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Barre, Massachusetts
Barre Town Hall
Barre Town Hall
Official seal of Barre, Massachusetts
Seal
Motto(s): 
"Tranquil and Alert"
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Coordinates: 42°25′22″N 72°06′20″W / 42.42278°N 72.10556°W / 42.42278; -72.10556Coordinates: 42°25′22″N 72°06′20″W / 42.42278°N 72.10556°W / 42.42278; -72.10556
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1720
Incorporated 1774
Government
 • Type Open town meeting
Area
 • Total 44.6 sq mi (115.5 km2)
 • Land 44.3 sq mi (114.8 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation
886 ft (270 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 5,530
 • Density 123.99/sq mi (47.88/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
01005
Area code(s) 351 / 978 Exchange code = 355
FIPS code 25-03740
GNIS feature ID 0619475
Website www.townofbarre.com

Barre is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 5,530 at the 2020 census.

History

Originally called the Northwest District of Rutland, it was first settled in 1720. The town was incorporated on June 17, 1774, as Hutchinson after Thomas Hutchinson, colonial governor of Massachusetts. But on November 7, 1776, it was renamed Barre /ˈbæri/ in honor of Isaac Barré, an Irish-born MP who was a champion of American Independence. Starting in the 1800s, the Boston, Barre and Gardner Railroad provided rail service to the town.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.6 square miles (116 km2), of which 44.3 square miles (115 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 0.63%, is water. Barre is drained by the Ware River.

Barre is bordered by Hubbardston to the northeast, Rutland and Oakham to the southeast, New Braintree to the south, Hardwick to the southwest, Petersham to the northwest, and a small portion of Phillipston to the north.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 2,976 —    
1860 2,973 −0.1%
1870 2,572 −13.5%
1880 2,419 −5.9%
1890 2,239 −7.4%
1900 2,059 −8.0%
1910 2,957 +43.6%
1920 3,357 +13.5%
1930 3,510 +4.6%
1940 3,528 +0.5%
1950 3,406 −3.5%
1960 3,479 +2.1%
1970 3,825 +9.9%
1980 4,102 +7.2%
1990 4,546 +10.8%
2000 5,113 +12.5%
2010 5,398 +5.6%
2020 5,530 +2.4%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,113 people, 1,889 households, and 1,377 families residing in the town. The population density was 115.3 people per square mile (44.5/km2). There were 1,988 housing units at an average density of 44.8 per square mile (17.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.63% White, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,889 households, out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.4% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,553, and the median income for a family was $56,069. Males had a median income of $40,284 versus $29,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,476. 3.4% of the population and 1.2% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.5% of those under the age of 18 and 2.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Sites of interest

  • Barre Historical Society & Museum
  • Barre Players Theater
  • Insight Meditation Society
  • Russell's Fossil Museum

Education

Barre is home to the Quabbin Regional High School and to Ruggles Lane Elementary School. It also home to the administrative offices (including the office of the superintendent) of the Quabbin Regional School District.

At one time, extending from 1840 into the twentieth century, it was home to the Barre Massachusetts Institution for the Education of Feeble Minded Youth.

Barre is home to Stetson School.

Notable people

  • David Oliver Allen, missionary and author
  • Stephen Brewer, state senator
  • Ebenezer Childs, pioneer and legislator
  • Timothy Jenkins, congressman
  • Walker Lewis, black abolitionist, Masonic Grand Master of African Grand Lodge #1, and Mormon Elder
  • John Murray (Massachusetts), Representative to the Great and General Court of the Province of Massachusetts Bay for Rutland's Northwest District
  • Joseph B. Plummer, general
  • Jacob Riis, journalist, author of How the Other Half Lives
  • Daniel Ruggles, Confederate general
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