Halifax, Massachusetts

Halifax is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 7,518 at the 2010 census.[1]

Halifax, Massachusetts
West Monponsett Pond
West Monponsett Pond
Official seal of Halifax, Massachusetts

Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°59′28″N 70°51′45″W / 41.99111°N 70.86250°WCoordinates: 41°59′28″N 70°51′45″W / 41.99111°N 70.86250°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total17.3 sq mi (44.9 km2)
 • Land16.2 sq mi (41.8 km2)
 • Water1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)
90 ft (27 m)
 • Total7,518
 • Density430/sq mi (170/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)339 / 781
FIPS code25-27795
GNIS feature ID0618340


Halifax was first settled by Europeans, most notably the Bosworth family from Bosworth Fields in England, in 1669, growing with lumbering and agriculture. It was officially separated from the town of Plympton and incorporated in 1734, and was named for Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The town was part of an early effort to create a canal between Buzzards Bay and Massachusetts Bay, when in 1795 a canal was proposed between the Taunton River and North River. However, the plan never succeeded, although the town's sawmills continued to grow, as did cranberry production, iron furnaces and a wool mill. The railroad came in the nineteenth century, providing access for people from the city to the shores of Silver Lake and the Monponsett Ponds. Today the town is mostly residential, with a small retail area growing at the center of town.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.3 square miles (45 km2), of which 16.1 square miles (42 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), or 6.81%, is water. Statistically, Halifax is the 235th largest town in the Commonwealth by land area, and is eighteenth out of the twenty-seven communities in Plymouth County. Halifax is bordered by Hanson to the north, Pembroke to the northeast, Plympton to the southeast, Middleborough to the southwest, and Bridgewater and East Bridgewater to the west. Halifax is approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Plymouth, 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Brockton, and 33 miles (53 km) south-southeast of Boston.

Much of Halifax's geography is dictated by water. The town lies on the western banks of Silver Lake, and is also the site of Robbins Pond, Indian Trail Reservoir and Burrage Pond in the west of town, and East and West Monponsett Ponds near the center of town. The two Monponsett Ponds are separated by a narrow strip of land, barely 150 feet (46 m) wide in some spots, and this strip of land also accommodates part of MA Route 58. Part of the town's border with Bridgewater is defined by the Taunton River, which also spawns the Winnetuxet River and several other brooks into town. And, on either side of the Monponsett Ponds lie swamps, with Great Cedar Swamp to the west and Peterson Swamp to the east. The town also shares a small conservation area with neighboring Plympton and the larger Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area with Hanson.


Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 7,500 people, 2,758 households, and 2,054 families residing in the town. The population density was 464.5 people per square mile (179.3/km²). There were 2,841 housing units at an average density of 175.9 per square mile (67.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.13% White, 0.31% African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

There were 2,758 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $57,015, and the median income for a family was $65,461. Males had a median income of $47,788 versus $31,200 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,738. About 1.8% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.

Statistically speaking, Halifax is the 204th largest community in the Commonwealth in terms of population, and 186th in terms of population density. Both are below the state average and state median.


Halifax Town Hall, Massachusetts
Halifax Town Hall

Local government

Halifax is governed by the open town meeting form of government, led by a board of selectmen and a town administrator. Halifax has its own police and fire departments, both of which are headquartered near the town center. The town has its own ambulance service, with the nearest hospitals being in Plymouth and Brockton. The town's post office is also located in the town center, as is the Holmes Public Library. The town also operates a beach on West Monponsett Pond, and one boat landing each on the two Monpossett Pond.[14]

Federal and state representation

Halifax is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, represented by Democrat William R. Keating since January 2013. The state's senior (Class I) senator, since January 2013, is Democrat Elizabeth Warren.[15] The state's junior (Class II) senator, since July 2013, is Democrat Ed Markey.

