Danvers, Massachusetts

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Danvers, Massachusetts
Town
The Peabody Institute Library on Sylvan Street
The Peabody Institute Library on Sylvan Street
Official seal of Danvers, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): Oniontown
Motto: The King Unwilling[1]
Location in Essex County in Massachusetts
Location in Essex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°34′30″N 70°55′50″W / 42.57500°N 70.93056°W / 42.57500; -70.93056Coordinates: 42°34′30″N 70°55′50″W / 42.57500°N 70.93056°W / 42.57500; -70.93056
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Essex
Settled 1636
Incorporated 1757
Government
 • Type Representative town meeting
 • Town
   Manager
Wayne Marquis
 • Board of
   Selectmen
Daniel C. Bennett
William H. Clark, Jr.
Diane Langlais
David A. Mills
Gardner S. Trask, III
Area
 • Total 14.1 sq mi (36.5 km2)
 • Land 13.3 sq mi (34.4 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
Elevation 48 ft (15 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 26,493
 • Density 1,898.5/sq mi (733.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01923
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-16250
GNIS feature ID 0618295
Website Town of Danvers Official Web Site

Danvers is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, located on the Danvers River near the northeastern coast of Massachusetts. Originally known as Salem Village, the town is most widely known for its association with the 1692 Salem witch trials. It is also known for the Danvers State Hospital (one of the state's 19th-century psychiatric hospitals, which was located here) and for Liberty Tree Mall. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 26,493.[2]

History[edit]

The area was long settled by indigenous cultures of Native Americans. In the historic period, the Massachusett, a tribe of the Pequot language family, dominated the area.

17th century[edit]

The land that is now Danvers was once controlled by the Naumkeag branch of the Massachusett tribe.

Around 1630, English colonists improved an existing Naumkeag trail as the Old Ipswich Road, creating a connection to the main cities of Salem and Boston.[3] Danvers was permanently settled in 1636 as Salem Village, and eventually petitioned the Crown for a charter as a town. According to legend, the King, rather than signing the charter, returned it with the message "The King Unwilling." On June 9, 1757, the town was incorporated anyway. It put the King's rebuff on the town's seal. In 1752, the town was named for settler Danvers Osborn.[4][5]

The historical event for which Danvers is probably most well-known is the Salem witch trials of 1692. Resident Rebecca Nurse was convicted in a trial for witchcraft. The Rebecca Nurse Homestead is still standing in Danvers. It can be visited as a historical landmark.

18th century[edit]

From the Battle of Lexington onward, Danvers residents have participated in the armed forces. Noteworthy Revolutionary figures who stayed in Danvers include Royal Governor General Thomas Gage and Benedict Arnold.

19th century[edit]

In 1847, the railroad came to Danvers. A street railway was installed in 1884, originally consisting of 69 horse-drawn trolleys. This system was later converted to electricity.

The Town Hall was built in 1855. It has been modified and renovated and is still in use. In the same year, the southern portion of Danvers broke away to become the town of South Danvers, later renamed Peabody.

In 1878, the Danvers State Hospital opened its doors. It was an institution to provide asylum and treatment for the mentally ill.

Originally an agricultural town, Danvers farmers developed two breeds of vegetables: the Danvers Onion (origin of the "Oniontown" nickname) and the Danvers Half-Long Carrot.[6] This carrot was introduced by "market gardeners"[7] in 1871.

Shoe manufacturing was a prominent industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Successful manufacturing companies like Ideal Baby Shoe. Local shoe companies were undercut in price by factories in other areas, and shoe manufacturing moved out.

Chemical plant explosion[edit]

On November 22, 2006, around 2:46 a.m., a major chemical explosion occurred at a facility housing Arnel Company (a manufacturer of industrial-use paint products) and CAI Inc. (a manufacturer of solvents and inks). The blast shook several North Shore towns—knocking homes off foundations and damaging buildings up to half a mile away. Glass windows shattered at least 3 miles (5 km) away, in neighboring Peabody and even in downtown Salem. The explosion was heard and felt up to 45 miles (72 km) away; the concussion was intense.

No one was killed, and none of the injuries was life-threatening, according to Fire Chief Jim Tutko. Approximately 90 homes were damaged. Residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the blast were taken to Danvers High School, where the Red Cross established a relief shelter. The blast occurred next to a marina, a bakery/pizza shop, and a gas station, and across the street from Eastern Propane Gas.

A May 13, 2008 report from the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board attributed the explosion to unintentional overnight heating of an ink-mixing tank containing flammable solvents.

Geography and transportation[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, Danvers has a total area of 14.1 square miles (37 km2), of which 13.3 square miles (34 km2) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), or 5.75%, is water. The tidal Danvers River begins near the southeast corner of town, and is formed by the confluence of the Porter River, Crane River and Waters River. These rivers in turn are fed by several brooks. The Ipswich River also flows along the town's western border. Putnamville Reservoir lies in the north end of the town. The town has several low hills and a small town forest.

