North Attleborough, Massachusetts

Coordinates: 41°59′00″N 71°20′00″W / 41.98333°N 71.33333°W / 41.98333; -71.33333
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North Attleborough, Massachusetts
North Attleborough Town Hall
North Attleborough Town Hall
Official seal of North Attleborough, Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°59′00″N 71°20′00″W / 41.98333°N 71.33333°W / 41.98333; -71.33333
CountryUnited States
 • TypeTown manager and town council
 • Town managerMichael Borg[2]
 • Total19.1 sq mi (49.3 km2)
 • Land18.6 sq mi (48.3 km2)
 • Water0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
200 ft (61 m)
 • Total30,834
 • Density1,657.7/sq mi (638.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code508/774
FIPS code25-46598
GNIS feature ID0618284

North Attleborough, alternatively spelled North Attleboro,[3] is a city[4] in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 30,834 at the 2020 United States Census.[5]

The villages of Attleboro Falls and North Attleborough Center are located in the city.


In pre-Colonial times, the land was the site of the Bay Path, a major Native American trail to Narragansett Bay, the Seekonk River, and Boston. English settlers arrived in the area in 1634[6] and established the settlement of Rehoboth—which included the modern day municipalities of North Attleborough, Attleboro, Somerset, Seekonk, as well as parts of Rhode Island—from land sold to them by the Pokanoket Wamsutta.[7] John Woodcock established a settlement in the territory in 1669 which subsisted on agriculture, fishing and hunting. By 1670, Woodcock had received a license to open a tavern. The settlement was attacked during King Philip's War, with two killed and one home burned, but the Garrison house which Woodcock had built survived the attack. The Woodcock-Garrison house was used as sleeping quarters for George Washington on his army's march to Boston to rid the city of General Thomas Gage's troops. The Town of Attleborough was incorporated from this territory in 1694.

In about 1780, a French settler named Lazarus Periera set up a forge for working brass, beginning the industrial era.[8] Englishmen brought with them British machinery from Birmingham in 1794 and designed American improvements in button making, which they patented. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, small grist and sawmills were built along the Ten Mile River, and subsequently-established nail factories were eventually eclipsed by cotton spinning mills. The development of cotton spinning was spurred by the embargo on imports resulting from the War of 1812. Textiles and jewelry manufacturing were the staple industries of the town by 1832, but buttons became king, spurred by the American Civil War and U.S. Army orders for badges and medals. By 1834, Attleborough produced more buttons than anywhere else in the United States; by 1855, there were 24 shops making almost $1 million in jewelry in Attleborough.

In 1887, the residents of the village of East Attleborough voted to secede, and they had higher population and votes to take with them the name of Attleborough and the town's original founding date of 1694; they incorporated as the new City of Attleborough, and the remainder of the original town adopted the name North Attleborough.

In the twentieth century, North Attleborough was home at various times to the jewelry firms Jostens, the world's largest class ring manufacturer, and the Balfour Company, prominent maker of championship rings, including for the National Football League's Super Bowl champions and Major League Baseball's World Series' winners. In 2006, North Attleborough was rated in the top ten for professional sports communities in the entire country and was also listed as one of the most affordable and safest places to raise a family. Today, North Attleborough is still home to many professional athletes due to its proximity to Gillette Stadium just 5 miles away.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49 km2), of which 18.6 square miles (48 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (2.15%) is water. The city is roughly quadrilateral-shaped, and makes the northwest corner of Bristol County. It is bordered by Plainville to the north, Mansfield to the east, Attleboro to the south, and Cumberland, Rhode Island to the west. Localities include Adamsdale, Attleborough Falls and Sheldonville Farms. The city is located 16 miles (26 km) north of Providence, Rhode Island, 38 miles (61 km) southwest of Boston and 42 miles (68 km) southeast of Worcester, Massachusetts.

The city has several rivers, streams and brooks running through it, including the Ten Mile River and the Seven Mile River. There are several ponds and lakes, including Greenwood Lake (site of a fish hatchery) and Falls Pond, among others. The city's largest park, World War I Memorial Park, is located in the northern part of city and contains the highest point in Bristol County-Sunrise Hill (Watery Hill) at 390 feet (120 m) above sea level. World War I Memorial Park features a petting zoo, Petti Field for soccer and lacrosse and a ski/sledding hill with J-bar ski lift which is currently inoperable. There is also the North Attleborough Arboretum adjacent to the park.

On High Street, one block from Route 1A is an ice-skating pond called Titus Pond which is maintained by the North Attleborough Rotary Club and filled each winter by the Fire Department.

There are five cemeteries in North Attleborough: the diminutive and inactive Woodcock Cemetery across from the Woodcock-Garrison house just north of downtown; Paine Road Cemetery near the Cumberland, Rhode Island, border; Mt. Hope Cemetery & Arboretum; the old St. Mary's Cemetery and the new St. Mary's Cemetery. The latter three are located in the village of Attleborough Falls.


