The town of Canterbury was settled in 1697.  The 40.2 square miles of the town are served by Routes 169 and 14, , the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.  Route 169 has been designated as a state scenic highway.

Canterbury is the site of New England’s first black female academy.  The school was housed in a Federal style building erected around 1805 on what is now the corners of Routes 169 and 14 in the center of town.  The Prudence Crandall House was originally opened by Prudence Crandall in January of 1832 as a private academy to instruct local boys and girls.  Until Sarah Harris, a black girl, was enrolled in the Fall of that year, the school had enrolled only white children.  Parents of the students were outraged at Crandall’s bold act of allowing a black girl in the academy.  Most of the students were pulled out of the school by their parents because of Sarah’s enrollment.  Crandall lost all town support and had to dismiss the remaining students.

In the Spring of 1833, Crandall once again opened the academy, this time as a black female academy.  Little did Sarah Harris know that she would start a controversy that would cause the passage of the unjust “Black Law” making it illegal for black children from out of state to attend school in Connecticut.

After her arrest, Prudence Crandall was released due to a legal technicality.  The school remained open for about a year and a half, when after constant attack, harassment and fear for her students’ safety, she regretfully closed again.

Canterbury, though, is not all about the past.  We celebrate our history while building our future, looking to diversify and expand our economic base while preserving our heritage and natural resources.  Canterbury has convenient access to both rail and Interstate 395 placing us in the center of a robust transportation network making Canterbury well suited for successful business development.

Zip: 06331
Incorporated: 1703
Area: 40.2 square miles
Form of Government: Town Meeting / Board of Selectmen
Mill Rate:21.50

Animal Control(860)774-1253
Fire Department(860)564-9807
Parks & Recreation(860)546-9397
Tax Collector and Town Clerk(860)546-9377
Transfer Station(860)546-6604
Canterbury Elementary School(860)546-6744
Canterbury Elementary School(860)546-6744
Dr. Helen Baldwin Middle School(860)546-9421
Superintendent of Schools(860)546-6950


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