Attleboro, Massachusetts

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Attleboro, Massachusetts
Attleboro's city hall
Attleboro's city hall
Official seal of Attleboro, Massachusetts
The Jewelry City, A-Town
Go Big Blue
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Attleboro is located in Massachusetts
Location in Massachusetts
Attleboro is located in the United States
Attleboro (the United States)
Attleboro is located in North America
Attleboro (North America)
Coordinates: 41°55′54″N 71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503Coordinates: 41°55′54″N 71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503
CountryUnited States
Incorporated1694 (town)
Reincorporated1914, (city)
Named forAttleborough, England
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorCathleen DeSimone[1]
 • Total27.77 sq mi (71.93 km2)
 • Land26.78 sq mi (69.36 km2)
 • Water0.99 sq mi (2.57 km2)
138 ft (42 m)
 • Total46,461
 • Density1,734.98/sq mi (669.87/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4:00 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code508 / 774
FIPS code25-02690
GNIS feature ID0612033
Downtown Attleboro

Attleboro is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. It was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World" for its many jewelry manufacturers. According to the 2020 census, Attleboro had a population of 46,461.[4]

Attleboro is about 10 miles (16 km) west of Taunton, 10 miles north of Providence, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Fall River, and 39 miles (63 km) south of Boston.


In 1634, English settlers first arrived in the territory that is now Attleboro.[5] The deed that granted them the land was written by Native American Wamsutta. The land was divided in 1694 as the town of Attleborough.[6] It included the towns of Cumberland, Rhode Island, until 1747 and North Attleborough, Massachusetts, until 1887. In 1697 in response to an unwanted amount of disturbances, mainly from nearby tribes of natives, the town had a meeting and ended up deciding that selectmen would keep tabs on strangers and foreigners as well as banning certain ones from entering the town. The town was reincorporated in 1914 as the City of Attleboro, with the "-ugh" removed from the name, although North Attleborough kept it. Like many towns in Massachusetts, it was named for a British town.

During the Native American insurgency in the colonial era, Nathaniel Woodcock, the son of an Attleborough resident, was murdered, and his head was placed on a pole in his father's front yard. His father's house is now a historical site. It is rumored that George Washington once passed through Attleborough and stayed near the Woodcock Garrison House at the Hatch Tavern, where he exchanged a shoe buckle with Israel Hatch, a revolutionary soldier and the new owner of the Garrison House.

The city became known for jewelry manufacturing in 1913, particularly because of the L.G. Balfour Company. That company has since moved out of the city, and the site of the former plant has been converted into a riverfront park. Attleboro was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World", and jewelry manufacturing firms continue to operate there. One such is the Guyot Brothers Company, which was started in 1904.[7] General Findings, M.S. Company, James A. Murphy Co., Garlan Chain, Leach & Garner, and Masters of Design are jewelry manufacturing companies still in operation.

Cancer cluster[edit]

In late 2003, The Sun Chronicle reported that a state investigation had been launched into the deaths of four women in the city from glioblastoma.[citation needed] In 2007, the State of Massachusetts issued a report concluding that although the diagnosis rate for brain and central nervous system (CNS) cancers was higher than expected when compared to statewide data, the increase was determined not to be statistically significant.[8]

Scorecard, Environmental Defense's online database of polluters, lists seven facilities contributing to cancer hazards in Attleboro, including Engineered Materials Solutions Inc., the worst offender in Massachusetts.[9]

Shpack Landfill contamination incident[edit]

In 2002, the Massachusetts Public Health Department was asked to evaluate the former Shpack Landfill, on the border of Norton and Attleboro, for its cancer risks. The investigation continued at least through 2004.[10][11] The informal landfill included uranium fuel rods, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds.[12]


Capron Park

Attleboro is located at 41°55′54″N 71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503 and has an area of 27.772 square miles (71.930 km2), of which 26.779 square miles (69.356 km2) is land and 0.994 square miles (2.574 km2), or 3.59%, is water.[13] Its borders form an irregular polygon that resembles a truncated triangle pointing west. It is bordered by North Attleborough to the north, Mansfield and Norton to the east, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to the south, and Cumberland, Rhode Island, to the west, as well as sharing a short border with Central Falls, Rhode Island through the Blackstone River. It includes the areas known as City Center, Briggs Corner, West Attleboro, East Corner, East Attleboro, North Corner, Maple Square, Camp Hebron, Oak Hill, Dodgeville, East Junction, Hebronville, Park Square, and South Attleboro.

The Ten Mile River, fed by the Bungay River and by several brooks, runs through the center of Attleboro. The Manchester Pond Reservoir lies beside Interstate 95, and there are several small ponds in the city. There are over 20 conservation areas amounting to more than 600 acres of walkable woods: the Antony Lawrence Preserve, Coleman Reservation, Attleboro Springs, and the Bungay River Conservation Area in the north of the city. Attleboro's highest point is 249-foot (76 m) Oak Hill, in the southern part of the city, north of Oak Hill Avenue.[14]

Attleboro is on the border between the Massachusetts and Rhode Island regional dialects of New England English: the eastern part of the city is in the same dialect region as Boston, and the western part in the same dialect region as Providence.[15]


Attleboro Post Office

Attleboro is part of the Providence metropolitan area. It is a short distance from Boston, and is linked to the Boston metropolitan area.

As of the 2010 census, there were 43,593 people, 16,884 households, and 11,212 families living in the city; the population density was 1,626.6 inhabitants per square mile (628.0/km2). There were 18,022 housing units at an average density of 672.5 per square mile (259.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.1% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.5% Asian (1.5% Cambodian,1.3% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.4% Vietnamese) 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.8% some other race, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino people of any race made up 6.3% of the total (2.0% Puerto Rican, 1.7% Guatemalan, 0.5% Mexican, 0.4% Salvadoran, 0.3% Dominican, 0.2% Colombian).[28] Most of the Hispanic and Asian populations were concentrated in the East Side.

Of the 16,884 households, 33.3% had someone under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were headed by married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.6% were non-families, 26.4% were individuals, and 9.8% were people aged 65 or older living alone. The average size of household was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.11.[28]

The age distribution in the city was: 22.7% under 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% over 64. The median age was 39.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 93.3 males.[28]

For the period 2009–2011, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $63,647, and the median income for a family was $71,091. Male full-time workers had a median income of $52,558, females $40,954. Per capita income was $30,039. About 4.2% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under 18 and 7.8% of those aged 65 or over.[29]


Revitalization efforts[edit]

Attleboro City Hall

In December 2011, the City of Attleboro was awarded $5.4 million in state and federal funding to support revitalization efforts in its Historic Downtown area.[30] The city's "Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project"[30] is intended to transform underutilized industrial and commercial parcels into areas of mixed use that include commercial, recreational, and residential space. The project includes transportation improvements to both MBTA rail and GATRA bus services along with enhanced road construction.[30]

The city project was selected for the state Brownfield Support Team (BST) Initiative,[30] which encourages collaboration between state, local, and federal government to address complex issues to help pave the way for economic development opportunities in cities and towns across Massachusetts. Contributing BST organizations include the MassDEP, Mass Development, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the MassDOT.[30]

Congressman Jim McGovern highlighted the importance of this project in 2011 by saying,

This transformative funding presents a landmark opportunity for Attleboro to reshape its downtown and make a strong community even stronger. The new transit plan, when implemented, will make Attleboro a model for other small cities, and the aggressive reclaiming of contaminated sites will enhance economic development.[30]


County-level state agency heads
Clerk of Courts: Marc Santos (D)
District Attorney: Thomas M. Quinn, III (D)
Register of Deeds Northern District: Barry Amaral (D)
Register of Deeds Fall River District: Bernard McDonald (D)
Register of Southern District: Frederick M. Kalisz (D)
Register of Probate: Thomas C. Hoye Jr. (D)
County Sheriff: Paul Heroux (D)
State government
State Representative(s):
State Senator(s): Paul Feeney (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Vacant
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): Jake Auchincloss (D-MA-04)
U.S. Senators:


Attleboro has a mayor-council government. The city council acts as the legislative body, and the mayor handles traditional day-to-day chief executive functions. City councilors can run as either a representative of a city ward or at large. There are 11 councilors: 5 at-large and 6 ward.[31] The president of the Municipal Council is Jay DiLisio and the vice president is Todd Kobus. City Clerk Kate Jackson serves as clerk of the Municipal Council and Virginia Stuart is the administrative assistant.


