Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Infobox Settlement|
official_name = Town of Shrewsbury
nickname =
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Homestead of General Artemas Ward


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Worcester County in Massachusetts

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Massachusetts
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Worcester
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1722
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1727
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
government_type = Representative town meeting
leader_title = Town

leader_name = Daniel J. Morgado
leader_title1 = Board of
leader_name1 = Bruce Card
Maurice DePalo
Moira Miller
John Lebeaux
James A. McCaffrey
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 56.1
area_total_sq_mi = 21.7
area_land_km2 = 53.7
area_land_sq_mi = 20.7
area_water_km2 = 2.4
area_water_sq_mi = 0.9
population_as_of = 2000
settlement_type = Town
population_total = 31640
population_density_km2 = 589.3
population_density_sq_mi = 1526.3
elevation_m = 204
elevation_ft = 668
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 17 |lats = 45 |latNS = N
longd = 71 |longm = 42 |longs = 48 |longEW = W
website =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 01545
area_code = 508 / 774
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 25-61800
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0619489
footnotes =

Shrewsbury is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Shrewsbury is an unusual New England town in that it was neither a mill town nor a farming village. Rather, it grew as a suburb to neighboring Worcester from the start.Fact|date=May 2007 The population was 31,640 at the 2000 census.


The Town of Shrewsbury, named for Shrewsbury, England, is a suburban community with an uneven and hilly terrain cut by a number of minor streams providing several small water power sites. Grants of land were made in what would eventually be the town beginning in 1664, with the 3,200 acre grant called Haynes Farm as the largest. Settlers came primarily from Sudbury and Marlborough and the first permanent settler was Gersham Wheelock in 1720. As a town, Shrewsbury was first settled in 1722 and officially incorporated in 1727.

Townspeople created an agricultural economy with apple orchards and by 1750 there were two stores and four taverns as well as several small industries in operation. The rapid fall of prices for agricultural goods, the shortage of hard currency and the general economic depression following the Revolutionary War produced disastrous conditions for colonists. Shays' Rebellion in 1786 sought to close the courts to prevent debt collections and the foreclosure of mortgages. Shrewsbury became a staging area for the rebellion and the encampment of the more than 400 insurgents, before the march on the Worcester Court House.

A leather industry began in 1786 in Shrewsbury and town farmers developed large cattle herds to support the manufacture of boots and shoes. This was followed by the establishment of gunsmithing operations in 1797 which produced rifles, shotguns and pistols and eventually cutlery. Luther Goddard began in 1809 by making brass clocks and then established a small watch factory employing a few skilled Swiss and English watchmakers. Lumbering created sawmills and they in turn drew chair and cabinet makers, plow and wagon builders.

The development of streetcar routes in the 19th century spurred the growth of single-family housing in town and a summer resort population on Lake Quinsigamond became consumers of the market garden produce grown by town farmers. As Shrewsbury's industry was killed off by the lack of large waterpower sites and the tardy arrival of the railroad, its role as a suburb of Worcester grew more important. The town's population doubled from 1915 to 1940 as continued streetcar suburb growth brought more modern settlers into the community. Other modern developments included an increased number of lakeside cottages, ethnic clubs and recreational areas on the lake. The economy of modern Shrewsbury has been described as depending on agriculture, the resort industry and the providing of recreation and food for the population of Worcester. [ [ Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development] ] [Narrative supplied by community and based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission]

Registered Historic Places

Shrewsbury is home to three current and one former Nationally Registered Historic Places:
* The Gen. Artemas Ward Homestead on Main Street
* The Shrewsbury Historic District, in the town center which includes parts of Church Road, Main Street, Prospect Street, Boylston Street, and Grafton Street
* 1767 Milestones, between Boston and Springfield along Old Post Rd.
* "Former:" The Joseph Lothrop House, which was located at 208 Turnpike Road where Blockbuster Video stands today


Shrewsbury is a suburb of both Boston and Worcester, about 50 minutes from Boston and 15 minutes to downtown Worcester.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56.1 km²), of which, 20.7 square miles (53.7 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it (4.25%) is water.

Adjacent towns

Shrewsbury is located in Central Massachusetts, bordered on the West by Worcester, separated by Lake Quinsigamond. To the North is Boylston and Interstate 290. The South side is bounded by Grafton. Northborough and Westborough are to the East.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 31,640 people, 12,366 households, and 8,693 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,526.3 people per square mile (589.3/km²). There were 12,696 housing units at an average density of 612.4/sq mi (236.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.12% White, 1.45% African American, 0.12% Native American, 7.61% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.59% of the population.

