Town of Shrewsbury
Homestead of General Artemas Ward
|• Type||Representative town meeting|
| • Town|
| • Board of|
|• Total||21.7 sq mi (56.1 km2)|
|• Land||20.7 sq mi (53.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)|
|Elevation||668 ft (204 m)|
|• Density||1,526.3/sq mi (589.3/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0619489|
Shrewsbury is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Shrewsbury, unlike surrounding towns like Grafton, Millbury, Westborough, and Northborough, did not become a mill town or farming village; most of its 19th-century growth was due to its proximity to Worcester and visitors to Lake Quinsigamond. The population was 35,644 according to the 2010 US Census, in nearly 12,400 households.
Incorporated in 1727, the town is governed now under the New England representative town meeting system, headed by the Town Manager and five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions, and calling a town meeting of citizens annually or whenever the need arises.
The Town 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 3,200-acre (13 km2) grant called Haynes Farm as the largest. In 1664 Native American leader, Peter Jethro, and other Nipmuc Indians deeded land around Lake Quinsigamond to settlers in the area. 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 1727.
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 produced 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 House.
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.
The development of streetcar routes in the 19th century propelled the growth of single-family housing in town. A summer resort population on Lake Quinsigamond became consumers of the market garden produce grown by town farmers. As Shrewsbury's industry was killed 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 streetcar suburb growth brought 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 Worcester.
Shrewsbury is home to three current and one former Nationally Registered Historic Places:
Shrewsbury is a suburb of Worcester, about 45 minutes from Boston and 10 minutes to downtown Worcester.
The town has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56 km2), of which, 20.7 square miles (54 km2) of it is land and 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2) of it (4.25%) is water.
|Climate data for Shrewsbury, Massachusetts|
|Record high °F||64||70||83||90||97||96||96||98||96||86||78||69||98|
|Average high °F||33||36||44||55||68||76||81||79||71||61||50||38||58|
|Average low °F||15||17||26||37||48||57||63||61||52||40||32||22||39|
|Record low °F||−26||−15||−6||13||28||34||42||36||28||18||9||−10||−26|
|Average precipitation inches||4.20||3.48||4.27||4.36||3.94||3.93||3.80||4.26||4.11||4.33||4.46||3.99||49.13|
|Record high °C||18||21||28||32||36||36||36||37||36||30||26||21||37|
|Average high °C||1||2||7||13||20||24||27||26||22||16||10||3||14|
|Average low °C||−9||−8||−3||3||9||14||17||16||11||4||0||−6||4|
|Record low °C||−32||−26||−21||−11||−2||1||6||2||−2||−8||−13||−23||−32|
|Average precipitation mm||107||88||108||111||100||100||97||108||104||110||113||101||1,247|
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
By the 2010 census, the population had reached 35,608.
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,608 people, the racial makeup of the town was 77.3% White, 2.0% African American, 0.08% Native American, 15.3% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census 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. Of all households 25.3% 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 $109,000, and the median income for a family was $124,000 (as of the 2010 census). Males had a median income of $56,259 versus $37,129 for females. The per capita income for the town was $45,570. 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.
Legislative Branch: Representative Town Meeting: 240 elected members.
Various other boards, committees, and commissions round out the variety of services provided to residents, including water, health, fire, ambulance, police, education, recreation, etc.
|County-level state agency heads|
|Clerk of Courts:||Dennis P. McManus (D)|
|District Attorney:||Joe Early Jr. (D)|
|Register of Deeds:||Katie Toomey (D)|
|Register of Probate:||Stephanie Fattman (R)|
|County Sheriff:||Lew Evangelidis (R)|
|State Representative(s):||Hannah Kane (R—11th Worcester district)|
|State Senator(s):||Michael O. Moore (D—2nd Worcester district)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Jen Caissie (R)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||James McGovern (D—Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
Shrewsbury Public Schools is the public school district in the town. Schools in the district include Shrewsbury High School, two middle schools, four elementary schools, one early childhood school for kindergarten and grade one, and one preschool. Non-public schools in town include Shrewsbury Montessori, a private school offering programs for pre-K through grade 6; St. Mary's School, a Catholic parochial school for pre-K through grade 8; and Saint John’s High School, a private Xaverian Brothers sponsored high school.
The Shrewsbury Public Library was established in 1872. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Shrewsbury spent 1.4% ($1,164,563) of its budget on its public library — about $34 per town resident. Following the 1978 library expansion project, another expansion was needed. In 2004 and 2010, officials completed research showing inadequate space, poorly maintained roofs and heating/cooling systems, lack of handicap accessibility, and a growing demand for library services. In 2010, a project was proposed that would create a new 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) facility for a total of approximately $19 million. The main library closed to enable construction of the new building and opened in temporary accommodation at 214 Lake Street on 26 October 2014. As of June 15, 2016, construction on the expansion project was substantially complete and work on punch list items was ongoing.
The new library celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 21, 2016.
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