Acushnet, Massachusetts

Acushnet (/əˈkʊʃnət/ (listen)[1])is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 10,303 at the 2010 census.[2]

Acushnet, Massachusetts
Acushnet Town Hall
Acushnet Town Hall
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°WCoordinates: 41°40′50″N 70°54′30″W / 41.68056°N 70.90833°W
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)
 • Total10,303
 • Density559/sq mi (216.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)508 / 774
FIPS code25-00520
GNIS feature ID1729673


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, 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.[2] 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 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.[3]

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 to the west of the 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 16, 17 and 18.

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, forty miles to the west.


Historical population
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 10,161 people, 3,793 households, and 2,837 families residing in the town. The population density was 550.6 people per square mile (212.6/km²). There were 3,889 housing units at an average density of 210.8 per square mile (81.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.20% White, 0.42% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79% of the population. Acushnet's population is 32% of Portuguese ancestry, 15% of French Ancestry, 12% of French Canadian ancestry and 10% of English ancestry.[14]

There were 3,793 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.2% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $51,500, and the median income for a family was $58,722. Males had a median income of $38,709 versus $28,649 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,753. About 1.9% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


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.

On the state level, Acushnet is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by Robert Koczera, and in the Massachusetts Senate by Mark Montigny. 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 established a free library in 1896."[15][16] 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.[17] 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.


Acushnet has two schools, the Acushnet Elementary School, with grades from preschool to 4th grade, and the Albert F. Ford Middle School, with grades 5th to 8th, both located near the geographic center of town. The town does not have a high school; the students may go to either New Bedford High School or Fairhaven High School per tuition agreements (although in practice, most go to Fairhaven). High school students may also choose to attend Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Bristol County Agricultural High School 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 11 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Acushnet town, Bristol County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  3. ^ Massachusetts Atlas & Gazetteer, pp. 57, 58, 63 & 64. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme,Inc., 2002.
  4. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "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 2013-12-07. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ Acushnet - Acushnet - Ancestry & family history - ePodunk
  15. ^ Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. v.9 (1899)
  16. ^ Russell Memorial Library. Retrieved 2010-11-11
  17. ^ 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 2012-01-23 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-08-04

External links


Acushnet may refer to some locations in the United States:

Acushnet, Massachusetts, a town

Acushnet Center, Massachusetts, in the town of Acushnet

Acushnet Company, golf equipment manufacturer

Acushnet Heights Historic District, New Bedford, Massachusetts

The Acushnet River of southeastern MassachusettsAlso, the first whaling ship on which Herman Melville served was the Acushnet.

Acushnet Airport

Acushnet Airport was an airfield operational in the mid-20th century in Acushnet, Massachusetts.

Acushnet River

The Acushnet River is the largest river, 8.6 miles (13.8 km) long, flowing into Buzzards Bay in southeastern Massachusetts, in the United States. The name "Acushnet" comes from the Wampanoag or Algonquian word, "Cushnea", meaning "as far as the waters", a word that was used by the original owners of the land in describing the extent of the parcel they intended to sell to the English settlers from the nearby Plimouth colony. Quite naturally, the English mistook "Cushnea" for a fixed placename or the name of a specific river.

Antonio Gattorno

Antonio Gattorno (born Havana, March 15, 1904 - died Acushnet, Massachusetts, 1980) was a Cuban painter. He was a distinguished member of the first generation of modern Cuban painters.

Clement Nye Swift

Clement Nye Swift (1846 – March 29, 1918) was an American artist associated with the Pont-Aven School and known for his paintings of nautical themes and of life in Brittany and Massachusetts.

Gil Santos

Gilbert A. Santos (April 19, 1938 – April 19, 2018) was an American radio play-by-play announcer for the New England Patriots of the National Football League, and morning sports reporter for WBZ radio in Boston. He was an inductee of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.He retired from WBZ radio in January 2009, and was inducted into the WBZ Radio Hall of Fame on July 9, 2009. The Patriots 2012 season was his final season of radio play-by-play.

Head of the River Historic District

The Head of the River Historic District is a historic district encompassing a village area at the head of navigation of the Acushnet River, which separates Acushnet and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The village is centered at the junction of Tarkin Hill Road, River Road, and Mill Road in New Bedford, and Main Street in Acushnet. The area went through two significant periods of development: the first was in the late 18th and early 19th century, and the second was in the early 20th century. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Jim Couza

Jim Couza was an American hammered dulcimer player born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, April 27, 1945 and resident in England since 1982; he died in 2009. In addition to the hammered dulcimer, Couza also played Appalachian dulcimer and guitar. He made several recordings, both solo and with the D'Uberville Ramblers. He also worked with Björk on the album Post, and with Peter Gabriel on OVO (Couza is featured on a track called "The Time Of The Turning (reprise) / Weavers Reel"). He also worked with Celtic singer songwriter Jim Fox, performing at many venues and festivals around the UK. Couza suffered a number of health problems in recent years resulting in amputation of both his legs. He died on 2 August 2009.

