Long Island Sound.
East Haven’s top five employers include Super Stop & Shop, Thermatool Corporation, Village at Mariners Point (healthcare), Laurel Woods (healthcare) and Talmadge Park Health Care. Another East Haven business of note is the Calabro Cheese Corporation, founded in 1953. They specialize in producing ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses, and a line of select specialty cheeses. East Haven is also the Corporate Headquarters to Town Fair Tires.
The town of East Haven sponsors a town-wide beach party to celebrate Independence Day and hosts a Fall Festival, which is patterned after a New England town fair. The Fall Festival happens on the 2.4 acre park that makes up The Town Green. The Green is also home to summer concerts and other community events.