Halifax is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the Twelfth Plymouth District; the Twelfth includes Kingston, Plympton and portions of Duxbury, Middleborough and Plymouth. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Second Plymouth and Bristol district, which includes Brockton, Hanover, Hanson, Whitman and portions of East Bridgewater and Easton.[16] The town is patrolled by the Fourth (Middleborough) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[17]


Halifax is a member of the Silver Lake Regional School District, along with Plympton and Kingston. The three towns operate their own elementary schools, with middle school students attending Silver Lake Regional Middle School and high school students attending Silver Lake Regional High School, both of which are in Kingston. Halifax Elementary School is located between the library and fire station in the town center, and serves students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The high school operates its own vocational division, so there is no agreement with any regional vocational schools. Halifax has no private schools; the nearest are in Kingston and Bridgewater.


The two major routes through town are Routes 58 and 106, which meet just east of the town center and south of the Monponsett Ponds (Route 58, in fact, is the route which crosses the ponds). To the east of East Monponsett Pond, Route 36's southern terminus meets Route 106. Route 105's northern terminus is 1½ miles west of the intersection of Routes 58 and 106, at Route 106.

The Kingston-Route 3 Line of the MBTA's commuter rail service passes through the northeastern corner of town, with a station just west of Route 36. The route provides service between nearby Kingston and Plymouth and South Station in Boston. There is no air service in the town, although small seaplanes do land on East Monponsett Pond. Cranland Airport is a small private air strip in neighboring Hanson. The nearest regional air service is at Plymouth Municipal Airport, and the nearest national and international air service is at Logan International Airport in Boston.


Notable people


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Halifax town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  2. ^ DHCD Profile - Halifax, Massachusetts (from Mass.gov)
  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 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ "Board of Selectmen". Town of Halifax. Town of Halifax. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  15. ^ "State & Federal Legislators". Town of Halifax. Town of Halifax. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  16. ^ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from Mass.gov
  17. ^ Station D-4, SP Middleborough

External links

Alexander Parris

Alexander Parris (November 24, 1780 – June 16, 1852) was a prominent American architect-engineer. Beginning as a housewright, he evolved into an architect whose work transitioned from Federal style architecture to the later Greek Revival. Parris taught Ammi B. Young, and was among the group of architects influential in founding what would become the American Institute of Architects. He is also responsible for the designs of many lighthouses along the coastal Northeastern United States.

Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area

Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area (or BPWMA) is located in the towns of Hanson and Halifax in Massachusetts, USA. The area is composed of 1,625 acres (6.58 km2) of open land for public use. Hunting is permitted except on Sundays. BPWMA is made up mainly of swampy lands, old cranberry bogs (formally Bog 18, the biggest in the world), and cedar forest. It is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Halifax Proving Range

Halifax Proving Range is a former United States Navy test range in Halifax, Massachusetts.

Halifax station

Halifax station may refer to:


Halifax bus station, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

Halifax railway station (West Yorkshire), in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

Halifax North Bridge railway station, a former station in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

Halifax St Pauls railway station, a former station in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

Halifax station (Nova Scotia), in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax station (MBTA), in Halifax, Massachusetts, United StatesOther uses:

Halifax transmitting station, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England

Halifax Station, or North America and West Indies Station, a British Royal Navy formation from 1745 to 1956

Halifax station (MBTA)

Halifax is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Halifax, Massachusetts. It serves the Plymouth/Kingston Line. It is located off Holmes Street (Massachusetts Route 36) in northeastern Halifax. It opened when service was restored on the Old Colony Lines on September 29, 1997. It has two tracks and two platforms to allow trains to pass at the station (most of the 1997-opened stations have only one track).

The New Haven Railroad's Halifax station, closed with the rest of the Old Colony Division in 1959, was located on the opposite side of Holmes Street.

Hiram Fuller (journalist)

Hiram Fuller (born in Halifax, Massachusetts, September 6, 1814; died November 19, 1880) was a United States journalist and educator.

