Medway, Massachusetts

Medway is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States with a population of about 13,000.[1]

Medway, Massachusetts
Sanford Mills on the Charles River
Sanford Mills on the Charles River
Official seal of Medway, Massachusetts

Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°08′30″N 71°23′50″W / 42.14167°N 71.39722°WCoordinates: 42°08′30″N 71°23′50″W / 42.14167°N 71.39722°W
CountryUnited States
FounderHenry Garnsey
Medway 300January 1, 2013
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total11.5 sq mi (29.9 km2)
 • Land11.5 sq mi (29.7 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
200 ft (61 m)
 • Total13,308
 • Density1,108.9/sq mi (429.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern
ZIP code
Area code(s)508 / 774
FIPS code25-39975
GNIS feature ID0619458
WebsiteTown of Medway, Massachusetts


Medway (originally Midway) was first settled in 1657 and was officially incorporated in 1713.[2] At that time, Medway began as a farming community of two hundred thirty-three. It was not long before the water power of the Charles River and Chicken Brook stimulated the formation of cotton and paper mills, straw and boot factories, and a variety of cottage industries. Medway demonstrates the central importance of the Charles River and the thriving town that grew alongside it. Today, the one-room schoolhouses are gone and the country stores have moved to the mall, but the open town meetings continue.

After nearby Medfield was established as a town in 1651, an increasing number of newcomers settled on the land west of the Charles River. By 1712, this settlement west of the Charles had grown large enough to petition the Massachusetts General Court for the creation of a separate new town. That petition was granted, and the town of Medway incorporated on October 25, 1713. At its founding by Henry Garnsey, and for 170 years afterward, the town of Medway included the land that is now Millis. Eventually, the eastern section of the town, known as East Medway, separated in 1885 to form the town of Millis, and Medway assumed the shape it has today.

The main cause for the independent formation of Millis from Medway was the physical separation caused by a massive tract of undevelopable land appropriately named in those times, the Great Black Swamp. The Black Swamp was at the geographical center point of Medway and East Medway. Had the land been developable, this would have been the ideal location for a central meeting house, as well as churches and schools. However, because the thick forest/swamp was completely undevelopable, this forced inhabitants of Medway and East Medway to form separate communities with their own respective necessities such as a meeting house and churches. Despite this natural separation, the town remained as one for over 170 years.

The oldest road in Medway was laid out in 1670 and was known for years as Old Mendon Road. Since that time, this road has been known by many names including The Road to the Wilderness, The Old County Road, The Middle Post Road, and most recently, Village Street. Village Street runs from the Millis border on the east and meanders along the Charles River before eventually joining Main Street just before the Bellingham border on the west. The heart of the old town of Medway is found along this road, with the central location of activity at Medway Village, where Holliston Street intersects with Village Street.

In 1869, all of the streets in Medway were officially named. Many streets ended up losing their original names, and were instead named after influential townspeople of the past and present. Some examples of this were; Pine Hill Road became Winthrop Street, Vine Lane became Kelley Street, Candlewood Island Road was named Oakland Street, and The Old Hartford Turnpike was named Main Street. A few other examples of roads in Medway named after past residents include Lovering Street, Adams Street, Partridge Street, Ellis Street, Clark Street, Coffee Street, and Barber Street.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.5 square miles (30 km2), of which, 11.4 square miles (30 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.78%) is water. Medway is the geographical center between Boston, Worcester, and Providence, which is purported by some to explain the origin of the name. However, like many New England cities and towns, it most likely derived its name from an English location, in this case, the town of Medway, England, or the River Medway.


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 12,448 people, 4,182 households, and 3,337 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,087.0 people per square mile (419.8/km²). There were 4,248 housing units at an average density of 371.0 per square mile (143.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.5% White, 0.57% African American 0.10% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.84% of the population.[14]

There were 4,182 households out of which 97.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.2% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the town, the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $150,673 and the median income for a family was $172,302. Males had a median income of $121,245 versus $86,149 for females. The per capita income for the town was $51,008. About 1.8% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.



In 2006, the New England Intensity of the Independent Women's Football League began playing its home games at Medway's Hanlon Field.

