Mattapoisett, Massachusetts

Mattapoisett is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,045 at the 2010 census.[1]

For geographic and demographic information on the village of Mattapoisett Center, please see the article Mattapoisett Center, Massachusetts.

Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
Ned's Point Light
Ned's Point Light
Official seal of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts

Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°39′30″N 70°49′00″W / 41.65833°N 70.81667°WCoordinates: 41°39′30″N 70°49′00″W / 41.65833°N 70.81667°W
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedMay 20, 1857
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total24.2 sq mi (62.6 km2)
 • Land17.4 sq mi (45.0 km2)
 • Water6.8 sq mi (17.6 km2)
25 ft (8 m)
 • Total6,045
 • Density250/sq mi (97/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)508/774
FIPS code25-39450
GNIS feature ID0619471


The Mattapoisett area was originally purchased by Governor William Brenton from the Wampanoag chief Metacomet, also referred to as King Philip, in 1664. Brenton left it to his son Ebenezer, who sold it.[2] The town of Mattapoisett was settled in 1750 and officially incorporated in 1857. Originally a part of Rochester, the area had most likely been visited by European traders and sailors. There is also evidence of prior Wampanoag Indian settlements, including burial grounds, throughout the town. In fact, the word Mattapoisett is Wampanoag for "a place of resting".

Early industry included logging and farming, but Mattapoisett became best known for its role in the history of whaling. Some 400 ships were built in the town's shipyards from 1740 until the 1870s, including the Acushnet, the ship that Moby-Dick author Herman Melville sailed on and later deserted. The town supplied many of the whalers used on the East Coast in the first half of the nineteenth century. The last one, the Wanderer, was built in 1878, shortly after the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania, which led to the demise of commercial whaling in the United States.

With the decline of whaling and associated shipbuilding, Mattapoisett transitioned into a popular summer vacation spot for prominent New York and Boston residents, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Today, the town is largely a suburban community, with most residents commuting to jobs in greater New Bedford, Providence or Boston, or operating businesses targeting summer tourism.[3]

A fictitious future Mattapoisett features largely in the 1976 novel Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy.


Shipyard Park
Mattapoisett Town Wharf

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.2 square miles (62.6 km2), of which 17.4 square miles (45.0 km2) is land and 6.8 square miles (17.6 km2), or 28.18%, is water.[4] The Mattapoisett River begins in Rochester and flows through town, emptying into Mattapoisett Harbor, an arm of Buzzards Bay. Mattapoisett is home to Haskell Swamp in the Tinkham Hill area in the northern part of town. There is also a state-managed wildlife area, Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, commonly known as Nunes Farm, along the waterfront near the Fairhaven line. There are four beaches and two parks along the waterfront, as well as Ned Point Light, which was built in 1837 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The town is home to the Fin, Fur and Feather Club, a hunt club and shooting range located along the Mattapoisett River off Crystal Spring Road.

Mattapoisett is the southwestern-most town of Plymouth County. It is bordered by Fairhaven to the southwest, Acushnet to the northwest, Rochester to the north, and Marion to the east. Buzzards Bay lies to the south. The town is 9 miles (14 km) east of New Bedford, 38 miles (61 km) east-southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, and 60 miles (97 km) south of Boston.


Interstate 195 runs through the town, and U.S. Route 6, is the main local road through town. I-195 has an exit for the town, Exit 19A/B, "Mattapoisett/N. Rochester," which accesses North Street.

Regional bus service can be reached in New Bedford, as can regional air service. The nearest rail service is either in Providence or at the terminus of the Middleborough-Lakeville line of the MBTA's commuter rail service to Boston. The nearest national airline service can be found at T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, and the nearest international service can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston.


As of the 2010 census, there were 6,045 people, 2,505 households, and 1,740 families residing in the town. The population density was 380.4 people per square mile (146.9/km²). There were 3,262 housing units at an average density of 192.5 per square mile (74.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.1% White, 1.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races.[14]

There were 2,532 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. Of all households 25.5% were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.97.

Age distribution figures show 23.9% of the population under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,466, and the median income for a family was $68,246. Males had a median income of $48,100 versus $35,938 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,050. About 2.8% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.


