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Hanson, Massachusetts
Wampatuck Pond, view from beside the Hanson Town Hall
Wampatuck Pond, view from beside the Hanson Town Hall
Official seal of Hanson, Massachusetts
Cranberry City
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Plymouth
Settled 1632
Incorporated 1820
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 15.7 sq mi (40.6 km2)
 • Land 15.0 sq mi (38.9 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
90 ft (27 m)
 • Total 10,639
 • Density 677.6/sq mi (262.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
02341, 02350
Area code(s) 339/781
FIPS code 25-28495
GNIS feature ID 0619468

Hanson is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. Part of Greater Boston, Hanson is located 20 miles (32 km) south of Boston and is one of the inland towns of the South Shore. The population was 10,639 at the 2020 census.


Hanson was first settled in 1632 as the western parish of Pembroke. The town was officially incorporated in 1820, and was named for Maryland newspaper publisher and U.S. Senator Alexander Contee Hanson. The town's early industry revolved around farming, as well as bog iron and quarrying. Mills also popped up along the rivers during the nineteenth century. Today the town is mostly residential, with some farming and cranberry farming. Ocean Spray was first started by several bogs in Hanson, and remained headquartered in Hanson before moving to Plymouth in the 1970s. Hanson was home to the Cranberry Specialty Hospital which opened in 1919 as the Plymouth County Hospital for Tuberculosis and closed in 1992.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.7 square miles (40.6 km2), of which 15.0 square miles (38.9 km2) is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2), or 4.21%, is water. It is the 250th largest town in the Commonwealth, over seven square miles smaller than the average. Hanson is considered one of the inland towns of Massachusetts's South Shore, and is bordered by Rockland and Hanover to the north, Pembroke to the east, Halifax to the south, East Bridgewater to the west, and Whitman to the northwest. Hanson is located approximately 9 miles (14 km) east of Brockton, 13 miles (21 km) south of Quincy, and 18 miles (29 km) south-southeast of Boston.

Hanson, like many towns in central Plymouth County, is dominated by lakes, rivers and swamps. The largest ponds include Oldham Pond along the Pembroke town line, Indian Head Pond (the source of Indian Head Brook) just south of Oldham Pond, Maquan Pond, located east of the center of the town, and Wampatuck Pond, located in the center of the town. In addition to Indian Head Brook, the town has several other brooks and rivers, including the Shumatuscacant River and Poor Meadow Brook to the west, and White Oak Brook to the south. To the north of town lies the Little Cedar Swamp, along Indian Head Brook. There is a small town forest and two camps, Rainbow Camp and Camp Kiwanee, within the town as well. Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area lies mainly in the section of town called Burrage or South Hanson. About half of the 1,625 acres (7 km2) are in Hanson, the other half in Halifax.


  • South Hanson: Formerly the center of down during the industrial era. South Hanson follows Massachusetts Route 27 from the border of Pembroke to Tri-Town (where East Bridgewater, Whitman, and Hanson all intersect). South Hanson was formerly home to the Plymouth County Hospital, a tuberculosis sanatorium, as well as the original Ocean Spray Cranberry Co. facility. The historic and now abandoned South Hanson train station building sits adjacent to the modern MBTA Hanson station. Much of the main one-mile stretch of the South Hanson center suffers from urban decay and deindustrialization given its large number of run down buildings in a once prosperous area, though revival attempts have seen some small business open up in the historic buildings.
  • Monponsett: Also known as Mopo. On the southern border with Halifax and has its own post office and zip code (02350). Monponsett is named for the Monponsett Twin Lakes which lie along much of the Hanson/Halifax border.
  • Burrage: In South Hanson and named for Albert Burrage, one of the town's most prominent industrialists. He formed the Atlantic Dyestuff Company which had its first factory where present-day Hawks Avenue is located. Litecontrol, now of Plympton, had used the historic industrial complex before relocating. The historic factory was demolished in 2016. Burrage was also previously home to a library and a hotel, both of which closed in the early 1900s. Burrage includes portions of Pleasant Street, South Street and Reed Street.
  • Brentwood: The north-eastern region of Hanson, including Brook Street, State State, Gorwin Drive, and their sides streets.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 1,217 —    
1860 1,245 +2.3%
1870 1,219 −2.1%
1880 1,309 +7.4%
1890 1,267 −3.2%
1900 1,455 +14.8%
1910 1,854 +27.4%
1920 1,910 +3.0%
1930 2,184 +14.3%
1940 2,570 +17.7%
1950 3,264 +27.0%
1960 4,370 +33.9%
1970 7,148 +63.6%
1980 8,617 +20.6%
1990 9,028 +4.8%
2000 9,495 +5.2%
2010 10,209 +7.5%
2020 10,639 +4.2%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,495 people, 3,123 households, and 2,545 families residing in the town. The population density was 632.5 people per square mile (244.2/km2). There were 3,178 housing units at an average density of 211.7 per square mile (81.7/km2).

