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North Attleborough, Massachusetts
North Attleborough Town Hall
North Attleborough Town Hall
Official seal of North Attleborough, Massachusetts
Seal
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°59′00″N 71°20′00″W / 41.98333°N 71.33333°W / 41.98333; -71.33333Coordinates: 41°59′00″N 71°20′00″W / 41.98333°N 71.33333°W / 41.98333; -71.33333
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Bristol
Settled 1669
Incorporated 1887
Government
 • Type Town Manager & Town Council
Area
 • Total 19.1 sq mi (49.3 km2)
 • Land 18.6 sq mi (48.3 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation
200 ft (61 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 30,834
 • Density 1,657.7/sq mi (638.4/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
02760
Area code(s) 508/774 (508 Exchanges: 643,695,699)
FIPS code 25-46575
GNIS feature ID 0618284

North Attleborough, alternatively spelled North Attleboro, is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 30,834 at the 2020 United States Census.

The villages of Attleboro Falls and North Attleborough Center are located in the town.

History

North Attleborough [formerly a part of Attleborough] is an industrial town on the Rhode Island border. In pre-Colonial times, it was the site of the Bay Path, a major Indian trail to Narragansett Bay, the Seekonk River and Boston. John Woodcock and family established a small settlement in North Attleborough in 1669, which subsisted on agriculture, fishing and hunting. By 1670, Woodcock had received a license to open a tavern. The settlement was attacked during King Philip's War, with two killed and one home burned, but the garrison house which Woodcock had built survived the attack. The Woodcock-Garrison house was used as sleeping quarters for George Washington on his army's march to Boston to rid the city of General Thomas Gage's troops. The Garrison house is still open for tours and is an especially popular destination for field trips by local school children.

By 1776, there were 2200 people living in North Attleborough. In about 1780, a French settler set up a forge for working brass and the industrial era arrived in Attleborough. Englishmen brought with them British machinery from Birmingham in 1794 and designed American improvements in button making which they patented. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, small grist and sawmills were built along the Ten Mile River, and subsequently established nail factories were eventually eclipsed by cotton spinning mills. The development of cotton spinning was spurred by the embargo on imports resulting from the War of 1812. Textiles and jewelry manufacturing were the staple industries of the town by 1832 but buttons were king. By 1834, it was said that North Attleboro produced more buttons than anywhere else in the United States.

Until 1887, North Attleborough was part of Attleborough. The residents of the village of East Attleborough (now Attleborough centre) chose to secede, and had the higher population and the votes to keep the name of Attleboro, the traditional spelling. When re-incorporating as the City of Attleborough, they chose to officially alter the name of their city. North Attleborough, the original settlement, kept the original official spelling, but lost the distinction of being Attleborough, and its founding date of 1694 was also appropriated by Attleborough.

In the twentieth century, North Attleborough was home at various times to the jewelry firms Jostens, the world's largest class ring manufacturer and the Balfour Company, prominent maker of championship rings including for the National Football League's Super Bowl champions and Major League Baseball's World Series' winners.

Through the 19th century there was tremendous growth and innovation in the jewelry industry and the number of firms in the town increased sharply. By 1855, there were 24 shops making almost $1 million in jewelry in both Attleborough and North Attleborough. The American Civil War spurred their growth with profitable U.S. Army orders for badges and medals. In 1887, North Attleboro was officially incorporated as a town. Today it is a thriving center of business and commerce with a small industrial park and many shops and stores along US Route 1 which travels through the center of town.

In 2006, North Attleborough was rated in the top ten for professional sports communities in the entire country and was also listed as one of the most affordable and safest places to raise a family.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49 km2), of which 18.6 square miles (48 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (2.15%) is water. The town is roughly quadrilateral-shaped, and makes the northwest corner of Bristol County. It is bordered by Plainville to the north, Mansfield to the east, Attleborough to the south, and Cumberland, Rhode Island to the west. Localities include Adamsdale, Attleborough Falls and Sheldonville Farms. The town is located 16 miles north of Providence, Rhode Island, 38 miles southwest of Boston and 42 miles southeast of Worcester, Massachusetts.

The town has several rivers, streams and brooks running through it, including the Ten Mile River and the Seven Mile River. There are several ponds and lakes, including Greenwood Lake (site of a fish hatchery) and Falls Pond, among others. The town's largest park, World War I Memorial Park, is located in the northern part of town and contains the highest point in Bristol County - Sunrise Hill (Watery Hill) at 390 feet above sea level. World War I Memorial Park features a petting zoo, Petti Field for soccer and lacrosse and a ski/sledding hill with J-bar ski lift which is currently inoperable. There is also the North Attleborough Arboretum adjacent to the park.

On High Street, one block from Route 1A is an ice-skating pond called Titus Pond which is maintained by the North Attleborough Rotary Club and filled each winter by the Fire Department.