Jesse Dunbar

Jesse Dunbar (c.1743 – April 9, 1816) was a Tory from Halifax, Massachusetts, a town in Plymouth County, located in what was then called the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1774, while anti-British colonists — also known as Whigs or Patriots — tried to stage a boycott on British goods, Jesse Dunbar bought some "fat cattle" from Mr. Thomas, a Mandamus Counsellor from England. The purchase was a violation of the boycott, but by no means illegal. He was approximately 31 years old at the time.

After driving the oxen back home to the town of Plymouth, Jesse Dunbar slaughtered, skinned, and hung up one of the oxen. Rumor spread about where the oxen had come from, and soon a committee of Whigs came to extralegally enforce the boycott by stuffing Jesse Dunbar into the belly of the ox carcass. After stuffing Dunbar into the belly of the ox, the Plymouth mob put the ox carcass into a cart and pushed the cart 4 miles out of town. The mob also stole three more cattle and a horse from Mr. Dunbar.

The Plymouth mob forced Jesse Dunbar to pay them one dollar for the ride. The Plymouth mob also handed over the punishment of Jesse Dunbar over to a mob from Kingston, Massachusetts. The Kingston mob put the carcass onto a cart belonging to a Mr. William Arnold.

At first the Kingston Mob allowed Jesse Dunbar to walk alongside the ox-cart in shame (as the procession was apparently being kept under control by a Captain Wait Wadsworth). But this brief period of merciful treatment was cut short when many boys - "collected in great numbers" according to Justin Winsor - among the mob started dancing around Jesse Dunbar for the purpose of mocking him. It is not known whether it was an accident or not, but any case, Jesse Dunbar started tripping some of the children's feet up with his own as they danced around him. The Kingston Mob was so outraged by the incident with the children that they forced him back into the belly of ox carcass with renewed violence. After 4 miles the Kingston mob handed Jesse Dunbar and the ox over to a mob in Duxborough, Massachusetts.

The Duxborough (also spelled Duxbury) mob started beating him in the face with the ox's tripe. Two sources mention the mob "endeavoring to cover his entire person in it [the inards of the ox carcass]." Jesse Dunbar almost asphyxiated from all the crowd forcing tripe into his face - "to the endangerment of his life." As he was choking on the tripe, they threw some dirt on him. After some other abuses at the Duxborough mob, the tormentors carried Jesse Dunbar to Mr. Thomas's house and tipped him out in front of the door. The sum of money that the Duxborough mob took from him is unknown. According to the Rivington Gazette, the story of his torture ends with the Duxborough mob making "him pay another sum of money, and he not taking the beef, they flung it in the road and quitted him."

Somehow Jesse Dunbar survived this incident, and may well have gone on living in Plymouth County next to the neighbors who had stolen his property and his dignity. According to his tombstone, located at the Alden or Great Woods Graveyard in Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Dunbar died on April 9, 1816 at the age of 73. His epitaph reads:

"In memory of Mr. Jesse Dunbar, who died April 9, 1816, aged 73 years

Honorable age is not that which standeth in length of time,

Nor is it measured in number of years; but wisdom is the

Gray hair unto man, and an unspotted life is old age."

His wife, Abigail Dunbar, died a year later. She was three years older than he.

Another tombstone in the graveyard shows that he had a daughter named Dinah with what must have been his first wife, Azuba. Azuba Dunbar is not buried in the cemetery.

Joshua Cushman

Joshua Cushman (April 11, 1761 – January 27, 1834) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and from Maine. Born in Halifax, Massachusetts, Cushman served in the Continental Army from April 1, 1777, until March 1780. He was graduated from Harvard University in 1787, studied theology, was ordained to the ministry and licensed to preach. He was pastor of the Congregational Church in Winslow, Maine for nearly twenty years. He served in the Massachusetts State Senate, and served as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Cushman was elected as Democratic-Republican from Massachusetts to the Sixteenth Congress (March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1821). When the State of Maine was admitted into the Union, he was also elected as a Democratic-Republican member to the Seventeenth Congress, and reelected as an Adams-Clay Republican to the Eighteenth Congress (March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1825). He died in Augusta, Maine on January 27, 1834. He was interred in a tomb on the State grounds in Augusta.

