West Newbury, Massachusetts
West Newbury Old Town Hall, 2009
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||14.7 sq mi (38.1 km2)|
|• Land||13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2)|
|• Water||1.3 sq mi (3.3 km2)|
|Elevation||92 ft (28 m)|
|• Density||320/sq mi (120/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||351 / 978|
|GNIS feature ID||0618313|
|Website||Town of West Newbury, Massachusetts, Official Web Site|
West Newbury was first settled in 1635 as part of neighboring Newbury. On February 18, 1819, the General Court of Massachusetts passed an act "to incorporate the town of Parsons." The initial proposals had been made in the late 18th century, but determined resistance from the town of Newbury, which had already lost Newburyport, blocked the measure for decades. On June 14, 1820, the legislature passed another act to change the name to West Newbury.
West Newbury has evolved from a rural farming town into an affluent community. Issues of balancing development and need for affordable housing against the townspeople's desire to maintain West Newbury's rural charm and character have been in play for at least fifty years. In 1969 local writer Margaret Coit called West Newbury a "hill-framed town that Lowell Thomas once described as 'the Garden of Eden of America,'" saying that as active farming faded away, West Newbury had become, "in its population and pattern of thinking ... virtually a suburb."
The town's oldest continually-operating farm is Long Hill Orchard. The farm has been active since 1896, and has a long and intriguing history. Today, in addition to the apple orchard, the farm is home to a popular community-supported agriculture program and farm to table dining events.
West Newbury is a part of Massachusetts' North Shore, as well as the Merrimack Valley regions of the state. It lies along the south banks of the Merrimack River, 10 miles (16 km) upstream from the Atlantic Ocean. The town is located approximately 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Lawrence and 34 miles (55 km) north of Boston. It is bordered by Merrimac and Amesbury to the north, Newburyport to the east, Newbury to the southeast, Groveland to the southwest, and Haverhill to the west. The Rocks Village Bridge across the Merrimack River is the only access to the northern banks of the river in town; there is no direct route into Merrimac and Amesbury.
West Newbury is separated from Newburyport by the Artichoke River and its upper and lower reservoirs. Several other rivers and brooks, including the Indian River, flow through the town. The southern corner of town is part of the Crane Pond Wildlife Management Area, and two other protected areas, the Riverbend Recreation Area and Mill Pond Recreation Area, are located in the northern part of town. The town's highest point is on Crane Neck Hill in the south of town. Significant efforts have been made by residents to maintain the rural character of the town through advocacy for the preservation of open spaces. West Newbury is well known for its many hills: Pipestave Hill, Archelaus Hill, Brake Hill, Ilsey Hill, Indian Hill, Long Hill and Meetinghouse Hill.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.7 square miles (38.1 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.8 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.3 km2), or 8.65%, is water.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
In 2000 the 4149 were distributed into 1,392 households, and 1,183 families. The racial makeup of the town was 98.5% White, 0.2% African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
Of 1,686 households in 2010, 46.6% had their own children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.8% were married couples, 6.2% were a female householder with no husband present, and 15.0% were non-families. 11.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% were individuals living alone who were 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.25.
By age, 30.0% were under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 29.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $112,828, and the median income for a family was $138,947. Males had a median income of $100,670 versus $80,189 for females. The per capita income for the town was $35,323. About 2.8% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.8% of those 65 and older.
West Newbury and its residents were the models for Popperville, the setting of Virginia Lee Burton's children's story Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. The town hall where the story ends is patterned after West Newbury's Old Town Hall. West Newbury also provided the geographical inspiration for the Mad Scientists' Club series of stories by Bertrand R. Brinley. Portions of John Cena's music video, "Right Now", were shot in West Newbury, with the remainder filmed at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. In the late summer and fall of 2008, various scenes from Mel Gibson's film Edge of Darkness were shot on Church Street.
West Newbury is home to Emery House, monastery guesthouse and sanctuary of the Society of St. John the Evangelist.
There are many farms in West Newbury, including Brown Spring Farm (which was recently placed for sale), and Long Hill Orchard, the town's oldest continually-operating farm. A number of smaller farms exist in West Newbury, including Maple Crest Farm, several Christmas tree farms, and numerous horse stables and equestrian facilities.
The town has two primary outdoor recreational areas, Mill Pond and Pipestave Hill, which offer walking trails, horseback riding trails, as well as space for canoeing, fishing, and kayaking. Equestrian events are regularly held by the West Newbury Riding and Driving Club throughout the riding season. Additionally, the Myopia Hunt Club holds an annual fox hunt through the town during the fall.
Efforts to maintain West Newbury's rural charm have been ongoing; the Town has purchased large swaths of land designated as Open Space by the West Newbury Open Space Committee.
For elementary school, students also have the option of attending River Valley Charter School in Newburyport.
For high school, students also have the options of attending Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in nearby Haverhill, and Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School in Danvers.
Nearby private schools include The Governor's Academy in Byfield, Phillips Exeter Academy, Phillips Academy, Waring School, Central Catholic High School, St. John's Preparatory School, Pingree School, and Shore Country Day School.
Interstate 95 crosses through the eastern corner of town, with an exit lying just over the line in Newbury providing access to the town. Massachusetts Route 113 is the main road through town, roughly parallel to the contour of the Merrimack River. The town lies between the termini of two lines of the MBTA Commuter Rail, the Haverhill Line to the west and Newburyport/Rockport Line to the east. A small airstrip, Plum Island Airport (2B2), is located in neighboring Newburyport; the nearest national air service is in Boston at Logan International Airport.
West Newbury's and founder Pat Badger plays with Eagles cover band Dark Desert Eagles
the president of the graduating class, Bertrand Russell Brinley
Capt. Bertrand Brinley, the guiding force behind amateur rocket groups throughout the county
A native of West Newbury, Mass., ... where an athletic field is named in his honor.
She ... returned permanently to New England, settling in West Newbury
Red Sox killer Rawly Eastwick of West Newbury
Todd Grinnell of West Newbury, one of the stars of NBC's new ... sitcom, 'Four Kings'
Born Aug 30, 1845, in West Newbury ...
Capt. Marquis was born in West Newbury, Mass., and graduated from that town's high school at the age of 14.
Mirra, a West Newbury resident, took the election
Major Ben: Perley Poore, of Indian Hill, West Newbury, died
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