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Sharon, Massachusetts
Sharon's town center in 2009
Sharon's town center in 2009
Official seal of Sharon, Massachusetts
A nice place to live because it's naturally beautiful.
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Country  United States
State  Massachusetts
County Flag of Norfolk County, Massachusetts.gif Norfolk
Settled 1650
Incorporated 1775
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 62.6 km2 (24.2 sq mi)
 • Land 60.4 km2 (23.3 sq mi)
 • Water 2.2 km2 (0.9 sq mi)  3.56%
76 m (249 ft)
 • Total 18,575
 • Density 307.5/km2 (797.2/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-60785
GNIS feature ID 0618329

Sharon is a New England town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,575 at the 2020 census. Sharon is part of Greater Boston, about 17 miles (27 km) southwest of downtown Boston, and is connected to both Boston and Providence by the Providence/Stoughton Line.


Sharon, first settled as part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637, was deemed the 2nd precinct of Stoughton in 1740. It was established as the district of Stoughtonham on June 21, 1765, incorporated as the Town of Stoughtonham on August 23, 1775 and was named Sharon on February 25, 1783 after Israel's Sharon plain, due to its high level of forestation. Several towns in New England were given this name. Part of Stoughtonham went to the new town of Foxborough on June 10, 1776. During the American Revolution, the townspeople of Sharon made cannonballs and cannons for the Continental Army at a local foundry.

In front of the Sharon Public Library stands a statue of Deborah Sampson, Sharon's town heroine. Sampson disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War. She married Benjamin Gannett, a farmer, after she fought in the war and lived in Sharon until the end of her life. She is buried in the local Rockridge Cemetery. A street in Sharon is named Deborah Sampson Street in her honor.

The Unitarian and Congregational churches in the center of Sharon both have church bells manufactured by Paul Revere.

The recipient of letters from across the United States in Stanley Milgram's small-world experiment lived in Sharon.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.2 square miles (62.6 km²), of which, 23.3 square miles (60.4 km²) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²) (3.56%) is water. This includes Lake Massapoag, which is one of the town's most prominent features and a popular recreational site for swimming and boating. It was largely responsible for the town's early development as a summer resort location. Sharon is drained by the Canoe River to the south, and Massapoag Brook to the north.


Sharon is located in a continental climate, like most of New England and most of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. It is cooler than coastal New England locations because it is inland. The town has warm to hot summers and cold winters. It is often humid in the summer. Sharon receives about 50 inches of precipitation every year on average.

Climate data for Sharon, MA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 36
Average low °F (°C) 18
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.78

Adjacent towns

Sharon is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by the following towns:

Nature trails

Sharon has a large number of scenic trails due to the high percentage of conservation land within the town's borders. Trails found in Sharon include the Massapoag Trail, the Warner Trail, the Bay Circuit Trail (otherwise known as the Beaver Brook Trail), and the King Philip's Rock Trail. There are a number of trails at Borderland State Park and at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 1,128 —    
1860 1,377 +22.1%
1870 1,508 +9.5%
1880 1,492 −1.1%
1890 1,634 +9.5%
1900 2,060 +26.1%
1910 2,310 +12.1%
1920 2,467 +6.8%
1930 3,351 +35.8%
1940 3,737 +11.5%
1950 4,847 +29.7%
1960 10,070 +107.8%
1970 12,367 +22.8%
1980 13,601 +10.0%
1990 15,517 +14.1%
2000 17,408 +12.2%
2010 17,612 +1.2%
2020 18,575 +5.5%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2010, there were 17,612 people, 6,219 households and 5,039 families residing in the town. The population density was 747.0 people per square mile (288.3/km2). There were 6,026 housing units at an average density of 258.6 per square mile (99.8/km2).

As of 2010, the racial makeup of the town was 82.3% White, 4.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 10.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population. According to the American Community Survey administered in 2014, the racial makeup of the town was 76.0% White, 4.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 16.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races and 2.7% from two or more races, with Hispanic or Latino of any race at 2.5% of the population.

22.5% of the population speaks a language other than English at home, and 19.2% of the population was born outside of the United States. Sharon has the state's highest proportion of Russian immigrants, estimated at 14.4% in 2010.

Of the 6,219 households, 42.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.7% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 19.0% were non-families. 16.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 people and the average family size was 3.17 people.

