Norfolk, Massachusetts
Federated Church of Norfolk
Federated Church of Norfolk
Official seal of Norfolk, Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°07′10″N 71°19′32″W / 42.11944°N 71.32556°W / 42.11944; -71.32556
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total39.3 km2 (15.2 sq mi)
 • Land38.4 km2 (14.8 sq mi)
 • Water0.9 km2 (0.4 sq mi)
65 m (212 ft)
 • Total11,662
 • Density303.7/km2 (788.0/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code508/774
FIPS code25-46050
GNIS feature ID0618326

Norfolk (/ˈnɔːrfək/ NOR-fək, locally /ˈnɔːrfɔːrk/ NOR-fork) is a New England town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, with a population of 11,662 people at the 2020 census.[1] Formerly known as North Wrentham, Norfolk broke away to become an independent town in 1870.


Norfolk Grange Hall, built in 1863

Norfolk is a suburban town on the periphery of metropolitan Boston, located on an upper valley of the Charles River. The land was originally part of Dedham, which was incorporated in 1636. There were a half dozen small farms in the area after 1669, the result of a determined effort to populate the colonial frontier, despite the remoteness of the area. Wrentham separated from Dedham in 1673; what is now Norfolk was in the northern part of Wrentham. The farms were abandoned during King Philip's War in 1675–76, but repopulated later that century.[2]

As further settlement occurred in the late 17th and 18th centuries, agriculture and cattle grazing were joined by lumbering and planting of orchards. Small villages formed around sawmills and gristmills including City Mills (1680), Mann Pond/Highland Lake (after 1691), and Pondville (after 1730). The village center of North Wrentham formed in the late 18th century. After 1812, three cotton manufacturing companies were established at Stony Brook, and later in the 19th century George Campbell's paper mill was opened at Highland Lake making heavy wrapping and building papers. The Norfolk County Railroad opened in 1849, with North Wrentham station near the village center. North Wrentham separated from Wrentham in 1870 and was incorporated as Norfolk.[2]

The town saw a rapid increase in population after 1925 when a hospital and a state prison were built in Norfolk on the Walpole line. Major residential development took place before 1940 in the Pondville and Clark Streets section of town with scattered new housing along Seekonk and Main Streets, and suburban residential building has continued since.[2] In 2014, Norfolk was the filming location for Ted 2, a comedy film starring Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane.[3]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39 km2), of which 14.8 square miles (38 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (2.30%) is water.


See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income

Historical population

As of the 2000 census,[12] there were 10,460 people, 2,818 households, and 2,412 families residing in Norfolk. The population density was 705.1 inhabitants per square mile (272.2/km2). There were 2,861 housing units at an average density of 192.9 per square mile (74.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.97% White, 4.90% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.43% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.88% of the population.

There were 2,818 households, out of which 50.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.1% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.4% were non-families. 10.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.2% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 36.9% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 5.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 142.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 157.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $86,153, and the median income for a family was $92,001. Males had a median income of $60,926 versus $40,825 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,454. About 0.8% of families and 1.1% of the population were below the poverty threshold, including 0.2% of those under age 18 and 3.9% of those age 65 or over.



Norfolk has a board of selectmen style government.[13] The town is governed by three selectmen, each elected for three year staggered terms. The current members are Anita Mecklenburg, Kevin Kalkut, and Jim Lehan.[14] The town also elects a town clerk, assessors, constables, library trustees, planning board, recreation commission, board of health, housing authority, and school committee members. In total there exist 21 boards and committees in town.[15]


The town is represented in the Massachusetts State Senate by Democrat Rebecca Rausch (Massachusetts Senate's Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district).[16] She has served since 2019. Marcus Vaughn, a Republican, represents the town in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (9th Norfolk district).


Jake Auchincloss represents the town in the United States House of Representatives, and Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey represent Norfolk in the United States Senate.


As of 2022, there are three public schools located within the town: the H. Olive Day Elementary School (grades Pre-K–2), the Freeman-Kennedy Elementary School (grades 3–6), and King Philip Regional Middle School (grades 7–8).

For secondary education Norfolk is in the King Philip Regional School District,[17] which operates the public middle school and the comprehensive high school for Norfolk. Upon entering the 9th grade, students will go on to attend King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, or specialty high schools operated by other agencies such as Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin and Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole. A new public library building recently opened on town hill. Inside the new library in 2009, a one-room school house, the original public library building, was reopened as a meeting room and historical landmark.


The Norfolk Airpark (FAA airport code 32M) had one 2,700-foot (820 m) north–south runway and is about 2 miles (3 km) west of the town center. In recent years, however, the airpark has been closed down and is currently in a state of disrepair. A seven house cul-de-sac known as Tailwind Cir now exists where the hangars used to stand while the remaining airport property is now conservation land known as Leland Wild.

The Norfolk MBTA commuter rail station is in Zone 5 and is located in the town's center at 9 Rockwood Road.[18]

Emergency services

The Norfolk Police Department is a fairly small department located on Sharon Avenue in the south of town near the Norfolk–Wrentham town line. It is staffed by a total of 17 police officers, including the chief of police. The town's fire department and emergency medical services, located in the center of town on Main Street, was staffed full-time with 24h/7d coverage for the first time in April 2001, and since 2004 provides Advanced Life Support services. The Fire Department is staffed by 13 career firefighters, which includes the fire chief. The police and fire communications department (also known as dispatch) is operated by a total of four full-time dispatchers and six part-time dispatchers. All of these emergency services are located in the police station complex on Sharon Avenue.

At a special town meeting in December 2015, a small turnout of Norfolk voters approved a plan to construct a new police and public safety building on Sharon Street in the south part of town. The police department will be moved to this facility, with the fire department occupying the space vacated by the police. A regional communications center within the Public Safety Building will support the dispatch requirements of Norfolk and three surrounding towns: Wrentham, Plainville, and Franklin.[19]

State prisons

See also


  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Norfolk town, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "MHC Reconnaissance Survey Town Report: Norfolk" (PDF). Massachusetts Historical Commission. 1980.
  3. ^ "Ted 2 Rolls into Norfolk". The Wrentham Times. August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "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 (PDF) from the original on August 5, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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 (PDF) from the original on January 26, 2005. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2022". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "Town of Norfolk, MA Code". Town of Norfolk, MA Code. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  14. ^ "Select Board | Norfolk, MA". Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  15. ^ "Boards & Committees| Norfolk, MA". Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  16. ^ "Senate Members". Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  17. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Norfolk County, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 7, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022.
  18. ^ MBTA > Schedules & Maps > Commuter Rail > Norfolk
  19. ^ "Minutes from the Fall Town Special Meeting December 1, 2015" (PDF). Town of Norfolk, Massachusetts. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 24, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  20. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Walpole town, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 3 (PDF p. 4/4). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 17, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022. Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction
  21. ^ "2020 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Norfolk town, MA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 17, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2022. Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction