Acushnet, Massachusetts
Acushnet Town Hall
Acushnet Town Hall
Flag of Acushnet, Massachusetts
Official seal of Acushnet, Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°40′50″N 70°54′30″W / 41.68056°N 70.90833°W / 41.68056; -70.90833
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total19.0 sq mi (49.1 km2)
 • Land18.4 sq mi (47.7 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1.4 km2)
72 ft (22 m)
 • Total10,559
 • Density560/sq mi (220/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code508 / 774
FIPS code25-00520
GNIS feature ID1729673

Acushnet (/əˈkʊʃnət/ [1]) is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 10,559 at the 2020 census.[2]

Acushnet is a part of the South Coast region of Massachusetts which encompasses the cities and towns that surround Buzzards Bay (excluding the Elizabeth Islands, Bourne and Falmouth), Mount Hope Bay and the Sakonnet River.


Acushnet was first settled in 1659. It has been included as a part of three separate towns throughout its history. It was formerly the northeastern section of the town of Dartmouth, as well as Old Dartmouth, which included the towns of Westport, New Bedford, and Fairhaven. In 1787, New Bedford separated from Dartmouth, and included the lands of Fairhaven and Acushnet. In 1812, Fairhaven was incorporated as a separate town, again including the lands of Acushnet. Finally, the town was officially incorporated in 1860. The name "Acushnet", which is also the name of the river the town lies on, comes from the Wampanoag Cushnea, meaning "peaceful resting place near water", originally designating the fact that the tribe which sold the land to the Puritans inhabited the lands leading up to the river.

In 1841, Herman Melville joined the crew of the whaler Acushnet. He later wrote about his travels at sea culminating in the novel Moby Dick.

In 1910, the Acushnet Process Company (now the Acushnet Company), was founded in the town, and continues to be one of Southeastern Massachusetts's most enduring industries. The Acushnet Company owns the Titleist brand name, under which golf balls, golf clubs, and other golf paraphernalia are marketed.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.0 square miles (49.1 km2), of which 18.4 square miles (47.7 km2) is land and 0.54 square miles (1.4 km2), or 2.76%, is water.[3] Acushnet is bordered to the east and northeast by Rochester, to the southeast by Mattapoisett, to the south by Fairhaven, to the west by New Bedford, and to the northwest by Freetown. The town line between Acushnet, Rochester and Mattapoisett forms a portion of the border between Bristol and Plymouth counties. Acushnet lies approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of Boston, 20 miles (32 km) west of Cape Cod, 4 miles (6 km) north of Buzzards Bay, and 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island.

Acushnet contains the Acushnet Center census-designated place, which is the most densely-populated part of town. The CDP contains 28.7% of the town's overall population and just 7.7% of its land area.

Acushnet lies along the Acushnet River and its tributaries, including the Keene River and Squinn Brook, which feed the New Bedford Reservoir, in turn feeding the Acushnet. The Acushnet River is the town line between it and New Bedford south of Main Street. There are several other ponds in the town, including Hamlin's Mill Pond (along the Acushnet), East Pond and a portion of Tinkham Pond, which lies along the Mattapoisett town line. The town lies within the coastal plain, mostly below 80 feet (24 m) elevation, with higher points around Mendon and Perry Hills in the southeast of town and in the Sassaquin area in the northwest corner of town, where the highest point in town rises slightly above 160 feet (49 m) above sea level. Most of the town's population lies along the New Bedford line, with the biggest area being in the southwest corner of the town, near the town hall.[4]

Surrounding communities


A short, 2.8-mile (4.5 km) stretch of Route 105 passes through the northeast corner of town, both entering and exiting through Rochester. Otherwise, the town contains no state or federal highways. Route 18 and Route 140 both pass through New Bedford to the west of town, with the former passing within feet of the town line as it enters Freetown. Interstate 195, the nearest interstate to the town, passes just south of the town through Fairhaven, with the nearest exits being Exits 27–29.

SRTA operates a short bus route through the southern part of town, which links to Fairhaven. There is no rail service or airports within the town. The Middleborough/Lakeville Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail system is currently in the process of expanding their route to end in neighboring New Bedford. New Bedford also has the nearest airport, the New Bedford Regional Airport. The nearest airport with national service is T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, 40 mi (64 km) to the west.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau,[5] the mean travel time to work among residents was 28.4 minutes.


Historical population
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

As the 2020 census,[5] there were 10,558 residents in the town, with a population density of 573.0 inhabitants per square mile (221.2/km2).

18.3% of residents were under 18 years of age, with 3.7% under 5 years. 21.5% of residents were age 65 or older. 52.3% of the population was female.

The racial makeup of the town was 93.9% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, and 4.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population. 8.3% of residents were born outside the United States. 13.1% of residents aged 5 years or older spoke a language other than English at home.

There were 4,108 households, with an average household size was 2.57.

In 2022, the median income for a household in the town was $88,196, and the median income per capita was $44,630. About 6.4% of the population was below the poverty line.


Acushnet uses the town meeting form of government, with open town meetings and the Board of Selectmen leading the Town Administrator. The town has its own police force, and two fire stations, near the population center of town and in the northeast corner of town.

Acushnet is divided into three electoral precincts. Precinct 1 contains the southern part of town, including Acushnet Center. Precincts 2 and 3 encompass the northwestern and northeastern sections of the town, respectively.[16]

On the state level, Acushnet is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by William Straus in Precinct 1 (10th Bristol District) and by Paul Schmid in Precincts 2 and 3 (8th Bristol district); it is represented in the Massachusetts Senate by Mark Montigny (2nd Bristol and Plymouth district).[17] On the federal level, Acushnet is part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, which is represented by William R. Keating; it is represented in the United States Senate by Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.


The town of Acushnet first established a free library in 1896.[18][19] The town's Russell Memorial Library, dedicated to a member of the prominent Russell family of New Bedford, lies in the town's population center. In fiscal year 2008, the town of Acushnet spent 0.87% ($189,813) of its budget on its public library—some $18 per person.[20]

On December 5, 2015, Russell Memorial Library closed its doors to relocate to the former Marie S. Howard School on Middle Road. The Acushnet Public Library opened on December 21, 2015.


The Acushnet Public School District contains two public schools, an elementary school and a middle school. The Acushnet Elementary School serves students from preschool to fourth grade, and the Albert F. Ford Middle School serves students from fifth to eighth grade. The schools are located next to each other on Middle Road, near the geographic center of town.

Rising high school students are able to attend one of two public high schools in neighboring municipalities: Fairhaven High School of the Fairhaven Public School District to the south, or New Bedford High School of New Bedford Public Schools to the west.[21] High school students may also choose to attend Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School in neighboring Rochester, Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, or any other local private high school.

The town is also home to Saint Francis Xavier School, a private Catholic school serving kindergarten through eighth grade.

Notable people


  1. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma. p. 22. ISBN 0806135980. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Acushnet town, Bristol County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Acushnet town, Bristol County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Massachusetts Atlas & Gazetteer, pp. 57, 58, 63 & 64. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme, Inc., 2002.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Acushnet town, Bristol County, Massachusetts". Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  6. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  7. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 7, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Archived from the original on August 5, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Archived from the original on August 8, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  15. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 4, 2023.
  16. ^ "MassMapper". Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  17. ^ "2021- 2031 Districts". Retrieved December 27, 2023.
  18. ^ Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. v.9 (1899)
  19. ^ Russell Memorial Library Archived December 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved November 11, 2010
  20. ^ July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What's Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports Archived January 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 4, 2010
  21. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Bristol County, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2022. - Text list