Dedham, Massachusetts facts for kids
|Town of Dedham|
First Church and Parish
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|Named for||Dedham, Essex, England|
|• Total||10.6 sq mi (27.6 km2)|
|• Land||10.5 sq mi (27.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Elevation||120 ft (37 m)|
|• Density||2,355.1/sq mi (912.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC−4)|
|ZIP code||02026 (02027 for P.O. Boxes)|
|Area code(s)||781 / 339|
|GNIS feature ID||0618318|
Dedham // is a town in and the county seat of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 24,729 at the 2010 census. It is located on Boston's southwest border. On the northwest it is bordered by Needham, on the southwest by Westwood and on the southeast by Canton. The town was first settled in 1635.
Settled in 1635 by people from Roxbury and Watertown, Dedham was incorporated in 1636. It became the county seat of Norfolk County when the county was formed from parts of Suffolk County on March 26, 1793. When the Town was originally incorporated, the residents wanted to name it Contentment. The Massachusetts General Court overruled them and named the town after Dedham, Essex in England, where some of the original inhabitants were born. The boundaries of the town at the time stretched to the Rhode Island border.
At the first public meeting on August 15, 1636, eighteen men signed the town covenant. They swore that they would "in the fear and reverence of our Almighty God, mutually and severally promise amongst ourselves and each to profess and practice one truth according to that most perfect rule, the foundation whereof is ever lasting love."
They also agreed that "we shall by all means labor to keep off from us all such as are contrary minded, and receive only such unto us as may be probably of one heart with us, [and such] as that we either know or may well and truly be informed to walk in a peaceable conversation with all meekness of spirit, [this] for the edification of each other in the knowledge and faith of the Lord Jesus…" The covenant also stipulated that if differences were to arise between townsmen, they would seek arbitration for resolution and each would pay his fair share for the common good.
In November 1798, David Brown led a group in Dedham protesting the federal government; they set up a liberty pole, as people had before the American Revolution. It carried the words, "No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America; peace and retirement to the President; Long Live the Vice President," referring to then-President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson. Brown was arrested in Andover but because he could not afford the $4,000 bail, he was taken to Salem for trial. Brown was tried in June 1799. Although he wanted to plead guilty, Justice Samuel Chase urged him to name those who had helped him or subscribed to his writings in exchange for freedom. Brown refused, was fined $480, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison. It was the most severe sentence up to then imposed under the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Dedham is home to the Fairbanks House, the oldest surviving timber-frame house in the United States, scientifically dated to 1637. On January 1, 1643, by unanimous vote, Dedham authorized the first taxpayer-funded public school, "the seed of American education." Its first schoolmaster, Rev. Ralph Wheelock, a Clare College graduate, was paid 20 pounds annually to instruct the youth of the community. Descendants of these students would become presidents of Dartmouth College, Yale University and Harvard University.
The first man-made canal in North America, Mother Brook, was created in Dedham in 1639. It linked the Charles River to the Neponset River. Although both are slow-moving rivers, they are at different elevations. The difference in elevation made the canal's current swift enough to power several local mills.
In 1818, though citizens were still taxed for the support of ministers and other "public teachers of religion", Dedham set a precedent toward the separation of church and state. Residents selected a minister different than that chosen by the church selectmen; their right of selection was confirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court. The shift in power to the congregation led to the rise of the Congregational Churches.
The local Endicott Estate burned to the ground in 1904 after the local volunteer fire department, responding to three separate fires burning simultaneously, reached the Endicott fire last. By the time they arrived, only ashes remained. It is said that the estate's owner, Henry Bradford Endicott (also founder of the Endicott Johnson Corporation) took the burning of the homestead as a divine command to rebuild (which he did). The rebuilt Endicott Estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate and surrounding grounds are open to the public, upholding Henry's stepdaughter Katherine's wish to use the house and property for "educational, civic, social and recreational purposes."
In 1921, the historic Sacco and Vanzetti trial was held in the Norfolk County Courthouse in Dedham.
Dedham Pottery is a cherished class of antiques, characterized by a distinctive crackle glaze, blue-and-white color scheme, and a frequent motif of rabbits and other animals. Dedham is sometimes called the "mother of towns" because 14 present-day communities were included within its original broad borders.
Dedham is located at U.S. National Geodetic Survey, has placed a small medallion into a granite block showing an elevation of 112.288 feet.(42.244609, −71.165531). On the northeast corner of High Street and Court Street the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey, now the
Dedham is made up of a number of neighborhoods:
- In the geographical center of town is Oakdale. It is roughly confined by East Street to the west, Cedar Street to the south and east, and Whiting Ave to the north. The houses in the area around Woodleigh Road, which was declared to be one of the best streets in Greater Boston, have many homes designed by Henry Bailey Alden, who also designed the Endicott Estate. Nearby the subdivision consisting of Morse Avenue, Fulton Street, and Edison Avenue, is named Whiting Park.
- Riverdale is an island surrounded by the Charles River and Long Ditch.
- Greenlodge runs along the axis of Greenlodge Street and the area between Greenlodge Street and East Street.