Massachusetts Route 105

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

Massachusetts Route 106

Route 106 is a west–east highway in southeastern Massachusetts, United States.

Massachusetts Route 36

Route 36 is a short north–south state highway in southeastern Massachusetts.

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.

Monponsett Pond

Monponsett Pond, also called Monponsett Lake and the Twin Lakes, originally one lake is dissected by route 58 into a system of two ponds, West and East, mostly in Halifax, Massachusetts, with a small portion of West Monponsett Pond extending into Hanson. The western basin is 282 acres (1.14 km2), and the eastern basin is 246 acres (1.00 km2). The average depth of both ponds is seven feet and the maximum depth is 13 feet (4.0 m). The outflow is Stump Brook, a tributary of Poor Meadow Brook, in the northwestern part of West Monponsett Pond. The pond is part of the Taunton River Watershed. Occasionally during water shortages water from this pond is diverted into Silver Lake, the principal water supply for the City of Brockton.

Route 58 bisects the two ponds. A paved boat launching ramp to West Monponsett Pond is on this highway north of White Island Road. White Island in the center of the pond is known to have been the fishing camp of Wamsutta, brother of Chief Metacomet (also known as King Philip).

A culvert connecting the two ponds is nearby. Route 106 runs close to the southern shore of East Monponsett Pond, and Route 36 abuts the southeast corner of East Monponsett Pond, where there is a paved launching ramp. Access to West Monponsett Pond is an unpaved ramp off Lingan Street. Monponsett Pond Seaplane Base is located on this pond.

Monponsett Pond Seaplane Base

Monponsett Pond Seaplane Base (FAA LID: MA6) is a privately owned, public-use seaplane base located two miles (3 km) northwest of the central business district of Halifax, a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States.

Robbins Pond (Massachusetts)

Robbins Pond is a 124-acre (0.50 km2) warm water pond in East Bridgewater and Halifax, Massachusetts. It is part of the Taunton River Watershed. The inflow is Poor Meadow Brook, and the outflow is the Satucket River.The water is brown in color with a transparency of five feet, and the bottom is a mixture of sand and gravel. Average depth is four feet and maximum depth is just ten feet. There are 1.7 miles (2.7 km) of shoreline.

The pond is located off Pond Street in East Bridgewater, one mile (1.6 km) from Route 106. Access is an informal gravel launch area near the pond’s outlet. It is suitable only for car top boats and canoes.

Silver Lake Regional High School

Silver Lake Regional High School is a public, regional high school in Massachusetts' South Shore region. It is the only secondary school in the Silver Lake Regional School District, comprising the towns of Kingston, Plympton and Halifax, Massachusetts. From 1955 to 2004, the Silver Lake Regional School District included the town of Pembroke, Massachusetts.

Warren G. Phillips

Warren G. Phillips is a science teacher inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame (Video on YouTube) in Emporia, Kansas, in 2010. He conducts brain-based STEM professional development for teachers around the country based upon his book Science Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. Phillips recorded and produced three CD’s of Science Songs entitled Sing-A-Long Science teaching the science standards. From these songs, he developed a musical entitled The Science Secret. He has incorporated his Sing Along Science songs, which are parodies of popular music, into science lessons to make them more memorable. His Element Song Video on YouTube teaches the first 30 elements of the periodic table in order. Warren maintains a blog at singalongscience.wordpress.com Warren was born in Weymouth, MA. on February 1, 1954

William Lawrence Tower

William Lawrence Tower (1872–??) was an American zoologist, born in Halifax, Massachusetts. He was educated at the Lawrence Scientific School (Harvard), the Harvard Graduate School, and the University of Chicago (B. S., 1902), where he taught thereafter, becoming associate professor in 1911.

Municipalities and communities of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States


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