Medford is a city 3.2 miles northwest of downtown Boston on the Mystic River in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 56,173. It is home to Tufts University, which has its campus along the Medford and Somerville border.
Medford Square, the intersection of Main Street, High Street, Forest Street, Salem Street, Riverside Avenue, and Ring Road
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in the United States
|• Type||Mayor-council city|
|• Mayor||Stephanie Muccini Burke|
|• Total||8.6 sq mi (22.4 km2)|
|• Land||8.1 sq mi (21.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)|
|Elevation||14 ft (4 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||6,500/sq mi (2,500/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
02153, 02155, 02156
|Area code(s)||781 / 339|
|GNIS feature ID||0612778|
Medford was settled in 1630 as part of Charlestown, and the powerful Squaw Sachem of Mistick resided in the area. The area was originally called "Mistick" by Thomas Dudley (a name which persisted for many decades), which his party renamed "Meadford". The name may have come from a description of the "meadow by the ford" in the Mystic River, or from two locations in England that Cradock may have known: the hamlet of Mayford or Metford in Staffordshire near Caverswall, or from the parish of Maidford or Medford (now Towcester, Northamptonshire). In 1634, the land north of the Mystic River became the private plantation of former Governor Matthew Cradock; across the river was Ten Hills Farm, which belonged to John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony.
In 1637, the first bridge (a toll bridge) across the Mystic River was built at the site of the present-day Cradock Bridge, which carries Main Street into Medford Square. It would be the only bridge across the Mystic until 1787, and as such became a major route for traffic coming into Boston from the north (though ferries and fords were also used). The bridge would be rebuilt in 1880 and 1909.
Until 1656, all of northern Medford was owned by Cradock, his heirs, or Edward Collins. Medford was governed as a "peculiar" or private plantation. As the land began to be divided among several people from different families, the new owners began to meet and make decisions locally and increasingly independently from the Charlestown town meeting. In 1674, a Board of Selectmen was elected, in 1684, the colonial legislature granted the ability to raise money independently, and in 1689, a representative to the legislature was chosen. The town got its own religious meeting room in 1690, and a secular meeting house in 1696.
In 1692, the town engaged its first ordained preacher, Rev. John Hancock Sr., grandfather to John Hancock, first and third Governor of Massachusetts and famous revolutionary figure; during his time of service Rev. Hancock lived in Medford, serving until November 1693.
The land south of the Mystic River, present-day South Medford, was originally known as "Mistick Field". It was transferred from Charlestown to Medford in 1754. This grant also included the "Charlestown woodlots" (the Medford part of the Middlesex Fells), and part of what was at the time Woburn (now Winchester). Other parts of Medford were transferred from Charlestown in 1811, Winchester in 1850 ("Upper Medford"), and Malden in 1879. Additional land was transferred to Medford from Malden (1817), Everett (1875), and Malden (1877) again.
The population of Medford went from 230 in 1700 to 1,114 in 1800. After 1880, the population rapidly expanded, reaching 18,244 by 1900. Farmland was divided into lots and sold to build residential and commercial buildings, starting in the 1840s and 1850s; government services expanded with the population (schools, police, post office) and technological advancement (gas lighting, electricity, telephones, railways). Tufts University was chartered in 1852 and the Crane Theological School at Tufts opened in 1869.
Medford was incorporated as a city in 1892, and was a center of industry, including the manufacture of tiles and crackers, bricks, rum, and clipper ships, such as the White Swallow and the Kingfisher, both built by Hayden & Cudworth.
During the 17th century, a handful of major public roads (High Street, Main Street, Salem Street, "the road to Stoneham", and South Street) served the population, but the road network started a long-term expansion in the 18th century. The Medford Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1803, and (as was reasonably common at the time) turned what is now Mystic Avenue over to the city in 1866. The Andover Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1805, and turned what is now Forest Street and Fellsway West over to Medford in 1830.
Other major commercial transportation projects included the Middlesex Canal by 1803, the Boston and Lowell Railroad in West Medford in the 1830s, and the Boston and Maine Railroad to Medford Center in 1847.
A horse-powered street railway began running to Somerville and Charlestown in 1860. The street railway network expanded in the hands of various private companies, and went electric in the late 1890s, when trolleys to Everett and downtown Boston were available. Streetcars were converted to buses in the 20th century. Interstate 93 was constructed between 1956 and 1963.
In 1868, a French astronomer and naturalist, Leopold Trouvelot, was attempting to breed a better silkworm using Gypsy moths. Several of the moths escaped from his home, at 27 Myrtle Street. Within ten years, the insect had denuded the vegetation in the neighborhood. It spread over North America.
In a tavern and boarding house on High Street (Simpson's Tavern) in the late 19th century, local resident James Pierpont wrote "Jingle Bells" after watching a sleigh race from Medford to Malden. Another local resident, Lydia Maria Child (1802–1880), made a poem out of the trip across town to her grandparents' house, now the classic song "Over the River and Through the Wood".
Paul Revere's famous midnight ride traveled along Main Street, continuing onto High Street in Medford Square. An annual re-enactment takes place honoring the historic event.
The Peter Tufts House (350 Riverside Ave.) is thought to be the oldest all-brick building in New England. Another important site is the "Slave Wall" on Grove Street, built by "Pomp," a slave owned by the prominent Brooks family. The Isaac Royall House, which once belonged to one of Harvard Law School's founders, Isaac Royall, Jr., is a National Historic Landmark and a local history museum. The house was used by Continental Army troops, including George Washington and John Stark, during the American Revolutionary War.
George Luther Stearns, an American industrialist and one of John Brown's Secret Six. His passion for the abolitionist cause shaped his life, bringing him into contact with the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson and starting The Nation magazine. He was given the rank of major by Massachusetts Governor John Andrew and spent most of the Civil War recruiting for the 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments and the 5th cavalry.
Medford was home to Fannie Farmer, author of one of the world's most famous cookbooks—as well as James Plimpton, the man credited with the 1863 invention of the first practical four-wheeled roller skate, which set off a roller craze that quickly spread across the United States and Europe.
Amelia Earhart lived in Medford while working as a social worker in 1925.
Elizabeth Short, the victim of an infamous Hollywood murder and who became known as The Black Dahlia, was born in Hyde Park (the southernmost neighborhood of the city of Boston, Massachusetts) but raised in Medford before going to the West Coast looking for fame.
Medford has sent more than its share of athletes to the National Hockey League; Shawn Bates, though born in Melrose, MA grew up in Medford, as did Keith Tkachuk, Mike Morrison, David Sacco, and Joe Sacco. Former Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette grew up in Medford, as did former Major League Baseball infielder Mike Pagliarulo.
Medford was home to Michael Bloomberg, American businessman, philanthropist, and the founder of Bloomberg L.P.. He was the Mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. Mayor Bloomberg attended Medford High School and resided in Medford until after he graduated from college at Johns Hopkins University. His mother remained a resident of Medford until her death in 2011.
Medford was the location of some famous crimes:
Medford is located at (42.419996, −71.107942).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.1 square miles (21 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (5.79%) is water.
A park called the Middlesex Fells Reservation, to the north, is partly within the city. This 2,060-acre (8 km2) preserve is shared by Medford with the municipalities of Winchester, Stoneham, Melrose, and Malden. The Mystic River flows roughly west to southeast through the middle of the city.
People from Medford often identify themselves with a particular neighborhood.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Irish-Americans are a strong presence in the city and live in all areas. South Medford is a traditionally Italian neighborhood. West Medford, the most affluent of Medford's many neighborhoods, was once the bastion of some of Boston's elite families— including Peter Chardon Brooks, one of the wealthiest men in post-colonial America, and father-in-law to Charles Francis Adams — and is also home to an historic African-American neighborhood that dates to the Civil War.
As of the census of 2010, there were 56,173 people, 22,810 households, and 13,207 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,859.9 people per square mile (2,633.4/km²). There were 24,046 housing units at an average density of 2,796.0 per square mile (1,073.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.6% White, 8.80% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.8% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.4% of the population.
There were 22,810 households out of which 22.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.1% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city, the population was spread out with 13.8% under the age of 15, 14.3% from 15 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $52,476, and the median income for a family was $62,409. Males had a median income of $41,704 versus $34,948 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,707. About 4.1% of families and 6.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.
Medford has three Public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV channels. The Public-access television channel is TV3, The Educational-access television is channel 15 and 16 is the Government-access television (GATV) municipal channel.
Medford is home to many schools, public and private.
|Clerk of Courts:||Michael A. Sullivan|
|District Attorney:||Marian Ryan|
|Register of Deeds:||Richard P. Howe, Jr. (North at Lowell)|
Eugene C. Brune (South at Cambridge)
|Register of Probate:||Tara E. DeCristofaro|
|County Sheriff:||Peter Koutoujian (D)|
|State Representative(s):||Paul Donato (D) |
Sean Garballey (D)
Christine Barber (D)
|State Senator(s):||Patricia D. Jehlen (D)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Terrence W. Kennedy (D)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||Katherine Clark (D-5th District)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 15, 2008|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
The City of Medford has several local news and media outlets:
Numerous Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus lines go through Medford—specifically, the 80, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 101, 108, and 134 bus routes provide local service and direct connections to nearby areas in Arlington, Somerville, Cambridge, Malden, Charlestown, Winchester, and Woburn, while the 325 and 326 routes provide express service to downtown Boston and the 710 route is contracted to Joseph's Transportation, a Medford family-owned company. The 90, 97, 106, 110, and 112 bus routes additionally terminate at Wellington station, providing a direct connection between Medford and nearby areas in Somerville, Everett, Malden, Revere, Chelsea, East Boston, and Melrose. On Medford's east side, Wellington station on the Orange Line provides a connection to Boston and the entire rapid transit system. On the west side, the Lowell Commuter Rail Line stops in West Medford Square.
The Green Line Extension, which will bring the Green Line into Medford, as is mandated by environmental mitigation provisions of the Big Dig project, is currently under construction. When completed, the extension will follow the Lowell Commuter Rail Tracks terminating near Tufts University at the intersection of Boston Avenue and College Avenue. A further extension to Mystic Valley Parkway (Massachusetts Route 16) is under environmental review .
Joseph's Limousine and Transportation of Medford runs a bus line through the city and also picks up passengers going to other parts of Greater Boston or out of state.
For other people of the same name, see Bill HanleyBill Hanley (born 1937) is regarded as the "father of festival sound". He is most widely known as the sound engineer behind the Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York in August 1969. He was also influential in a number of other festivals. According to Michael Lang, "I was trying to find someone who could do a sound system for Woodstock, and there was no one who had ever done something like that before. Then there was this crazy guy in Boston who might want to take a shot at it." He was also a part of the large rock Mar Y Sol festival in Puerto Rico in the 1970s.Bill Monbouquette
William Charles Monbouquette (August 11, 1936 – January 25, 2015) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) right-handed pitcher. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox (1958–65), Detroit Tigers (1966–67), New York Yankees (1967–68), and the San Francisco Giants (1968). He was an All-Star for three seasons of his 11-year major league career.Gary Famiglietti
Gary J. Famiglietti (November 28, 1913 – July 13, 1986) was a professional American football player who played running back for nine seasons for the Chicago Bears and Boston Yanks. He was born in Medford, Massachusetts and attended college at Boston University. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1938 NFL Draft.
Famiglietti's most productive year occurred in 1942. He finished third in the National Football League in rushing yards with a total of 503 and first in rushing touchdowns with a total of 8.James O. Curtis
James Otis Curtis (November 1, 1804 – March 3, 1890) was an American shipbuilder who built ships in Medford, Massachusetts (up the Mystic River from Boston). He built wooden ships that were either powered by sail or by screw and steam.Lawrence Light Guard Armory
The Lawrence Light Guard Armory is a historic armory building at 92 High Street in Medford, Massachusetts. The three-story granite and brick building was built in 1891 to a design by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge. The Romanesque Revival building has massive granite quoins on the corners, a granite course between the first and second floors, and granite lintel sections above its windows. The entrance, centered on the north facade, is flanked by round turrets with crenellated tops.The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.List of mayors of Medford, Massachusetts
This is a list of the past and present mayors of Medford, Massachusetts.Mary Carew
Mary Louise Carew Armstrong (September 8, 1913 – July 12, 2002) was an American athlete who competed in the sprints. She was born in Medford, Massachusetts.
She competed for the United States in the 1932 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, in the 4 x 100 metres where she won the gold medal with her teammates Evelyn Furtsch, Annette Rogers and 100m bronze medalist Wilhelmina von Bremen. She died in Framingham, Massachusetts.Medford Daily Mercury
The Medford Daily Mercury was an independent five-day (Monday through Friday) daily newspaper covering the city of Medford, Massachusetts.
Publisher Daniel J. Horgan owned the Daily Mercury and its sister paper, the Malden Evening News, since purchasing the Daily News-Mercury in 1996. Although Horgan restored separate titles for Medford and Malden, Massachusetts, on any given day the two newspapers looked almost identical, except for front-page stories.Medford Public Schools
Medford Public Schools is a school district located in Medford, Massachusetts. The district has 9 schools in the city serving grades K-12. It is led by Superintendent Roy E. Belson. The main office is located at 489 Winthrop Street, within the High School/Vocational-Technical High School building.Middlesex Fells Reservation
Middlesex Fells Reservation, often referred to simply as the Fells, is a public recreation area covering more than 2,200 acres (890 ha) in Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester, Massachusetts. The state park surrounds two inactive reservoirs, Spot Pond and the Fells Reservoir, and the three active reservoirs (North, Middle, and South) supplying the town of Winchester. Spot Pond and the Fells Reservoir are part of the Wachusett water system, one of six primary water systems that feed metropolitan Boston's waterworks. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and is part of the Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston.Middlesex Fells Reservoirs Historic District
The Middlesex Fells Reservoirs Historic District is a historic district roughly bounded by Pond St., Woodland Rd., I-93, and MA 28 in Stoneham and Medford, Massachusetts. It encompasses a portion of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a state park managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The principal features of the district are three reservoirs and their associated gate houses and pumping stations, which were developed by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC, predecessor organization to the DCR) starting in the late 19th century. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.The most prominent and visible feature of the district is Spot Pond, a large body of water on the east side of Interstate 93 in Stoneham. The pond was used as a passive reservoir by surrounding towns prior to its acquisition by the MDC. The MDC replaced several town pumping stations with a single station (separately listed on the National Register in 1984), and constructed a gate house adjacent. Also found in the same area on the eastern shore of the pond is the John Bottume House, a 19th-century stone house that now serves as the reservation's visitors center. The MDC also enlarged the pond's capacity, and converted it for use as a storage reservoir providing water to the communities north of Boston. There is a second gatehouse on Spot Pond, at the southern end (straddling the Stoneham-Medford line).The MDC also constructed two smaller reservoirs within the Fells. The Bear Hill Reservoir, located just west of I-93 near the summit of Bear Hill, has a capacity of 2 million gallons, and was created in 1902-3 with the construction of two concrete dams and a gatehouse. The Fells Reservoir is located in the southeastern part of the reservation. Because it was sited in existing parkland, it was given a deliberately naturalistic appearance. It was designed by the noted Olmsted Brothers firm, and its gatehouse was built to a design by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge.Mystic Lakes (Boston)
The Mystic Lakes, consisting of Upper Mystic Lake and Lower Mystic Lake, are closely linked bodies of water in the northwestern suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts.
The lakes lie at an elevation of 1 meter above sea level, within the towns of Winchester, Arlington, and Medford, Massachusetts. Upper Mystic Lake is fed by the Aberjona River, and drains south, over the Mystic Dam, into Lower Mystic Lake, which in turn empties into the Mystic River and then Boston Harbor.National Register of Historic Places listings in Medford, Massachusetts
This is a list of places and properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Medford, Massachusetts.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.Oliver Waterman Larkin
Oliver Waterman Larkin (August 17, 1896, Medford, Massachusetts – December 17, 1970) was an American art historian and educator. He won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book Art and Life in America.Paul Curtis (shipbuilder)
Paul Curtis (December 26, 1800 – after 1857) was an American shipbuilder who built ships in Medford, Massachusetts (up the Mystic River from Boston).Paul Donato
Paul J. Donato (born October 27, 1941 in Boston) is an American politician who currently represents the 35th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He previously served as a member of the Medford, Massachusetts school committee from 1972 to 1975 and the city council from 1976 to 1985 and again from 1996 to 2000. While serving on the council, Donato also served as deputy mayor (1980 to 1985), Mayor (1980 to 1985), and council president (1999 to 2000).Saint Clement High School
Saint Clement High School was a private, Roman Catholic high school in Medford, Massachusetts. It was located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.Shooting Star (clipper)
Shooting Star was an extreme clipper built in 1851 near Boston, in Medford, Massachusetts. She was the first "real clipper" to be built in Medford, and sailed in the San Francisco, China, and Far East trades. According to Howe and Matthews, she was known as "one of the fastest of the small clippers".WMFO
WMFO (91.5 FM) is a freeform radio station licensed to Medford, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Tufts University and is run by students and community members. WMFO is funded by the Tufts Student Activities Fee as allocated by the TCU Senate and through community donations.
WMFO streams worldwide from wmfo.org as well as broadcast locally on FM radio at 91.5 FM.
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
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