Ashby, Massachusetts

Ashby is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,074 at the 2010 census, which makes it the least populous municipality in Middlesex County.[1]

Ashby, Massachusetts
Official seal of Ashby, Massachusetts

Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°40′40″N 71°49′15″W / 42.67778°N 71.82083°WCoordinates: 42°40′40″N 71°49′15″W / 42.67778°N 71.82083°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total24.2 sq mi (62.6 km2)
 • Land23.8 sq mi (61.6 km2)
 • Water0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
904 ft (276 m)
 • Total3,074
 • Density130/sq mi (49/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)351 / 978
FIPS code25-01955
GNIS feature ID0618214


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.2 square miles (63 km2), of which 23.8 square miles (62 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (1.53%) is water.

Ashby is bordered by New Ipswich, New Hampshire and Mason, New Hampshire to the north, Townsend to the east, Lunenburg to the southeast, Fitchburg to the south, and Ashburnham to the west. Ashby is the only town in Middlesex County which does not border more than one town in the same county.


Route 31 runs north-south through Ashby, and Route 119 runs east-west. The two routes have a short overlap to the east of the town center.

Public transportation for Ashby is largely supplied by the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART). MART[2] operates fixed-route bus services, shuttle services, as well as paratransit services within the Montachusett Region.


At the 2010 census,[13] there were 3,074 people, 1,105 households and 862 families residing in the town. The population density was 129.2 per square mile (49.9/km2). There were 1,191 housing units at an average density of 50.0 per square mile (19.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.1% White, 0.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 1,060 households of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.5% were married couples living together, 0.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.20.

Of the 3,074 people in the population, 24.5% were under the age of 18, 8.0% were 15 to 19 years of age, 4.6% were 20 to 24 years of age, 22.7% were 25 to 44 years of age, 35.6% were 45 to 64 years of age, and 10.5% were 65 years and over. The median age was 42.6 years. For every 100 females, there was 101.0 males. For every 100 females 18 years and over there were 102.0 males.

First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist) - Ashby, Massachusetts
First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist), built 1809 as the town's meetinghouse to a pattern by architect Asher Benjamin

The median household income was $82,614, and the median family income was $84,655. The median income of individuals working full-time was $62,355 for males versus $44,511 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,434. About 0.9% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Ashby was first settled in 1676 and was officially incorporated in 1767. The town was formed from portions of Townsend, Ma., Lunenburg, Ma., Fitchburg, Ma., and Dorchester-Canada (portion of Ashburnham, Ma.)

Ashby Free Public Library, Ashby MA
Ashby Free Public Library

Ashby Free Public Library

The library is a public library, founded in 1874 "largely through the efforts of Rev. George S. Shaw."[14] In the 1890s it was "kept in a private house" open to the public Tuesday and Friday afternoons.[15] Around 1890 the Ashby library had "1,584 volumes, with which its inhabitants have a pleasant and profitable acquaintance."[16]

In 1901 businessman and Civil War veteran Edwin Chapman donated a new building, which opened in 1902.[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Ashby town, Middlesex County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Archived 2012-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  4. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 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. 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. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). 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.
  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. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "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. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  14. ^ Retrieved 05-18-2010
  15. ^ Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. 1891.
  16. ^ Hurd, ed. History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. J. W. Lewis & co., 1890.
  17. ^ Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. 1903.

External links

Aldrich Bowker

Aldrich Bowker (January 1, 1875 – March 21, 1947) was an American stage- and film actor.

Ashby, Nebraska

Ashby is an unincorporated community in Grant County, Nebraska, United States. Its elevation is 3,843 feet (1,173 m), and it is located at 42°1′19″N 101°55′40″W (42.0219276, -101.9276811). It lies along Nebraska Highway 2, 9 miles (14½ km) west-northwest of Hyannis, the county seat of Grant County. Although it is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 69333.

Ashby Police Department (Massachusetts)

The Ashby Police Department (APD) has the primary responsibility for law enforcement and criminal investigation within the town of Ashby, Massachusetts. The Ashby Police Department is currently composed of one Chief of Police, one Sergeant, five full-time Patrolmen, and one Reserve Police Officer.

Asher Benjamin

Asher Benjamin (June 15, 1773 – July 26, 1845) was an American architect and author whose work transitioned between Federal architecture and the later Greek Revival architecture. His seven handbooks on design deeply influenced the look of cities and towns throughout New England until the Civil War. Builders also copied his plans in the Midwest and in the South.

Cecil Bancroft

Cecil Franklin Patch Bancroft (born Cecil Bancroft; November 25, 1839–October 4, 1901) was an American educator and 8th Principal of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts from 1873 to 1901.

Daniel Bateman Cutter

Daniel Bateman Cutter (May 10, 1808 – December 7, 1889) was an American physician.

Cutter, the eldest child of Daniel and Sally (Jones) Cutter, was born in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, on May 10, 1808. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1833, and had studied medicine under Luke Howe, M.D., of Jaffrey, and under his uncle, Nehemiah Cutter, M.D., of Pepperell, Massachusetts, before coming to New Haven. He graduated from the Yale School of Medicine in 1835.

He practiced his profession in Ashby, Massachusetts, until 1837, and for the rest of his life in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He was a member of the New Hampshire State Legislature in 1852. In 1881 he published a history of his native place.

He died in Peterborough, of old age and disease of the kidneys, on December 7, 1889, in his 82nd year.

