Last Updated on September 12, 2017 by Minna Reid
September 11, 2017
Bethany, 06524, Connecticut, is a very lovely, slightly remote town in New Haven County. In fact, in 2007, Connecticut Magazine rated Bethany as Connecticut’s #1 small town. This ranking of Connecticut’s smallest towns compares the quality of public schools, the state of the local economy, the cost of living, the crime rate and local leisure and cultural resources, as well as having a real sense of community. Spending a little time in Bethany and meeting some of the locals gives proof that this feels very true. Bethany was first settled in 1717 but it was not until May, 1883, that it separated from Woodbridge and became incorporated as a town. Bethany is located in the south-central part of the state, midway between Waterbury and New Haven and the major routes that run through the town are Rt. 63 and Rt. 69. The town motto is “rural is beautiful” and it is very fitting with the feeling this town gives off. The population of 5,500 is spread across 21.4 square miles helping the town retain its rural character. Bethany is a beautiful town decorated with reservoirs serving Naugatuck. The west part of town is on a plateau, while the eastern side is more rural with features like Lake Bethany and the West River. This may be a rural town but it has plenty of recreational opportunities as well as a quality educational programs for the residents. Bethany is known to have top notch public schools and scores well above the state average on the Connecticut Mastery Test, class sizes are generally 13-14 students per teacher and Bethany spends above the national average per student per year. (The average in Bethany is $8,735 per student per year and the national average is $5,691). Bethany shares Amity Regional High Schools with the neighboring towns of Woodbridge and Orange. When it comes to recreational activities to keep you active and loving nature, you have your choice of parks, such as, Allington Park, Veterans Memorial Park and Hockanum lake. Hockanum Lake was opened for swimming in 1999 and became home to the first Summer Sparkler in 2000. Bethany Parks and Recreation Department is a fantastic resource! Bethany also doesn’t lack in the history department, being home to one of the earliest air fields in New England, which was in active use until 1966. Since closing, it has been used for farmers markets, horse related activities, a driving range, recycling facility and the annual town carnival. When I think of Bethany, I think of long windy roads, horse trails, happy residents, a close knit community and wide open spaces. This is a town that has succeeded in maintaining a very special character, in that, it is a town committed to retaining its rural heritage while keeping a strong community spirit.