Westwood, Massachusetts
From left to right: Westwood First Parish Church, inscription on town clock, Fisher School House, Hale Reservation, Town Hall, and the Old Burial Ground
From left to right: Westwood First Parish Church, inscription on town clock, Fisher School House, Hale Reservation, Town Hall, and the Old Burial Ground
Official seal of Westwood, Massachusetts
"Committed to service"
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°12′50″N 71°13′30″W / 42.21389°N 71.22500°W / 42.21389; -71.22500
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Norfolk
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total28.8 km2 (11.1 sq mi)
 • Land28.4 km2 (11.0 sq mi)
 • Water0.4 km2 (0.2 sq mi)
67 m (220 ft)
 • Total16,266
 • Density572.7/km2 (1,478.7/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code339 / 781
FIPS code25-78690
GNIS feature ID0618333

Westwood is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 16,266 at the 2020 United States Census.[1]


Westwood was first settled in 1641 and was part of the town of Dedham, originally called 'West Dedham', until it was officially incorporated in 1897. It was the last town to split from the original town of Dedham. From early in the settlement of Dedham, the people of the Clapboard Trees Precinct were "a wealthy, sophisticated lot, familiar with the bigwigs of provincial politics and prone to the religious liberalism that was à la mode in Boston."[2] Residents did not care for the politically more powerful Calvinist views of those who lived in the village of Dedham and asked to separate.[3]

It was originally to have been named the "Town of Nahatan:"

a bill to incorporate the Town of Nahatan was reported in the Senate on March 8, 1897, by Senator Charles F. Woodward, Chairman of the Committee on Towns. No opposition to the passage of the bill appeared until it reached the House, when the representative from Nahant objected to the name "Nahatan," owing to its alleged similarity to the name Nahant. It was desirable for the old, as well as the new town, to have the question of incorporation settled, if possible, before April 5, when appropriations for the coming year were going to be made. Therefore, in order to remove every trace of friction, however trivial, and thus expedite matters, the name was changed to Westwood.[4]

In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Westwood 13th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2), of which 11.0 square miles (28 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.35%) is water.

Adjacent towns

Westwood is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by:


See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income

Historical population
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

As of the census[12] of 2020, there were 16,266 people and 5,424 households residing in the town with an average household size of 2.94. The population density was 1,478.7 inhabitants per square mile (570.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 79.5% White, 2.9% African American, 0.0% Native American, 11.8% Asian, 0.0% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.

The population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 56.0% between the ages of 18 and 65, and 18.4% age 65 and over. Females were 51.6% of the population

The median household income was $171,071. The per capita income for the town was $75,396. About 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line.


The town of Westwood operates under a home rule charter. This means that the town is given a degree of autonomy in regards to internal affairs. The charter defines the powers of elected boards, including the select board, which serves as the executive branch of government and hires a Town Administrator responsible for day-to-day operations of town departments. The legislative branch operates through open town meeting, which meets at least once and often twice a year where all residents are entitled to speak and vote on approval of warrant articles which authorize the town budget and may create or modify town bylaws. Select Board members and other town officials are elected through an annual town election at the end of April. The select board appoints residents to various volunteer boards and committees. The Town Administrator appoints town staff who manage public safety, recreation, and other services. The Select Board has three members who serve overlapping three-year terms. Michael F. Walsh, John M. Hickey, and Robert Gotti are currently Westwood's Select Board officials. Hickey's term will be up in 2022, Walsh’s in 2023 and Gotti’s in 2024.[13]

The town seal, designed by a descendant of Nathaniel Colburn, includes a drawing of the Town Pound.[14] On May 14, 1700, Lt. Joseph Colburn[a] was paid "forty shillings of the Town rate" for constructing an animal pound measuring 33' square on his land.[14][b] The pound was originally made out of wood and later reconstructed with stone.[14] By including the tree, the new town was paying homage to Dedham, which includes the Avery Oak on its seal.[14] The tree was toppled in the 1938 New England hurricane, but a new oak was planted in its place.[14]


Public schools

Westwood currently has four public elementary schools:

Westwood has one public middle school, Thurston Middle School,[15] named after Edmund W. Thurston. Westwood High School, the only high school in Westwood, serves the Westwood area.

Westwood High School was rebuilt in 2005, and the old school, built in 1957, was demolished. The gymnasium and swimming facility from the old school were refurbished and are part of the new high school campus. The school facilities also include a multi-use artificial turf field (named after former Westwood High School principal and teacher Charles Flahive) with a synthetic track, both of which are open to the public.

Private schools

Westwood is home to Xaverian Brothers High School, an all-boys Catholic prep school and the Westwood Montessori School, preschool.

Points of interest

Houses of worship

Westwood has an active Interfaith Council.


Route 128 station, located in the far east corner of Westwood, is served by MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line service and Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional service. Islington station is served by MBTA Franklin/Foxboro Line service. MBTA bus route 34E operates through Westwood on Washington Street.


Notable people


  1. ^ Colburn lived from 1662 to 1718. He was the 11th and last child of Nathaniel Colburn. He was a town surveyor and set the boundary between Dedham and Medfield as well as between Dedham and Dorchester. He also laid out highways and cartways in town. Additionally, he was a constable and a tithingman. As such, he was responsible for maintaining moral family order.[14]
  2. ^ In 1639, the land was originally granted to Rev. John Allin.[14]


  1. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Westwood town, Norfolk County, Massachusetts". Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  2. ^ Lockridge 1985, p. 101.
  3. ^ Lockridge, Kenneth (1985). A New England Town. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-393-95459-3.
  4. ^ Dedham Historical Register, Vol. VIII. April, 1897. No. 2, "The New Town of Westwood"
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "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 (PDF) from the original on March 13, 2003. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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)
  10. ^ "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. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 10, 2010. 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. ^ Westwood, Town Of. "Town Of Westwood, MA Election Results". Westwood MA. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "Dedham Historical Society & Museum trivia answer". The Dedham Times. Vol. 29, no. 45. November 12, 2021. p. 8.
  15. ^ "Thurston Middle School". Westwood Public Schools. Retrieved December 14, 2016.