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Berlin, Massachusetts
Town
Rural scene, Berlin, Massachusetts
Rural scene, Berlin, Massachusetts
Official seal of Berlin, Massachusetts
Seal
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts.
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Worcester
Settled 1665
Incorporated 1812
Area
 • Total 13.1 sq mi (33.9 km2)
 • Land 12.9 sq mi (33.5 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 300 ft (91 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,866
 • Density 218.8/sq mi (84.54/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01503
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-05490
GNIS feature ID 0619476
Website www.townofberlin.com

Berlin /ˈbɜːrln/ is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 2,866 at the 2010 census.

History

Berlin was first settled in 1665 and was officially incorporated in 1812.

Berlin lies in a low range of hills between the Nashua River and Assabet River valleys. Incorporated in 1812, the town was a residential and agricultural community, growing mixed hay grains and raising cattle. For a period after the Civil War, Berlin was home to a large shoe factory, and shoe manufacturing and lumbering provided non-agrarian jobs. The town soon moved into specialty market gardening, sending 41,000 bunches of asparagus to market in 1885, growing hops and raising chickens. By 1940, 83,600 dozen eggs were produced annually by the poultry farmers of Berlin.

Town hall

Berlin’s first town house was constructed in 1831 for town meetings and social activities. Community growth necessitated the construction of a new town hall, and construction of the new town hall was started in 1869 and completed in 1870. The lot, a small piece of land facing the Meeting House Common in the center of Berlin, was given to the town by Artemas Barnes.

The Memorial Hall, on the first floor, included photographs of nearly all the local soldiers lost in the Civil War. Later the photos of other Civil War veterans were added until likenesses of nearly 100 local men were collected there. In the 20th Century, war dead of World War I, World War II and Vietnam were added.

Barnes Hall, used for social gatherings, and the Selectmen’s Room were also on the first floor. In 1904-1905, an addition was built at the back of the building to provide space for a kitchen and the public library on the first floor, and the stage on the second floor. Toilets were added in the 1930s.

In 1998, however, the town hall was moved from the 1870 building to the former home of the elementary school (the school was moved into a new building).

The public library was located in the Town Hall from 1891 until 1928. Barnes Hall was used as a school room in the 1870s. As recently as 1999 the locally produced musical Swinging Into the Millennium was held in the upper hall. Two area contra dance groups have used the hall in recent years. Meetings of Boy and Girl Scouts and local youth baseball and soccer groups also are held in the building.

The project of refurbishing and renovations of the Town Hall, under the direction of the Friends of the Town Hall, is ongoing.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.1 square miles (42 km2), of which 12.9 square miles (33 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 1.22%, is water. Berlin is bordered by Hudson and Marlborough to the east, Bolton to the north, Clinton and Boylston to the west, and Northborough to the south. Berlin is the center of population for New England.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 866 —    
1860 1,106 +27.7%
1870 1,016 −8.1%
1880 977 −3.8%
1890 884 −9.5%
1900 1,003 +13.5%
1910 904 −9.9%
1920 868 −4.0%
1930 1,075 +23.8%
1940 1,057 −1.7%
1950 1,349 +27.6%
1960 1,742 +29.1%
1970 2,099 +20.5%
1980 2,215 +5.5%
1990 2,293 +3.5%
2000 2,380 +3.8%
2010 2,866 +20.4%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,380 people, 872 households, and 666 families residing in the town. The population density was 184.1 people per square mile (71.1/km²). There were 893 housing units at an average density of 69.1 per square mile (26.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.61% White, 0.17% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 0.38% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.50% of the population.

There were 872 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.8% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $65,667, and the median income for a family was $76,419. Males had a median income of $50,711 versus $32,330 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,915. About 2.1% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.


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