Carver, Massachusetts

Carver is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,509 at the 2010 census.[1] It is named for John Carver, the first governor of the Plymouth Colony. The town features two popular tourist attractions: Edaville USA theme park and King Richard's Faire, the largest and longest-running renaissance fair in New England.

Town of Carver
Town Hall
Town Hall
Official seal of Town of Carver

Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°53′00″N 70°45′47″W / 41.88333°N 70.76306°WCoordinates: 41°53′00″N 70°45′47″W / 41.88333°N 70.76306°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total39.7 sq mi (102.9 km2)
 • Land37.4 sq mi (96.9 km2)
 • Water2.3 sq mi (6.0 km2)
92 ft (28 m)
 • Total11,509
 • Density290/sq mi (110/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)508 / 774
FIPS code25-11665
GNIS feature ID0618337
Edaville Sign
A sign for Edaville Railroad along Route 58

History and overview

Archaeological research revealed 9,000 years of settlement at the Annasnappet Pond Site in Carver, from 10,000 to 1,000 years ago. The site contained 100,000 stone flakes, 1600 stone tools and a human burial.

Carver separated from Plympton, Massachusetts, and was incorporated in 1790 because many residents lived too far away to attend church in Plympton. The town was named for John Carver, the first Governor of the Plymouth Colony. Initially agricultural, Carver was known for the iron ore from its swamp lands used to make cooking tools by the 1730s. The first iron works was "Pope's Point Furnace", built in 1732, which operated for a century by using the bogs and Sampson's Pond. Over the next 150 years, sheep shearing and lumber mills were important in Carver.[2]

Most people at the time lived in the villages of South and North Carver and Wenham, later called East Carver. European settlers had also given the names "Colchester" and "Lakenham" to what is now North Carver, and settled in what was known as South Meadow. Each village supported at least one schoolhouse. As the market for iron ore declined in the latter part of the 19th century, Carver began cranberry farming as a new use for the town's swamp lands. Farmers began growing cranberries in the 1870s, and by 1900 it was Carver's farmers who raised a fifth of all cranberries grown in the United States. A railroad line connected Carver to New York and Boston in 1920, further establishing the town.[2]

Money from the iron helped the community to grow, as evidenced by several mansions still in existence in the town. Also located in Carver is Savery's Avenue, the first divided highway in America, which was opened to the public in 1860[3] by William Savery. The trees between the roads and on the outside of them were to be left for "shade and ornament for man and beast". Both road beds were macadamized in 1907. A portion of the expense was advanced by the daughters of the builder, Mrs. Mary P.S. Jowitt and Ms. H.D. Savery. By the 1940s the cranberry harvest was the largest in the world, and today it is still a major business in town. Because of the land taken for the bogs, however, growth is limited, giving the town a rural flavor it takes pride in.[4] In 2012, most cranberry bogs are being replanted in favor of a new hybrid cranberry crop.

Carver also has two notable tourist attractions. Edaville Railroad is a narrow-gauge railroad attraction which opened in 1949. It has long been a family tourist attraction in Southeastern Massachusetts, especially for its festival of lights around Christmastime. It has experienced a revival in recent years, after being sold in 1991 and nearly closing. The town is also the site of King Richard's Faire, a re-creation of a 16th-century English fair which is open on weekends throughout September and October. It is New England's largest Renaissance fair.[5]

Pro wrestler Mike Bennett is from Carver.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40 square miles (103 km2), of which 37.4 square miles (96.9 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), or 5.87%, is water.[6] It is locally famous for the large number of cranberry bogs throughout the town. Carver is bordered by Plympton to the north, Kingston to the northeast, Plymouth to the east, Wareham to the south, and Middleborough to the west. Carver is located approximately 45 miles (72 km) south-southeast of Boston and 38 miles (61 km) east of Providence, Rhode Island.

Carver's geography is shaped by its many small brooks, rivers and ponds including Vaughn Pond and Bates Pond. The majority of them eventually drain into Buzzards Bay, although some in the north of town lead to Cape Cod Bay or Narragansett Bay. The town also has an abundance of pine and cedar trees, and a portion of Myles Standish State Forest takes up much of the southeast corner of town. A large cedar swamp occupies the geographic center of the town. The town is also the site of a campground, a sportsmen's club, and a small town park at the center of town.


As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 11,163 people, 3,984 households, and 3,011 families residing in the town. The population density was 297.3 people per square mile (114.8/km2). There were 4,127 housing units at an average density of 109.9 per square mile (42.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.78% White, 1.22% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.96% from other races, and 1.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.

There were 3,984 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.3% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.4% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the town, the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $53,506, and the median income for a family was $61,738. Males had a median income of $46,414 versus $28,336 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,398. About 4.6% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.


Carver is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Second Plymouth district, which also includes Wareham and a portion of Middleborough. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the First Plymouth and Bristol district, which includes Berkley, Bridgewater, Dighton, Marion, Middleborough, Raynham, Taunton and Wareham.[18] The town is patrolled by the Fourth (Middleborough) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[19]

On the national level, Carver is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, and is currently represented by Bill Keating. The state's senior (Class I) member of the United States Senate, elected in 2012, is Elizabeth Warren. The junior (Class II) senator is Ed Markey, who was elected in 2013 to finish John Kerry's term when he became Secretary of State.

Carver is governed by the open town meeting form of government, led by a town administrator and a board of selectmen. Carver has its own police, ALS ambulance and fire departments, with a central police station, central ambulance station and three on-call firehouses, located in the north, south and center of town.

There are also three post offices. The main ZIP code is 02330. There was also 2 other P.O. Box zip codes 02355 (North Carver Post Office) and 02366 (South Carver Post Office) originally. Now all three ZIP codes are used for general mail. 02330 All of Carver (but mainly Center Carver), 02355 (North Carver or East Carver), and 02366 (South Carver). The town's public library is located in the center of town,[20] and is a part of the SAILS Library Network.


Carver operates its own school department, led by a school committee and a superintendent of schools. There are two schools, each of which serves specific grade levels. The Carver Elementary serves pre-kindergarten through fifth grades;[21] and the Carver Middle-High School serves sixth through twelfth grades.[22]

In addition to the town high school, students may also choose to attend Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School in Rochester. They may also chose to attend Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole or Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton. There are no private schools in the town; the nearest are in Kingston, Lakeville and Taunton.

Transportation Department

Carver operates and owns their own buses for Carver and all out of district schools except Old Colony Regional. For the middle-high school they also run a late bus Monday to Thursday, and not on half days.


The town is crossed in the north of town by U.S. Route 44, a two-lane divided highway which meets Route 3 (Massachusetts) in Plymouth. The highway was recently expanded, so that rather than the highway portion ending at Route 58 (the other main route), whose right-of-way extends into Carver to a few miles after the Carver/Wareham town line. The nearest national and international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston. Another national & international airport nearby is T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, which most residents prefer due to short security wait times.[23]


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Carver town, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  2. ^ a b "Master Plan Section 5: Historical and Cultural Resources, p. 2" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  3. ^ Henry S. Griffith, History of the Town of Carver, Massachusetts: Historical Review, 1637-1910, New Bedford, MA: E. Anthony & Sons, 1913.
  4. ^ "Town of Carver – History". Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  5. ^ "Renaissance Faire brings escape from 21st century". Patriot Ledger. 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  6. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Carver town, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  7. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  8. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  17. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  18. ^ "Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  19. ^ "Station D-4, SP Middleborough". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  20. ^ "Carver Public Library". Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Carver Elementary School in Carver MA". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  22. ^ Carver Middle/High School
  23. ^ Parker, Paul Edward. "Long security lines at Green Airport? 'No worries,' officials say". Retrieved 2018-04-03.

External links

Annasnappet Pond Site

The Annasnappet Pond Site was excavated, beginning in 1978 by the Public Archaeology Lab, when the Massachusetts Highway Department began the process of relocating Route 44 through Plympton, Plymouth, Carver and Kingston. Because the department was using federal funds, it was required to do an archaeological survey of the area, which revealed potential for sites at Annasnappet Pond in Carver, Massachusetts.