- The Manor comprises the neighborhood south of Sprague Street.
- East Dedham falls between Mother Brook and the Boston line.
- Precinct One, or Upper Dedham, is in the northwest corner of the town, between High Street and Common Street and the Westwood and Needham lines.
- Ashcroft is the neighborhood between Cedar Street and Sprague Street. It includes Paul Park and the Capen School.
- Fairbanks is the neighborhood between East Street and Wigwam Pond.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27 km2), of which, 10.4 square miles (27 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.79%) is water.
- See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income
|* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,464 people, 8,654 households, and 6,144 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,244.6 people per square mile (866.9/km²). There were 8,908 housing units at an average density of 852.2 per square mile (329.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.51% White, 1.54% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1.87% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 8,654 households, of which 30.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them. 56.3% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14.
Dedham's population is spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $61,699, and the median income for a family was $72,330. Males had a median income of $46,216 versus $35,682 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,199. About 3.2% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.
Seal and flag
The town's seal was originally designed by a member of the Dedham Historical Society. In the center is a crest containing the Old Avery Oak. When the tree was finally felled the gavel used by the Moderator at Town Meeting was carved out of it. Above the tree are the scales of justice, representing Dedham as the county seat and home to Norfolk County's courts. On the left of the tree are agricultural instruments and on the right is a factory, showing Dedham's history first as a town of farmers and then a one with a number of mills and factories, particularly along Mother Brook. Below the tree is a banner with the word "Contentment," the name of the original plantation.
The town flag is red with the seal prominent and in the center. In the lower left corner is part of the Avery Oak and in the lower right is part of the Fairbanks House. It hangs in the selectmen's chambers at town hall and in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House.
Places of worship
|Place of worship||Denomination||Size||Founded|
|First Church and Parish||Unitarian Universalist||1638 (Split in 1818)|
|Allin Congregational Church||United Church of Christ||1638 (Split in 1818)|
|St. Paul's Episcopal Church||The Episcopal Church||1758|
|Fellowship Bible Church||Nondenominational
|St. Mary of the Assumption Church||Roman Catholic||2,329 families||1866|
|Church of the Good Shepherd||The Episcopal Church||1877|
|St. Luke's Lutheran Church||Evangelical Lutheran Church in America||1893|
|St. John of Damascus Church||Orthodox Christian Church||1907|
|St. Susanna Church||Roman Catholic||1960|
|Calvary Baptist Church||Independent Baptist|
|Dedham Temple||Seventh-day Adventist|
|The Link Church||Assemblies of God|
|Former places of worship|
|Place of worship||Denomination||Founded||Closed|
|First Church of Christ, Scientist||Church of Christ, Scientist||1939||2000s|
Boston United Hand in Hand Cemetery is located on Lower East Street straddling the West Roxbury line. Dating back to 1875, the original plot was full by 1896 but subsequently expanded multiple times. There are graves as recent as 1980 in the West Roxbury portion; the Dedham portion is still active. Chestnut Hill's Congregation Mishka Tefila currently owns the property.
Dedham is home to a number of community organizations, including
- The Dedham Combined Veterans Council
- The American Legion Post 18
- The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 42
- The USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2017
- The AMVETS Post 1636
- The Knights of Columbus
- The Rotary Club
- The Moose Club
- The Italian – American Citizens Club of Dedham
- The Boy Scouts of America
- The Friends of the Dedham Public Library
- The Dedham Junior Women's Club
- The Dedham Square Circle
- The Dedham Community House
- The James Joyce Ramble
- The Dedham Historical Society
- The Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves
Boy Scouts Troop 3
Troop 3 of the Boy Scouts of America was founded on March 5, 1917 by Charles H. Stackpole, a 52-year-old Methodist clergyman who served as the troop's first Scoutmaster. As of 2017[update], Peter Low was Scoutmaster. It is currently chartered at the Church of the Good Shepard in Oakdale Square.
Points of interest
- The American Legion Post 18
- Dedham Historical Society and Museum
- Dedham Public Library
- Fairbanks House
- Legacy Place, outdoor shopping center.
- MIT Endicott House
- Moseley’s on the Charles, the oldest continuous-running ballroom in the country
- Mother Brook (first man-made waterway in the United States)
- Noble & Greenough School
- Norfolk County Correctional Center, situated in the median of Route 128.
- Ursuline Academy and Convent
- Flag Day Parade: The Flag Day Parade began in 1967, and quickly became one of Dedham's most beloved traditions. In 2017, for the 50th anniversary, the parade is being moved from the traditional June 14, Flag Day, to June 17th. This is to accommodate the fireworks at Memorial Park that will be part of the celebration.
Commuter rail service from Boston's South Station is provided by the MBTA with stops at Endicott and Dedham Corporate Center on its Franklin Line. Also MBTA Bus route 34 Dedham Line to Forest Hills serves Washington Street. Bus route 34E Walpole Center to Forest Hills serves Washington Street, Dedham Square, and the Dedham Mall. Bus route 35 Dedham Mall to Forest Hills serves Washington Street.
Dedham, Massachusetts Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.