Historical population
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

At the 2000 census,[17] there were 27,143 people, 10,391 households and 7,232 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,456.0 inhabitants per square mile (562.2/km2). There were 10,635 housing units at an average density of 570.5 per square mile (220.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.97% White, 0.92% African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.71% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.

There were 10,391 households, of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.15.

Age distribution was 26.9% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.

The median household income in 2016 was $90,125 compared to $59,371 in 2000. About 2.7% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture[edit]

Richards Memorial Library


"The North Attleborough Public Library was established in 1889, by the North Attleborough Union Improvement District, which turned its library over to the town."[18] Today the Richards Memorial Library is located downtown, and is a member of SAILS Library Network, a network of libraries in Southeastern Massachusetts.[19] In fiscal year 2008, the town spent 0.77% ($572,874) of its budget on its public library—approximately $20 per person, per year ($24.49 adjusted for inflation to 2021).[20]

Points of interest[edit]


State and national government[edit]

North Attleborough is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by Adam Scanlon (D-Attleboro) as part of the Fourteenth Bristol district, which also includes sections of Attleborough and Mansfield. Scanlon won the 2020 election after incumbent Elizabeth "Betty" Poirier (R-North Attleborough), having served since 1999, announced she would not run for another term. In the State Senate, North Attleborough was represented by Becca Rausch (D-Needham) as part of the Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex district, which included the towns of Wayland, Sherborn, Millis, Norfolk, Wrentham and Plainville as well as sections of Natick, Wellesley, Needham, Franklin and Attleborough.[21] Rausch won the seat after defeating the incumbent, Richard Ross (R-Wrentham) in 2018. Due to redistricting, the city is now represented by Paul Feeney as a park of the Bristol and Norfolk district.

On the national level, North Attleborough is a part of Massachusetts's 4th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives represented by Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton). In the United States Senate it is represented by Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge) and Ed Markey (D-Malden).

Local government and services[edit]

Until 2019, North Attleborough has had a representative town meeting form of government, with an elected board of selectmen and a town administrator appointed by the selectmen. On April 2, 2019, North Attleboro voters approved a new structure for a city form of government, a charter creating a "strong" city manager that will replace the Board of Selectmen and a nine-member City Council replacing the 135-seat Representative Town Meeting. The new charter went into effect on July 1, 2019, following a June 18, 2019 special election for town council.[22] North Attleborough is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government, though they wish to be known as “The Town of”.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2016[23]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Democratic 4,002 19.9%
Republican 3,237 16.00%
Unaffiliated 12,707 63.18%
Green-Rainbow 23 .11%
United Independent 61 .30%
Total 20,111 100%


Public schools[edit]

Little Red Schoolhouse

The Town of North Attleboro has a robust public school system. The North Attleborough Public School District runs 8 public schools and has a total enrollment of approximately 4,000 students. The current superintendent is John Antonucci. There are 7 elected School Committee members. Students are also part of formal School Committee proceedings. In 2019, the school department expenditures were $60,745,000 with a per pupil average expenditure of $13,850.

In April 2018, citizens voted and approved a $6.5 million increased tax levy after the town's budget needs were lagging. The tax override was, in part (approximately 40%), to increase funding for the public schools. Even with the fiscal conservative history of the town, the override passed with 57% of voters approving the measure. The town made immediate investments to advance school infrastructure projects and staffing, public safety and community services.

Massachusetts has the nation's top-ranked public schools, and North Attleborough Public Schools (NAPS) has received high marks for Academics, Quality Teachers, College Prep, and Health & Safety, according to and other sources.

The following schools make up the North Attleborough Public Schools:

  • The Early Learning Center (Preschool)
  • Amvet Boulevard School (Grades K–5)
  • Community School (Grades K–5)
  • Falls School (Grades K–5)
  • Joseph W. Martin Jr. School (Grades K–5)
  • Roosevelt Avenue School (Grades K–5)
  • North Attleborough Middle School (Grades 6–8)
  • North Attleborough High School (Grades 9–12)

Private schools[edit]

The city is home to one Catholic K–8 school, Saint Mary-Sacred Heart School. The nearest private high school is Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, a Catholic high school.


Police station


Interstates 95 and 295 meet just over the Attleborough line, and both run through the city. Each interstate has one exit within city. The city is also bisected by U.S. Route 1, which runs through the retail and downtown districts. Massachusetts state routes 120 and 152 also run through city, as does the "middle" portion of Route 1A, which begins in the city.

The city is set equidistantantly between the three nearest Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority stops, in Mansfield, Attleborough Center and South Attleborough. The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority provides bus services between the local towns and cities. The nearest national-level airport is T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, approximately 23 miles away, and the nearest international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston, approximately 42 miles away.