  • James Dilisio, At-Large
  • Richard Conti, At-Large
  • Ty Waterman, At-Large
  • Peter Blais, At-Large
  • Vacant, At-Large
  • Sara Lynn Reynolds, Ward 1
  • Kelly Bennett, Ward 2
  • Todd Kobus, Ward 3
  • Michael Angelo, Ward 4
  • Laura Dolan, Ward 5
  • Diana Holmes, Ward 6[31]


Committee Chair First Member Second Member
IT and Infrastructure Todd Kobus Diana Holmes Richard Conti
Finance Richard Conti Todd Kobus Sara Lynn Reynolds
City Property and Claims Sara Lynn Reynolds Michael Angelo Ty Waterman
Licenses Ty Waterman Vacant Laura Dolan
Ordinances, Elections, & Legislative Matters Vacant Kelly Bennett Diana Holmes
Personnel and Human Services Michael Angelo Ty Waterman Peter Blais
Public Safety and Emergency Management Peter Blias Sara Lynn Reynolds Kelly Bennett
Public Works Laura Dolan Peter Blais Michael Angelo
Transportation and Traffic Kelly Bennett Laura Dolan Vacant
Zoning and Land Use Diana Holmes Richard Conti Todd Kobus
Special Committee on Senior Tax Richard Conti Vacant Kelly Bennett


"Any voter shall be eligible to hold the office of councilor. A member of the municipal council shall, notwithstanding his removal from one ward of the city to another, continue to serve and to perform his duties during his term of office. The municipal council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members . . . The terms of all councilors shall be two years beginning the first Tuesday following the first Monday in January after their election, and until their successors are qualified."[32]

Attleboro is represented in the state legislature by officials elected from the following districts:


Attleboro has four museums.

  • The Attleboro Arts Museum
  • The Attleboro Area Industrial Museum,[35]
  • The Women at Work Museum
  • The Museum at the Mill.

Other places of interest in the city include:

In 2017, Attleboro began hosting the annual Jewelry City Steampunk Festival.


Attleboro High School[edit]

The former high school building was built in the 1960s on Rathbun Willard Drive. The city of Attleboro voted on whether to build a new school or renovate the building, and "reached an agreement to put proceeds from the sale toward the cost of a new high school before the $260 million was approved by voters last spring."[42] The sale of the first Attleboro High School built in 1912 on County Street gave the city funds for the new building. The new Attleboro high school opened in 2022.[43][44]


Attleboro is beside Interstate 95 (which enters the state between Attleboro and Pawtucket, Rhode Island), I-295 (whose northern terminus is near the North Attleborough town line at I-95), US Route 1, and Routes 1A, 118, 123 and 152, the last three of which intersect at Attleboro center. The proposed Interstate 895 was to run through Attleboro and have a junction at the present day I-295/I-95 terminus. When driving from Rhode Island on I-295, the stub exits before the half-cloverleaf exit to I-95.

The city is home to two MBTA commuter rail stations: one in the downtown area and one in the South Attleboro district, near the Rhode Island border. Attleboro and Taunton are both served by the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority, or GATRA, which provides bus transit between the two cities and the surrounding regions.


Attleboro Public Library

Attleboro's school department has five elementary schools (Hill-Roberts, Hyman Fine, A. Irvin Studley, Peter Thacher and Thomas Willett), three middle schools (Brennan, Coelho and Wamsutta), and two high schools (Attleboro High School, and Attleboro Community Academy). Attleboro High School has its own vocational division, and its football team (the "Blue Bombardiers") has a traditional rivalry with North Attleborough High School, whom they play in their Thanksgiving Day football game. Attleboro Community Academy is a night school for students aged 16–25 to obtain their high school diplomas and could not function in traditional high school. Bishop Feehan High School is a co-educational Roman Catholic high school that opened in 1961 and is named for Bishop Daniel Francis Feehan, second Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River. The city also has a satellite branch of Bristol Community College, formerly housed in the city's former high school building but since relocated to an old Texas Instruments site. Bridgewater State University opened a satellite site in Attleboro in 2009, sharing space with Bristol Community College.


Religion reflects the historic ethnic makeup of the community. The Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative[45] was founded in 1946 to serve the community.

