Norwood, Massachusetts

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Norwood, Massachusetts
Official seal of Norwood, Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°11′40″N 71°12′00″W / 42.19444°N 71.20000°W / 42.19444; -71.20000Coordinates: 42°11′40″N 71°12′00″W / 42.19444°N 71.20000°W / 42.19444; -71.20000
Country United States
State Massachusetts
 • TypeRepresentative town meeting
 • Total10.6 sq mi (27.3 km2)
 • Land10.5 sq mi (27.1 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
146 ft (45 m)
 • Total31,611
 • Density3,010.6/sq mi (1,166.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code339 / 781
FIPS code25-50250
GNIS feature ID0619460

Norwood is a town and census-designated place in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Norwood is part of the Greater Boston area. As of the 2020 census, the population was 31,611.[1] The town was named after Norwood, England. Norwood is on the Neponset River,[2] which runs all the way to Boston Harbor from Foxborough.


The Town of Norwood, officially formed in 1833, was until that time part of Dedham, known as the "mother of towns", as fourteen of the present communities of eastern Massachusetts lay within its original borders. Long used as a hunting ground by Native Americans, Norwood was first settled by Ezra Morse in 1678. He set up a sawmill in what is now South Norwood, the part of town to which the first concentration of families, almost all of whom were farmers, migrated over the next half-century.

During the American Revolution, there was a Minuteman company organized in the area. Its captain, Aaron Guild, on learning of the British marching on Lexington and Concord to seize the munitions stored there, rode to join the fight and arrived in time to fire on the British at Concord Bridge and participate in the running battle that chased the Redcoats back to Boston.

Abraham Lincoln passed through the town during his pre-inaugural tour of New England.

The Oak View Mansion, located in Norwood, was built by Francis Olney Winslow. Construction began in 1868 and was completed in 1870. Oak View was the scene of almost constant socializing. Some of the most prominent figures hosted in Oak View were President and future Supreme Court Justice William Howard Taft and President Calvin Coolidge.

The town shares its name with a town in the borough of Croydon, South London, England. When Norwood separated from Dedham, they considered naming the new community Balch, after the Rev. Thomas Balch.[3]


Norwood is located at 42°11′9″N 71°12′5″W / 42.18583°N 71.20139°W / 42.18583; -71.20139 (42.185974, −71.201661).[4]

The Town of Norwood is located 13 miles southwest of Boston, placing it in the Boston Metropolitan Area.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27.3 km2), of which 10.5 square mile (27.1 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (0.66%) is water.


Historical population
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]
Stained-glass window in Norwood Town Hall depicting town seal.[13]

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 30,602 people. The racial makeup of the town was 80.92% White, 8.01% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 9.57% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.58% of the population. 27.3% were of Irish descent.

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 28,587 people, 11,623 households, and 7,380 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,727.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,052.9/km2). There were 11,945 housing units at an average density of 1,139.5 per square mile (440.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 90.51% White, 2.31% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 5.06% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population. 34.7% were of Irish, 14.8% Italian, 5.4% American and 5.0% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 11,623 households, out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 20.8% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,421, and the median income for a family was $70,164 (these figures had risen to $66,743 and $80,292 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[15]). Males had a median income of $50,597 versus $34,312 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,720. About 2.7% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.


The Norwood Public Schools operates seven schools, and an additional school institution, The Willett Early Childhood Center (serves preschool and kindergarten children). The public elementary schools located in Norwood include: Balch, Callahan, Cleveland, Oldham, and Prescott.

Norwood has one public middle school, the Dr. Philip O. Coakley Middle School (serving 6th through 8th graders)[16] (formerly Norwood Junior High South), where all five elementary schools combine. Norwood also has a public high school, Norwood High School (NHS),[17] (serves grades 9–12).

Built in 2005, Universal Technical Institute is the newest post-secondary education center in Norwood. It is an automotive technical school featuring the Mercedes Benz Elite MSAT and the Ford FACT specialized training programs. The campus is located at 1 Upland Road, less than a mile from the Boston Providence Pike.

The Fine Mortuary College in Norwood includes a one-room museum featuring antique embalming tables and centuries-old wooden coffins.[18]


Businesses in Norwood have access to the most educated workforce in the nation, ample venture capital, and several other advantages that help lay the foundation for regional clusters and Norwood's target industries, like advanced manufacturing and life sciences.[19]

Norwood's top employers include Moderna, FM Global, Home Market Foods, MS Walker, and many other manufacturers and businesses engaged in research and development.[20]

Moderna opened its state-of-the-art clinical development site in 2018, employing over 1,400.[21] Moderna's NOrwood facilities serve as its primary manufacturing facility and is responsible for producing its COVID-19 vaccine. The facility in Norwood has been expanded to increase the production capacity of Moderna's vaccine and to support the company's research and development efforts. Additionally, Moderna has established partnerships with local organizations in Norwood to support the community, including funding for education and workforce development initiatives.

A large cluster of automobile dealerships on Route 1 is known as the Norwood "Automile." The concept of having competing dealerships join together to publicize the "Automile" as an automobile shopping center was largely the work of Ernie Boch, famous in the Boston area for his ads urging people to "Come on down!"

The Skating Club of Boston moved to Norwood in 2020. The facility, located on University Avenue in Norwood, is a state-of-the-art skating rink home to the Skating Club of Boston's training and development programs for figure skating, ice dancing, and synchronized skating. The Norwood High School hockey teams play at the facility. In addition to the rink, the facility features a fitness center, a pro shop, and a cafe. The Skating Club of Boston has a rich history in figure skating and has produced many world champions and Olympic medalists.