There are five cemeteries in North Attleborough: the diminutive and inactive Woodcock Cemetery across from the Woodcock Garrison house just north of downtown; Paine Road Cemetery near the Cumberland, Rhode Island, border; Mt. Hope Cemetery & Arboreum; the old St. Mary's Cemetery and the new St. Mary's Cemetery. The latter three are located in the village of Attleborough Falls.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1890 6,727 —    
1900 7,253 +7.8%
1910 9,562 +31.8%
1920 9,238 −3.4%
1930 10,197 +10.4%
1940 10,359 +1.6%
1950 12,146 +17.3%
1960 14,777 +21.7%
1970 18,665 +26.3%
1980 21,095 +13.0%
1990 25,038 +18.7%
2000 28,978 +15.7%
2010 28,712 −0.9%
2020 30,834 +7.4%
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

At the 2000 census, there were 27,143 people, 10,391 households and 7,232 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,456.0 inhabitants per square mile (562.2/km2). There were 10,635 housing units at an average density of 570.5 per square mile (220.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.97% White, 0.92% African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.

There were 10,391 households, of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.15.

Age distribution was 26.9% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% 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 91.3 males.

The median household income in 2016 was $90,125 compared to $59,371 in 2000. About 2.7% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Library

1899 NorthAttleborough public library Massachusetts
The library in 1899.

"The North Attleborough Public Library was established in 1889, by the North Attleborough Union Improvement District, which turned its library over to the town." Today the Richards Memorial Library is located downtown, and is a member of SAILS library network, a network of libraries in Southeastern Massachusetts. In fiscal year 2008, the town spent 0.77% ($572,874) of its budget on its public library—some $20 per person.

Transportation

Interstates 95 and 295 meet just over the Attleborough line, and both run through the town. Each interstate has one exit within town. The town is also bisected by U.S. Route 1, which runs through the retail and downtown districts. Massachusetts state routes 120 and 152 also run through town, as does the "middle" portion of Route 1A, which begins in the town.

The town is set equidistantantly between the three nearest Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stops, in Mansfield, Attleborough Center and South Attleborough. The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority provides bus services between the local towns and cities. The nearest national-level airport is T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, approximately 23 miles away, and the nearest international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, approximately 42 miles away.

Points of interest

Little Red Schoolhouse, North Attleborough MA
Little Red Schoolhouse

Youth Sports Programs

  • Kryptonite Wrestling Klub www.KryptoniteKlub.com
  • North Soccer Club www.northsoccerclub.com
  • Little North Attleborough League
  • Metro Basketball
  • Park and Recreation soccer, field hockey, basketball, and softball

Boy Scouts of America

Cub Scouts: Grades 1-5

  • Pack 9- Chartered out of Grace Episcopal Church in Downtown North Attleboro
  • Pack 12- Chartered out of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Downtown North Attleboro
  • Pack 32- Chartered out of North Attleboro Elks Club in Attleboro Falls
  • Pack 65- Chartered out of Martin Elementary School in North Attleboro

Boy Scouts: Grades 5-12

  • Troop 23- Chartered out of Grace Episcopal Church in Downtown North Attleboro
  • Troop 33- Chartered out of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Downtown North Attleboro

Historic

Natural

  • Edward Sheehy Memorial Ski Slope
  • Falls Pond
  • Hoppin Hill Reservoir
  • Whitings Pond
  • Bungay Lake
  • Mount Hope Cemetery and Arboretum
  • National Fish Hatchery
  • Balancing Rock in World War I Park

Places of worship

Catholic

  • Sacred Heart, 58 Church St
  • St. Mark's, Stanley St., Attleborough Falls
  • St. Mary's, 14 Park St.

Interdenominational

  • Twin Rivers Community Church, 23 Washington Street, downtown North Attleboro

Jewish

  • Congregation Agudas Achim, Robert Toner Blvd. & Kelley Blvd.

Non-denominational

  • Church of Christ, 444 Kelley Blvd.

Protestant

  • Attleboro Area Council of Churches, 505 North Main St., Attleboro
  • Central Congregational Church, 115 Commonwealth Ave. Attleborough Falls
  • John Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Church, on the corner of Broad & Grove Sts.
  • Cushman Union Church, 2 May St., Adamsdale
  • First Baptist Church, No. Washington & Park Sts.
  • First United Methodist, Routes 1 & 120
  • Grace Episcopal, 104 No. Washington St., downtown North Attleborough
  • Twin Rivers Community Church, 23 Washington Street, downtown North Attleboro

General

  • YMCA Downtown Teen Center (The Zone)
  • Emerald Square Mall

In popular culture

  • Right There, an award-winning 2013 silent comedy film, was filmed in downtown North Attleboro.
  • In "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953 film starring Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe) one of the ladies' dates mentions his mother in law is from North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

Education

Public schools

Little Red Schoolhouse, North Attleborough MA
Little Red Schoolhouse

The Town of North Attleboro has a robust public school system. The North Attleborough Public School District runs 8 public schools and has a total enrollment of approximately 4,000 students. The current superintendent is John Antonucci. There are 7 elected School Committee members. Students are also part of formal School Committee proceedings. In 2019, the school department expenditures were $60,745,000 with a per pupil average expenditure of $13,850.

