Benjamin Thompson House, Woburn, Massachusetts
Industria et Virtute (Latin)
"Industry and Virtue"
Location in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
|• Type||Mayor-council city|
|• City Mayor||Scott Galvin|
| • Ward|
Richard F. Gately Jr. (2)
Mark E. Gaffney (3)
Michael M. Anderson (4)
Darlene Mercer-Bruen (5)
Edward Tedesco (6)
Lindsey Higgins (7)
| • At-large|
|Michael Concannon |
|• Total||12.9 sq mi (33.4 km2)|
|• Land||12.7 sq mi (32.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)|
|Elevation||100 ft (30 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,000/sq mi (1,100/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
01801 / 01888
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0612270|
Woburn was first settled in 1640 near Horn Pond, a primary source of the Mystic River, and was officially incorporated in 1642. At that time the area included present day towns of Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, and parts of Stoneham and Wilmington. In 1740 Wilmington separated from Woburn. In 1799 Burlington separated from Woburn; in 1850 Winchester did so, too.
Woburn got its name from Woburn, Bedfordshire. Woburn played host to the first religious ordination in the Americas on Nov. 22, 1642. Rev. Thomas Carter was sworn in by many of the most prominent men of New England including John Cotton, minister of the First Church of Boston, Richard Mather minister of the First Church of Dorchester, and Capt. Edward Johnson co-founder of the church and town of Woburn. Johnson is regarded as "the father of Woburn." He served as the first town clerk, represented the town in the Massachusetts General Court, made the first map of Massachusetts, and wrote the first history of the colony.
The first organizational Town Meeting was held on April 13, 1644 and the first town officers were chosen. Town Selectmen were Edward Johnson, Edward Convers, John Mousall, William Learned, Ezekiel Richardson, Samuel Richardson and James Thompson. William Learned was also selected as Constable. Michael Bacon, Ralph Hill, Thomas Richardson were chosen as Surveyors of Highways. (The History of Woburn, 1868)
Deacon Edward Convers was also one of the founders of Woburn. He was one of its first selectmen, and built the first house and first mill in Woburn. He was very active in town affairs and was a large landowner, miller and surveyor.
List of important events
Woburn was the scene of a high-profile water contamination crisis. During the mid to late 1970s, the local community became concerned over the high incidence of childhood leukemia and other illnesses, particularly in the Pine Street area of east Woburn. After high levels of chemical contamination were found in City of Woburn’s Wells G and H in 1979, some members of the community suspected that the unusually high incidence of leukemia, cancer, and a wide variety of other health problems were linked to the possible exposure to volatile organic chemicals in the groundwater pumped from wells G and H.
In May 1982, a number of citizens whose children had developed or died from leukemia filed a civil lawsuit against two corporations, W. R. Grace and Company and Beatrice Foods. Grace's subsidiary, Cryovac, and Beatrice were suspected of contaminating the groundwater by improperly disposing of trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (perc or PCE) and other industrial solvents at their facilities in Woburn near wells G and H.
In a controversial decision over what many considered a bungled trial (Judge Walter Jay Skinner ruled that the jurors should answer questions that they and many others considered confusing), Beatrice was acquitted and Grace only paid $8 million, a third of which went to the lawyers and lawyer fees. A United States Environmental Protection Agency report later found Beatrice and Grace responsible for the contamination. A book titled A Civil Action was written about the case by Jonathan Harr. In 1998 the book was turned into a movie starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall, also titled A Civil Action. The film was largely filmed in nearby Bedford and Lexington, with only a few shots on location in Woburn.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33 km2), of which 12.7 square miles (33 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.71%) is water.
Woburn features a humid continental climate, similar to those of many of the other Boston suburban areas. It features moderately cold Winters, but not usually as bad as the ones around The Great Lakes Regions or Southern Canada, or even Northern New England. Nonetheless, it features occasional 'arctic blasts' which can easily drop the temperature below zero. Spring generally starts out cool, around 45-50 degrees, often with snow still on the ground. However, it quickly begins to rapidly warm to around 75 degrees by the time Summer begins. Summers are generally warm or hot & often accompanied with humidity, though not nearly as bad as cities in The Midwest & Mid-Atlantic, and even Rhode Island. Temperatures often top in the 80s, but when an Atlantic low comes, temperatures may fail to rise out of the 60s. High pressure from The Gulf of Mexico, occasionally brings much hotter conditions with temperatures sometimes topping near 100, though this is fairly rare and only happens so often. Falls are generally crisp, but start out warm with temperature highs around 70 & lows around 50. Quickly things cool, and it feels & looks like Winter with temperatures around 40 usually towards the end. Like most of the region, temperatures can vary widely in the span of a day.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37,258 people (37,010 by 2006 estimate), 14,997 households, and 9,658 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,939.6 people per square mile (1,135.4/km²). There were 15,391 housing units at an average density of 1,214.3 per square mile (469.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.57% White, 1.87% African American, 0.10% Native American, 4.85% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.09% of the population.
There were 14,997 households out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $54,897, and the median income for a family was $66,364. Males had a median income of $45,210 versus $33,239 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,207. About 4.5% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
The Woburn Business Association (WBA) is a membership organization consisting of companies located in Woburn, Massachusetts. Memberships are also available to those firms who are situated elsewhere, but do business in Woburn. The purpose of the WBA is to promote and protect Business Interests in the City of Woburn and provide Networking Services for the Business Community.
The WBA Board of Directors meets monthly to develop policy and provide direction for the Association. The Executive Committee meets periodically, usually on an “as needed” basis, to review important issues and make recommendations to the Board regarding WBA policy. The WBA accomplishes its work through committees of WBA members and representatives of the Woburn community. The membership is encouraged to actively participate on these committees.
The Woburn Redevelopment Authority is an independent municipal urban renewal authority established by the City of Woburn in 1961, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 121B. The Authority is governed by five members, four of whom are appointed by the Mayor, and one by the Governor. The WRA functions as the City's community development agency, under an agreement with the City of Woburn executed in July 2000.
According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|3||New England Rehabilitation Hospital||500-999|
|5||Aberjona Valley Distributors||250-499|
|6||Atlantic Boston Construction||250-499|
|8||The Dolben Company||250-499|
|9||Peterson Party Center||250-499|
|13||United Stationers Supply Company||250-499|
Woburn's public elementary schools are the Goodyear Elementary, Altavesta Elementary, Shamrock Elementary, Malcolm White Elementary, Clyde Reeves Elementary, Linscott-Rumford Elementary, and Hurld-Wyman Elementary. The Hurld and Wyman Schools have been closed down and moved to a new building. (The Clapp, Parker, Tarkey, Plympton, Golden, and Veterans' Memorial Schools are now closed, and the former Veterans' Memorial School now serves as the Woburn Senior Center.) The two middle schools are the John F. Kennedy Middle School and the Daniel L. Joyce Middle School.
In recent years the Goodyear, Reeves, Shamrock, and Malcolm White, as well as Woburn Memorial High School, have been rebuilt. The Hurld-Wyman sits on a portion of the city's Spence Farm property.
St. Charles, a pre-K-to-8 private Catholic school, is part of the adjacent St. Charles Parish.
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