Also of note, local bagel shop "Spot!" is currently seeking Guinness certification as the World's Largest Bagel Shop.



Norwood was the long-time home of photographer and publisher Fred Holland Day. As a photographer, Day at one point rivalled Alfred Stieglitz in influence. The publishing firm of Copeland and Day was the American publisher of Oscar Wilde's Salome with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley. The Day House is now a museum and the headquarters of the Norwood Historical Society. F. Holland Day Historic House Museum is located at 93 Day St.


Climate data for Norwood, Massachusetts (Norwood Memorial Airport), 1991−2020 normals,[a] extremes 1895−present[b]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 39.5
Daily mean °F (°C) 30.1
Average low °F (°C) 20.6
Average rainfall inches (mm) 3.41
Average snowfall inches (cm) 15.1
Source: NOAA (snowfall data from WALPOLE 2)[26]


  • U.S. 1 is a major artery through Norwood, and a regional hub for commercial activity, dominated by strip malls and chain stores and restaurants for a 35-mile stretch between West Roxbury to Pawtucket, RI.)
  • Three MBTA Commuter Rail stations on the Forge Park-495 line or Franklin Line, with daily service. The stations are Norwood Depot, Norwood Central and Windsor Gardens.
  • Norwood Memorial Airport
  • Interstate 95 has one exit in town that also serves neighboring Canton. This is the main highway running between the Boston metro area and points south.
  • MBTA bus route 34E[27] heads along Washington Street from Walpole to Boston.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.
  2. ^ Official records for Norwood were kept at the COOP from December 1900 to May 1911, the Weather Bureau Office from June 1911 to February 1937, at various locations in and around the city from March 1937 to July 1942, and at Norwood Memorial Airport since August 1942. For more information, see ThreadEx.


  1. ^ "Census - Geographic Profile: Norwood town, Norfolk County, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "Welcome to the Neponset River Watershed". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  3. ^ Cole, Brad (March 5, 2013). "Balch School to celebrate its centennial". Norwood Transcript. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^,_ma_advantage.php
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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)
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ It was suggested in 2006 that Guild's red coat must surely be historically inaccurate.Peter Schworm (2006-10-01). "He was a patriot, not a redcoat: Calls growing for new, accurate town seal". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2006-10-06.: "Board chairman Jerry Kelleher said he, too, had noticed Guild's miscolored garment... He knew the red wasn't right." He said that "While the controversy has been 'mushrooming,' it's more a minor distraction than an embarrassing gaffe." Elisabeth McGregor , executive director of the Norwood Historical Society, said she found the flap "kind of comical", and noted the seal probably includes another mistake. 'It's April 19—would he really be plowing already?' she questioned. 'Seems pretty early.'"
  14. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". Archived from the original on 2020-02-16. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  16. ^ "Welcome to the Dr. Philip O. Coakley Middle School". Archived from the original on March 2, 2009.
  17. ^ "Welcome to Norwood High School in Norwood Massachusetts". Archived from the original on February 4, 2009.
  18. ^ Brad Kelly (2006-01-20). "DYING TO VISIT? FUNERAL INDUSTRY FASCINATION GROWS: Mortuary school in Norwood opens museum to the public". Patriot Ledger. Retrieved 2006-07-06.[permanent dead link]; college website is
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Top Private Employers in Norwood". Retrieved 2023-02-14.
  21. ^ "Our Story".
  22. ^ database: "Traditional carillon of 50 bells...Year of latest technical information source is 2015"
  23. ^ World Carillon Federation, "Bells: 50"
  24. ^ Norwood Library: Norwood Historical Records Archived 2015-11-24 at the Wayback Machine, "The building's 170-foot tower accommodates a 50 bell carillon"
  25. ^ Boston Globe, South Regional edition 7/6/2013, Jean Lang: Norwood Town Hall gets a makeover: "Another concern is the carillon within the tower. There are 50 large bells that have been covered with blankets to protect them, but the blankets have to be taken on and off for the summer carillon concert series, which runs from July 1 to Aug. 19."
  26. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  27. ^ Authority, Massachusetts Bay Transportation. "34E - Bus - MBTA". Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  28. ^ "MyFoxBoston". Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
  29. ^ "The Automatic Life: Billionaire Ernie Boch Jr". Huffington Post. 2014-02-14.
  30. ^ "Charlie Bowles Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  31. ^ "Marty Callaghan Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  32. ^ "Allen Doyle Official Profile". 1948-07-26. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  33. ^ Alfred Fincher (2012-01-01). "Alfred Fincher, LB at". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Ultimate Mets Database - Richie Hebner". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  36. ^ Falla, Brian (2006), "Norwood's Natural", The Norwood Bulletin, October 5, 2006, p. 2. "Hebner's ties to Norwood remain a backbone of the story", a description of the making of a two-hour documentary on Hebner
  37. ^
  38. ^ Rhoda Leonard Obituary. AAGPBL official website. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.
  39. ^ "Skip Lockwood Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  40. ^ "Ray Martin Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  41. ^ Baker, Billy (2007-06-24). "The Coolest Cruciverbalist". Boston Globe Magazine. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  42. ^ "Allen Ripley Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  43. ^ GS Web Mistress (2012-07-27). "Home". Godsmack. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  44. ^ "5 Things You Didn't Know About New 'Red Eye' Host Tom Shillue". 22 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  45. ^ "Mike Smith Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  46. ^ Sullivan, George (2020-02-18). "Honorable George SULLIVAN Jr". Obituaries. Archived from the original on 2020-02-18. Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  47. ^ "Bill Travers Statistics and History". Retrieved 2012-07-31.

External links[edit]