Shrewsbury is a town in
County, Massachusetts, United
States. Shrewsbury is an unusual New England town in that it was neither a mill town nor a farming village.
grew as a suburb to neighboring Worcester from the start.
The population was 31,640 at
the 2000 census
of Shrewsbury, named for Shrewsbury, England, is a
suburban community with an uneven and hilly terrain cut by a number
of minor streams providing several small water power sites.
Grants of land were made in what would eventually be the town
beginning in 1664, with the grant called Haynes Farm
as the largest. Settlers came
primarily from Sudbury and Marlborough and the first permanent settler was Gersham Wheelock in 1720.
As a town,
Shrewsbury was first settled in 1722 and officially incorporated in
Townspeople created an agricultural economy with apple orchards and
by 1750 there were two stores and four taverns as well as several
small industries in operation. The rapid fall of prices for
agricultural goods, the shortage of hard currency and the general
economic depression following the Revolutionary War
disastrous conditions for colonists. Shays' Rebellion
in 1786 sought to close
the courts to prevent debt collections and the foreclosure of
mortgages. Shrewsbury became a staging area for the rebellion and
the encampment of the more than 400 insurgents, before the march on
the Worcester Court
A leather industry began in 1786 in Shrewsbury and town farmers
developed large cattle herds to support the manufacture of boots
and shoes. This was followed by the establishment of gunsmithing
operations in 1797 which produced rifles, shotguns and pistols and
eventually cutlery. Luther Goddard
began in 1809 by making brass clocks and then established a small
watch factory employing a few skilled Swiss and English
watchmakers. Lumbering created sawmills and they in turn drew chair
and cabinet makers, plow and wagon builders.
development of streetcar routes in the 19th century spurred the
growth of single-family housing in town and a summer resort
population on Lake
Quinsigamond became consumers of the market garden produce grown
by town farmers.
As Shrewsbury's industry was killed off by
the lack of large waterpower sites and the tardy arrival of the
railroad, its role as a suburb of Worcester grew more important.
The town's population doubled from 1915 to 1940 as continued
more modern settlers into the community. Other modern developments
included an increased number of lakeside cottages, ethnic clubs and
recreational areas on the lake. The economy of modern Shrewsbury
has been described as depending on agriculture, the resort industry
and the providing of recreation and food for the population of
Registered Historic Places
Shrewsbury is home to three current and one former Nationally Registered
Gen. Artemas Ward
Homestead on Main Street
- The Shrewsbury Historic District, in the town
center which includes parts of Church Road, Main Street, Prospect
Street, Boylston Street,
and Grafton Street
- 1767 Milestones, between Boston and Springfield along Old Post
- Former: The Joseph Lothrop House,
which was located at 208 Turnpike Road where ReadyMED stands
Shrewsbury is a suburb of both Boston and Worcester, about 45
minutes from Boston and 10 minutes to downtown Worcester.
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of , of which,
of it is land and of it (4.25%) is water.
is located in Central Massachusetts, bordered on the West by
Worcester, separated by Lake Quinsigamond. To the North is Boylston and Interstate 290.
side is bounded by Grafton. Northborough and Westborough are to the East. A small parcel of
land on the northwest side is bordered by West
As of the census
of 2000, there were 31,640
people, 12,366 households, and 8,693 families residing in the town.
The population density
There were 12,696 housing units at an average density of . The
racial makeup of the town was 89.12% White
, 1.45% African American
, 0.01% Pacific Islander
, 0.69% from
, and 1.00%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.59% of the
There were 12,366 households out of which 34.5% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples
living together, 7.5% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families.
25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age
of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to
64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $64,237, and the
median income for a family was $77,674 (these figures had risen to
$77,734 and $92,599 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had
a median income of $56,259 versus $37,129 for females. The per capita income
for the town was
$31,570. About 3.3% of families and 4.8% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 4.6%
of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.
Shrewsbury is governed in the traditional New England style.
Municipal elections are held on the first Tuesday in May.
: Representative Town Meeting
: Five-member Board of Selectmen
staggered terms, an appointed Town
, and other elected and appointed positions.
- Board of Selectmen
- James F. Kane (2012)
- Moira Miller (2010)
- John I. Lebeaux (2010)
- Maurice M. DePalo (2011)
- Benjamin W. Tartaglia (2011)
- Town Manager
- Daniel J. Morgado (Appointed)
- Chief of Police
- James Hester,Jr. (Appointed)
- Town Clerk
- Sandra Wright (Appointed)
- Library Board of Trustees
- Joan T. Barry (2011), Chairperson
- Laurie Lindberg Hogan (2012)
- Carl A. Larson (2012)
- Jack Avis (2012)
- Frances Whitney (2010)
- Carol B. Cullen (2010)
- Nancy Gilbert (2010)
- Kevin M. McKenna (2011)
- Barbara A. Carpenter (2011)
- School Committee
- Mark T. Murray (2011), Chairperson
- Steve Levine (2012)
- Erin H. Canzano (2010)
- John Samia (2010)
- Sandra Fryc (2011)
Various other boards, committees, and commissions round out the
variety of services provided to residents, including scattered
municipal water, trash collection, fire, ambulance, police,
education, recreation, etc.
- Artemas Ward
(1727–1800), American Major General in the
War and a Congressman
from Massachusetts, often characterized as the runner-up for George Washington's post.
Homestead is a museum preserved by Harvard
University. Located at 786 Main Street in Shrewsbury,
it is open to the public for limited hours during the summer
- Ralph Earl (1751–1801), American
painter and landscape artist, known for his portrait of Roger
- Levi Pease, "father of mail stages in this country"; organizer
and proprietor of the first stagecoach lines in the U.S. First
contractor for carrying U.S. Mail.
- Quintin J. Cristy, inventor of dry
Asplund (1906–2006), last American survivor of the Titanic sinking.
- Min Chueh Chang (1908–1991),
co-inventor of the combined oral contraceptive
pill and in-vitro
- Robert Allan Ridley Parker (b.
director of the NASA Management
Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Gregory McDonald (b.
1937–2008), author of the "Fletch"
series of novels
- Peter I. Blute (b. 1956), Congressman representing from 1993 to 1997
- Craig C. Mello (b. 1960), 2006 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or
- Brian Ryder (b. 1960), baseball player who was
selected in the 1st round (26th overall) by the New York Yankees in the 1978 Major League Baseball
- Mike Birbiglia (b. 1978),
- The Hebert Candy Mansion,
where white chocolate was first
produced in the United States.
- The now-defunct Worcester
Foundation for Experimental Biology, the renowned research
facility where the combined oral contraceptive
pill was first developed. The campus is now the Hoagland-Pincus Conference
Center of the University of Massachusetts Medical
now-defunct Spag's, the original all-purpose
store, which predated Costco, Walmart and other similar outlets. Spag's was noted
for its unorthodox inventory and discount prices. Upon the death of
it founder,Anthony Borgatti, Spag's succumbed to the competition of
the modern megastore and the challenges of handing over the reins
to a new generation and was acquired in 2002 by Building 19. The location became Spags 19, and
in 2004 the store was converted to Building 19's format (it is now
just another Building 19 location).
now-defunct White City amusement park, now the site of a shopping
- Maxtor Corporation, maker of
computer hard drives, which was acquired by Seagate Technology in May 2006
- Charles River
Laboratories, leading provider of animal research models
- Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community
- Narrative supplied by community and based on information
provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission
- Shrewsbury town United States Census