Town of Shrewsbury
|• Type||Representative town meeting|
| • Town|
| • Board of|
|James F. Kane|
Maurice M. DePalo
John R. Samia
John I. Lebeaux
|• Total||21.7 sq mi (56.1 km2)|
|• Land||20.7 sq mi (53.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)|
|Elevation||668 ft (204 m)|
|• Density||1,851.4/sq mi (713.7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|Area code||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0619489|
Shrewsbury (/ˈʃruzberi/ SHROOZ-bury) is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 38,325 according to the 2020 United States Census, in nearly 15,000 households.
Incorporated in 1727, Shrewsbury prospered in the 19th-century due to its proximity to Worcester, and from visitors to Lake Quinsigamond. The town is governed under the New England representative town meeting system, headed by the Town Manager and five-member elected Board of Selectmen.
The Town of Shrewsbury, named for Shrewsbury, England, is a community with an uneven and hilly terrain cut by a number of minor streams providing several small water power sites. Grants of land were made in what would eventually be the town beginning in 1664, with the 3,200-acre (13 km2) grant called Haynes Farm as the largest. In 1664 Native American leader, Peter Jethro, and other Nipmuc Indians deeded land around Lake Quinsigamond to settlers in the area. Settlers came primarily from Sudbury and Marlborough, and the first permanent settler was Gersham Wheelock in 1720. As a town, Shrewsbury was first settled in 1722 and officially incorporated in 1727.
Townspeople created an agricultural economy with apple orchards, and by 1750, there were two stores and four taverns as well as several small industries in operation. The rapid fall of prices for agricultural goods, the shortage of hard currency, and the general economic depression following the Revolutionary War produced disastrous conditions for colonists. Shays' Rebellion in 1786 sought to close the courts to prevent debt collections and the foreclosure of mortgages. Shrewsbury became a staging area for the rebellion and the encampment of the more than 400 insurgents, before the march on the Worcester Court House.
A leather industry began in 1786 in Shrewsbury, and town farmers developed large cattle herds to support the manufacture of boots and shoes. This was followed by the establishment of gunsmithing operations in 1797, which produced rifles, shotguns and pistols and eventually cutlery. Luther Goddard began in 1809 by making brass clocks and then established a small watch factory employing a few skilled Swiss and English watchmakers. Lumbering created sawmills, and they in turn drew chair and cabinet makers, plow and wagon builders.
The development of streetcar routes in the 19th century propelled the growth of single-family housing in town. A summer resort population on Lake Quinsigamond became consumers of the market garden produce grown by town farmers. As Shrewsbury's industry was killed by the lack of large waterpower sites and the tardy arrival of the railroad, its role as a suburb of Worcester grew more important. The town's population doubled from 1915 to 1940 as continued streetcar suburb growth brought more modern settlers into the community. Other modern developments included an increased number of lakeside cottages, ethnic clubs and recreational areas on the lake.
The 1953 Worcester tornado came through the Shrewsbury area, killing twelve people and causing extensive damage.
Since the late 20th century, Shrewsbury and neighboring Westborough have seen a large influx of immigration from South Asia, particularly India.
Shrewsbury is a suburb of Worcester. The town has a total area of 21.6 square miles (56 km2), of which 20.7 square miles (54 km2) of it is land and 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2) of it (4.25%) is water. Busta Rhymes Island is located in Shrewsbury.
|Climate data for Shrewsbury, Massachusetts|
|Record high °F||64||70||83||90||97||96||96||98||96||86||78||69||98|
|Average high °F||33||36||44||55||68||76||81||79||71||61||50||38||58|
|Average low °F||15||17||26||37||48||57||63||61||52||40||32||22||39|
|Record low °F||−26||−15||−6||13||28||34||42||36||28||18||9||−10||−26|
|Average precipitation inches||4.20||3.48||4.27||4.36||3.94||3.93||3.80||4.26||4.11||4.33||4.46||3.99||49.13|
|Record high °C||18||21||28||32||36||36||36||37||36||30||26||21||37|
|Average high °C||1||2||7||13||20||24||27||26||22||16||10||3||14|
|Average low °C||−9||−8||−3||3||9||14||17||16||11||4||0||−6||4|
|Record low °C||−32||−26||−21||−11||−2||1||6||2||−2||−8||−13||−23||−32|
|Average precipitation mm||107||88||108||111||100||100||97||108||104||110||113||101||1,247|
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
By the 2020 census, the population had reached 38,325.
As of the 2020 Census, there were 38,325 people, the racial makeup of the town was 64.1% White, 2.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 24.6% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 6.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.
As of the 2020 Census there were 14,966 households, out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. Of all households 25.3% were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54, and the average family size was 3.09.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.6% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $109,000 and the median income for a family was $124,000 (as of the 2010 census). Males had a median income of $56,259 versus $37,129 for females. The per capita income for the town was $45,570. About 3.3% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.
The following sites in Shrewbury are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
The Shrewsbury Public Library was established in 1872. The library was expanded in 1978, and a new 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) library opened in 2016.
Shrewsbury is governed in the traditional New England style. Municipal elections are held on the first Tuesday in May. The legislative branch, a Representative Town Meeting, has 240 elected members. The executive branch has a five-member Board of Selectmen with three-year staggered terms, an appointed Town Manager, and other elected and appointed positions.
The Board of Selectmen includes Maurice M. DePalo (chair), Beth N. Casavant (vice-chair), Theresa H. Flynn, John R. Samia, and Michelle Conlin. The Town Manager is Kevin J. Mizikar.
Shrewsbury Public Schools is the public school district in the town. Schools in the district include Shrewsbury High School, two middle schools, four elementary schools, one early childhood school for kindergarten and grade one, and one preschool. These schools are Beal Early Childhood Center (preschool to 1st grade), Major Howard W. Beal School (grades 1–4), Floral Street School (grades 1–4), Spring Street School (grades 1–4), Walter J. Paton Elementary School (grades 2–4), Calvin Coolidge Elementary School (grades 1–4), Sherwood Middle School (grades 5–6), Oak Middle School (grades 7–8), and the Shrewsbury High School.
Non-public schools in town include Shrewsbury Montessori, a private school offering programs for Pre-K through grade 6; St. Mary's School, a Catholic parochial school for Pre-K through grade 8; and Saint John's High School, a private Xaverian Brothers–sponsored high school.
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