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Norwood, Massachusetts
Official seal of Norwood, Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Country  United States
State  Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Settled 1678
Incorporated 1872
 • Type Representative town meeting
 • Total 10.6 sq mi (27.3 km2)
 • Land 10.5 sq mi (27.1 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
146 ft (45 m)
 • Total 31,611
 • Density 3,010.6/sq mi (1,166.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-50250
GNIS feature ID 0619460

Norwood is a town and census-designated place in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Norwood is part of the Greater Boston area. As of the 2020 census, the population was 31,611. The town was named after Norwood, England. Norwood is on the Neponset River, which runs all the way to Boston Harbor from Foxborough.


The Town of Norwood, officially formed in 1872, was until that time part of Dedham, known as the "mother of towns", as fourteen of the present communities of eastern Massachusetts lay within its original borders. Long used as a hunting ground by Indians, Norwood was first settled by Ezra Morse in 1678. He set up a sawmill in what is now South Norwood, the part of town to which the first concentration of families, almost all of whom were farmers, migrated over the next half-century.

During the American Revolution, there was a Minuteman company organized in the area. Its captain, Aaron Guild, on learning of the British marching on Lexington and Concord, to seize the munitions stored there, rode to join the fight and arrived in time to fire on the British at Concord Bridge and participate in the running battle that chased the Redcoats back to Boston.

Abraham Lincoln passed through the town during his pre-inaugural tour of New England.

The Oak View Mansion, located in Norwood, was built by Francis Olney Winslow. Construction began in 1868 and was completed in 1870. Oak View was the scene of almost constant socializing. Some of the most prominent figures hosted in Oak View were President and future Supreme Court Justice William Howard Taft and President Calvin Coolidge.

The town shares its name with a town in the borough of Croydon, South London, England.


Norwood is located at 42°11′9″N 71°12′5″W / 42.18583°N 71.20139°W / 42.18583; -71.20139 (42.185974, -71.201661).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27.3 km²), of which 10.5 square mile (27.1 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km²) (0.66%) is water.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1880 2,845 —    
1890 3,733 +31.2%
1900 5,480 +46.8%
1910 8,014 +46.2%
1920 12,627 +57.6%
1930 15,049 +19.2%
1940 15,383 +2.2%
1950 16,636 +8.1%
1960 24,898 +49.7%
1970 30,815 +23.8%
1980 29,711 −3.6%
1990 28,700 −3.4%
2000 28,587 −0.4%
2010 28,602 +0.1%
2020 31,611 +10.5%
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Stained-glass window in Norwood Town Hall depicting town seal.

As of the census of 2010, there were 30,602 people. The racial makeup of the town was 80.92% White, 8.01% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 9.57% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.58% of the population. 27.3% were of Irish descent.

As of the census of 2000, there were 28,587 people, 11,623 households, and 7,380 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,727.0 people per square mile (1,053.2/km2). There were 11,945 housing units at an average density of 1,139.5 per square mile (440.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 90.51% White, 2.31% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 5.06% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population. 34.7% were of Irish, 14.8% Italian, 5.4% American and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 11,623 households, out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 20.8% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,421, and the median income for a family was $70,164 (these figures had risen to $66,743 and $80,292 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $50,597 versus $34,312 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,720. About 2.7% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.


A large cluster of automobile dealerships on Route 1 is known as the Norwood "Automile". The concept of having competing dealerships join together to publicize the "Automile" as an automobile shopping center was largely the work of Ernie Boch, famous in the Boston area for his ads urging people to "Come on down!"

University Avenue in Norwood is the site of both semiconductor company Analog Devices Inc and medical software provider MEDITECH, Medical Information Technology, Inc., actually across the border in Westwood.



Norwood was the long-time home of photographer and publisher Fred Holland Day. As a photographer, Day at one point rivalled Alfred Stieglitz in influence. The publishing firm of Copeland and Day was the American publisher of Oscar Wilde's Salome with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley. The Day House is now a museum and the headquarters of the Norwood Historical Society. F. Holland Day Historic House Museum located at 93 Day St.



  • U.S. 1 is a major artery through Norwood. ( Runs from West Roxbury to Providence, RI.)
  • Three MBTA Commuter Rail stations on the Forge Park-495 line or Franklin Line, with daily service. The stations are Norwood Depot, Norwood Central and Windsor Gardens.
  • Norwood Memorial Airport
  • Interstate 95
  • MBTA bus route 34E


Norwood High School, Norwood MA
Norwood High School

The Norwood Public Schools operates seven schools, and an additional school institution, The Willett Early Childhood Center (serves preschool and kindergarten children). The public elementary schools located in Norwood include: Balch, Callahan, Cleveland, Oldham, and Prescott.

Norwood has one public middle school, the Dr. Philip O. Coakley Middle School (serving 6th through 8th graders) (formerly Norwood Junior High South), where all five elementary schools combine. Norwood also has a public high school, Norwood High School (NHS), (serves grades 9–12).

Built in 2005, Universal Technical Institute is the newest post-secondary education center in Norwood. It is an automotive technical school featuring the Mercedes Benz Elite MSAT and the Ford FACT specialized training programs. The campus is located at 1 Upland Road, less than a mile from the Boston Providence Pike.

The Fine Mortuary College in Norwood includes a one-room museum featuring antique embalming tables and centuries-old wooden coffins.

Notable people

  • Keith Adams, former NFL linebacker
  • Frank G. Allen, Governor of Massachusetts, 1929–1931
  • Dicky Barrett, lead singer of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • Harry Bigelow, lawyer
  • Ernie Boch, Jr., CEO, president, and spokesman of Boch Enterprises, a $1 billion business consisting primarily of automobile dealerships in Norwood
  • Peter Boghossian, American philosopher and author
  • Charlie Bowles, former major league baseball player
  • Marty Callaghan, former major league baseball player
  • F. Holland Day, photographer
  • Allen Doyle, golfer, 11-time winner on Champions Tour
  • Joe Dugan, former Baseball player and member of the New York Yankees first World Series title in 1923
  • Alfred Fincher, former pro football player for Washington Redskins
  • William Cameron Forbes, Governor General of the Philippines, 1909–1913
  • Zhenya Gay, writers and children's book illustrator
  • Noah Hanifin, current NHL defenseman for the Calgary Flames
  • Richie Hebner, former major league baseball player
  • Joe Hulbig, former NHL player, Boston and Edmonton
  • Peter Laviolette, NHL and Olympic hockey coach
  • Rhoda Leonard, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player, teacher in Norwood public schools system
  • Skip Lockwood, former major league baseball player
  • Ray Martin, former major league baseball player
  • Jon Purnell, United States Ambassador to Uzbekistan
  • Brendan Emmett Quigley, crossword constructor
  • Bob Quinn, general manager of NFL's Detroit Lions
  • Allen Ripley, former major league baseball player
  • John H. Rogers, former Massachusetts House Majority Leader
  • Tony Rombola, guitar player for hard rock band Godsmack
  • Mike Sherman, former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M Aggies head coach
  • Tom Shillue, stand-up comedian, barbershop quartet singer, host of Fox News Channel's overnight program Red Eye with Tom Shillue
  • Mike Smith, former major league baseball player
  • George Sullivan, former Notre Dame football champion, NFL player for the Boston Yanks, Massachusetts Senator and Judge
  • Bill Travers, former major league baseball player

See also

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