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Waterford is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. It is named after Waterford, Ireland. Waterford is bordered on the west by the Niantic River, and consists of the principal communities of Quaker HIll, Graniteville, Jordan, Millstone, Morningside Park, Bartlett Point, Cohanzie, Best View and Thames View.
The first people emigrated from England in 1637, and came to the New London and Waterford area (at the time, this land was called West Farms). One of the first people who set sail for this area was John Winthrop, Jr. Waterford got its name for its proximity to being in between two rivers. The residents of Waterford resided in wigwams until they dug up plots for 38 houses near the Great Neck area. John Winthrop was given several hundred acres of land, including Millstone Point and Alewife Cove. Various dams, mills, and ponds were constructed in these area. The only expansion of people in the Waterford-New London area were the growth of families and children. Later on, more people immigrated to Waterford, including the Welsh, Italian, Russian, Irish, and Scottish.
Waterford disbanded from New London on October 8, 1801, after several farmers decided to hold a petition to separate. The first town meeting was held in November, 1801 to appoint town officials; tax collectors, town surveyors, Fence Viewers, and First Selectman.
Waterford in the 19th century was a huge agricultural town, having mostly sheep farms. Waterford was also widely known for its granite industry that lasted from the late 19th century to the 1930s. Graniteville, a district in Waterford, is named after this industry. Although not part of Graniteville, the area today known as Crystal Mall was also home to granite quarries. Waterford's granite was used in many construction projects such as roads, the foundation for Fort Sumter, and the Statue of Liberty.
During the 20th century, sheep farms were replaced by dairy farms. Between 1920 and 1960, there were about 100 dairy farms in Waterford. Waterford also obtained its town seal in 1946. It was made by Martin Branner who was a cartoonist who also made the famous comic, Winnie Winkle. After World War II, Waterford boomed with development. Many new roads and building were made. Also, Waterford's population increased by 10,000 between 1946 and the present time. In 1957, the first stop light was added in Waterford, and in 1978, the first retail center was built.