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Attleboro is a city in Bristol Countymarker, Massachusettsmarker, United Statesmarker and is immediately north of Pawtucket, Rhode Islandmarker. Once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World" for its many jewelry manufacturers, Attleboro had a population of 42,068 at the 2000 census .


Attleboro was incorporated from part of Rehobothmarker in 1694 as the Town of Attleborough. It was reincorporated in 1914 as the City of Attleboro. Attleboro included the town of North Attleboroughmarker until 1887, and Cumberland, Rhode Islandmarker, until 1747. When the city re-incorporated in 1914, the "-ugh" was removed from the name; North Attleborough kept it. Like many towns in Massachusetts, it was named for a British townmarker.

During the colonial period, John Woodcock lived in North Attleboro. During the Native American insurgency Woodcock's son, Nathaniel, was murdered and his head was placed on a pole in his front yard. The house where Woodcock lived is now a historical monument. It is rumored George Washington once passed through and stayed near the Woodcock Garrison House at the Hatch Tavern where he swapped one shoe buckle with Israel Hatch, a revolutionary soldier and new owner of the Garrison House.

Mill Street in 1908
The city became known for jewelry manufacturing, notably through the L.G. Balfour Company starting in 1913. However, the company has since moved out of the city, with the site of the former plant turned into a riverfront park. The Balfour Company was not the only jewelry manufacturer or supplier to the jewelry manufacturing trade in Attleboro. At one time, Attleboro was known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World." There are jewelry related manufacturing firms in Attleboro which continue to operate. One of these companies is Guyot Brothers Company, which was started in 1904. General Findings, M.S. Company, James A. Murphy Co., Garlan Chain, Leach & Garner, and Masters of Design, which was started by former Balfour employees, are still jewelry related manufacturing companies still currently in operation.

Recently (November 2008), Attleboro made national news when city officials defended their actions after threatening an elderly blind woman with fines and a lien on her home for an overdue utility bill of one cent. "My question is, how come it wasn't paid when the bills went out?" Said City Collector Debora Marcoccio.


Attleboro is located at (41.928099, -71.314564). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.3 square miles (73.2 km²), of which, 27.5 square miles (71.3 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.0 km²) of it (2.72%) is water. Its borders are the shape of an irregular polygon, resembling a pointless triangle pointed west. It is bordered by North Attleborough, MAmarker to the north, Mansfield, MAmarker, Norton, MAmarker to the east, Rehoboth, MAmarker, Seekonk, MAmarker and Pawtucket, RImarker, to the south, and Cumberland, RImarker, to the west. It includes the localities of Briggs Corner, Dodgeville, East Junction, Hebronville, and South Attleboro.

The Ten Mile Rivermarker, a tributary to the Blackstone River, runs through the center of Attleboro, and is fed by several brooks and the Bungay River. Several small ponds are in the city, as well as the Manchester Pond Reservoir, located along Interstate 95. There are also two reservation areas, the Antony Lawrence Reservation Area and Coleman Reservation Area, as well as the Bungay River Conservation Area located in the north of the city.


Attleboro is officially a part of the Providence metropolitan area. It is also only a short distance from Boston, and is linked to the Boston metropolitan area.

As of the census of 2000, there were 42,068 people, 16,019 households, and 10,924 families residing in the city, and the population density was 1,529.1 people per square mile (590.4/km²). There were 16,554 housing units at an average density of 601.7/sq mi (232.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.30% White, 1.64% African American, 0.16% Native American, 3.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.82% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.29% of the population.

There were 16,019 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $50,807, and the median income for a family was $59,112 (these figures had risen to $61,718 and $80,413 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $40,331 versus $28,769 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,660. About 3.7% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.6% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


Attleboro's school department has five elementary schools (Hill-Roberts, Hyman Fine, A. Irvin Studley, Peter Thacher and Thomas Willett), three middle schools (Brennan, Coelho and Wamsutta), and Attleboro High School. Attleboro High School's football team (the "Blue Bombardiers") has a traditional rivalry with North Attleborough High School, whom they play for their Thanksgiving Day game.

In addition to Attleboro High School, which has its own vocational division, students from the city and surrounding towns may choose to attend Bishop Feehanmarker, a co-educational Roman Catholic high school which opened in 1961 and is named for Bishop Daniel Francis Feehan, second Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River. The city also has a satellite branch of Bristol Community Collegemarker, which was located in the city's former high school building but has since been located to an old Texas Instrumentsmarker site.

