Attleboro, Massachusetts
Attleboro's city hall
Attleboro's city hall
Flag of Attleboro, Massachusetts
Official seal of Attleboro, Massachusetts
Nicknames: 
The Jewelry City, A-Town
Motto: 
Go Big Blue
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
Attleboro is located in Massachusetts
Attleboro
Attleboro
Location in Massachusetts
Attleboro is located in the United States
Attleboro
Attleboro
Attleboro (the United States)
Attleboro is located in North America
Attleboro
Attleboro
Attleboro (North America)
Coordinates: 41°55′54″N 71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountyBristol
Settled1634
Incorporated1694 (town)
Reincorporated1914, (city)
Named forAttleborough, England
Government
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorCathleen DeSimone[1]
Area
 • Total27.77 sq mi (71.93 km2)
 • Land26.78 sq mi (69.36 km2)
 • Water0.99 sq mi (2.57 km2)
Elevation
138 ft (42 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total46,461
 • Density1,734.98/sq mi (669.87/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4:00 (EDT)
ZIP code
02703
Area code508 / 774
FIPS code25-02690
GNIS feature ID0612033
Websitewww.cityofattleboro.us
Downtown Attleboro

Attleboro is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. It was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World" for its many jewelry manufacturers. According to the 2020 census, Attleboro had a population of 46,461.[4]

History

In 1634, English settlers first arrived in the territory that is now Attleboro.[5] The deed that granted them the land was written by Native American Wamsutta. The land.[6] It included the towns of Cumberland, Rhode Island, until 1747 and North Attleborough, Massachusetts, until 1887. In 1697 in response to an unwanted amount of disturbances, mainly from nearby tribes of natives, the town had a meeting and ended up deciding that selectmen would keep tabs on strangers and foreigners as well as banning certain ones from entering the town. The town was reincorporated in 1914 as the City of Attleboro, with the "-ugh" removed from the name, although North Attleborough kept it. Like many towns in Massachusetts, it was named after a British town, in this case a market town in Norfolk, England.

During the Native American insurgency in the colonial era, Nathaniel Woodcock, the son of an Attleborough resident, was murdered, and his head was placed on a pole in his father's front yard. His father's house is now a historical site. It is rumored that George Washington once passed through Attleborough and stayed near the Woodcock Garrison House at the Hatch Tavern, where he exchanged a shoe buckle with Israel Hatch, a revolutionary soldier and the new owner of the Garrison House.

The city became known for jewelry manufacturing in 1913, particularly because of the L.G. Balfour Company. That company has since moved out of the city, and the site of the former plant has been converted into a riverfront park. Attleboro was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World", and jewelry manufacturing firms continue to operate there. One such is the Guyot Brothers Company, which was started in 1904.[7] General Findings, M.S. Company, James A. Murphy Co., Garlan Chain, Leach & Garner, and Masters of Design are jewelry manufacturing companies still in operation.

Cancer cluster

In late 2003, The Sun Chronicle reported that a state investigation had been launched into the deaths of three women in the city from glioblastoma.[8] In 2007, the State of Massachusetts issued a report concluding that although the diagnosis rate for brain and central nervous system (CNS) cancers was higher than expected when compared to statewide data, the increase was determined not to be statistically significant.[9]

Scorecard, Environmental Defense's online database of polluters, lists seven facilities contributing to cancer hazards in Attleboro, including Engineered Materials Solutions Inc., the worst offender in Massachusetts.[10]

Shpack Landfill contamination incident

In 2002, the Massachusetts Public Health Department was asked to evaluate the former Shpack Landfill, on the border of Norton and Attleboro, for its cancer risks. The investigation continued at least through 2004.[11][12] The informal landfill included uranium fuel rods, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds.[13]

Geography

Capron Park

Attleboro has an area of 27.772 square miles (71.930 km2), of which 26.779 square miles (69.356 km2) is land and 0.994 square miles (2.574 km2), or 3.59%, is water.[14] Its borders form an irregular polygon that resembles a truncated triangle pointing west. It is bordered by North Attleborough to the north, Mansfield and Norton to the east, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to the south, and Cumberland, Rhode Island, to the west, as well as sharing a short border with Central Falls, Rhode Island through the Blackstone River. It includes the areas known as City Center, Briggs Corner, West Attleboro, East Corner, East Attleboro, North Corner, Maple Square, Camp Hebron, Oak Hill, Dodgeville, East Junction, Hebronville, Park Square, and South Attleboro.

Waterways in the city include the Ten Mile River, fed by the Bungay River, the Manchester Pond Reservoir, and several small ponds.

Attleboro's highest point is 249-foot (76 m) Oak Hill, in the southern part of the city, north of Oak Hill Avenue.[15]

Attleboro is on the border between the Massachusetts and Rhode Island regional dialects of New England English: the eastern part of the city is in the same dialect region as Boston, and the western part in the same dialect region as Providence.[16]

Demographics

Attleboro Post Office

Attleboro is part of the Providence metropolitan area. It is a short distance from Boston, and is linked to the Boston metropolitan area.

As of the 2010 census, there were 43,593 people, 16,884 households, and 11,212 families living in the city; the population density was 1,626.6 inhabitants per square mile (628.0/km2). There were 18,022 housing units at an average density of 672.5 per square mile (259.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.1% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.5% Asian (1.5% Cambodian,1.3% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.4% Vietnamese) 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.8% some other race, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino people of any race made up 6.3% of the total (2.0% Puerto Rican, 1.7% Guatemalan, 0.5% Mexican, 0.4% Salvadoran, 0.3% Dominican, 0.2% Colombian).[30] Most of the Hispanic and Asian populations were concentrated in the eastern portion.