There were 12,366 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $64,237, and the median income for a family was $77,674. Males had a median income of $56,259 versus $37,129 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,570. About 3.3% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.


Town Government

Shrewsbury is governed in the traditional New England style. Municipal elections are held on the first Tuesday in May.

Legislative Branch: Representative Town Meeting: 237 elected members.

Executive Branch: Five-member Board of Selectmen with three-year staggered terms, an appointed Town Manager, and other elected and appointed positions.

Board of Selectmen
* James A. McCaffrey (2009), Chairperson
* Moira Miller (2010), Assistant Chairperson
* John I. Lebeaux (2010)
* Maurice M. DePalo (2011)
* Benjamin W. Tartaglia (2011)

Town Manager
* Daniel J. Morgado (appointed)

* Kevin T. Byrne (2009)

Town Clerk
* Ann M. Dagle (appointed)

Library Board of Trustees
* Joan T. Barry (2011), Chairperson
* Laurie Lindberg Hogan (2009)
* Carl A. Larson (2009)
* Jack Avis (2009)
* Frances Whitney (2010)
* Carol B. Cullen (2010)
* Nancy Gilbert (2010)
* Kevin M. McKenna (2011)
* Barbara A. Carpenter (2011)

School Committee
* Mark T. Murray (2011), Chairperson
* Marian Smith (2009)
* Erin H. Canzano (2010)
* John Samia (2010)
* Sandra Fryc (2011)

Various other boards, committees, and commissions round out the variety of services provided to residents, including scattered municipal water, trash collection, fire, ambulance, police, education, recreation, etc.

Infobox Mass Town Govt
county = Worcester
clerk_courts = Dennis P. McManus (D)
cty_treasurer = Position Eliminated
da = Joseph D. Early, Jr. (D)
deeds = Anthony J. Vigliotti (D)
probate = Stephen Abraham (D)
sheriff = Guy Glodis (D)
state_rep = Karyn Polito (R-11th Worcester District)
state_sen = Edward M. Augustus, Jr. (D-2nd Worcester District)
gov_councilors = Thomas J. Foley (D)
fed_rep = James McGovern (D-ushr|Massachusetts|3|3rd district)
fed_sen = Edward Kennedy (D)
John Kerry (D)

Notable residents

* Artemas Ward (1727 - 1800), American Major General in the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from Massachusetts, often characterized as the runner-up for George Washington's post. The Artemas Ward Homestead is a museum preserved by Harvard University. Located at 786 Main Street in Shrewsbury, it is open to the public for limited hours during the summer months
* Ralph Earl (1751 - 1801), American painter and landscape artist, known for his portrait of Roger Sherman
* Levi Pease, "father of mail stages in this country"; organizer and proprietor of the first stagecoach lines in the U.S. First contractor for carrying U.S. Mail.
* Quintin J. Cristy, inventor of dry gas
* Lillian Asplund (1906 - 2006), last American survivor of the Titanic sinking.
* Min Chueh Chang (1908 - 1991), co-inventor of the combined oral contraceptive pill and "in-vitro" fertilization.
* Robert Allan Ridley Parker (b. 1936), director of the NASA Management Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
* Gregory McDonald (b. 1937 - 2008), author of the "Fletch" series of novels
* Peter I. Blute (b. 1956), Congressman representing ushr|Massachusetts|3| from 1993-1997
* Craig C. Mello (b. 1960), 2006 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine
* Mike Birbiglia (b. 1978), stand-up comedian

Notable businesses

* The Hebert Candy Mansion, where white chocolate was first produced in the United States.
* The now-defunct Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, the renowned research facility where the combined oral contraceptive pill was first developed. The campus is now the Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
* The now-defunct Spag's, the original all-purpose store, which predated Costco, Walmart and other similar outlets. Spag's was noted for its unorthodox inventory and discount prices. Upon the death of it founder, Spag's succumbed to the competition of the modern megastore and the challenges of handing over the reins to a new generation and was acquired in 2002 by Building 19. The location became Spags 19, and in 2004 the store was converted to Building 19's format (it is now just another Building 19 location).
* The now-defunct White City amusement park, now the site of a shopping plaza.
* Maxtor Corporation, maker of computer hard drives, which was acquired by Seagate Technology in May 2006.
* Charles River Laboratories, leading provider of animal research models.


External links

* [ Town of Shrewsbury Official Website]
* [ Shrewsbury Historical Society]

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