The population was spread out, with 27.3% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 20.0% from 25 to 44, 34.7% from 45 to 64 and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

As of 2014, the median income for a household in the town was $127,413 and the median income for a family was $144,167. Males had a median income of $100,951 versus $72,917 for females. The per capita income for the town was $56,465. About 1.1% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

According to the 2014 American Community Survey, 97.6% of adults in Sharon are high school graduates, and 72.8% have a bachelor's degree or higher. Of those 25 and older, 11.3% have completed some college but do not have a degree, 4.7% have an associate degree, 34.7% have a bachelor's degree, and 37.7% have a graduate or professional degree.

Sharon is home to 7 synagogues, 9 churches, and one of the largest mosques in New England, the Islamic Center of New England.


Commuter rail service from Boston's South Station is provided by the MBTA with a stop in Sharon on its Providence/Stoughton Line. There are no public bus or subway lines in Sharon.

Exit 8 of Interstate 95 is on the Sharon/Foxborough border, with access to both the northbound and southbound directions of the highway. Exit 10 of Interstate 95 is on the Sharon/Walpole line, with access to the northbound direction of the highway and from the southbound direction. Exit 9 of Interstate 95 is also in Sharon, located on Route 1. This exit allows North or Southbound access to I95.

In addition, Massachusetts Route 27 runs through the center of the town and leads to Route 1.

In popular culture

  • In Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth, Hema's family in the story "Once in a Lifetime" lives in Sharon.
  • Daytime footage for Shutter Island was taken in Borderland State Park; a property shared with the neighboring town of Easton
  • The well-known 1973 film "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" starring Robert Mitchum includes a scene filmed in Sharon. The following NYT film criticism excerpt shows the Sharon commuter rail station circa 1973.

In the media

Sharon has repeatedly been included on CNN Money's annual list of best places to live in the United States. In 2011, Sharon was named by CNN Money as the eleventh best place to live in the United States. In 2013, it was number one on the list. In 2015, it ranked third on the list.


The Sharon Public Schools system has five schools. Grades K–5 attend one of the three elementary schools: Cottage Street School, East Elementary School, or Heights Elementary School. Grades 6–8 attend Sharon Middle School, and grades 9–12 attend Sharon High School. The middle school and high school sports teams are known as the Eagles. The school system is noted for its outstanding academic performance and learning curriculum. Sharon Public Schools GPA is on a 6.33 scale. Sharon Middle School (SMS) and Sharon High School (SHS) both have athletic fields including baseball, football, soccer fields, tennis courts, as well as a track. In 2011, Sharon High School was awarded the National Blue Ribbon Schools award by the U.S. Department of Education. It was one of two schools in Massachusetts to receive the award. In the 2013–2014 school year, the AP participation rate at Sharon High School was 87%, and the participant passing rate was 99%.

The Charles R. Wilber School served as Sharon's high school until 1957, after which it became an intermediate school. In 2009 a new wing was added to the building, and it was converted to residential use.

In 2020, construction of a new high school building commenced and is scheduled for completion around the 2022–2023 school year. The old building, which is now well over sixty years old, will be demolished. The new building is being funded through taxpayers and a grant from the Massachusetts State.

Notable people

  • Mildred Allen, physicist
  • Tully Banta-Cain, NFL player
  • Leonard Bernstein, composer (summer resident)
  • John Brebbia, MLB player
  • Etan Cohen, screenwriter
  • Sarah Palfrey Cooke, US tennis champion
  • Joseph A. Cushman, micropaleontologist, foraminiferologist
  • Arthur Vining Davis, industrialist and philanthropist
  • Jake Fishman, American-Israeli baseball player
  • Tommy Harper, baseball player
  • Amasa Hewins, portrait, genre and landscape painter
  • Roland James, football defensive back
  • Sam Jones, Boston Celtics basketball player
  • Myron Kaufmann, novelist
  • Bill Keating, congressman
  • Henry Way Kendall, physicist, Nobel laureate
  • Aryeh Klapper, rabbi
  • Ty Law, football cornerback
  • Jack Levin, criminologist
  • Evan Marshall, literary agent, novelist
  • John McLaughlin, artist
  • Bruce Pearl, basketball coach
  • Ted Philips, Massachusetts politician
  • Deborah Sampson, Revolutionary era heroine
  • Stephen Schneider, actor
  • Pete Seibert, ski resort founder
  • Scott A. Shikora, surgeon
  • Andre Tippett (born 1959), NFL football linebacker (Hall of Fame)
  • Charles Q. Tirrell, congressman
  • Terrence Wheatley, football cornerback
  • Nick Zinner, guitarist

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