Norfolk, Massachusetts

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Norfolk, Massachusetts
Federated Church of Norfolk
Federated Church of Norfolk
Official seal of Norfolk, Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°07′10″N 71°19′32″W / 42.11944°N 71.32556°W / 42.11944; -71.32556Coordinates: 42°07′10″N 71°19′32″W / 42.11944°N 71.32556°W / 42.11944; -71.32556
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
RegionNew England
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total39.3 km2 (15.2 sq mi)
 • Land38.4 km2 (14.8 sq mi)
 • Water0.9 km2 (0.4 sq mi)
65 m (212 ft)
 • Total11,662
 • Density303.7/km2 (788.0/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code508/774
FIPS code25-46050
GNIS feature ID0618326

Norfolk is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, with a population of 11,662 people at the 2020 census.[1] Formerly known as North Wrentham, Norfolk broke away to become an independent town in 1870.


Norfolk is a rural suburban town on the periphery of metropolitan Boston, located on an upper valley of the Charles River. There were a half dozen small farms in the town after 1669, the result of a determined effort to populate the colonial frontier. This was seen as a difficult task despite the good agricultural lands, fresh water fishing and fish runs because the settlement was so remote.

The town was abandoned during King Philip's War, its inhabitants relocating to Dedham in 1676. When Norfolk was eventually reestablished, the settlers relied on agriculture and cattle grazing with some considerable lumbering and planting of orchards. After 1812, three cotton manufacturing companies were established at Stony Brook, and later in the 19th century George Campbell's paper mill was opened at Highland Lake making heavy wrapping and building papers. The town saw a rapid increase in population after 1925 when a hospital and a state prison were built in Norfolk on the Walpole line. Major residential development took place before 1940 in the Pondville and Clark Streets section of town with scattered new housing along Seekonk and Main Streets, and suburban residential building has continued since.

Norfolk is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by Millis and Medfield on the north, Walpole on the east, Foxborough and Wrentham on the south, and Franklin and Medway on the west. Norfolk is 20 miles southwest of Boston; about 21 miles north of Providence, Rhode Island; and about 205 miles northeast of New York City.

In 2014, Norfolk was the filming location for Ted 2, a comedy film starring Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39 km2), of which 14.8 square miles (38 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (2.30%) is water.


Historical population

As of the 2000 census,[10] there were 10,460 people, 2,818 households, and 2,412 families residing in Norfolk. The population density was 705.1 inhabitants per square mile (272.2/km2). There were 2,861 housing units at an average density of 192.9 per square mile (74.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.97% White, 4.90% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.43% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.88% of the population.

There were 2,818 households, out of which 50.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.1% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.4% were non-families. 10.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.2% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 36.9% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 5.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 142.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 157.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $86,153, and the median income for a family was $92,001. Males had a median income of $60,926 versus $40,825 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,454. About 0.8% of families and 1.1% of the population were below the poverty threshold, including 0.2% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.



Norfolk has a board of selectmen style government.[11] The town is governed by three selectmen, each elected for three year staggered terms. The current members are Anita Mecklenburg, Kevin Kalkut, and Jim Lehan. [12] The town also elects a town clerk, assessors, constables, library trustees, planning board, recreation commission, board of health, housing authority, and school committee members. In total there exist 21 boards and committees in town.[13]


The town is represented in the Massachusetts State Senate by Democrat Rebecca Rausch (Massachusetts Senate's Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district).[14] She has served since 2019. Marcus Vaughn, a Republican, represents the town in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (9th Norfolk district).


Jake Auchincloss represents the town in the United States House of Representatives, and Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey represent Plainville in the United States Senate.


As of 2022, there are three public schools located within the town: the H. Olive Day Elementary School (grades Pre-K–2), the Freeman-Kennedy Elementary School (grades 3–6), and King Philip Regional Middle School (grades 7–8).

For secondary education Norfolk is in the King Philip Regional School District,[15] which operates the public middle school and the comprehensive high school for Norfolk. Upon entering the 9th grade, students will go on to attend King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, or specialty high schools operated by other agencies such as Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin and Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole. A new public library building recently opened on town hill. Inside the new library in 2009, a one-room school house, the original public library building, was reopened as a meeting room and historical landmark.


The Norfolk Airpark (FAA airport code 32M) had one 2,700-foot (820 m) north–south runway and is about 2 miles (3 km) west of the town center. In recent years, however, the airpark has been closed down and is currently in a state of disrepair. A seven house cul-de-sac known as Tailwind Cir now exists where the hangars used to stand while the remaining airport property is now conservation land known as Leland Wild.

The Norfolk MBTA commuter rail station is in Zone 5 and is located in the town's center at 9 Rockwood Road.[16]

Emergency services[edit]

The Norfolk Police Department is a fairly small department located on Sharon Avenue in the south of town near the Norfolk–Wrentham town line. It is staffed by a total of 17 police officers, including the chief of police. The town's fire department and emergency medical services, located in the center of town on Main Street, was staffed full-time with 24h/7d coverage for the first time in April 2001, and since 2004 provides Advanced Life Support services. The Fire Department is staffed by 13 career firefighters, which includes the fire chief. The police and fire communications department (also known as dispatch) is operated by a total of four full-time dispatchers and six part-time dispatchers. All of these emergency services are located in the police station complex on Sharon Avenue.

At a special town meeting in December 2015, a small turnout of Norfolk voters approved a plan to construct a new police and public safety building on Sharon Street in the south part of town. The police department will be moved to this facility, with the fire department occupying the space vacated by the police. A regional communications center within the Public Safety Building will support the dispatch requirements of Norfolk and three surrounding towns: Wrentham, Plainville, and Franklin.[17]

State prisons[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Norfolk town, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "Ted 2 Rolls into Norfolk". The Wrentham Times. The Wrentham Times. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  3. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  4. ^ "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. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 7, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  5. ^ "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-08-05. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved July 12, 2011. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2005-01-26. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. ^ "Town of Norfolk, MA Code". Town of Norfolk, MA Code. Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  12. ^ "Select Board | Norfolk, MA". Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  13. ^ "Boards & Committees| Norfolk, MA". Retrieved 2023-03-01.
  14. ^ "Senate Members". Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  15. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Norfolk County, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-08-07. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  16. ^ MBTA > Schedules & Maps > Commuter Rail > Norfolk
  17. ^ "Minutes from the Fall Town Special Meeting December 1, 2015" (PDF). Town of Norfolk, Massachusetts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  18. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Walpole town, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 3 (PDF p. 4/4). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-17. Retrieved 2022-10-17. Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction
  19. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Norfolk town, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-17. Retrieved 2022-10-17. Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction

External links[edit]