Of the 16,884 households, 33.3% had someone under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were headed by married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.6% were non-families, 26.4% were individuals, and 9.8% were people aged 65 or older living alone. The average size of household was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.11.[30]

The age distribution in the city was: 22.7% under 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% over 64. The median age was 39.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 93.3 males.[30]

For the period 2009–2011, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $63,647, and the median income for a family was $71,091. Male full-time workers had a median income of $52,558, females $40,954. Per capita income was $30,039. About 4.2% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under 18 and 7.8% of those aged 65 or over.[31]

Second Congregational Church

Economy

Revitalization efforts

Attleboro City Hall

In 2011, Attleboro was awarded $5.4 million in state and federal funding to support revitalization efforts in its historic downtown area.[32] The funds were intended to transform underutilized industrial and commercial parcels into areas of mixed use that included commercial, recreational, and residential space, as well as improvements to MBTA rail and GATRA bus services, and road improvements.[32]

Arts and culture

Attractions

Attleboro has four museums.

Other places of interest in the city include:

In 2017, Attleboro began hosting the annual Jewelry City Steampunk Festival.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

La Salette Shrine is a local tourist destination for its holiday light displays.

In 1942, the Missionaries of La Salette purchased 135 acres (0.55 km2) and a castle in Attleboro for use as a seminary.[40] The shrine opened to the public in 1953 with a Christmas manger display.[41][40] The annual Christmas Festival of Lights has grown to 300,000 lights and attracts about 250,000 visitors each year.[40] A devastating fire destroyed the castle on November 5, 1999.[40] A new welcome center opened in 2007 which includes a 600-seat concert hall.[40] In addition to the Christmas Festival, the shrine offers programs, concerts, workshops and events throughout the year.[41][40] The grounds also include Our Lady's Chapel of Lights, an outdoor chapel, and a church.[40]

Parks and recreation

There are over 20 conservation areas amounting to more than 600 acres of walkable woods: the Antony Lawrence Preserve, Coleman Reservation, Attleboro Springs, and the Bungay River Conservation Area in the north of the city.[citation needed]

Government

Municipal

Attleboro has a mayor-council government. The city council acts as the legislative body, and the mayor handles traditional day-to-day chief executive functions. City councilors can run as either a representative of a city ward or at large. There are 11 councilors: five at-large and six ward councilors.[42] The mayor is former City Councilor At-Large Cathleen DeSimone.[43] The president of the Municipal Council is Jay DiLisio and the vice president is Todd Kobus. City Clerk Kate Jackson serves as clerk of the Municipal Council and Virginia Stuart is the administrative assistant.

Mayor

Cathleen DeSimone

Council Members

State and federal

Attleboro is represented in the state legislature by officials elected from the following districts:

Elected members:

Education

Attleboro Public Library

Attleboro's school district has five elementary schools (Hill-Roberts, Hyman Fine, A. Irvin Studley, Peter Thacher and Thomas Willett), three middle schools (Brennan, Coelho and Wamsutta), and two high schools (Attleboro High School, and Attleboro Community Academy). Attleboro High School has its own vocational division, and its football team (the "Blue Bombardiers") has a traditional rivalry with North Attleborough High School, whom they play in their Thanksgiving Day football game. Attleboro Community Academy is a night school for students aged 16–25 to obtain their high school diplomas and could not function in traditional high school. Bishop Feehan High School is a co-educational Roman Catholic high school that opened in 1961 and is named for Bishop Daniel Francis Feehan, second Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River. The city also has a satellite branch of Bristol Community College, formerly housed in the city's former high school building but since relocated to an old Texas Instruments site. Bridgewater State University opened a satellite site in Attleboro in 2009, sharing space with Bristol Community College.

Attleboro High School

The former high school building was built in the 1960s, and added wings in several renovations throughout the years. The city of Attleboro voted on whether to build a new school or renovate the building, and "reached an agreement to put proceeds from the sale toward the cost of a new high school before the $260 million was approved by voters last spring."[46] The sale of the first Attleboro High School built in 1912 on County Street gave the city funds for the new building. The new Attleboro High School opened in 2022.[47][48]

Infrastructure

Transportation

Attleboro is beside Interstate 95 (which enters the state between Attleboro and Pawtucket, Rhode Island), I-295 (whose northern terminus is near the North Attleborough town line at I-95), US Route 1, and Routes 1A, 118, 123 and 152, the last three of which intersect at Attleboro center. The proposed Interstate 895 was to run through Attleboro and have a junction at the present day I-295/I-95 terminus. When driving from Rhode Island on I-295, the stub exits before the half-cloverleaf exit to I-95.

The city is home to two MBTA commuter rail stations: one in the downtown area and one in the South Attleboro district, near the Rhode Island border. Attleboro and Taunton are both served by the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority, or GATRA, which provides bus transit between the two cities and the surrounding regions.

Notable people

See also

References

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  2. ^ Hand, Jim (30 December 2017). "TOP 10 STORIES OF 2017: Heroux's victory was number one local story". The Sun Chronicle. Attleboro. Archived from the original on 31 December 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
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