Medway, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Medway, Massachusetts
Town
Sanford Mills on the Charles River
Sanford Mills on the Charles River
Official seal of Medway, Massachusetts
Seal
Motto: "A Green Community"
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Settled 1657
Incorporated 1713
Founder Henry Garnsey
Medway 300 January 1, 2013
Area
 • Total 11.5 sq mi (29.9 km2)
 • Land 11.5 sq mi (29.7 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 200 ft (61 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 12,752
 • Density 1,108.9/sq mi (429.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC)
ZIP code 02053
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-39975
GNIS feature ID 0619458
Website Town of Medway, Massachusetts

Medway is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States with a population of about 13,000.

History

Medway (originally Midway) was first settled in 1657 and was officially incorporated in 1713. At that time, Medway began as a farming community of two hundred thirty-three. It was not long before the water power of the Charles River and Chicken Brook stimulated the formation of cotton and paper mills, straw and boot factories, and a variety of cottage industries. Medway demonstrates the central importance of the Charles River and the thriving town that grew alongside it. Today, the one-room schoolhouses are gone and the country stores have moved to the mall, but the open town meetings continue.

After nearby Medfield was established as a town in 1651, an increasing number of newcomers settled on the land west of the Charles River. By 1712, this settlement west of the Charles had grown large enough to petition the Massachusetts General Court for the creation of a separate new town. That petition was granted, and the town of Medway incorporated on October 25, 1713. At its founding by Henry Garnsey, and for 170 years afterward, the town of Medway included the land that is now Millis. Eventually, the eastern section of the town, known as East Medway, separated in 1885 to form the town of Millis, and Medway assumed the shape it has today.

The main cause for the independent formation of Millis from Medway was the physical separation caused by a massive tract of undevelopable land appropriately named in those times, the Great Black Swamp. The Black Swamp was at the geographical center point of Medway and East Medway. Had the land been developable, this would have been the ideal location for a central meeting house, as well as churches and schools. However, because the thick forest/swamp was completely undevelopable, this forced inhabitants of Medway and East Medway to form separate communities with their own respective necessities such as a meeting house and churches. Despite this natural separation, the town remained as one for over 170 years.

The oldest road in Medway was laid out in 1670 and was known for years as Old Mendon Road. Since that time, this road has been known by many names including The Road to the Wilderness, The Old County Road, The Middle Post Road, and most recently, Village Street. Village Street runs from the Millis border on the east and meanders along the Charles River before eventually joining Main Street just before the Bellingham border on the west. The heart of the old town of Medway is found along this road, with the central location of activity at Medway Village, where Holliston Street intersects with Village Street.

In 1869, all of the streets in Medway were officially named. Many streets ended up losing their original names, and were instead named after influential townspeople of the past and present. Some examples of this were; Pine Hill Road became Winthrop Street, Vine Lane became Kelley Street, Candlewood Island Road was named Oakland Street, and The Old Hartford Turnpike was named Main Street. A few other examples of roads in Medway named after past residents include Lovering Street, Adams Street, Partridge Street, Ellis Street, Clark Street, Coffee Street, and Barber Street.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.5 square miles (30 km2), of which, 11.4 square miles (30 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.78%) is water. Medway is the geographical center between Boston, Worcester, and Providence, which is purported by some to explain the origin of the name. However, like many New England cities and towns, it most likely derived its name from an English location, in this case, the town of Medway, England, or the River Medway.

Demographics

See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 2,778 —    
1860 3,195 +15.0%
1870 3,721 +16.5%
1880 3,956 +6.3%
1890 2,985 −24.5%
1900 2,761 −7.5%
1910 2,696 −2.4%
1920 2,956 +9.6%
1930 3,153 +6.7%
1940 3,297 +4.6%
1950 3,744 +13.6%
1960 5,168 +38.0%
1970 7,938 +53.6%
1980 8,447 +6.4%
1990 9,931 +17.6%
2000 12,448 +25.3%
2010 12,752 +2.4%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 12,448 people, 4,182 households, and 3,337 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,087.0 people per square mile (419.8/km²). There were 4,248 housing units at an average density of 371.0 per square mile (143.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.5% White, 0.57% African American 0.10% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.84% of the population.

There were 4,182 households out of which 97.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.2% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the town, the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $150,673 and the median income for a family was $172,302. Males had a median income of $121,245 versus $86,149 for females. The per capita income for the town was $51,008. About 1.8% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

Places of worship

Medway is home to four churches:

  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Village Street
  • Medway Community Church, which has Congregational and Baptist roots and is currently a member of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC)
  • Medway Village Church on Village Street, also a member of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC)
  • Christ Episcopal Church on School Street

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