Jim was one of the early musicians at Tryworks Coffeehouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In those days he played a well used but good sounding Gibson guitar and a banjo, and sang mostly British Isles music with a distinctive voice. He was living in Acushnet, Massachusetts in the early '70s when he started to play the hammer dulcimer.

John Taber (baseball)

John Pardon Taber (June 28, 1868 – February 21, 1940) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. who played two games with the Boston Beaneaters in 1890.

Joseph P. Ebacher

Joseph P. Ebacher (June 12, 1921—December 15, 1974) was an American educator and founder of the Ebacher Method.

Lemuel Williams

Lemuel Williams (June 18, 1747 – November 8, 1828) was a United States Representative from Massachusetts. Born in Taunton, he graduated from Harvard College in 1765, studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced in Bristol and Worcester Counties. He was town clerk of New Bedford from 1792 to 1800.

Williams was elected as a Federalist to the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1799 to March 3, 1805, and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1806. He resumed the practice of law and died in Acushnet, Massachusetts; interment was in Acushnet Cemetery.

Long Plain Friends Meetinghouse

The Long Plain Friends Meetinghouse is a historic Quaker meeting house at 1341 N. Main Street in Acushnet, Massachusetts. It is a two-story wood frame structure, with a gable roof and two chimneys. A single-story hip-roof vestibule projects from the front, with a pair of entrances flanking a window. Built in 1759, it is the oldest ecclesiastical building to survive in southeastern Massachusetts. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.The building served as Quaker meeting house until 1985, when it was taken over by the Long Plain Museum. It is open for tours on weekends, and features original artifacts, pews from three centuries, and a small museum with exhibits about Quakers.

Long Plain School

The Long Plain School is a historic school building at 1203 Main Street in Acushnet, Massachusetts. The two story wood frame building was built in 1875 to a design by New Bedford architect Caleb Hammond. Basically rectangular in plan, the building has a hip roof and a projecting central pavilion that rises to a fully pedimented gable and is topped by a Gothic style turret. Entries to the building are on the sides of this projecting pavilion. The pediment and the roof cornice are studded with brackets, and the tympanum of the pediment has an oculus window. The building was originally four bays wide, but was extended in 1924 to six, and has had other 20th century additions to its rear.When built, the building had two classrooms, and served as an elementary school. The modifications in 1924 expanded it to four classrooms, two on each floor. The school was closed between 1947 and 1950 due to low enrollment numbers, and was taken out of service as a school building in 1972. It has served as the Long Plain Museum since 1975.The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Massachusetts Route 105

Route 105 is a state road in southeastern Massachusetts, running from Marion to Halifax in a generally north-south direction.

Rene Ricard

Rene Ricard (July 23, 1946 – February 1, 2014) was an American poet, actor, art critic, and painter.

South Coast (Massachusetts)

The South Coast of Massachusetts (sometimes stylized Southcoast) is the region of southeastern Massachusetts consisting of southern Bristol and Plymouth counties bordering Buzzards Bay, and includes the cities of Fall River, New Bedford, the southeastern tip of East Taunton and nearby towns. The term is recent, dating to the 1990s, and sometimes confused with the South Shore (a region southeast of Boston that includes Norfolk, Northern Bristol and eastern Plymouth counties).

The Advocate (Fairhaven)

The Fairhaven Advocate is a community newspaper serving the communities of Acushnet, Massachusetts and Fairhaven, Massachusetts, United States. Introduced in 1979, it is now owned by local newspaper company Hathaway Publishing, which is owned by Local Media Group. Its current editor is Kaisa Holloway Cripps. Past editors include Michael Medeiros.

Thomas C. H. Smith

Thomas Church Haskell Smith, or Thomas C.H. Smith, (1819–1897) was a lawyer, businessman, soldier and officer of the U.S. Treasury Department. He served as a Brigadier General in the Union Army during the American Civil War and was an advisor to Governor, later President, Rutherford B. Hayes. Smith then accepted a position as a Major and paymaster in the U. S. Army, after which he moved to California, where he died.

Worcester Lunch Car Company

Worcester Lunch Car Company was a manufacturer of diners based in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1906 to 1957.

Places adjacent to Acushnet, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States
Ghost town

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