In 2008, the Bay State Renegades, of the New England Football League, began playing their home games at Hanlon Field. The team won four of the five games played at their new home. In 2007, the Worcester Wildcats, also of the NEFL, relocated for one season to Hanlon Field as their home in Worcester underwent significant renovations.


Medway Public Schools are part of the Medway Public Schools school district.[15] Currently, there are four schools actively enrolling students in the district. The McGovern school provides preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade education, the Burke-Memorial school educates pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and 2nd-4th grade students, Medway Middle School educates 5th–8th graders, and Medway High School. The High School is the newest of the four schools. The building was completed in 2003 and the school saw its first graduating class in 2005. As of 2004 the high school had 771 students and 52 teachers, with a teacher:student ratio of 1:15. The Middle School was completely renovated and modernized in 2012.

In 2008, approximately 217 10th grade students participated in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam. The passing rate was 96.3% for both the Math and English Language sections, and 87.9% for the Science section. In 2007, 193 Medway High School students took the SAT, an increase from previous years. The average composite score was a 1,614; of these students 85.8% chose to attend a four-year college education program.


Both Route 109 and Route 126 pass through the town and serve as some of the main roads in the town. Interstate 495 shortly passes through the southwest corner of the town, but does not provide any exits. The closest exits are in nearby Bellingham and Milford.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Commuter Rail formerly provided a direct ride into Boston through two stations in the town, Medway station and West Medway station. These stations were closed in 1966 and have not since returned. Since these stations were closed, the closest operating stations are in Norfolk and Franklin, both on the Franklin Line.

Places of worship

Medway is home to four churches:

  • St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Village Street
  • Medway Community Church, which has Congregational and Baptist roots and is currently a member of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC)
  • Medway Village Church on Village Street, also a member of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC)
  • Christ Episcopal Church on School Street

Notable people


  1. ^ "The Town of Medway, Mass. - Information Services Department". Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Town of Medway, Massachusetts". Town of Medway, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  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. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ US Census Factfinder Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision GCT-PL. Race and Hispanic or Latino
  15. ^ "Medway Public Schools". Medway Public Schools. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links

Albert E. Austin

Albert Elmer Austin (November 15, 1877 – January 26, 1942) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1939 to 1941 and member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1917 to 1919 and from 1921 to 1923. He was the stepfather of Clare Boothe Luce.

Allie Moulton

Albert Theodore "Allie" Moulton (January 16, 1886 – July 10, 1968) was a Major League Baseball second baseman who played in 1911 with the St. Louis Browns.

Alphonso Van Marsh

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Marsh was one of Cable News Network’s (CNN) first “Video Correspondents” in 2003. Marsh broke the story of Saddam Hussein’s capture while on assignment in Iraq in December 2003. He used CNN’s digital newsgathering technology in place of traditional newsgathering crews.

Benjamin Greene (politician)

Benjamin Greene (May 5, 1764 – October 15, 1837) was an American politician from Maine. Greene spent one term in the Maine House of Representatives in 1824. During his term, he served as Speaker of the House. He was a resident of South Berwick in York County.

Greene was born in Waltham, Massachusetts on May 5, 1764 and graduated from Harvard in 1784, where he studied divinity. He became a Unitarian minister in Medway, Massachusetts in 1788. In 1797 or 1798, Greene was hired as principal of Berwick Academy. He studied law with Dudley Hubbard and was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1801. He died in Athens, Maine on October 15, 1837.

Braggville, Massachusetts

Braggville is a former postal village located in Massachusetts, now within the towns of Holliston in Middlesex County, Medway in Norfolk County and Milford in Worcester County. Though people had settled the land long before the incorporation of the town of Holliston, Braggville's unofficial history began on March 8, 1785 when Alexander Bragg purchased farmland there. The village itself however, would be named for his nephew, Colonel Arial Bragg, Holliston's first shoe and boot maker as well as the agrarian community's first wholesale manufacturer. After a century of economic prowess, the village fell into decline following the First World War.

Dennis Crowley

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Harry Adams (sport shooter)

Harry Lester Adams (October 1, 1880 – August 12, 1968) was an American sport shooter who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics and in the 1920 Summer Olympics. In 1912 he won the gold medal as member of the American team in the team military rifle competition. In the 1912 Summer Olympics he also participated in the following events:

600 metre free rifle - twelfth place

300 metre military rifle, three positions - twelfth place

300 metre free rifle, three positions - 28th placeEight years later he participated in the 300 metre military rifle, prone event but his place is unknown. He was born in Medway, Massachusetts.