There are three parishes[46] in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River:

There are two Orthodox churches:

There are various Protestant churches:

  • Three in the Anglican Communion:
    • All Saints Episcopal Church[48] was founded in 1890. It provides a traditional Anglican presence.
    • All Saints Anglican Church[49] in the Hebronville village split from the Episcopal church in town in 2007 over liberal policies of the denomination. This church is affiliated with an Anglican diocese in Uganda.
    • St. James Community Church (Kenyan)
  • Three Baptist churches:
    • First Baptist Church[50] (American)
    • Grace Baptist Church[51] (Independent Fundamental)
    • Word of Truth Baptist Church[52]
  • Two Lutheran churches:
    • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
    • Immanuel Lutheran Church[53]
Second Congregational Church
  • Second Congregational Church,[54] United Church of Christ, founded near the town common in 1748, is typical of a New England town and is the founding church of what was then East Attleboro. It is a daughter church of the First Congregational (now Oldtown) Church of North Attleborough. Originally in a meeting house on what is now the common, it had a stately white clapboard building built in 1825. It was removed in the early 1950s to make way for a new Fellowship Hall and education rooms. The main red brick building and clock tower were built in 1904 beside the white church. In the early 1960s the interior of the sanctuary and the entrance were dramatically remodeled, resulting in a blend of high Victorian style and the open feel of mid-century modern. The church owns the Old Kirk Yard Cemetery to its rear, where many of the town's earliest families are buried. In its tower is the clock, owned originally by the city and now by the church. The Jack & Jill School has operated at the church for over 70 years. One of the city's elementary schools is named in honor of the church's first settled minister, the Reverend Peter Thacher.
  • Centenary United Methodist Church[55] on North Main Street began on November 26, 1865, as a fellowship meeting in a building on Railroad Avenue. The first church building on the present site was dedicated in 1896 under the name of Davis Methodist Episcopal Church. The structure was destroyed by fire in 1883. The rebuilt church was named Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church in 1884, commemorating American Methodism's 100th anniversary. In 1998 Centenary and the Hebron Methodist were consolidated into one church.
  • Bethany Village Fellowship[56] formed in 1886 as Bethany Congregational Church.
  • Evangelical Covenant Church[57] founded in 1903 as the Swedish Evangelical Church on Pearl Street. The building was sold to Congregation Agudas Achim in 1911.[58]
  • Good News Bible Chapel[59] (1935), non-denominational
  • New Covenant Christian Fellowship,[60] non-denominational (2006)
  • Advent Christian Church,[61] National Association of Evangelicals
  • Attleboro Corps Community Center,[62] The Salvation Army offers weekday and evening support services, including "Bridging the Gap" for adolescents.
  • Candleberry Chapel,[63] non-denominational
  • Crossroads International Church,[64] Assembly of God in South Attleboro
  • Faith Alliance Church[65] is a part of the Christian & Missionary Alliance
  • Fruit of the Spirit Mission Church, non-denominational
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church[66] is located across from Capron Park
  • Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • United Pentecostal Church
  • Ark Celeste Christian Church
  • New Heart and New Spirit Church
  • Spanish Church of God
  • Iglesia La Familia De Dios
  • First Church of Christ, Scientist

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

Congregation Agudas Achim is part of the Reconstructionist Judaism movement. The congregation formally started in 1911 with the purchase of the Swedish Evangelical Church on Pearl Street. The current synagogue was built in 1968.

Murray Unitarian-Universalist Church (1875)[67]

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette[edit]

La Salette Shrine is a local tourist destination for its holiday light displays.

In 1942, the Missionaries of La Salette purchased 135 acres (0.55 km2) and a castle in Attleboro for use as a seminary.[68] The shrine opened to the public in 1953 with a Christmas manger display.[69][68] The annual Christmas Festival of Lights has grown to 300,000 lights and attracts about 250,000 visitors each year.[68] A devastating fire destroyed the castle on November 5, 1999.[68] A new welcome center opened in 2007 which includes a 600-seat concert hall.[68] In addition to the Christmas Festival, the shrine offers programs, concerts, workshops and events throughout the year.[69][68] The grounds also include Our Lady's Chapel of Lights, an outdoor chapel, and a church.[68]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]