Medfield, Massachusetts facts for kids
Dwight-Derby House (1651)
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Total||14.6 sq mi (37.8 km2)|
|• Land||14.5 sq mi (37.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||178 ft (54 m)|
|• Density||829.2/sq mi (319.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0618323|
Medfield is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 12,024 according to the 2010 Census. Medfield is an affluent community about 17 miles southwest of Boston, Massachusetts, which is a 45-minute drive to Boston's financial district. Attractions include the Lowell Mason house, Hinkley Pond and the Peak House.
The territory that Medfield now occupies was, at the time of colonization, Neponset land. It was apparently sold by the Neponset leader Chickatabot to William Pynchon in the late 1620s. In 1633, however, Chickatabot died in a smallpox epidemic that decimated nearby Neponset, Narragansett and Pequot communities. Because Chickatabot and Pynchon's deal left no written deed, the Massachusetts General Court ordered "those Indians who were present when Chickatabot sold lands to Mr. Pynchon, or who know where they were, to set out the bounds thereof". Fifty years later, Chickatabot's grandson Josias Wampatuck brought a land claim against Medfield and the other towns created within the borders of the Chickatabot purchase, for which he received payment. Of those lands, Dedham was the first town formed.
Dedham was incorporated in 1636, and Medfield (New Dedham) was first settled in 1649, principally by people who relocated from the former town. The first 13 house lots were laid out on June 19, 1650. In May 1651, the town was incorporated by an act of the General Court as the 43rd town in Massachusetts.
The Rev. Ralph Wheelock is credited with the founding of Medfield. He was the first schoolmaster of the town's school established in 1655, and now has an elementary school named after him.
Half the town (32 houses, two mills, many barns and other buildings) was destroyed by Native Americans during King Philip's War in 1675. One house, known as the Peak House, was burnt in the war but was rebuilt shortly thereafter near downtown Medfield.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.6 square miles (37.8 km²), of which 14.5 square miles (37.6 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km²) (0.62%) is water. The Charles River borders almost one-third of Medfield. Medfield is surrounded by the towns Dover, Norfolk, Walpole, Millis, and Sherborn. The Charles River marks the Millis border.
Towns that border Medfield.
|* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Population and housing
- 12,024 people, 5,284 households, and 5,462 families
- Population density = 326.6 people/km² (845.8 people/sq mi)
- 5,048 housing units
|Black or African American||0.51|
|Two or more races||0.68|
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.90% of the population.
- Of the 5,284 households, 50.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.8% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.3% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older
- Average household size = 3.02
- Average family size = 3.41
- 33.6% under the age of 18
- 3.5% from 18 to 24
- 28.4% from 25 to 44
- 25.2% from 45 to 64
- 9.3% who were 65 or older
- The median age was 38 years.
- For every 100 females there were 96.6 males, and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.
- See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income
- Per capita income = $62,076
- Median household income = $133,931
- Median family income = $144,263
- About 0.8% of families and 1.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.1% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or over.
Medfield's Free Public Library began in 1873. The public library is located on Main Street. In the late 18th century some of the residents of Medfield and surrounding towns formed a subscription library, called the Medfield Social Library.
- On the third Saturday of September, Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization hosts Medfield Day in Medfield Center, which is an annual celebration of the town.
- On the first Friday of December, Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization hosts the annual tree lighting in Baxter Park in Medfield Center.
- On the first Saturday of December, Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization organizes the annual Winter parade which takes place on the streets near Medfield Center.
- On the first Sunday of December, Medfield Foundation hosts the angel run, which is an annual 5k fundraising road race, held to raise money for the Medfield Outreach Program.
Medfield State Hospital
Medfield State Hospital, located at 45 Hospital Road, opened in 1896 and originally operated on 685 acres (2.77 km2) of pasture. At its peak in 1952, it housed 1,500 patients. By 2001, it was down to about 300 acres (1.2 km2) and employed 450 people (including four psychologists) to care for a maximum of 147 patients. The cost to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was $21.5 million. On April 3, 2003, the doors were closed. Although the buildings are not open to the public (they have been boarded up), the grounds may be visited during daylight hours.
- The film The Box was filmed at the hospital in December 2007.
- The film Shutter Island started prepping February 2008 and started filming at Medfield State Hospital in March 2008.
Points of interest
- Rocky Woods is a 491-acre (1.99 km2) reservation in the northeast part of town. The property has 6.5 miles (10.5 km) of nature trails for hiking or biking, a few ponds for fishing, and open space for picnics and barbecues, and includes Cedar Hill (435 feet (133 m)).
- Noon Hill is a hill in Medfield at 370 feet (110 m) with a trail to its peak. There are a total of 4.5 miles (7.2 km) of trails around the hill and offer views of the hills of Walpole, Norfolk, and Gillette Stadium.
- Peak House. Burnt during the Native-American attack on the town during King Philip's War in 1676, the Peak House was re-built in 1680. It was turned over to the Medfield Historical Society in 1924 and restored to its original Colonial look. It is open every Sunday from 2 PM- 5 PM from June to September and by appointment at other times. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the steep roof has the highest pitch on record in Massachusetts for a 17th-century house.
- Medfield Historical Society on Pleasant Street. The Society museum contains historic artifacts and documents. The Society also owns the Peak House.
- The Dwight-Derby House: Constructed in 1697. It was long thought that the house was built in 1651, but irrefutable scientific evidence has established that this house was not built until 1697. Still, it is one of only several dozen documented 17th-century houses still standing. Numerous additions have been made to the home over the years as the property changed owners.
- Hinkley Pond, named after Vietnam fatality Stephen Hinkley, a native of Medfield, located on Green Street, is a site for public swimming and has a playground and sand area. Swimming lessons are taught on site.
- Lowell Mason Museum and Music Center. Birthplace of Lowell Mason and a rare example of First Period American architecture and construction. Portions of the house date to 1651 according to a dendrochronology survey. A community effort saved the home from demolition and relocated it to Green Street in April 2011. The Lowell Mason Foundation maintains the house, which will house the Lowell Mason Museum, community space, and a music center.
- Kingsbury Pond, named after Amos Clark Kingsbury (a Medfield native and graduate of Medfield's High School Class of 1916) who served in the United States Marines, American Expeditionary Force, and fought in almost every major battle in France during World War I. Kingsbury Pond is located on Route 27, across the street from St. Edward's Catholic Church. It is a site for public fishing and ice skating. Fishermen have caught very small Largemouth Bass in this pond
- Metacomet Park, named after King Philip (who was also known as Metacomet or Metacom), the chief of the Wampanoag Indians and their leader in the King Philip War. Metacomet Park is an athletic complex and activities area located at 145 Pleasant Street. It offers four tennis courts, a little league baseball diamond, a multi-use field (used for lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer), and a small playground. The park is used for numerous teams to practice and play games.
- Charles River Reservation maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is home to the Bill Martin Flying Field maintained by two clubs, the Millis Model Aircraft Club and the Charles River Radio Controllers.
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