Braintree, Massachusetts

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This article is about the city in Massachusetts. For the English town, see Braintree, Essex. For other uses, see Braintree (disambiguation).
Town of Braintree
Braintree Town Hall
Braintree Town Hall
Flag of Braintree
Official seal of Braintree
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Braintree is located in USA
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°12′22″N 71°00′18″W / 42.206°N 71.005°W / 42.206; -71.005
Country  United States
State  Massachusetts
County Norfolk
Settled 1625[2]
Colonized 1635[3]
Incorporated 1640[4]
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan
 • Total 37.6 km2 (14.5 sq mi)
 • Land 36.0 km2 (13.9 sq mi)
 • Water 1.6 km2 (0.6 sq mi)
Elevation 27 m (90 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 35,744[1]
 • Density 992.9/km2 (2,571.5/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02184/02185 (Braintree Highlands)
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-07665
GNIS feature ID 0618316

Braintree (US pronunciation: /ˌbrnˈtr/), officially the Town of Braintree, is a suburban New England 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.[5] The population was 35,744 at the 2010 census.[1] 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.[6] The first and current mayor of Braintree is Joe Sullivan.[7][8] Braintree, Massachusetts is named after Braintree, Essex in England.


The town of Braintree was settled in 1625,[2] colonized in 1635 and incorporated in 1640[4] and named after the English town of Braintree. It comprised land that was later split into Randolph, Holbrook, and Quincy Massachusetts.[9] 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 was the site of the infamous 1920 murders that led to the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti. It was the retirement home of the co-inventor of the telephone, Thomas A. Watson.

Braintree's population grew by over 50% during the 1920s.[10]

In January 2008, Braintree converted from a representative town meeting form of government to a mayor-council government.


Braintree shares borders with Quincy to the north, Randolph to the west (separated by the Cochato River), Holbrook to the south, and Weymouth to the east.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.5 square miles (37.6 km²), of which 13.9 square miles (36.0 km²) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 sq mi) is water. The total area is 4.34% water

Park and recreation locations in Braintree include Pond Meadow Park, Sunset Lake, and Blue Hills Reservation.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1800 —    
1810 —    
1820 —    
1830 —    
1840 2,168 —    
1850 2,969 +36.9%
1860 3,468 +16.8%
1870 3,948 +13.8%
1880 3,855 −2.4%
1890 4,848 +25.8%
1900 5,981 +23.4%
1910 8,066 +34.9%
1920 10,580 +31.2%
1930 15,712 +48.5%
1940 16,378 +4.2%
1950 23,161 +41.4%
1960 31,069 +34.1%
1970 35,050 +12.8%
1980 36,337 +3.7%
1990 33,836 −6.9%
2000 33,828 −0.0%
2010 35,744 +5.7%
2014 37362* —    
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]
U.S. Decennial Census[21]

As of the census[22] 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.[23]

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[24]). 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 High School participates in the Bay State Conference, a Division 1 conference in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. The girls basketball team has won back-to-back state championships and finished 2014 undefeated.[25] The Braintree High dance team competes at the regional and national stage.[26] The Wamps baseball team won the Super Eight Baseball Tournament in 2015 over St. John's Preparatory School in their second-straight finals appearance.[27]

Braintree American Little League plays at Michael F. Dunn Little League Complex located at Hollingsworth Park. East Braintree Little League plays at Watson Park.

A planned sports complex in Braintree, the Braintree Athletic Complex, is scheduled to be located at Braintree High School and will feature two ice hockey rinks, a basketball court, a multi-use court, a swimming pool and an indoor baseball diamond.[28]


Braintree is home to various educational institutions, both public and private.

Public primary and secondary education[edit]

Public education at the primary and secondary levels is managed by Braintree Public Schools (BPS), a system that includes one kindergarten center, five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.

Public high school
Public middle schools
Public elementary schools

Private and alternative education[edit]

Private and alternative education institutions situated in Braintree include Thayer Academy (TA) and Archbishop Williams High School (ABHS). CATS Academy, an internationally focused boarding school with three campuses in the United Kingdom, is in the process of building a school in the Braintree Highlands area and plans to open in 2016[29]



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.[30] [31]

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.