He married, on December 8, 1835, Clementina, daughter of the Hon. Asa Parker, of Jaffrey, who died on August 28, 1870; two daughters by this marriage died before their father. He next married, on December 5, 1872, Tryphena (Tufts) Richardson, who survived him.

Greenville, New Hampshire

Greenville is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,105 at the 2010 census.

It is located at the junction of New Hampshire routes 31, 45, and 123.

Lemuel Shattuck

Lemuel Shattuck (15 October 1793, Ashby, Massachusetts – 17 January 1859, Boston, Massachusetts) was a Boston politician, historian, bookseller and publisher.

Mason, New Hampshire

Mason is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,382 at the 2010 census. Mason, together with Wilton, is home to Russell-Abbott State Forest.

Mount Wachusett Community College

Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) is a public community college in Gardner, Massachusetts. Established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1963, it features an open admissions policy for the majority of its academic programs. MWCC offers more than 70 academic programs that allow students to earn either an associate of science degree (A.S.), associate of arts degree (A.A.), or a certificate.

Mount Watatic

Mount Watatic is a 1,832-foot (558 m) monadnock located just south of the Massachusetts–New Hampshire border, in the United States, at the southern end of the Wapack Range of mountains. It lies within Ashburnham and Ashby, in Massachusetts, and New Ipswich, in New Hampshire; the 22 miles (35 km) Wapack Trail and the 92-mile (148 km) Midstate Trail both cross the mountain. The Yellow Arrow trail is 1.1 mile.

The east and south side of the mountain drains into the Souhegan River watershed, to the Merrimack River thence the Atlantic Ocean; the west and north sides drain into the Millers River watershed, to the Connecticut River, thence into Long Island Sound.

Mount Watatic was the site of a ski area that operated from 1965 until 1984. An attempt to reopen the ski area in 1988 failed. The bald summit of the mountain featured a fire tower, open to the public, until its removal in 1996.

Myron W. Whitney

Myron William Whitney (5 September 1836, Ashby, Massachusetts - 18 September 1910, Sandwich, Massachusetts) was an American bass opera singer.

Nashua River

The Nashua River, 37.5 miles (60.4 km) long, is a tributary of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in the United States. It is formed in eastern Worcester County, Massachusetts, by junction of its north and south branches near Lancaster, and flows generally north-northeast past Groton to join the Merrimack at Nashua, New Hampshire. The Nashua River Watershed occupies a major portion of north-central Massachusetts and a much smaller portion of southern New Hampshire.

The north branch rises west of Fitchburg and Westminster. It flows about 30 miles (48 km) generally southeast past Fitchburg, and joins the south branch about 5 miles (8.0 km) below its issuance from the Wachusett Reservoir.

New Ipswich, New Hampshire

New Ipswich is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 5,099 at the 2010 census. New Ipswich, situated on the Massachusetts border, includes the villages of Bank, Davis, Gibson Four Corners, Highbridge, New Ipswich Center, Smithville, and Wilder, though these village designations no longer hold the importance they did in the past. The Wapack Trail passes through the community.

Penn State Nittany Lions women's ice hockey

Penn State Nittany Lions women's ice hockey is a college ice hockey program that has represented Penn State University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and College Hockey America (CHA) since the 2012–13 season. The program was preceded by a club team that competed at the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 1 level, primarily as a member of Eastern Collegiate Women's Hockey League (ECWHL). Penn State plays its home games at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pennsylvania.

Prince Estabrook

Prince Estabrook was an enslaved black man and Minutemen Private who fought and was wounded at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. An undated broadside from the time identified him as "a Negro Man", spelled his name Easterbrooks, and listed him among the wounded from Lexington, Massachusetts. Born around 1741, he was a slave belonging to the family of Benjamin Estabrook from whom he most likely took his name. He was freed.

South Branch Souhegan River

The South Branch of the Souhegan River is a 5.8-mile-long (9.3 km) river located in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Souhegan River, which flows to the Merrimack River and ultimately to the Gulf of Maine.

The South Branch begins near Mount Watatic at the outlet of Stodge Meadow Pond in the town of Ashburnham, Massachusetts and flows through a chain of small lakes (Marble Pond, Ward Pond, and Watatic Pond) before flowing northeast into the town of Ashby, Massachusetts. North of Ashby, the river enters New Ipswich, New Hampshire, passes through a small flood-control reservoir, and joins the West Branch to form the Souhegan River, just north of the intersection known as "Gibson Four Corners".

Squannacook River

The Squannacook River is a 16.4-mile-long (26.4 km) river in northern Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Nashua River and part of the Merrimack River watershed flowing to the Atlantic Ocean.

The river rises within West Townsend, Massachusetts, at the juncture of Walker Brook, Locke Brook, and Willard Brook. Walker and Locke Brooks rise within Greenville, New Ipswich, and Mason, New Hampshire, while Willard Brook rises in Ashby, Massachusetts. The Squannacook flows east and southeast through Townsend and West Groton, Massachusetts, and joins the Nashua River in wetlands just east of Woodsville. The river is dammed three times in Townsend and twice in West Groton. Its watershed covers 73 square miles (190 km2), of which 18% is permanently protected. It has been designated an Outstanding Resource Water.

There has been a conversion of one of the former mills on the Groton portion of the river. The former E.H. Sampson Leather Board Mill became a senior citizen/ nursing home. Riverside is located next to West Groton Square.

Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]
Places adjacent to Ashby, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States


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