Norwood, Massachusetts

Norwood, Massachusetts
Norwood, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Hartshorn's Market c. 1920. Behind it are the United Church of Norwood and (faintly) St. Catherine's Church, both still standing
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°11′40″N 71°12′00″W / 42.19444°N 71.2°W / 42.19444; -71.2Coordinates: 42°11′40″N 71°12′00″W / 42.19444°N 71.2°W / 42.19444; -71.2
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)
Elevation 146 ft (45 m)
Population (2010)
 - Total 28,602
 - Density 2,724.0/sq mi (1,055.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02062
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. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,602. The community was named after Norwood, England. Norwood is on the Neponset River,[1] which runs all the way to Boston Harbor from Foxborough.



The Town of Norwood, which was 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.[citation needed] 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 home of the Mustangs.


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).[1]

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 populations
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%
2001* 28,783 +0.7%
2002* 28,733 −0.2%
2003* 28,534 −0.7%
2004* 28,513 −0.1%
2005* 28,326 −0.7%
2006* 28,243 −0.3%
2007* 28,326 +0.3%
2008* 28,412 +0.3%
2009* 28,442 +0.1%
2010 28,602 +0.6%
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]
Stained-glass window in Norwood town hall depicting town seal. It was suggested in 2006 that Guild's red coat must surely be historically inaccurate.[9]

As of the census[10] 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[11]). 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.


The main public education institutions of Norwood are Norwood High School (NHS) [2], which serves grades 9-12, and the Dr. Philip O. Coakley Middle School [3] (formerly Norwood Junior High South), which serves grades 6-8. The original Norwood High School, built in the 1920s, is being replaced by a new building [4] behind the original one, which will open in fall 2011. There are also five elementary schools (Balch, Callahan, Cleveland, Oldham, Prescott). The high school's mascot is a mustang; its colors are blue and yellow.[citation needed] Sports include football, swimming, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, track and field, tennis, ice hockey, volleyball, wrestling, lacrosse, and cross-country. NHS also offers various fine arts programs which include a drama troupe, string orchestra, wind ensemble, marching band, jazz band, various choruses, and a madrigal choir. The music program has been considered to be one of the finest in the country for over forty years. In 2000, the NHS Jazz Ensemble won the national high school championship. The theater department is active and puts on several shows every year.

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.

ITT Technical Institute is a private school system offering technology-oriented programs at this Norwood school. ITT Tech offers career-focused degree programs available at this location. [5]

The Fine Mortuary College in Norwood includes a one-room museum featuring antique embalming tables and centuries-old wooden coffins[12]


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!"

Norwood is the home office of semiconductor company Analog Devices, Inc..


Norwood Memorial Municipal Building ("town hall")
Church-like auditorium of Norwood town hall

Norwood's town square is dominated by its town hall, the Norwood Memorial Municipal Building. It includes a 57-bell carillon tower housing the Walter F. Tilton Memorial Carillon, one of nine carillons in Massachusetts and the seventh-largest in the United States. Built in 1928, the neo-gothic edifice is made of Weymouth seamed-face granite. Visitors often mistake it for a church or believe it to have been a church, but it never was; its stained-glass windows depict not saints, but local patriot Aaron Guild.

"Guild," whose name appears in local street and building names, is pronounced with a long i, like the second syllable of the word "beguiled."

Image of Aaron Guild on exterior of town hall
Aaron Guild Memorial Stone

Guild's significance is explained by an inscription on the Aaron Guild Memorial Stone, dedicated in 1903, which stands outside the Norwood public library. The inscription reads:

ON APRIL 19, 1775

Guild and his oxen are featured in the town seal.


Norwood was the long-time home of photographer and publisher Fred Holland Day. As a photographer, Day at one point rivalled 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.


Notable residents

Peter "the Hurricane" McNeely - famous for getting dropped by Tyson in less than a minute and also proficient getaway driver who used a trash bag as a driver's side window to conceal his identity.


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "1950 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1900, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ Peter Schworm (2006-10-01). "He was a patriot, not a redcoat: Calls growing for new, accurate town seal". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-10-06. : "Board chairman Jerry Kelleher said he, too, had noticed Guild's miscolored garment... He knew the red wasn't right." He said that "While the controversy has been 'mushrooming,' it's more a minor distraction than an embarrassing gaffe." Elisabeth McGregor , executive director of the Norwood Historical Society, said she found the flap ``kind of comical," and noted the seal probably includes another mistake. 'It's April 19 -- would he really be plowing already?' she questioned. 'Seems pretty early.'"
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Brad Kelly (2006-01-20). "DYING TO VISIT? FUNERAL INDUSTRY FASCINATION GROWS: Mortuary school in Norwood opens museum to the public". Patriot Ledger. Retrieved 2006-07-06. ; college website is
  13. ^ Falla, Brian (2006), "Norwood's Natural," The Norwood Bulletin, October 5, 2006, p. 2. "Hebner's ties to Norwood remain a backbone of the story," a description of the making of a two-hour documentary on Hebner
  14. ^ "Comedy Central Comedians: Tom Shillue". Comedy Central. 

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