Easton, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Easton, Massachusetts
Town
Oakes Ames Memorial Hall with Ames Free Library in background.
Oakes Ames Memorial Hall with Ames Free Library in background.
Official seal of Easton, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): Shoveltown
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Bristol
Settled 1694
Incorporated 1725
Area
 • Total 29.2 sq mi (75.5 km2)
 • Land 28.4 sq mi (73.7 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.9 km2)
Elevation 112 ft (34 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 23,112
 • Density 791.5/sq mi (313.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02375
02356
02334
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-20100
GNIS feature ID 0619433
Website www.easton.ma.us
Civil War Memorial in Easton, Massachusetts
Civil War memorial at the intersection of Depot and Center Streets.

Easton is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 23,112 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Greater Boston area, but is also part of the 6-county definition of the Providence MSA.

Easton is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. Open Town Meeting acts as the legislative branch of the town. The Selectman choose a Town Administrator to run the day-to-day operations of the town.

History

4489-4495-Richardsonpan-small
View from The Rockery showing Oakes Ames Memorial hall (left), Ames Free Library (center), and 66 Main Street (right)

Easton was first settled in 1694 and was officially incorporated in 1725.

In 1694, the first settler, Clement Briggs, established his home near the Easton Green. In 1711, the Taunton North Purchase area became Norton, and in 1713, the sixty-nine families settled in Easton and hired Elder William Pratt as their first minister. Prior to the settlers' establishment, the area was occupied by Native Americans as a hunting area and a burial ground. During King Philip's War, Metacom, also known as King Philip, used part of Easton as a headquarters for his troops. There was no legal parish in Easton until 1722, when the East Precinct of Norton was recognized. In 1725, the area was incorporated as the Town of Easton; it was so named because it was formerly called the "East End" of the Taunton North Purchase and was shortened by pronunciation to Easton. During the Revolutionary War, General George Washington stayed at the Benjamin Williams Tavern on Bay Road, which is now the second oldest existing house in Easton, while on his way to negotiate for cannonballs at the old Perry Foundry in Taunton.

In 1803, the Ames Shovel Works was established and became nationally known as having provided the shovels which laid the Union Pacific Railroad and opened the west. In 1875, the shovel production of the Ames plant was worth 1.5 million. The most notable of the Ames family were Oakes Ames, a key figure in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal, and Oliver Ames(R), governor of Massachusetts from 1887–1890.

The Ames family shaped the town's economy, and was responsible for the presence of a number of landmark buildings in the town designed by H. H. Richardson, originator of the Richardsonian Romanesque style and designer of Trinity Church in Boston.

Richardson buildings in Easton include:

  • The Ames Free Library (town library)
  • Oakes Ames Memorial Hall
  • The Old Colony Railroad Station (houses the Easton Historical Society)
  • The Ames Gate Lodge (privately owned by the Ames family)
  • The F. L. Ames Gardener's Cottage (privately owned by the Ames family)

Though this school complex was not made by Richardson himself, it was dedicated to him and made in his style:

  • H.H.Richardson/F.L.Olmsted Intermediate School

Although intended to be the town hall, the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall was never accepted by the town and never used for that purpose.

In addition, there is a commercial building at 69 Main Street which designed and build in the nineteenth century by Richardson's office in a Richardsonian style. The Richardson buildings are all located within a compact area designated as the H. H. Richardson Historic District. The area also includes The Rockery, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also landscaped grounds of Oakes Ames Memorial Hall and the Ames Free Library.

Within a few blocks of the H. H. Richardson Historic District is Unity Church, built by the Ames family in 1875, and designed in the Gothic Revival Style by architect and publisher John Ames Mitchell. It includes an ornate oak frieze including sculptures of twenty-two angels playing music, carved by Johannes Kirchmayer (1860–1930), and two notable stained-glass windows, "Angel of Help," and "Figure of Wisdom," both by John LaFarge (1835–1910). "Figure of Wisdom," completed in 1901, is the largest stained-glass work created by LaFarge.

Geography

North Easton, Massachusetts (2674483332)
North Easton in 1891

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.2 square miles (76 km2), of which 28.4 square miles (74 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (2.54%) is water. The town, in addition to its own smaller state forest, includes part of Borderland State Park at the northwest corner of town, Hockomock Swamp Wildlife Management Area at the southeast corner of town, and all of Wheaton Farm Conservation Area in the southwest. All of the town's waterways are considered part of the Taunton River Watershed area, which in turn is the eastern section of the Narragansett Bay Watershed area.

Easton forms the northeastern corner of Bristol County, where the county intersects with Plymouth County to the east and Norfolk County to the north.

The localities of Easton include Alger's Corner, Daley Corner, Easton Center, Easton Green, Eastondale, Five Corners, Furnace Village, Goward's Corner, Morris Corner, Morse Corner, North Easton, Pratt's Corner, and South Easton.

Easton is located in eastern Massachusetts. The roughly trapezoidal-shaped town is bordered by Brockton and West Bridgewater to the east, Taunton and Raynham to the south, Norton to either side of its southwest corner, Mansfield to the west, and Sharon and Stoughton to the north.

Demography

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 2,337 —    
1860 3,067 +31.2%
1870 3,668 +19.6%
1880 3,902 +6.4%
1890 4,493 +15.1%
1900 4,837 +7.7%
1910 5,139 +6.2%
1920 5,041 −1.9%
1930 5,298 +5.1%
1940 5,135 −3.1%
1950 6,244 +21.6%
1960 9,078 +45.4%
1970 12,157 +33.9%
1980 16,623 +36.7%
1990 19,807 +19.2%
2000 22,299 +12.6%
2010 23,112 +3.6%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 22,299 people, 7,489 households, and 5,571 families residing in the town. The population density was 784.1 people per square mile (302.7/km²). There were 7,631 housing units at an average density of 268.3 per square mile (103.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.94% White, 1.59% African American, 0.04% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.13% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.

There were 7,489 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.3% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $69,144, and the median income for a family was $82,190. Males had a median income of $51,429 versus $35,912 for females. The per capita income for the town was $30,732. About 0.7% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Easton is served by the following highways that run through the town: Routes 106, 123 and 138. Additionally, the town is served by two major highways which run just outside its border, Route 24 to the east and Interstate 495 to the south.

Easton is the site of two proposed commuter rail stations, North Easton and Easton Village, on the Stoughton Branch option of the MBTA's South Coast Rail project. In March 2011, following the release of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Draft Environmental Impact Report, Gov. Deval Patrick's administration and the MBTA announced this alternative as the best option for achieving all the goals of the project.

Points of interest

  • Ames Free Library
  • Borderland State Park
  • Oakes Ames Memorial Hall
  • Stonehill College
  • The Rockery

National recognition

In July 2009, Easton was named #37 on CNN Money Magazine's Best places for the rich and single list, and #17 on its Top 100 Best Places to Live list, moving up from #28 in July 2007.


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