Danvers is located about 17 miles (27 km) north of Downtown Boston,[8] nearly halfway between Boston and the New Hampshire state border. It is bordered by Topsfield to the north, Wenham to the northeast, Beverly to the east, a small portion of Salem to the southeast, Peabody to the south and southwest, and Middleton to the northwest. The town center lies 4 miles (6 km) north of Salem, 16 miles (26 km) west of Gloucester, 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Boston, and 19 miles (31 km) southeast of Salem, New Hampshire. Interstate 95 and Massachusetts Route 128 both pass through the town, just east of their junction in Peabody. U.S. Route 1 also passes through town, with a large junction with Interstate 95 in the northwest end of town. The main highways are also crossed by Route 35, Route 62 and Route 114, with Routes 35 and 62 intersecting just north of the town center. The northern terminus of Route 35 is just over the Topsfield town line, where it meets Route 97.[citation needed]

Several MBTA Bus routes pass through the town, between Peabody and Beverly. There is no commuter rail service within town; the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail passes through neighboring Salem and Beverly. Two lines of the Springfield Terminal railroad line also cross through town, merging near the town center to head north. Two runways of the Beverly Municipal Airport cross through the town; the nearest regularly scheduled commercial flights are located at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 8,109 —    
1860 5,110 −37.0%
1870 5,600 +9.6%
1880 6,598 +17.8%
1890 7,454 +13.0%
1900 8,542 +14.6%
1910 9,407 +10.1%
1920 11,108 +18.1%
1930 12,957 +16.6%
1940 14,179 +9.4%
1950 15,720 +10.9%
1960 21,926 +39.5%
1970 26,151 +19.3%
1980 24,100 −7.8%
1990 24,174 +0.3%
2000 25,212 +4.3%
2010 26,493 +5.1%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 25,212 people, 9,555 households, and 6,564 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,898.5 inhabitants per square mile (733.0 /km2). There were 9,762 housing units at an average density of 735.1 per square mile (283.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.72% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.

There were 9,555 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,779, and the median income for a family was $70,565. Males had a median income of $48,058 versus $33,825 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,852. About 1.7% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

Top employers[edit]

According to the Town's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top ten employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Osram Sylvania 900
2 Beverly Hospital 350
3 North Shore Community College 318
4 Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore 300
5 Fishery Products International 300
6 VNA Care Network & Hospice 275
7 The Home Depot 260
8 Hospice of the North Shore 211
9 Lowe's 210
10 Medtronic Vascular 210

Public safety[edit]

Danvers has full-time police and fire departments. The Danvers Police Department was accredited in 1986. Danvers was the first municipal agency within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to become nationally accredited.[citation needed]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Danvers has five elementary schools, each serving pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Grades six through eight attend the recently renovated Holten-Richmond Middle School. Grades nine through twelve attend Danvers High School.

Private schools[edit]

Danvers is home to four private schools. St. Mary of the Annunciation School serves pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Plumfield Academy is a small school for grades one through eight with a philosophy of education based on that of Charlotte Mason. St. John's Preparatory School is a secondary school for young men, serving grades nine through twelve. The Clark School serves pre-kindergarten and, as of 2007, is expanding through high school. Of these four schools, St. Mary's and St. John's are religiously affiliated. St. Mary's is part of the Archdiocese of Boston and "the Prep" is a Xaverian Brothers-sponsored school.

Technical, vocational, & agricultural schools[edit]

In addition to the public and private schools, Danvers hosts the Essex Agricultural and Technical High School, an independent, state funded, day school serving grades 9 through 12. Essex Agricultural & Technical High School is currently in the process of merging with the North Shore Vocational School, which is currently located in Middleton, which will result in a larger, unified campus located in Danvers.

Points of interest[edit]

Rebecca Nurse Homestead

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Thurl D. "Danvers Town Halls" The Oniontown Seniors Vol. 16 No. 5 (1964). Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Danvers town, Essex County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ Hanson, J. W. (John Wesley). History of the Town of Danvers: From its Early Settlement to the Year 1848. 1848. Salem, Mass.: Higginson Book, 1987.
  4. ^ "Profile for Danvers, Massachusetts". ePodunk. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  5. ^ "The Creation of Danvers, by Richard B. Trask". Danvers Archival Center. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  6. ^ "Historical Sites of Danvers" Retrieved on 2009-11-16
  7. ^ Carrots History Retrieved on 2009-02-26
  8. ^ "Massachusetts student, 14, charged with murder of high school teacher." Associated Press. Wednesday October 23, 2013. Retrieved on October 23, 2013.
  9. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  10. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "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. 
  14. ^ "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. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "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. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  20. ^ Town of Danvers CAFR
  21. ^ "Home - Endicott Park, Danvers MA 01923". Endicottpark.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  22. ^ Postman, Joseph. 2003. "The Endicott Pear Tree—Oldest Living Fruit Tree in North America". Pomona. 35:13–15.

External links[edit]