Barrett Pond (Carver, Massachusetts)

Barrett Pond is a 16-acre (65,000 m2), warm water pond in the Myles Standish State Forest in Carver, Massachusetts, located less than ½ mile north of the forest headquarters, west of East Head Reservoir, and southwest of College Pond in Plymouth. The pond has an average depth of six feet and a maximum depth of 17 feet (5.2 m). Most of the shoreline is undeveloped except for a campground area on the eastern shore. Access is possible off Lower College Pond Road and is suitable only for car top boats or canoes, electric motors only.

Bates Pond (Carver, Massachusetts)

Bates Pond is a 20-acre (81,000 m2) pond in Carver, Massachusetts. The pond is located south of Edaville Railroad. Huckleberry Corner lies along the southern shore of the pond. The water quality is impaired due to non-native plants in the pond.

Benjamin Shurtleff

Benjamin Shurtleff (September 7, 1821 – December 21, 1911) was a pioneer physician in California, and later a politician in that state.Born in Carver, Massachusetts to Charles Shurtleff and Hannah Shaw, Shurtleff and was educated in the public schools until the age of fifteen, and then at Pierce Academy, where he began teaching at age nineteen. He studied medicine with his brother, Dr. G.A. Shurtleff, and with Dr. Elisha Huntington, of Lowell, Massachusetts, and attended Fremont Medical School of Boston, and was taught by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Shurtleff graduated from the medical department of Harvard University in 1848.In 1849 he traveled to California by sea, passing through the Strait of Magellan. He settled in Shasta County, where in addition to practicing medicine, he engaged in mining and owned a drug store. He was elected as the first treasurer of Shasta County, and in 1860 was elected as a state senator from that county.In 1874, he moved to Napa, California, where he served as director of the Napa State Hospital for nineteen years, and served for many years as mayor of Napa. He was a member of the California constitutional convention of 1879.He was a member of the Republican Party, and a Mason.He married Anna M. B. (Griffith) Shurtleff, born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, on February 21, 1853, while on a return visit to New England. They had three sons, Benjamin E., Charles A., and George C.; the middle son, Charles A. Shurtleff, served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California. He died in Napa, at the age of 90.

Boston MedFlight

Boston MedFlight (BMF) (incorporated as New England Life Flight) is a non-profit organization that provides emergency scene response and emergency interfacility transfer in Eastern Massachusetts at the Critical Care level, which is higher than a paramedic-level ambulance crew's certification, using both aircraft and ground ambulances.

BMF is headquartered at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, with additional bases at Plymouth Municipal Airport on the town line between Plymouth and Carver, Massachusetts, Mansfield Municipal Airport in Mansfield, Massachusetts, and Lawrence Municipal Airport in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Carver Middle High School

Carver Middle High School is a public school located in Carver, Massachusetts. This school was formerly two different schools, Carver Middle School (6–8) and Carver High School (9–12) in one building with both schools sharing the library and auditorium. The school became under one principal in 2008–09 school year. This school became officially Carver Middle High School the following school year. It is located at 60 South Meadow Rd. and has an enrollment of 489 students in grades 6–8, and 537 students in grades 9–12. The school's mascot is the Crusaders and the school colors are Maroon and Silver/Gray. The principal is Mr. Scott Knief. The assistant principals are Christine Cabral, (6–8), Mark Souza (9–12), and Michael Schultz

Dunham Pond (Carver, Massachusetts)

Dunham Pond is a 45-acre (180,000 m2) pond in Carver, Massachusetts, United States. The pond is located northeast of Sampsons Pond and southwest of Federal Pond.

Edaville Railroad

Edaville Railroad is a heritage railroad in South Carver, Massachusetts, opened in 1947. It is one of the oldest heritage railroad operations in the United States. It is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge line that operates excursion trains for tourists, built by the late Ellis D. Atwood (initials E.D.A., for which Edaville is named) on his sprawling cranberry plantation in Southeastern Massachusetts.

