Middletown

/mid"l town'/, n.
1. a township in E New Jersey. 62,574.
2. a city in SW Ohio, on the Miami River. 43,719.
3. a city in central Connecticut, on the Connecticut River. 39,040.
4. a city in SE New York. 21,454.
5. a town in SE Rhode Island. 17,216.
6. a town in E Pennsylvania. 10,122.
Middletowner, n.
/mid"l town'/, n. (sometimes l.c.)
a typical American town or small city with traditional values and mores.
[after a pseudonymously named town studied in a book with the same title (1929) by U.S. sociologists Robert S. Lynd (1892-1970) and Helen Merrell Lynd (1896-1982); the town actually studied was Muncie, Ind.]

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      city, coextensive with the town (township) of Middletown, Middlesex county, central Connecticut, U.S., on the Connecticut River. Settled by Puritans (Puritanism) in 1650 and incorporated as a town in 1651, it occupies the site of the Indian village of Mattabesec (Mattabesett). It was named in 1653 for its position between the upstream towns and the river mouth. The city, chartered in 1784, consolidated with the town in 1923. Middletown was a seaport and shipbuilding centre in the 18th and 19th centuries—a base of the triangular trade in rum, slaves, and molasses with Africa and the West Indies and later of the China clipper trade. The first official pistol maker to the U.S. government, Simeon North, had his factory there in 1799. With the coming of the steamship, Middletown declined as a port. Its diversified economy now includes agriculture and the manufacture of machinery (including airplane engines) and chemicals. Middletown is the seat of Middlesex Community-Technical College (1966) and Wesleyan University (1831). The Submarine Library Museum, housing submarine memorabilia, also is located there. The Powder Ridge Ski area is nearby. Pop. (1990) 42,762; (2000) 43,167.

      city, Orange county, southeastern New York, U.S., 60 miles (97 km) northwest of New York City. Settled in 1756, it was organized around the local Congregational church in 1785 and named for its midway location between the Hudson (Hudson River) and Delaware (Delaware River) rivers. Until 1798 it was in Ulster county. It became headquarters for several turnpike companies and, after 1843, the terminal of the Erie Railroad (Erie Railroad Company) (later Erie Lackawanna Railway, now part of the Consolidated Rail Corporation). Located in a dairy and fruit-growing region, it serves as a gateway to a mountain and lake resort area and has light industries, including the manufacture of clothing, flavoring extracts, and machinery. Middletown is the home of the Orange County Community College (1950), part of the State University of New York (New York, State University of (SUNY)) system. Inc. village, 1848; city, 1888. Pop. (1990) 24,160; (2000) 25,388.

      city, Butler county, southwestern Ohio, U.S., on the Miami River (bridged). It is part of a metropolitan statistical area that also includes Cincinnati, some 30 miles (50 km) south. Founded in 1802, it was probably named for its location about midway between Dayton (approximately 20 miles [32 km] north) and Cincinnati. It soon became a lively agricultural trading community, with its products (wheat, corn [maize], tobacco, livestock, fruits, and vegetables) transported to Cincinnati and New Orleans via freight wagons, river flatboats, and the Miami and Erie Canal boats. Four railroads—the Baltimore and Ohio (originally the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton), New York Central's Big Four, the Erie, and the Pennsylvania—arrived later. Early industrial development centred on tobacco, paper, and steel. George M. Verity built a mill (1900) that produced sheet steel by the continuous rolling process. The tobacco factories declined, but paper and steel industries have continued to flourish. Airplane and missile parts and machinery are also manufactured. A branch campus (1966) of Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) is in Middletown. Inc. village, 1833; city, 1886. Pop. (2000) city, 51,605; Cincinnati-Middletown MSA, 2,009,632; (2005 est.) city, 51,472; Cincinnati-Middletown MSA, 2,070,441.

      borough (town), Dauphin county, central Pennsylvania, U.S., just southeast of Harrisburg, at the confluence of Swatara Creek and the Susquehanna River. George Fisher settled the site in 1752 and in 1755 laid out the town, which he named Middletown for its location midway between Lancaster and Carlisle. In 1809 Fisher's son, George, laid out another town (Harborton) at the juncture of the Swatara and Susquehanna; it was later called Portsmouth until its consolidation with Middletown in 1857. During the American Revolution, Middletown was an American army supply depot and boat-building centre. In 1979 a serious nuclear power accident, a partial core meltdown, occurred in a nuclear reactor at the power plant located on Three Mile Island in the Susquehanna River near Middletown.

      The borough is mainly residential with some light industry. Middletown Air Field (formerly Olmsted Air Force Base), adjacent to the west, is on the site of a former pickle farm. The upper-division campus of Capital College (Penn State Harrisburg), part of the Pennsylvania State University system, is in Middletown. Inc. 1826. Pop. (1990) 9,254; (2000) 9,242.

      town (township), Newport county, southeastern Rhode Island, U.S., on Rhode (Aquidneck) Island (Rhode Island), in Narragansett Bay. It was named for its location between the other two towns on the island, Newport and Portsmouth. Closely related to Newport, from which it was set off and incorporated in 1743, Middletown has developed as a residential suburb of that city. Middletown is the home of St. George's School (1896) and the site of historic Whitehall (1729), built by Bishop George Berkeley (Berkeley, George), an Anglo-Irish philosopher who lived there from 1729 to 1731. The Norman Bird Sanctuary and Museum is nearby. Area 13 square miles (34 square km). Pop. (2000) 17,334; (2003 est.) 17,359.

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Universalium. 2010.

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