There were 3,123 households, out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 28.2% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $62,687, and the median income for a family was $68,560. Males had a median income of $46,508 versus $31,337 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,727. About 2.8% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 11.6% of those age 65 or over.

Statistically, Hanson is the 180th most populous and the 154th most densely populated town in Massachusetts. It is just below the median in terms of population, and below the average but above the median in terms of density.


There are no freeways in Hanson, which is equidistant between Routes 3 and 24. The main state routes through town are Route 14 and Route 58, which intersect and run coextensively for a short stretch in the middle of town. Route 27 also passes through the town, following a portion of the Whitman and East Bridgewater borders before crossing the southern section of town.

The town lies along the Kingston-Plymouth line of the MBTA's commuter rail service, with a stop along Route 27. There is a small airport, Cranland Airport, which serves only small aircraft. The nearest national and international air service is at Logan International Airport in Boston.


Hanson shares a Pre-K through grade 12 school district (Whitman-Hanson Regional School District) with neighboring Whitman. The yearly operating assessments to both Towns are determined on the basis of student population. The town of Hanson owns the Hanson Middle School, and two elementary schools, Indian Head and Maquan, and leases them to the Whitman Hanson Regional School District, which is responsible for keeping the buildings in good repair. Maquan Elementary School has closed, and Indian Head Elementary serves students from kindergarten through fourth grades. Hanson Middle School serves students in grades five through eight. The town sends their students to Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, which is shared with the neighboring town of Whitman. The school was recently rebuilt through part of a $50 million project. It is located behind the previous building (which has been torn down and replaced with new athletic fields, including a synthetic turf football field) along Route 27 on the town line. Whitman-Hanson's teams are known as the Panthers, and their colors are red and black. Their chief rival is nearby Abington High, whom they play in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game.

In addition to Whitman-Hanson, students may choose to attend South Shore Vocational Technical High School in Hanover free of charge.

The nearest colleges to Hanson are Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, and Quincy College in Quincy.

Notable people

  • John Delaney, college baseball coach at Quinnipiac
  • Albert Hall (athlete), American hammer throw champion, who competed in the Olympics four times
  • Mimi Imfurst, drag queen. Best known for competing on RuPaul's Drag Race
  • Alex Karalexis, professional fighter; competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, World Extreme Cagefighting; original cast member on The Ultimate Fighter 1
  • Rocky Marciano, the only undefeated heavyweight boxing champion; had a house at 867 Main Street in South Hanson
  • Kristen Merlin, singer/songwriter, guitarist
  • Kristie Mewis, professional soccer player currently signed with the Houston Dash; has played for the United States women's national soccer team
  • Samantha Mewis, professional soccer player currently signed with the North Carolina Courage and the United States women's national soccer team
  • Maura Murray, resident of Hanson, missing person who vanished without a trace in 2004 in New Hampshire whose case has gained international attention and media coverage
  • Albert C. Read (1887–1967), Rear Admiral; Commander/Navigator of the NC-4, the first aircraft to complete a transatlantic flight in 1919
  • Tiffany Scott, 2002 Olympic figure skater
  • Jimmy Slyde (1927–2008), tap dancer
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