Town of Braintree
Braintree Town Hall
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Mayor||Joseph C. Sullivan|
|• Total||14.5 sq mi (37.6 km2)|
|• Land||13.9 sq mi (36.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)|
|Elevation||90 ft (27 m)|
|• Density||2,571.5/sq mi (992.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code||02184/02185 (Braintree Highlands)|
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0618316|
The Town of Braintree is a suburban city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Although officially known as a town, Braintree adopted a municipal charter, effective 2008, with a mayor-council form of government and is considered a city under Massachusetts law. The population was 35,744 at the 2010 census. The town is part of the Greater Boston area with access to the MBTA Red Line and is a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission's South Shore Coalition. The first and current mayor of Braintree is Joe Sullivan.
The town of Braintree was incorporated in 1640 and named after the English town of Braintree. It comprised land that was later split into Randolph, Holbrook, and Quincy, as well as parts of Weymouth and Milton, Massachusetts. Braintree was part of Suffolk County until the formation of Norfolk County in 1793.
The town of Braintree was the birthplace of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as statesman John Hancock. General Sylvanus Thayer, the "Father of West Point" was also born in Braintree in the section of town now known as Braintree Highlands.
Braintree's population grew by over 50% during the 1920s.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 14.5 square miles (37.6 km²). 13.9 square miles (36.0 km²) of it was land and 1.6 km² (0.6 sq mi/4.34%) of it was water. This includes Pond Meadow Park and Sunset Lake. Braintree is composed of six neighborhoods: Braintree Highlands, East Braintree, Homestead, Old Boat Point, South Braintree, Weymouth Landing.
|* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,828 people, 12,652 households, and 8,907 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,434.4 people per square mile (939.6/km²). There were 12,973 housing units at an average density of 933.6 per square mile (360.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.96% White, 1.18% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 3.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.16% of the population. More than 35% of town residents have Irish ancestry.
There were 12,652 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $115,590, and the median income for a family is $90,590 as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $89,607 versus $36,034 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,683. About 2.1% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.
Braintree is situated in the Greater Boston Area, which has excellent rail, air, and highway facilities. State Route 128 and Interstate 95 divide the region into inner and outer zones, which are connected by numerous "spokes" providing direct access to the airport, port, and intermodal facilities of Boston.
From 1948 to 1968, the town was the home of Braintree Airport, a general aviation airport located near Great Pond that was used by civil defense officials and private pilots. The airport featured a 2,800 foot dirt runway and offered flight training. Residential development, proximity to the town's water supply, and a number of accidents led to its closure in 1968. 
Principal highways in Braintree are Interstate 93 (which runs concurrently with U.S. 1) and Route 3, as well as 37, and 53. Entering Braintree from the north, I-93, Route 1, and Route 3 all run concurrently as the Southeast Expressway from Boston; in Braintree they diverge, with Route 3 heading south toward Cape Cod as the Pilgrims Highway, and I-93 and Route 1 heading west toward Route 128.
Commuter rail service to South Station, Boston, is available on the Middleboro & Plymouth lines from the Rail Station located on Union Street. The CapeFLYER rail service from Boston to Hyannis as well as Buzzards Bay stations also stops at the Braintree commuter rail station. The MBTA Red Line is also accessible at the same location. Weekday rail service on the Greenbush Line started up in late 2007 and is accessible from the Weymouth Landing/East Braintree located on Quincy Avenue.
Braintree is a member of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) which provides fixed route service to Quincy Adams, Quincy Center, Braintree, and Ashmont stations. The MBTA also provides THE RIDE, a paratransit service for the elderly and disabled.
From 1964 to 1991 Braintree was the home of a Valle's Steak House restaurant. The chain was an East Coast landmark that stretched from Maine to Florida. The 30,000 square foot Braintree restaurant was the largest in the chain when it opened and featured a dining room that sat 600 customers, banquet rooms that accommodated 1,000; parking for 700 cars, and two kitchens, one of which was used exclusively for banquets. The restaurant had over 150 employees. Max Bodner of Quincy was the original manager. One of the chain's busiest locations, it was capable of serving over 5,000 customers per day. The restaurant changed names several times after the Valle's corporation closed in 1991 and was eventually razed to make way for a Toyota dealership. Among the notable moments in the restaurant's history was in 1980 when then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan made a campaign speech at a South Shore Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
There are three high schools in Braintree: Braintree High School, a public school; Thayer Academy, a private school; and Archbishop Williams, a Roman Catholic private school. Braintree students may also attend Blue Hills Regional Technical School.