Points of interest

Downtown, about 1909
Attleboro has four museums, including the Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro Area Industrial Museum, the Women at Work Museum, and the Museum at the Mill. Other points of interest within the city include:
  • Capron Parkmarker, which houses a zoo
  • L.G. Balfour Riverwalk, which was once the site of the L.G. Balfour jewelry plant, is adjacent to the downtown business district.
  • LaSalette Shrine which has a Christmas light display
  • Triboro Youth Theatre / Triboro Musical Theatre
  • Dodgeville Mill


Attleboro is located along I-95 (which enters the state between Attleboro and Pawtucket, Rhode Island), I-295 (whose northern terminus is near the North Attleborough town line at I-95), and US 1, as well as Routes 1A, 118, 123 and 152, the last three all intersecting at Attleboro center. The proposed Interstate 895 was to run through Attleboro and have a junction at the present day I-295/I-95 terminus. Notice, when driving from Rhode Island on I-295, the stub exits before the half-cloverleaf exit to I-95. The city is also home to two MBTA commuter rail stations: one in the downtown areamarker and the other near the Rhode Island border in the South Attleboro districtmarker.

Attleboro and Tauntonmarker are both served by Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority, or GATRA, which provides bus transit between the two cities and the surrounding regions.


The religions represented by the churches in Attleboro reveal the historic ethnic makeup of the community. The five Roman Catholic churches — St. John, St. Stephen, St. Joseph, St. Theresa of the Little Flower, and Holy Ghost — reflect the English/Irish, formerly French now Hispanic, and Portuguese, neighborhoods, respectively.

All Saints Episcopal Church (1890) on North Main Street represents that traditional English presence in the community — though the church is now very diverse. In 2007 All Saints Episcopal Church divided over the liberal policies of the ECUSA resulting in the establishment of All Saints Anglican Church in the Hebronville village of Attleboro which is affiliated with an Anglican diocese under a Bishop in Uganda.

Second Congregational Church (1748), located near the town common, is typical of a New England town. Second Congregational had a stately white clapboard building that was destroyed by fire. A red brick building replaced it in the early 1900s.

Bethany Village Fellowship, formerly Bethany Congregational Church, (1886) is located in South Attleboro at 516 Newport Ave.

Murray Unitarian-Universalist Churchmarker (1875) on North Main Street is also typical of a New England town.

Evangelical Covenant Church (1903) on North Main Street recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was historically "the Swedish church," though it includes many different ethnic groups today.

Congregation Agudas Achim on Kelly Boulevard is part of the Jewish Reconstructionist movement.

There are a number of Protestant denominations represented in Attleboro including Baptist (Grace Baptist on Oakhill Avenue, the Word of Truth Baptist Church on Union Street , and 1st Baptist on South Main), Christian & Missionary Alliance (Faith Alliance on Pleasant), Advent Christian (also on Pleasant), Fruit of the Spirit Mission Church (located on Leroy Street), Assembly of God (the South Attleboro AOG on Newport Avenue), and New Covenant Church on North Main Street (Rt. 152).

There are also numerous non-denominational churches such as Good News Bible Chapel on West Street (1935), Candleberry Ministries on South Main St. (Rt. 152), and a handful of ethnic congregations started through church planting.

The Salvation Army Bridges of Hope located on Mechanic Street offers Sunday Services as well as weekday and evening support services including "Bridging the Gap" for adolescent support.

The Attleboro Area Council of Churches is very active in the community.

The Body of Christ, a new religious movement, was founded in Attleboro.


In late 2003, The Sun Chronicle reported that a state probe had been launched into the deaths of four city women from glioblastoma. As of October 2005, no report has been issued, and the status of the probe is unknown.

Scorecard, Environmental Defense's online database of polluters, lists seven facilities contributing to cancer hazards in Attleboro, including Engineered Materials Solutions Inc., the worst offender in Massachusetts.

In 2002, the Massachusetts Public Health Department was asked to evaluate the former Shpack Landfill, on the border of Norton and Attleboro, for its cancer risks. The investigation continued through at least 2004. The informal landfill included uranium fuel rods, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds.


In February 2008,The Sun Chronicle reported that gangs have also been appearing in Attleboro,although they have probably been present longer than this. Evidence of gangs such as the Crips and Bloods exists in some areas around the town. Gang graffiti has also been spotted on walls and on buildings. The Sun Chronicle article states that "there have been growing instances of graffiti or 'tagging' on public property, homes and businesses with gang insignia and messages, along with sporadic crime in which gang influence is suspect."

Notable residents


  1. American FactFinder
  2. A Memorial of George Bradburn, Frances H. Bradburn, 1883

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