Braintree is home to several large companies, including: Altra Industrial Motion, Greater Media, Haemonetics, and TopSource LLC.

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.[32] One of the chain's busiest locations, it was capable of serving over 5,000 customers per day.[33] 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.[34] 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.[35]

Points of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Films shot in Braintree[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Braintree Town (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Braintree Historical Society". Braintree Historical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Town of Braintree Massachusetts: About Braintree". Town of Braintree. Retrieved 7 April 2015. Braintree was founded on land first colonized in 1625 by Captain Wollaston, and initially named Mount Wollaston. 
  4. ^ a b "Town of Braintree Massachusetts: About Braintree". Town of Braintree. Retrieved 6 April 2015. Incorporated in 1640, Braintree has a rich history and a promising future. 
  5. ^ Braintree Town Charter and MGL 39: City and town forms of government
  6. ^ MAPC South Shore Coalition
  7. ^ The Patriot Ledger, 1/3/2008
  8. ^ "Town of Braintree Massachusetts: Mayor". Town of Braintree. Retrieved 6 April 2015. In November 2007, Joe Sullivan was elected as the first Mayor of Braintree and in November 2011, he was re-elected. 
  9. ^ "Town of Braintree Massachusetts: About Braintree". Town of Braintree. Retrieved 7 April 2015. The area was resettled and incorporated as the town of Braintree in 1640, on land which is now part of the current town of Braintree, from which Randolph, Holbrook, the City of Quincy. 
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  12. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 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. 
  16. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). 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. 
  17. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). 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. 
  18. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  19. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). 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. 
  20. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Jay N. Miller (14 March 2015). "H.S. GIRLS BASKETBALL: Braintree wins Division 1 title". Worcester, Massachusetts: The Patriot Ledger. p. 1. Retrieved 17 May 2015. Braintree defended its state title and solidified a legacy as one of the most consistently excellent girls hoop teams ever in the Bay State with a 64-43 victory over the scrappy Eagles. 
  26. ^ "Braintree High School dance team wins New England championship". The Patriot Ledger. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015. The Braintree High School varsity dance team won two first place dance titles at the New England High School Dance Championship at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, Vt., March 8. 
  27. ^ Nate Weitzer (18 June 2015). "Super 8 Final: Braintree 7, St. John's Prep 2". Brockton, Massachusetts: ESPN Boston. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Lane Lambert (15 May 2015). "After 52 years, Braintree to get its Petersen Pool – and ice rinks, too". Braintree, Massachusetts: The Patriot Ledger. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  29. ^ Robert Aicardi (15 January 2015). "CATS Academy opening delayed until 2016". Braintree Forum. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  30. ^ Markman, Joseph (September 20, 2011) "Braintree's Expansion and Dangerous Flights Proved too Much for Old Airport" Braintree Patch. Retrieved November 4, 2013 [1]
  31. ^ Freeman, Paul "Braintree Airport, Braintree, Mass." Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. Retrieved November 6, 2013 [2]
  32. ^ "Largest Valle's Opens in Braintree" (May 8, 1964) The Boston Globe page A4
  33. ^ Value, John B. (February 2, 1965) “They All Stay Trim Keeping Others Fed” The Boston Globe, page 21
  34. ^ 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
  35. ^ Tuoti, Gerard (June 11, 2004) "Ronald Reagan 1911-2004" The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass), page 10.
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Donnie Wahlberg: Biography" The New York Times
  40. ^ Bennetts, Leslie "Rogue Star" (August 2001) Vanity Fair
  41. ^ "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970) - Trivia". IMDb. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  42. ^ Dennis Tatz (15 May 2008). "Scenes for upcoming movie being filmed at Braintree mall". Braintree, Massachusetts: MetroWest Daily News. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  43. ^ "Braintree American Fun Facts". 9/10 Eastern Region Baseball Tournament. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 

External links[edit]