The North Attleborough Police Department is located downtown in the old H.F. Barrows Manufacturing Company Building at 102 South Washington St. There are three fire stations, located downtown on Elm Street just off Route 1, Allen Ave behind Emerald Square Mall and on Route 152 in the eastern portion of the city. There are also two post offices, downtown (using the 02760 ZIP code) and in Attleboro Falls (02763). North Attleboro also uses 02761 for post office boxes located downtown.

Revitalization projects[edit]

The Balfour Co. Building in North Attleboro was a branch of the L.G. Balfour Company, a jewelry company that employed many residents of Attleboro and North Attleboro,[24] and is a significant part of the town’s history. The building, left abandoned for decades, is a prime example of urban blight in the town and was often regarded as the town’s biggest eyesore,[25] as it was incredibly run down and dilapidated. In a 2014 attempt to begin revitalizing the town, developers expressed interest in the Balfour building and plans were underway to build a new apartment building and bus stop in its place.[26][27] However, after an initial overhaul of the area’s infrastructure, such as water mains and streets, the developers pulled out after being unable to finance the forty million dollar revitalization.[25][28]

In 2017, Boston Realty Advisors secured a loan that will allow them to completely develop the area of the old Balfour building into a Class A apartment complex that will have 193 units and 11,500 square feet of retail space.[29] This mixed-use zoning / development allows for one development to house different functions—the new building on 21 East Street will have a gym, restaurant, retail space, and shuttles to MBTA stations in addition to the apartments.[29] This transit-oriented development places residents close to public transportation, which reduces travel times. Both the mixed-use development and the transit-oriented development combat urban sprawl, which is all too common in the Boston-Providence suburbs. The new apartment complex will not only bring large amounts of tax revenue to North Attleboro, but create new Class A, a type of luxury apartment, that will bring in high-income tenants.[30]

Though this infill of an old, abandoned building is beneficial in many ways and a useful response to blight occurring in the town, an oversight by planners and developers regarding the drainage of a swamp that used to exist beneath U.S. Route 1 shifted environmental burdens towards neighboring, lower-income households. The new building at 21 East Street has shifted drainage and flooded nearby homes, according to residents.[31] In spite of these complaints, the city gave the developers permission to open two of three buildings, while they have sixty days to address the drainage problem;[31] this issue raised concerns and questions about the role of municipal governments in overseeing such large and impactful projects.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Town Manager Michael Borg focused on the betterment of North Attleborough". North Star Reporter. March 12, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  3. ^ Kay, Robert. "Landmarks in North Attleboro, MA". USA Today. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: North Attleborough Town city, Bristol County, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  6. ^ "Attleboro Timeline". City of Attleboro Historical Commission. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  7. ^ "Sketch of the History of Attleborough: From Its Settlement to the Present Time". Mocavo. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  8. ^ A Sketch of the history of Attleborough by John Daggett
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "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. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "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: 1900, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  15. ^ "Bulletin 165. Population of Places Having 1,000 Inhabitants or More in 1890" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Page 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2023. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  16. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 3, 2023.
  17. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  18. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891.
  19. ^ Richards Memorial Library. Retrieved 2010-11-11
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ Sen. Richard Ross. [1]. MA Senate, 2013.
  22. ^ "North voters adopt first-ever town charter". The Sun Chronicle. April 3, 2019.
  23. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 19, 2016" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  24. ^ "Our Abandoned Past: Balfour". The Sun Chronicle. April 13, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  25. ^ a b Canne, Kayla (June 2017). "New life for North Attleboro Balfour building project". The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  26. ^ Cox, Peter (September 27, 2016). "Downtown revitalization project rolls along, but East St. project stalls in North Attleborough". Wicked Local. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  27. ^ STAFF, AMY DeMELIA SUN CHRONICLE (February 28, 2014). "Abandoned Balfour site in North Attleboro eyed for renewal". The Sun Chronicle. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  28. ^ Cox, Peter. "North Attleborough trying to redevelop long-vacant buildings". North Attleborough Free Press. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  29. ^ a b June 18, John Jordan |; AM, 2019 at 08:32. "First OZ Project in Massachusetts Secures $31M in Construction Financing". GlobeSt. Retrieved October 14, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ "What is Class A, Class B, or Class C property?". RealtyMogul. July 8, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  31. ^ a b "Our View: More study will be good for 21 East and its neighbors". The Sun Chronicle. July 5, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  32. ^ "Aaron Hernandez's House (Deceased) in North Attleborough, MA (Google Maps)". April 19, 2017.
  33. ^ "Convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez sentenced to life in prison without parole | Fox News". Fox News. April 15, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  34. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1981, p. 248. Accessed December 3, 2022. "William J. Maguire, Rep., Clark - Assemblyman Maguire was born in North Attleboro, Mass., on June 12, 1916. He attended Barringer Evening High School, Newark, and took courses in economics and government at Rutgers University."

External links[edit]