Jasper Adams

Jasper Adams (August 27, 1793 – October 25, 1841) was an American clergyman, college professor, and college president. He was born in East Medway, Massachusetts in 1793, to Major Jasper and Emma Rounds Jasper.

Adams graduated from Brown University in 1815. He was a teacher at Phillips Academy of Andover, Massachusetts, for three years, later becoming a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Brown in 1819. He was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church in 1820. He became the president of College of Charleston, in 1824, leaving the post temporarily in 1826 to become the president of Geneva College, now called Hobart College. Adams returned to the presidency of the College of Charleston in 1828, remaining there through 1838. During this period he wrote the Elements of Moral Philosophy, published in 1837. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1835. He then became a chaplain, and a professor of geography, history and ethics, at the United States Military Academy, a position he retained through 1840.

He died in Pendleton, South Carolina, in 1841.

Adams was a Freemason. He was a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 4 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Jeffrey Roy

Jeffrey N. Roy is a State Representative in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Court. Representative Roy represents the 10th Norfolk District, which includes the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts in its entirety and Precincts 2, 3 and 4 of the Town of Medway, Massachusetts. Representative Roy was elected on the 6th of November, 2012.

John "Grizzly" Adams

John "Grizzly" Adams (also known as James Capen Adams and Grizzly Adams) (1812–1860) was a famous California mountain man and trainer of grizzly bears and other wild animals he captured for menageries, zoological gardens and circuses.

In 1974, the motion picture "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" starring Dan Haggerty was released. Its popularity led NBC to turn it into a TV series of the same name that also starred Dan Haggerty as 'Grizzly Adams,' Don Shanks as 'Nakoma,' and Denver Pyle as 'Mad Jack.' Eventually the Grizzly Adams brand was trademarked by the creator of the film and television series, Charles E. Sellier, Jr. After Sellier's passing the trademark lapsed out of his estate and is now owned by the Grizzly Adams Company of Beverly Hills, CA.

Kyle Casey

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Medway High School (Massachusetts)

Medway High School is a public high school in Medway, Massachusetts, United States.

Medway station

Medway station was a railroad station in Medway, Massachusetts. It served the West Medway Branch (later the Millis Branch), and opened in 1861.

Milton H. Sanford

Milton Holbrook Sanford (August 29, 1813 – August 3, 1883) was an American businessman and owner/breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses.

Born in Medway, Massachusetts, the son of Sewall Sanford and Edena Holbrook, Milton Sanford would become one of the town's greatest benefactors. [1] Sanford owned wool and cotton mills and made a fortune manufacturing blankets for the Union Army during the American Civil War. In 1883 he built the Sanford Textile Mill in Medway which still stands to this day as a condominium property.

Pete Carmichael Jr.

Peter Edwards Carmichael Jr. (born October 6, 1971) is an American football coach who is the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He was named offensive coordinator on January 12, 2009, replacing Doug Marrone, who left to become the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. New Orleans led the league in scoring in 2008 and 2009.

Carmichael grew up in Medway, Massachusetts and attended Boston College.

Preakness Stud

Preakness Stud was the Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding operation established by Medway, Massachusetts businessman Milton H. Sanford in the Preakness section of Wayne, New Jersey at what today is the corner of Valley Road and Preakness Avenue. Milton Sanford named one of his horses Preakness who won the first running of the Dinner Party Stakes and for whom the Preakness Stakes is named.

Rabbit Hill Historic District

The Rabbit Hill Historic District is a historic district roughly bounded by Highland, Main, Franklin, and Milford Streets in Medway, Massachusetts. It encompasses about 40 acres (16 ha) and much of a 19th-century village that developed around the Second Congregation Church (now the West Medway Community Church), and industrial facilities that developed along the Charles River just outside the district. Most of the residential properties in the district are Federal or Greek Revival in character.The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

William D. Newland

William D. Newland (January 5, 1841–1914) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the American Civil War.

William Taylor Adams

William Taylor Adams (July 30, 1822 – March 27, 1897), pseudonym Oliver Optic, was a noted academic, author, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Municipalities and communities of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
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