Mattapoisett Town Hall
Mattapoisett Town Hall

Mattapoisett is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by William Straus, as a part of the Tenth Bristol district, and in the Massachusetts Senate by Mark Montigny, as part of the Second Bristol and Plymouth district.[15][16] In the US House of Representatives, Mattapoisett is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, and is currently represented by William R. Keating.[17] In the US Senate is Elizabeth Warren and the junior senator is Ed Markey.[18][19]

Mattapoisett uses the open town meeting form of government, led by a board of selectmen.[20] The town hall is located on Main Street, between Route 6 and the harbor. The town has its own highly educated full-time police department and on-call fire department, both headquartered on Route 6. The Mattapoisett Police Department runs the emergency medical system (EMS) for the town with it being one of the last towns among the Commonwealth to have a police based EMS system. All police officers are required to be at minimum EMT-Basics while some members of the police are EMT-Paramedics. The EMS also has civilian EMT-Paramedic members who reside in the community. The Mattapoisett Free Public Library, located on Barstow Street, is a member of the SAILS Library Network, the Southeastern Massachusetts Library System (SEMLS), and the Massachusetts Library Internet Network (MLIN).


Mattapoisett is a member of the 2,700-student Old Rochester Regional School District. The town, along with Marion and Rochester, operate a single school system with each town having its own school subcommittee. Mattapoisett operates the Center School for prekindergarten through third grade students, and the Old Hammondtown School for grades 4-6. Seventh- and eighth-grade students attend Old Rochester Regional Junior High School, and high school students attend Old Rochester Regional High School. Both regional schools are located on Route 6 in Mattapoisett, near the Marion town line. The high school, commonly known as "O.R.R.," competes in the South Coast Conference for athletics. Their mascot is the bulldog, and their colors are red and white. The town's Thanksgiving Day football rival is Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville.

In addition to public schools, high school students may also choose to attend Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, located in Rochester. The nearest private schools are Tabor Academy in Marion and Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth.

Prior to the opening of the Old Rochester Regional High School in 1961, students in grades 10–12 attended Fairhaven High School in Fairhaven

Notable Residents

See also


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Mattapoisett town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  2. ^ Potter, Elisha Reynolds (1835). The Early History of Narragansett. Providence: Marshall. p. 3:397. Retrieved 15 Oct 2016.
  3. ^ Mattapoisett Town History Archived 2007-10-10 at the Wayback Machine – Mattapoisett Historical Society
  4. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Mattapoisett town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  5. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
  6. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision – GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. 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 from the original (PDF) on December 7, 2013. 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. 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. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  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. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts/POPULATION/DECENNIAL_CNT "American FactFinder" Check |url= value (help). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. ^ "William M. Straus". MA Legislature. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Mark C. Montigney". MA Legislature. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Our District". US House of Representatives. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Elizabeth Warren". US Senate. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  19. ^ "About Ed". US Senate. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  20. ^

External links

Barstow Rock (Massachusetts)

Barstow Rock is a minor, barren rock-island located in Mattapoisett Harbor in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.

Bobby Clancy

Robert Joseph 'Bobby' Clancy Jr (11 May 1927 – 6 September 2002) was an Irish singer and musician best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers, one of the most successful and influential Irish folk groups. He accompanied his songs on five-string banjo, guitar, bodhrán, and harmonica.

Brant Island

Brant Island is an inhabited island located in Nasketucket Bay in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.

Cicero (ship)

Several ships have been named Cicero after the Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher Cicero:

Cicero (1796 ship) was launched at Sunderland and initially sailed as a West Indiaman. She was briefly captured in 1799. She went whale hunting both in the Northern Whale Fishery (1803-1808), and the Southern Whale Fishery (1816-1823). She capsized at Limerick in September 1832 and was condemned there.

Cicero (1799 ship), of 227 tons (bm), was built in the Smith Yard in Boston.

Cicero (1819 ship) was launched at Hull as a whaler. She made six full voyages to the Greenland whale fishery and was lost in July 1826 on her seventh.

Cicero (1822 ship), of 226 or 252 tons (bm),was launched at Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Between 1831 and 1882 she made 18 voyages as a whaler. She was abandoned and broken up in 1883.

Cicero (1861) was an iron ship of 1130 tons (NRT) and 1057 tons under deck, launched at Liverpool by Thomas Vernon & Son, Liverpool. Cicero transferred her registry to Germany. On 11 November 1890 she left Shields with a cargo of coal for Valparaiso and was not heard from thereafter.

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

Elizabeth Drew Stoddard (May 6, 1823 – August 1, 1902) was an American poet and novelist.

Soon after her marriage to Richard Henry Stoddard, the author, she began to publish poems in all the leading magazines, and thereafter, she was a frequent contributor. Her verses were of a high order; she wrote for intellectual readers only. She never collected the numerous poems she published in the periodicals, although there were enough of them to fill a large volume. In addition to her poetical productions, she published three novels: The Morgesons (New York City, 1862); Two Men (1865), and Temple House (1867). Those books did not find a large sale when first published, but a second edition, published in 1888, found a wider circle of readers. They were pictures of New England scenes and characters. In 1874, she published Lolly Dinks's Doings, a juvenile story.

Francis Davis Millet

Francis Davis Millet (November 3, 1848 – April 15, 1912) was an American academic classical painter, sculptor, and writer who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912.

Geoff Smith (runner)

Geoffrey ("Geoff") Smith (born 24 October 1953) is a British long-distance runner who won the Boston Marathon in both 1984 and 1985. He was born in Liverpool. He represented Great Britain at the Summer Olympics twice, in the 10,000 m in 1980 and in the marathon in 1984.

Smith's best time in the marathon was 2:09:08, when he finished second to Rod Dixon in the New York City Marathon in 1983. Smith only lost by nine seconds. He won the 1984 Boston Marathon by over four minutes. He was the last person to win the Boston Marathon before the race organizers began giving out prize money to the winners.He ran a sub-four-minute mile in 1982, recording 3:55 minutes in Wales. In 1982 won the world class Bermuda 10K on a very hilly course in a record time of 28:14, although many world class runners have attempted this race over the years since, none have been any closer than 54 seconds behind this record.

Smith worked as a firefighter for ten years in the United Kingdom, joining the professional straight out of high school. He later went back to study, enrolling at Providence College in Rhode Island at the age of 26 in 1980. He remained in the United States and began working as a middle school teacher and lives in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts as of 2004. He ceased running the Boston Marathon after 1990 and stopped running completely in the early 1990s, having suffered hip problems since birth. Had both hips replaced and has started running again in June 2013. He coaches local runners South of Boston.

Gideon Barstow

Gideon Barstow (September 7, 1783 – March 26, 1852) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. Born in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, Barstow attended the common schools and Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island from 1799 to 1801. He studied medicine, was admitted to practice and settled in Salem, Massachusetts. He served as member of the State constitutional convention in 1820.

Barstow was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Seventeenth Congress (March 4, 1821 – March 3, 1823), but was not a candidate for renomination in 1822.

He served as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and served in the Massachusetts State Senate. He served as presidential elector on the Whig ticket of Clay and Sergeant in 1832. He moved to St. Augustine, Florida, because of ill health and engaged in mercantile pursuits. Barstow died in St. Augustine March 26, 1852 and was interred in Huguenot Cemetery.

Milton Silveira

Milton Antone Silveira (4 May 1929 – 11 July 2013) was an American aerospace engineer, pilot and academic, serving as NASA's Chief Engineer between 1983 and 1986. He was involved in numerous crewed spaceflight programs, including Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, and also contributed to the investigation into the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Nasketucket Bay State Reservation

Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, is located in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, along the coastline of southeast Massachusetts. The park includes 210 acres (85 ha) of rocky shoreline open field and wooded trails. A parking lot is located at the northeast corner of the reservation

The reservation is accessed by Route 6, to Brandt Island Road to Brandt Beach Road. A parking lot is located at the northeast corner of the reservation and a trail leads circuitously south to the rocky beach at the bay.

Ned Point Light

Ned Point Light is a historic lighthouse on Ned's Point Road in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. The lighthouse was built in 1838 at a cost of approximately $5,000, and named after Ned Dexter, a local farmer. Under the supervision of a local builder, Leonard Hammond, the lighthouse was constructed with a birdcage-style lantern similar to Bird Island Light found in Marion, Massachusetts. The stone used for the lighthouse was all locally sourced, with most of it originating from nearby beaches. Insider, there are 32 granite steps that are cantilevered to the outside wall without the use of mortar. The original lantern used 11 whale oil lamps, each with its own parabolic reflector. The lamps and reflectors were replaced by a fifth order Fresnel lens in 1857, along with a change to an octagonal lantern. The Great Blizzard of 1888 significantly damaged the keeper's stone house, resulting in it being demolished and the building of a wooden replacement.

Following the lighthouse's automation in 1923, the keeper's house became unnecessary. The original stone keeper's house was loaded on a barge and taken to Wing's Neck Light in Bourne, Massachusetts. The lighthouse was deactivated from 1952, but remained under control of the US Coast Guard. Following modernization in 1961, the lighthouse was reactivated in 1961 with its current 6-second isophase. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and approved in 1988.

Peter Uihlein

Peter Uihlein (born August 29, 1989) is an American professional golfer who currently plays on the PGA Tour and the European Tour. He was a member of the victorious U.S. team at the 2009 Walker Cup, where he compiled a 4-0 match record. Uihlein won the 2010 U.S. Amateur and is a former number one ranked amateur golfer in the world.

Robert Brink

Robert Greenleaf Brink (Boston, 30 March 1924 - Boston, 24 October 2014) was an American violinist, conductor, and educator. He was a professor of music at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.

He performed with the harpsichordist Daniel Pinkham and gave the premieres of works by Walter Piston, Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, and Daniel Pinkham. Pinkham composed his 1958 violin concerto for Brink.

He performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and played under the conductors Sergei Koussevitzky, Aaron Copland, and Darius Milhaud. With Daniel Pinkham, Brink co-founded the Cambridge Festival Orchestra in the mid-1950s, serving as that orchestra's concertmaster. In 1951 and 1952, Brink and Pinkham performed at Brown University and Wellesley college under the auspices of the Peabody Mason Concerts. Brink founded the Boston Classical Orchestra and served as its concertmaster until 1995. He founded and conducted the Orchestra for the Art of Music (OAM), which performs music from the Classical period.

He lived for many years in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.

Sam Waterston

Samuel Atkinson Waterston (born November 15, 1940) is an American actor, producer, and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields (1984), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and his starring role as Jack McCoy on the NBC television series Law & Order (1994–2010), which brought him Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. He has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA, and Emmy awards, having starred in over eighty film and television productions during his fifty-year career. He has also starred in numerous stage productions. AllMovie historian Hal Erickson characterized Waterston as having "cultivated a loyal following with his quietly charismatic, unfailingly solid performances."Waterston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2012.

The Bay Club at Mattapoisett, Massachusetts

The Bay Club at Mattapoisett is a private country club and golf course located in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Designed by Brad Faxon & Brad Booth, the Bay Club has hosted the MGA Senior Championship and the AJGA Championship. The Bay Club Golf Course is most noted for its lush green British style fescue.

The Wanderer (Massachusetts newspaper)

The Wanderer is a weekly newspaper that serves the "Tri-town area "of Marion, Massachusetts, Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, and Rochester, Massachusetts in southeastern Massachusetts. The Wanderer is published by Wanderer Com Inc., at 55 County Road in Mattapoisett.

Third Meetinghouse

The Third Meetinghouse is an historic church, community meeting house and Grange Hall at 1 Fairhaven Road in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Built in 1816, it is the town's oldest surviving public building, and the one in which the meeting leading to its separation from Rochester took place. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Thomas Robbins (minister)

Rev. Thomas Robbins, D.D. (August 11, 1777 – September 13, 1856) was a Congregational minister, a bibliophile, and an antiquarian. He became the first librarian of the Connecticut Historical Society.

William M. Straus

William M. Straus (born June 26, 1956 in East Orange, New Jersey) is a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He represents the 10th Bristol District comprising the towns of Fairhaven; New Bedford: Ward 3: Precinct A, Ward 4: Precincts D, E; Marion; Mattapoisett; and Rochester.

Historical population
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
Municipalities and communities of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States


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