In April 2018, citizens voted and approved a $6,500,000 increased tax levy after the town's budget needs were lagging. The tax override was, in part (approximately 40%), to increase funding for the public schools. Even with the fiscal conservative history of the town, the override passed with 57% of voters approving the measure. The town made immediate investments to advance school infrastructure projects and staffing, public safety and community services.

Massachusetts has the nation's top ranked public schools and North Attleborough Public Schools (NAPS) has received high marks for Academics, Quality Teachers, College Prep, and Health & Safety according to niche.com and other sources.

The following schools make up the North Attleborough Public Schools:

  • The Early Learning Center (Preschool)
  • Amvet Boulevard School (Grades K–5)
  • Community School (Grades K–5)
  • Falls School (Grades K–5)
  • Joseph W. Martin, Jr. School (Grades K–5)
  • Roosevelt Avenue School (Grades K–5)
  • North Attleborough Middle School (Grades 6–8)
  • North Attleborough High School (Grades 9–12)

Private schools

The town is home to one Catholic K-8 school, Saint Mary-Sacred Heart School. The nearest private high school is Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, a Catholic high school.

Infrastructure

102 South Washington Street North Attleborough
Police station

Transportation

Interstates 95 and 295 meet just over the Attleborough line, and both run through the town. Each interstate has one exit within town. The town is also bisected by U.S. Route 1, which runs through the retail and downtown districts. Massachusetts state routes 120 and 152 also run through town, as does the "middle" portion of Route 1A, which begins in the town.

The town is set equidistantantly between the three nearest Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stops, in Mansfield, Attleborough Center and South Attleborough. The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority provides bus services between the local towns and cities. The nearest national-level airport is T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, approximately 23 miles away, and the nearest international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, approximately 42 miles away.

Police

The North Attleborough Police Department is located downtown in the old H.F. Barrows Manufacturing Company Building at 102 South Washington St. There are three fire stations, located downtown on Elm Street just off Route 1, Allen Ave behind Emerald Square Mall and on Route 152 in the eastern portion of town. There are also two post offices, downtown (using the 02760 ZIP code) and in Attleboro Falls (02763). North Attleboro also uses 02761 for post office boxes located downtown.

Revitalization Projects

The Balfour Co. Building in North Attleboro, Massachusetts was a branch of the L.G. Balfour Company, a jewelry company that employed many residents of Attleboro and North Attleboro, and is a significant part of the town’s history. The building, left abandoned for decades, is a prime example of urban blight in the town and was often regarded as the town’s biggest eyesore, as it was incredibly run down and dilapidated. In a 2014 attempt to begin revitalizing the town, developers expressed interest in the Balfour building and plans were underway to build a new apartment building and bus stop in its place. However, after an initial overhaul of the area’s infrastructure, such as water mains and streets, the developers pulled out after being unable to finance the forty million dollar revitalization.

In 2017, Boston Realty Advisors secured a loan that will allow them to completely develop the area of the old Balfour building into a Class A apartment complex that will have 193 units and 11,500 square feet of retail space. This mixed-use zoning / development allows for one development to house different functions-- the new building on 21 East Street will have a gym, restaurant, retail space, and shuttles to MBTA stations in addition to the apartments. This transit-oriented development places residents close to public transportation, which reduces travel times. Both the mixed-use development and the transit-oriented development combat urban sprawl, which is all too common in the Boston-Providence suburbs. The new apartment complex will not only bring large amounts of tax revenue to North Attleboro, but create new Class A, a type of luxury apartment, that will bring in high-income tenants.

Though this infill of an old, abandoned building is beneficial in many ways and a useful response to blight occurring in the town, an oversight by planners and developers regarding the drainage of a swamp that used to exist beneath U.S. Route 1 shifted environmental burdens towards neighboring, lower-income households. The new building at 21 East Street has shifted drainage and flooded nearby homes, according to residents. In spite of these complaints, the town gave the developers permission to open two of three buildings, while they have sixty days to address the drainage problem; this issue raised concerns and questions about the role of municipal governments in overseeing such large and impactful projects.

Notable people

  • Colin Grafton, Team USA figure skater, 2012 National bronze Medalist, 2012 Junior World Team Member
  • Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Republican US representative, Speaker of the House of Representatives; J.W. Martin Elementary School is named in his honor
  • Jerod Mayo, coach and linebacker both for the New England Patriots
  • Allen Ripley, professional baseball player
  • Anthony Sherman, professional football player
  • Chris Sullivan, former defensive end for the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Frank C. Whitmore, organic chemist
  • Steve Pearce, professional baseball player

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