Stafford is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States, settled in 1719. The population was 12,192 at the 2010 census. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford. The town most likely derives its name from Staffordshire, in England.
The Colonial Town of Stafford began as a rural agricultural community in the eastern part of Hartford County. It became part of Tolland County upon the latter's formation on 13 October 1785. The easy availability of water power from the tributaries of the Willimantic River led to industrialization, and this abundance of power helped generate local population growth. By the mid-19th century, Stafford was connected by railroad to markets across New England, and before the State Highway projects of the 1920s and 1930s, the town had a trolley connection to Rockville, CT.
During the Civil War, factories in Stafford made cannonballs and other war supplies for the northern forces.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.8 sq mi (152.2 km2), of which, 58.0 sq mi (150.1 km2) of it is land and 0.81 sq mi (2.1 km2) of it (1.38%) is water; it is the 3rd largest town in Connecticut based on area.
Stafford Springs is located at the intersection of Routes 190 and 32, in the northeastern region of the state. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford.