Medfield is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population is 12,024 according to the 2010 Census. It is a community about 17 miles southwest of Boston, Massachusetts, which is a 40-minute drive to Boston's financial district. Attractions include the Hinkley Pond and the Peak House.
Dwight-Derby House (1651)
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||14.6 sq mi (37.8 km2)|
|• Land||14.5 sq mi (37.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||178 ft (54 m)|
|• Density||829.2/sq mi (319.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0618323|
The territory that Medfield now occupies was, at the time of colonization, Neponset land. After the British took the Natives' land by force and spread a variety of diseases to the people, it was apparently sold by the Neponset leader Chickatabot to William Pynchon in the late 1620s. In 1633, however, Chickatabot died in a smallpox epidemic that decimated nearby Neponset, Narragansett and Pequot communities. Because Chickatabot and Pynchon's deal left no written deed, the Massachusetts General Court ordered "those Indians who were present when Chickatabot sold lands to Mr. Pynchon, or who know where they were, to set out the bounds thereof". Fifty years later, Chickatabot's grandson Josias Wampatuck brought a land claim against Medfield and the other towns created within the borders of the Chickatabot purchase, for which he received payment. Of those lands, Dedham was the first town formed.
Dedham was incorporated in 1636, and Medfield (New Dedham) was first settled in 1649, principally by people who relocated from the former town. The first 13 house lots were laid out on June 19, 1650. In May 1651, the town was incorporated by an act of the General Court as the 43rd town in Massachusetts.
Half the town (32 houses, two mills, many barns and other buildings) was destroyed by Native Americans during King Philip's War in 1675. One house, known as the Peak House, was burnt in the war but was rebuilt shortly thereafter near downtown Medfield.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.6 square miles (37.8 km²), of which 14.5 square miles (37.6 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km²) (0.62%) is water. The Charles River borders almost one-third of Medfield. Medfield is surrounded by the towns Dover, Norfolk, Walpole, Millis, and Sherborn. The Charles River marks the Millis border.
Towns that border Medfield: Dover Millis Norfolk Sherborn Walpole
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
|Black or African American||0.51|
|Two or more races||0.68|
Medfield Public Schools consistently ranks among the top ten school systems in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). As recently as 2017, Medfield was ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the number 5 ranked school system in Massachusetts. As of 2013, Medfield High School Seniors scored an average of 591 on the SAT Critical Reading Section, 618 on the SAT Math Section, and 598 on the SAT Writing Section.
In 2005, Medfield High School and T.A. Blake Middle School switched buildings as a result of a massive construction project updating the current Medfield High School (formally T.A. Blake Middle School).
Medfield's Free Public Library began in 1873. The public library is located on Main Street. In the late 18th century some of the residents of Medfield and surrounding towns formed a subscription library, called the Medfield Social Library.
Medfield State Hospital, located at 45 Hospital Road, opened in 1896 and originally operated on 685 acres (2.77 km2) of pasture. At its peak in 1952, it housed 1,500 patients. By 2001, it was down to about 300 acres (1.2 km2) and employed 450 people (including four psychologists) to care for a maximum of 147 patients. The cost to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was $21.5 million. On April 3, 2003, the doors were closed. Although the buildings are not open to the public (they have been boarded up), the grounds may be visited during daylight hours.
Childs Island is a small heavily forested island located north of the Stop River in the wetlands of Medfield Rhododendrons in Medfield, Massachusetts.Dwight-Derby House
The Dwight-Derby House is at 7 Frairy Street in Medfield, Massachusetts. The Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory took samples of the house frame in 2007 and determined that the earliest, southwest portion of the house was built in 1697, and an addition was built to the east in 1713. The town bought the house in 1996, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.First Baptist Church of Medfield
The First Baptist Church of Medfield is a historic Baptist church building at 438 Main Street in Medfield, Massachusetts, United States.
The church building, the second for the congregation, was constructed in 1838, and originally had Greek Revival styling. In 1874 it was significantly renovated, and given its present Gothic Revival appearance. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.The congregation was established in 1752. It was formally incorporated and given recognition in 1776 under Thomas Gair, its first pastor. Today it is a member of the American Baptists churches, and it theologically aligns with a Reformed Theology and movements such as The Gospel Coalition. Its worship today is a blend of Biblically founded, Gospel Centered preaching, and heartfelt praise. The music style is a blend of contemporary and traditional music. Worship starts at 10:00 a.m.First Parish Unitarian Church
The First Parish Unitarian Church, now the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Medfield, is a historic church on North Street in Medfield, Massachusetts. The white clapboarded church was built in 1789, as the third for a congregation established c. 1652. In 1839 it was rotated on its site ninety degrees. It lost its steeple in the New England Hurricane of 1938. The steeple was replaced in 1988, and the building's many layers of paint were stripped off in 2007.The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.Inness–Fitts House and Studio
The Inness–Fitts House and Studio is a historic house at 406 Main Street in Medfield, Massachusetts. Built in 1836, it is a modest transitional Federal-Greek Revival structure. Southeast of the house stands a barn, probably built in the mid-18th century, which was adapted c. 1860 by artist George Inness for use as a studio. Inness lived here from 1860 to 1864. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.John Preston (author)
John Preston (December 11, 1945 in Medfield, Massachusetts – April 28, 1994 in Portland, Maine) was an author of gay erotica and an editor of gay nonfiction anthologies.Lowell Mason
Lowell Mason (January 8, 1792 – August 11, 1872) was a leading figure in American church music, the composer of over 1600 hymn tunes, many of which are often sung today. His best-known work includes an arrangement of Joy to the World and the tune Bethany, which sets the hymn text Nearer, My God, to Thee. He is largely credited with introducing music into American public schools, and is considered the first important U.S. music educator. He has also been criticized for helping to largely eliminate the robust tradition of participatory sacred music that flourished in America before his time.Massachusetts Route 27
Route 27 is a south–north highway in eastern Massachusetts that runs for 73.4 miles.Matt Klentak
Matthew Klentak (born August 14, 1980) is an American baseball front office executive who serves as the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously served as the assistant general manager of MLB's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.Medfield State Hospital
Medfield State Hospital, originally the Medfield Insane Asylum, is a historic former psychiatric hospital complex at 45 Hospital Road in Medfield, Massachusetts, United States. The asylum was established in 1892 as the state's first facility for dealing with chronic mental patients. The college-like campus was designed by William Pitt Wentworth and developed between 1896 and 1914. After an era dominated by asylums built using the Kirkbride Plan, Medfield Insane Asylum was the first asylum built using the new Cottage Plan layout. It was formally renamed "Medfield State Hospital" in 1914.At its height the complex included 58 buildings, on a property of some 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2), and a capacity of 2,200 patients. It raised its own livestock and produce, and generated its own heat, light and power. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, the property was closed in April 2003 and the buildings shuttered. The grounds have been reopened to the public and are open every day from 6 am to 6 pm. It has been used as a filming location for major thriller/horror motion pictures such as The New Mutants, Shutter Island, and The Box. As of July 2012, The Clark Building was demolished. Local Medfield Police now patrol the facility. Trespassing is strictly forbidden past dark and until sunrise. Within the grounds of the hospital lies the Medfield State Hospital Cemetery which has 841 gravesites. This cemetery was opened from 1918 until 1988. Originally, only numbers were on the graves in this cemetery until a Troop 89 boy scout made it his Eagle project to find the names and dates of death of all those buried in the cemetery.
Starting in October 2013 demolition of three buildings was completed; The Odyssey House, the Carriage House, and the Laundry Building.Peak House (Medfield, Massachusetts)
Peak House is a historic house located at 347 Main Street in Medfield, Massachusetts.
According to tradition, the original house on this site was built in 1651 by Benjamin Clark, burned during the King Philip's War in 1676, and was rebuilt ca. 1677–1680 by Seth Clark, the owner of the original house. The current Peak House, however, was built in 1711, and is one of the oldest houses in Medfield and one of the earliest surviving examples of Post-medieval English (Elizabethan) architecture in the United States. Some of the original panes of glass in the windows, which were imported from England, can still be seen today.
On October 18, 1924, the Peak House was deeded to The Medfield Historical Society, by its then-owners, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Smith, after which the house received a down-to-the-frame restoration. The house has served both as a dwelling and a historical site, as well as an artist's studio and workshop. The Medfield Historical Society's Annual Peak House Pantry, which occurs during the Saturday before Thanksgiving, showcases the Peak House and raises money for its ongoing maintenance. The event offers visitors the opportunity to see both the lower floor with its impressive fireplace and the separate "borning" room, as well as the upstairs sleeping loft that features the original ceiling beams and gunstock posts. In past years at the event, there has been Medfield Historical Society memorabilia for sale, including cup plates in a variety of colors, embossed with the Peak House, refrigerator magnets, and postcards.The house is currently open every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm from June to September and by appointment at other times. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and may have the highest pitched roof on record in Massachusetts for a colonial American house.Rich Gotham
Richard Ernest "Rich" Gotham (born August 31, 1964) is an American business executive and the current president of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a graduate of Providence College and resident of Medfield, Massachusetts. On April 18, 2007 Gotham was named president of the Boston Celtics. Prior to that, he had a successful career as an executive within the online media and Internet technology industries.Robert R. Bishop
Robert Roberts Bishop (March 13, 1834 – October 7, 1910) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, as a member, and President of, the Massachusetts Senate and as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Bishop was also the unsuccessful Republican Party nominee, in the 1882 elections, for Governor of Massachusetts.Roche Bros.
Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Inc. is a chain of supermarkets based in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The company's stores are primarily located in the Boston Metro Area. Roche Bros. also operates the supermarket chain Sudbury Farms.
A third banner, Brothers Marketplace, primarily the next-generation concept of the brothers Ed and Rick Roche, has two locations both opened in 2014. The first one was opened in Weston, Massachusetts and a second in Medfield, Massachusetts.Steve Berthiaume
Steven Berthiaume (; born 1965 in Medfield, Massachusetts) is an American television sportscaster who serves as the play-by-play broadcast announcer for the Arizona Diamondbacks and is a former anchor on ESPN and a former sportscaster for SportsNet New York (SNY). He is married to former SportsCenter anchor Cindy Brunson. He grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts where he ran cross country track and was the announcer for the basketball team.Stop River
The Stop River is a low and marshy stream in Medfield, Massachusetts, and partly forming the border between Norfolk and Walpole. The river rises near Highland Lake in Walpole, flows 9.3 miles (15.0 km) northwards to join the Charles River in Medfield, and ultimately drains into Boston Harbor.
The Medfield Rhododendrons reservation, operated by The Trustees of Reservations, is an important and rare stand of Rhododendron maximum along the river in Woodridge Street, Medfield.The Medfield Press
The Medfield Press is a Thursday weekly newspaper covering Medfield, Massachusetts, United States, serving the suburb of Boston. It is one of more than 100 weeklies published by Community Newspaper Company, a division of GateHouse Media.
The newspaper covers local news, features and events. The publication is staffed by Editor and reporter Rob Borkowski and Staff Photographer Erin Prawoko. The paper also uses a number of regular correspondents, including Photographer Sean Browne, Sports Reporter Josh Centor, News Reporter Jennifer Roach and News Reporter Cathy Pray.Uzo Aduba
Uzoamaka Nwanneka "Uzo" Aduba (; born February 10, 1981) is a Nigerian-American actress. She is known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black (2013–present), for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015. She is one of only two actors to win an Emmy Award in both the comedy and drama categories for the same role, the other being Ed Asner for the character Lou Grant.Vine Lake Cemetery
Vine Lake Cemetery is a historic cemetery on Main Street in Medfield, Massachusetts. First established in 1651, this 32-acre (13 ha) cemetery has grown and evolved over the centuries, and remains the town's only public cemetery. Its sections include the original colonial burying ground, a section in the rural cemetery style fashionable in the 19th century, and modern sections laid out in the 20th century. The oldest dated marker is from 1661.The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
Places adjacent to Medfield, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
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