|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||43.8 sq mi (113.4 km2)|
|• Land||42.5 sq mi (110.2 km2)|
|• Water||1.3 sq mi (3.2 km2)|
|Elevation||895 ft (273 m)|
|• Density||300/sq mi (120/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0618359|
Charlton was first settled in 1735. It was established as a District separated from Oxford on January 10, 1755, and became a Town on August 23, 1775 by a law that made all Districts into Towns to help for the cause of the Revolutionary War. It was named after Sir Francis Charlton. During the 1800s, farming continued to be the major occupation, but woolen mills were being built along some of the town's brooks by the turn of the twentieth century.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.8 square miles (113 km2), of which 42.5 square miles (110 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) (2.86%) is water.
Charlton is bisected by north–south Route 31, which runs through the historical villages of Charlton Center, Charlton City and Charlton Depot. North-south Route 169 connects Charlton City with Southbridge. East–west routes include Route 20, a major commuter road, and the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90), which crosses through Charlton but does not have an exit in the town. While there is no exit for the town, there are two rest stops on the Mass Pike that are in Charlton.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,263 people, 3,788 households, and 3,045 families residing in the town. The population density was 264.8 inhabitants per square mile (102.2/km2). There were 4,008 housing units at an average density of 94.2 per square mile (36.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.08% White, 0.46% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.
There were 3,788 households, out of which 45.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.6% were non-families. 14.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 30.0% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $63,033, and the median income for a family was $70,208. Males had a median income of $46,727 versus $33,451 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,626. About 4.9% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.
|County-level state agency heads|
|Clerk of Courts:||Dennis P. McManus (D)|
|District Attorney:||Joe Early Jr. (D)|
|Register of Deeds:||Katie Toomey (D)|
|Register of Probate:||Stephanie Fattman (R)|
|County Sheriff:||Lew Evangelidis (R)|
|State Representative(s):||Peter Durant (R), Paul K. Frost (R)|
|State Senator(s):||Anne Gobi (D)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Paul DePalo (D)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||Richard E. Neal (D-1st District),|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
The Charlton Free Public Library was established in 1882. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Charlton spent 1.73% ($306,971) of its budget on its public library—some $24 per person. The library gained national recognition in 1906 after it banned Mark Twain's short story "Eve's Diary" for its illustrations of Eve in "summer costume." Twain testified before Congress after the incident saying, "The whole episode has rather amused me. I have no feeling of vindictiveness over the stand of the librarians there—I am only amused. You see they did not object to my book; they objected to Lester Ralph's pictures. I wrote the book; I did not make the pictures. I admire the pictures, and I heartily approve them, but I did not make them. It seems curious to me—some of the incidents in this case. It appears that the pictures in Eve's Diary were first discovered by a lady librarian. When she made the dreadful find, being very careful, she jumped at no hasty conclusions—not she—she examined the horrid things in detail. It took her some time to examine them all, but she did her hateful duty! I don't blame her for this careful examination; the time she spent was, I am sure, enjoyable, for I found considerable fascination in them myself. Then she took the book to another librarian, a male this time, and he, also, took a long time to examine the unclothed ladies. He must have found something of the same sort of fascination in them that I found."
Charlton public schools are part of the Dudley–Charlton Regional School district. Charlton Elementary serves students in kindergarten and first grade. The Heritage School serves students in grades 2 through 4. The Charlton Middle School serves grades 5 through 8. Charlton High Schoolers (ninth grade through twelfth grade) attend Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley.
Charlton is also home to Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School which serves Charlton and surrounding communities.
There used to be a high school in the center of town called Charlton High School. That building is now used for the Charlton Municipal Offices.
Points / People of interest
- Grave of John "Grizzly" Adams in Bay Path Cemetery.
- John Spurr House.
- Rider Tavern.
- Charlton Center Historic District.
- Northside Village Historic District.
- No. 2 Schoolhouse.
- Headquarters of Nature's Classroom.
- Heritage Country Club.
- Buffumville Lake.
- Elliott P. Joslin Camps for Children with Diabetes.
- Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School.
- Tree House Brewing Company
- The residence of the person who first demonstrated ether as a surgical anesthetic, William T. G. Morton.
- On July 26, 2012 the back of the Charlton Woolen Mill, an historic landmark, burnt to the ground. It was a "5-Alarm Fire", and firefighting efforts contained the destruction to only that one section of one of the mills.)
- "Census - Geography Profile: Charlton town, Worcester County, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2021-11-11.
- "Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates". Secretary of the Commonwealth Citizen Information Service. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- William O. Hultgren (Fall 2004). "Time Line for the Establishment of the Town of Charlton" (PDF). Charlton Historical Society Newsletter. Charlton Historical Society. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- "Town Trippin': Charlton", Worcester Magazine, 2017-09-28, retrieved 2021-08-09.
- "Treasuring Our Heritage", Charlton, Massachusetts: A Business & Community Guide, p. 5, 2008
- "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" (PDF). 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" (PDF). 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" (PDF). 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" (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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891. Google books
- "Charlton Public Library - Charlton, Massachusetts". www.charltonlibrary.org. Archived from the original on 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
- July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What's Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports Archived 2012-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-08-04