Points of interest
- General Sylvanus Thayer Birthplace
- South Shore Plaza
- Pond Meadow Park
- Monatiquot River
- Blue Hills Reservation
- Sunset Lake
- Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, mother of John Quincy Adams.
- Henry Adams, original emigrant to the Americas.
- Jeremy Adams, original emigrant to the Americas.
- John Adams, signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the first Vice President of the United States, served for eight years, and the second President of the United States, served four years.
- John Quincy Adams, American diplomat, sixth President of the United States, served four years, member of the United States House of Representatives.
- John Hancock, signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, fourth President of the Continental Congress, American diplomat and statesman.
- Sylvanus Thayer, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, called "the Father of West Point".
- Thomas A. Watson, primary assistant of Alexander Graham Bell, assisted in invention of the telephone; founder of Fore River Shipyard.
- Joe Amorosino, reporter and sports director for WHDH-TV.
- Jim Calhoun, former head coach of University of Connecticut men's basketball team.
- Chris Doherty, musician and recording artist from the band Gang Green.
- Brian Gibbons, NHL player.
- Tiffany Kelly, beauty pageant winner, Miss Massachusetts of 2006.
- Peter Kormann, American gymnast and winner of the bronze medal in men's floor competition at the 1976 Olympics
- Don McKenney, hockey center, captain of the Boston Bruins 1954–1963.
- Jose Offerman, baseball player for the Boston Red Sox
- William Rosenberg, creator of the Dunkin' Donuts restaurant chain.
- Butch Stearns, sports anchorman, now Chief Content Officer for The Pulse Network.
- Mo Vaughn, baseball player for the Boston Red Sox
- Donnie Wahlberg, record producer, songwriter, singer, actor; founding member of the musical group New Kids on the Block
- Mark Wahlberg, film and television producer, Academy Award nominated actor, and former lead singer of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Films shot in Braintree
- June 1969: Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon directed by Otto Preminger (sequence filmed in Bluehill Cemetery, 710 West Street)
- October 2006: The Departed directed by Martin Scorsese (sequence filmed in the Fore River Shipyard)
- April 2008: Paul Blart: Mall Cop directed by Steve Carr (sequence filmed in the South Shore Plaza)
- September 2009: What Doesn't Kill You directed by Brian Goodman (sequence filmed at the Mobil station on Elm Street)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Braintree, Massachusetts.|
- Braintree Public Schools
- Town of Braintree
- Thayer Public Library, Braintree, MA
- Braintree Historical Society
- Historic letters written from Braintree
- Answer Book/Braintree: Everything you need to know
Notes and references
- Dennehy, John A. "Images of America: Braintree." Arcadia Publishing, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7385-7247-5
- Braintree Town Charter and MGL 39: City and town forms of government
- MAPC South Shore Coalition
- The Patriot Ledger, 1/3/2008
- Schaeffer, K. H. and Elliott Sclar. Access for All: Transportation and Urban Growth. Columbia University Press, 1980. Accessed on Google Books. 86. Retrieved on January 16, 2010. ISBN 0-231-05165-4, ISBN 978-0-231-05165-1.
- "Braintree, MA Neighborhood Map". City-Data.com. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
- "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "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.
- "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.
- "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. 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.
- "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: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "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.
- "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Markman, Joseph (September 20, 2011) "Braintree's Expansion and Dangerous Flights Proved too Much for Old Airport" Braintree Patch. Retrieved November 4, 2013
- Freeman, Paul "Braintree Airport, Braintree, Mass." Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. Retrieved November 6, 2013
- "Largest Valle's Opens in Braintree" (May 8, 1964) The Boston Globe page A4
- Value, John B. (February 2, 1965) “They All Stay Trim Keeping Others Fed” The Boston Globe, page 21
- Collins, Rick (March 8, 2006) Last roundup: Hilltop in Braintree to close; Famed eatery will make way for Toyota dealership” The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass), page 1
- Tuoti, Gerard (June 11, 2004) "Ronald Reagan 1911-2004" The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass), page 10.
- "Donnie Wahlberg: Biography" The New York Times 
- Bennetts, Leslie "Rogue Star" (August 2001) Vanity Fair