Tewksbury Hospital, Old Administration Building
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||21.1 sq mi (54.5 km2)|
|• Land||20.7 sq mi (53.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.9 km2)|
|Elevation||126 ft (38 m)|
|• Density||1,400/sq mi (530/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0618238|
Tewksbury was first settled in 1637 and was officially incorporated on December 17, 1734, from Billerica. There is no evidence that the town was named after Tewkesbury, England. Still, Tewksbury, Massachusetts and Tewkesbury, England kept connected through a local committee called the twinning committee. One of the oldest sections of town is the area around the Shawsheen River. This is where the Shawshin tribe settled, allowing them access to a great food source through fishing in the river. Tewksbury was also known for a historic visit by President Andrew Jackson, stopping off at local watering hole, Brown's Tavern.
On July 24, 1857, a powerful tornado swept through Tewksbury. The tempest began at Round Pond as a small water spout, and traveled west and then southeast to the Shawsheen River. It dissipated at North Wilmington. Several corn fields and orchards were severely damaged, with one residence having its roof blown off. The tornado was powerful enough to flatten barns and sheds, pull up large trees by their roots, and sweep away and kill a team of oxen. Due to the sparse population, and homes located above the valley floor, no one was killed, and only a few people were injured.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.1 square miles (55 km2), of which 20.7 square miles (54 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 1.61%, is water.
Tewksbury is in the Greater Lowell metropolitan area. The town is located about 19 miles (31 km) north-northwest of Boston along I-93 and I-495 (Boston's outer beltway). Tewksbury is bordered by the city of Lowell to the northwest, Dracut to the north (unreachable across the Merrimack), Andover to the northeast, Wilmington to the southeast, and Billerica to the southwest. Tewksbury also meets the town of Chelmsford at a point in the middle of the Concord River along with Lowell and Billerica.
The LRTA 12 bus connects Tewksbury to Lowell and Wilmington on the MBTA Commuter Rail Lowell Line. In July 2017, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and other Baker administration transportation officials visited a construction project in the city to highlight $2.8 billion spent during Baker's administration on highway construction projects and improvements to bridges, intersections, and sidewalks.
|* = Population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,851 people, 9,964 households, and 7,692 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,392.3 people per square mile (537.6/km²). There were 10,158 housing units at an average density of 490.2 per square mile (189.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.44% White, 0.67% African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.59% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.22% of the population.
There were 9,964 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.8% were non-families. Of all households 18.9% were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.24.
The town's population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $68,800, and the median income for a family was $76,443. Males had a median income of $50,296 versus $33,918 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,031. About 1.9% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Tewksbury, like most towns in Massachusetts, operates under a New England town form of government. Day-to-day management is led by a Town Manager, who reports to the town's five member Board of Selectmen. Every spring the town holds an Open Town Meeting where the budget is submitted for approval by the town's citizens.
Tewksbury is located in the 6th Congressional District and thus represented in the House of Representatives by Seth Moulton of Salem. In the Senate by Senators Ed Markey of Malden and Elizabeth Warren of Cambridge.
Tewksbury is one of the more Republican-leaning towns in the Commonwealth. It was one of the few communities who supported John McCain over Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election. In the special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, Tewksbury supported Scott Brown over Martha Coakley by a 2-to-1 margin.
Tewksbury Hospital, a state-owned facility, is located here. Originally built as an almshouse in the mid-19th century, it includes over 900 acres (3.6 km2) of open space. Tewksbury Hospital is home to both the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Public Health, and has many different programs for addictive behavior and other health concerns. Anne Sullivan ("Annie"; Helen Keller's teacher) spent time at Tewksbury Hospital before Annie was sent to the Kellers and who suffered the loss of her younger brother, James, in his childhood before her departure.
- Adelbert Ames (d. 1933), Medal of Honor recipient; last surviving Civil War general
- Barry Ace, Professional Wrestler (Ring of Honor)/Actor
- George D. Behrakis, philanthropist and retired businessman.
- Dale Dorman, retired radio personality, WRKO, Kiss 108, Oldies 103
- Miko Kaufman (1924–2016) Famous sculptor and Presidential & Olympic Medal designer, recipient of Saultus Award 1992 
- John James Nazarian, celebrity private investigator
- Scott Oberg, Professional baseball player for the Colorado Rockies
- Michael Rock, morning personality on Fun 107 radio, New Bedford/Providence
- Anne Sullivan, tutor and companion of Helen Keller
- James "Jimmy" Sullivan, younger brother of above mentioned Anne, who died in his childhood while living with Annie at Tewsburry's Almshouse.
- Paul Sullivan (d. 2007) former selectman, talk show host on WBZ radio, Boston
- John Trull, captain of the Tewksbury minutemen in the Revolutionary War
- David Wade, television news anchor, WBZ Boston
- Brian Wolfe, private detective from the Investigation Discovery show Cry Wolfe
The Tewksbury public schools district serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade by a high school, two junior high schools and four elementary schools, specifically:
- Tewksbury Memorial High School (TMHS) Grades 9–12
- John W. Wynn Middle School: Grades 7–8
- John F. Ryan Elementary School: Grades 5–6
The four elementary schools in Tewksbury were redistricted in 2010. Before the switch, each school had its own district and served Grades K–4. Now the two schools on each side of town were grouped together and each was given specific grades for that school.
- Loella F. Dewing Elementary School: Grades PreK–2
- North Street Elementary School: Grades 3–4
- Heath Brook Elementary School: Grades K–2
- Louise Davy Trahan Elementary School: Grades 3–4
High school students have the option to attend Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, which serves five area communities.
The nearest community college, Middlesex Community College, has two campuses in nearby Lowell and Bedford. The nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Lowell, with several state colleges in Salem and Framingham. The nearest private college is Merrimack College in North Andover, with several others within an hour drive in Boston.
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