From left to right: Westwood First Parish Church, inscription on town clock, Fisher School House, Hale Reservation, Town Hall, and the Old Burial Ground
|Motto: "Committed to service"|
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||11.1 sq mi (28.8 km2)|
|• Land||11.0 sq mi (28.4 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||220 ft (67 m)|
|• Density||1,328.9/sq mi (514.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0618333|
Westwood is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 14,618 at the 2010 census. In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Westwood 13th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. Boston Magazine included Gay Street in Westwood on its list of the Best Streets in the Boston area. It is currently the 15th wealthiest town in Massachusetts.
Westwood was first settled in 1641 and was part of the town of Dedham (it was originally called 'West Dedham') until it was officially incorporated in 1897. It was the last town to split from the original town of Dedham.
It was originally to have been named the "Town of Nahatan:"
|“||a bill to incorporate the Town of Nahatan was reported in the Senate on March 8, 1897, by Senator Charles F. Woodward, Chairman of the Committee on Towns. No opposition to the passage of the bill appeared until it reached the House, when the representative from Nahant objected to the name Nahatan," owing to its alleged similarity to the name Nahant.
It was desirable for the old, as well as the new town, to have the question of incorporation settled, if possible, before April 5, when appropriations for the coming year were going to be made. Therefore, in order to remove every trace of friction, however trivial, and thus expedite matters, the name was changed to Westwood.
In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Westwood 13th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. Boston Magazine listed Gay Street in Westwood on its list of the Best Streets in the Boston area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2), of which, 11.0 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.35%) is water.
Westwood is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by:
- the town of Needham to the north
- the town of Dedham to the east
- the town of Canton to the southeast
- the town of Norwood to the south
- the town of Walpole to the southwest
- the town of Dover to the west
|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.|
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,117 people, 5,122 households and 3,867 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,286.7 people per square mile (496.9/km²). There were 5,251 housing units at an average density of 478.6/sq mi (184.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.98% White, 0.50% African American, 0.04% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.94% of the population.
There were 5,122 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.1% were married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the town the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 3.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $128,984, and the median income for a family was $157,656. Males had a median income of $71,801 versus $46,194 for females. The per capita income for the town was $41,553. About 1.3% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
The town of Westwood operates under a home rule charter. This means that the town is given a degree of autonomy in regards to internal affairs. The charter mandates a board of selectmen, open town meeting, and executive secretary form of government. Selectmen and other town officials are elected through an open town meeting or formal election; but the board of selectmen appoints secretaries on its own who manage public safety, recreation, and other services. The board calls for an open town meeting (usually yearly) to consider issues beyond the scope of its governance. In many cases the issue is discussed formally among residents and town officials before general voting takes place. The board of selectmen has three members who serve overlapping three-year terms. Patrick Ahearn, Nancy Hyde, and Phil Shapiro are currently Westwood's selectmen. On April 28, 2009, Hyde ran unopposed, and was elected to her third consecutive three-year term. Ahearn's term will be up in 2010, Shapiro's in 2011, and Hyde's in 2012.
Westwood has five public elementary schools:
- Paul R. Hanlon (originally Pine Hill)
- Martha Jones
- William E. Sheehan (originally Pond Plain)
Westwood has one public middle school (Edmund W. Thurston), and one public high school (Westwood High School).
A new Westwood High School was recently constructed at a cost of $45M, and the old school, built in 1957, was demolished. The gymnasium and swimming facility from the old school were refurbished and are now part of the new high school campus. The school facilities also include a new multi-use artificial turf field (named after former Westwood High School principal and teacher Charles Flahive) with a synthetic track, both of which are open to the public.
Points of interest
- Hale Reservation - A Home to North Beach, Membership Beach, several walking trails, and other outdoor areas.
- Westwood Library - On April 7, 2010, Library Trustees hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the town's new library. The new building was opened in Summer 2013.
- Colburn School - A school built in 1877 that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Houses of worship
- First Baptist Church of Westwood, 808 High Street (Association: American Baptist)
- First Parish of Westwood United Church, 340 Clapboardtree Street (Association: United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Association).
- Temple Beth David, 7 Clapboardtree Street (Association: Union for Reform Judaism)
- St. Denis Parish, 157 Washington Street (Association: Catholic Archdiocese of Boston)
- St. John's Episcopal Church, 95 Deerfield Avenue (Association: Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Massachusetts) stjohnswestwood.org
- St. Margaret Mary Parish, 845 High Street (Association: Catholic Archdiocese of Boston)
- St. Timothy Catholic Church, 650 Nichols Street (Association: Catholic Archdiocese of Boston)
Westwood has an active Interfaith Council.
- Commuter rail service from Boston's South Station is provided by the MBTA with the Route 128 station on its Providence/Stoughton Line, and the Islington station on its Franklin Line
- Amtrak trains to Providence, New Haven, New York City and Washington DC also stop at the Route 128 station.
- The remains of a cave sit along Route 109, that King Philip and his men hid inside during King Philip's War. The massive rock that once contained the cave was known as the Oven's Mouth. It was blown up along with most of the cave in the 1950s to straighten out Route 109.
- Maj. Robert Steele, the Continental Army drummer boy during the Battle of Bunker Hill, is buried in the old Westwood Cemetery off Route 109.
- Westwood is home of the oldest animal pound in the United States.
- Westwood was a dry town until 2005. Restaurants can now apply for liquor licenses.
- Westwood is home to the Hale Reservation, an area of open space donated by Robert Sever Hale. Hale Reservation spans over 1,200 acres (486 ha) in Westwood and Dover, MA.
- Dicky Barrett - lead singer of the ska-core band the Mighty Mighty Bosstones
- Bishop Christopher Coyne - Served as parish priest of St. Margaret Mary Church
- Jon Finn - guitarist, rock musician
- Fern Flaman - former Boston Bruin and Toronto Maple Leaf. Stanley Cup winner and Hockey Hall of Famer
- Kenny Florian - Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, FOX/UFC analyst
- John Harrington - former CEO of the Boston Red Sox
- Matt Hasselbeck - NFL quarterback
- Mike Hazen - Current Boston Red Sox GM
- Jackie MacMullan - Newspaper sportswriter and NBA columnist for ESPN.com
- Peter S. Pezzati - portrait painter
- Barry Reed - American trial lawyer and bestselling author
- Robert B. Rheault - American military officer and commander of all US Army Special Forces in Vietnam in 1969
- Milt Schmidt- former Boston Bruin and Hockey Hall of Famer
- Robert Steele (drum major) - drummer boy for the Continental Army during the Battle of Bunker Hill of the Revolutionary War; buried in the Old Westwood Cemetery.
- Mike Woicik - Strength and conditioning coach for the Dallas Cowboys, and the only person with six Super Bowl rings
- Dedham Historical Register, Vol. VIII. April, 1897. No. 2, "The New Town of Westwood"
- "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- "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). 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.
- "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.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
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