King Richard's Faire

King Richard’s Faire is a Renaissance Faire held in Carver, Massachusetts, which recreates a 16th-century marketplace, including handmade crafts, foods, musicians, singers, dancers, minstrels, mimes, jugglers, whip artists, magicians, comedians, puppeteers, gymnasts, exotic animals, acrobats, mud beggars, stilt walkers, knights jousting on horseback, a royal court, and the fictional King Richard. King Richard’s Faire is the longest-running Renaissance Faire in New England.

Lowell M. Maxham

Lowell Mason Maxham was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism during the American Civil War.

Massachusetts Route 58

Route 58 is a south–north highway in southeastern Massachusetts. For all but its final 0.4 miles (0.64 km), the route lies within Plymouth County.

Mike Bennett (wrestler)

Michael Bennett (born May 16, 1985) is an American professional wrestler and actor currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live brand under the ring name Mike Kanellis.

He is best known for his time in Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor (ROH) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) under the ring name Mike Bennett. He is a former TNA X Division Champion, ROH World Tag Team Champion, and IWGP Tag Team Champion. Bennett and Matt Taven operate a wrestling school in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Plymouth Municipal Airport (Massachusetts)

Plymouth Municipal Airport (IATA: PYM, ICAO: KPYM, FAA LID: PYM) is a town-owned, public-use airport located four nautical miles (7 km) southwest of the central business district of Plymouth, a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2009–2013, it is categorized as a general aviation airport. Due to space issues, the airport has 2 gates in Carver, Massachusetts.

Sampsons Pond

Sampsons Pond (also called Sampson’s Pond and Sampson Pond) is a 310-acre (1.3 km2) warm water infertile pond in Carver, Massachusetts, in the South Carver section of town, southwest of Dunham Pond. The pond has an average depth of nine feet and a maximum depth of 14 feet (4.3 m). The water is clear with a transparency of 12 feet (3.7 m). Access to the pond is a paved launching ramp off Lake View St. suitable for trailer boats. Although there is no launching fee, the Town of Carver requires a sticker for one to park on town land next to the ramp.

A little known fact is that Sampsons pond was once a marsh. During the early 19th century Carver was a big producer of what is called bog iron. Sampsons pond was dug out for its iron ore. Much of the iron was used in making cannonballs during the War of 1812. This accounts for the rusty color seen in the water, as well as the pieces of ore that can be found in the area.

Crane Brook Restaurant and Tea Room, an exclusive restaurant at 229 Tremont Street is the site of the former foundry.

There have been reports of a large snapping turtle in the pond, named Sampson, after the pond.

South Carver, Massachusetts

South Carver is a village in the town of Carver, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States.

South Carver is the location of the main entrance to the Myles Standish State Forest and of the Edaville Railroad and King Richard's Faire. The cultivation and processing of cranberries is the predominant economic activity in South Carver.

The ZIP code for South Carver is 02366 but South Carver also uses Carver's 02330.

South Meadow Brook Reservoir

South Meadow Brook Reservoir, also known as South Meadow Brook Pond, is a 25-acre (100,000 m2) pond in Carver, Massachusetts. South Meadow Brook flows through the pond. The pond is located north of Edaville Railroad.

South Meadow Pond

South Meadow Pond is a 17-acre (69,000 m2) pond in Carver, Massachusetts, United States. The pond is located southwest of Plymouth Municipal Airport. The pond is the gateway to South Meadow Village, a community limited to people age 55 and over. It has an abundance of pickerel, some ranging to 24 inches. It is a very weedy pond, difficult to fish and best fished from a canoe.

Vaughn Pond (Massachusetts)

Vaughn Pond is a 22-acre (89,000 m2) pond in Carver, Massachusetts near the center of the town.

Winnetuxet River

The Winnetuxet River is a 12.1-mile-long (19.5 km) river in southeastern Massachusetts. It flows west from an unnamed pond near Cole Mill in Carver, through Plympton and Halifax, to the Taunton River.

Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]
Municipalities and communities of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
Major cities
Cities and towns
Cities and towns
Cities and towns

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