Methuen, Massachusetts

Methuen /mɛˈθuːɛn/ is a statutory city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 47,255 at the 2010 census.[2] Methuen lies along the northwestern edge of Essex County, just east of Middlesex County and just south of Rockingham County, New Hampshire. The irregularly-shaped town is bordered by Haverhill to the northeast, North Andover to the east, Lawrence and Andover to the south, Dracut (Middlesex County) to the west, Pelham, New Hampshire (Hillsborough County) to the northwest, and Salem, New Hampshire (Rockingham County) to the north. Methuen is located 30 miles (48 km) north-northwest of Boston and 25 miles (40 km) south-southeast of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Methuen, Massachusetts
Methuen City Hall
Methuen City Hall
Official seal of Methuen, Massachusetts

Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts.
Methuen, Massachusetts is located in the United States
Methuen, Massachusetts
Methuen, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°43′34″N 71°11′29″W / 42.72611°N 71.19139°WCoordinates: 42°43′34″N 71°11′29″W / 42.72611°N 71.19139°W
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedDecember 8, 1725
Incorporated a city1917
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorJames Jajuga
 • Total23.1 sq mi (59.7 km2)
 • Land22.2 sq mi (57.6 km2)
 • Water0.8 sq mi (2.0 km2)
115 ft (35 m)
 • Total47,255
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,100/sq mi (790/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)351 / 978
FIPS code25-40710
GNIS feature ID0612337


Methuen was first settled in 1642 and was officially incorporated in 1726. Methuen was originally part of Haverhill, Massachusetts. In 1724 Stephen Barker and others in the western part of that town petitioned the General Court to grant them permission to form a new town above Hawke's Meadow Brook. Although opposed by their fellow townsmen, the petition was approved the following year (December 8, 1725), and the General Court gave them an act of incorporation under the name of Methuen. The town was named for Sir Paul Methuen, a member of the King's Privy Council and friend of acting Provincial Governor William Dummer. The first town meeting was held March 9, 1726, in the home of a resident. Land was set aside for a meetinghouse, which was erected later in 1726 on what is now Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery.[3]

The residents in the northern part of the new town of Methuen soon petitioned to have their own meetinghouse (a combination of town hall and puritan church), and in 1736 the north parish was set off. Land for a meetinghouse was donated by descendants of the original proprietors of Haverhill, and in 1738 the second Methuen meetinghouse was raised. The structure survives to this day, as the Salem N.H. Historical Society building. In 1741, with the fixing of the Northern boundary of Massachusetts, most of this new north parish was removed from Methuen and placed in New Hampshire. It was incorporated as Salem, New Hampshire in 1750.[3]

Industrial growth in the 1800s influenced Methuen's development. Construction of the Methuen Cotton Mills at the Spicket River falls in the 1820s and the increased manufacture of hats and shoes in small factories along the Spicket spurred the centralization of Methuen's economic, residential and cultural activities within the area around Osgood, Broadway, Hampshire and Pleasant streets. Three wealthy and prominent families—the Nevins, the Tenneys and the Searles—played a significant role in Methuen's history and development. These families were instrumental in the founding of many of Methuen's landmarks, including the Nevins Memorial Library, the Searles building, Tenney Gatehouse, Nevins Home, Spicket Falls, and the Civil War monument between Pleasant and Charles streets.[4]

Geography and transportation

Methuen is located at 42°43′48″N 71°10′46″W / 42.73000°N 71.17944°W (42.730040, −71.179352).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.1 square miles (59.7 km2), of which 22.2 square miles (57.6 km2) is land and 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), or 3.42%, is water.[6]

Methuen lies alongside the northern banks of the Merrimack River, and is also bisected by the Spicket (originally "Spigot") River,[7] as well as many brooks and streams. There are several ponds dotting the area as well, and the town is home to a town forest, a bird sanctuary, and a small state park (Tenney State Park). Pine Island, near the southern end of town in the Merrimack River, is also part of the town's land.

Methuen lies at the northern end of Interstate 93 in Massachusetts, with three exits providing access. A portion of Interstate 495 crosses through the eastern side of town from Lawrence to Haverhill. Massachusetts Route 213, the "Loop Connector", provides highway access between the two, lying entirely within town and having five exits of its own. The town is also crossed by Route 28, Route 110, and Route 113, the latter two meeting at a rotary at I-93 Exit 46, one of the more congested intersections along the I-93 corridor. Construction to replace this interchange began in July 2014;[8] it is expected to be complete at some point in 2017 with a partial cloverleaf interchange.[9] I-93 provides the town's only bridge across the Merrimack; there are several crossings in Lawrence, and several in neighboring Haverhill, but none for 7 miles (11 km) upstream from I-93 all the way to the eastern end of Lowell.

Methuen is served by the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority's bus service. Daily intercity bus service to Worcester and New York City is provided by OurBus from the Methuen Park and Ride. The nearest rail station is in South Lawrence, which is part of the Haverhill/Reading Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, providing service into Boston's North Station. Small plane service can be found at Lawrence Municipal Airport and the Merrimack Valley Seaplane Base, with the nearest national service being at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and the nearest international service being at Logan International Airport.


Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

As of the census[21] of 2000, there were 43,789 people, 16,532 households, and 11,539 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,954.7 persons per square mile (754.8/km²). There were 16,885 housing units, at an average density of 753.7 per square mile (291.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.35% White, 1.35% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.87% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos, of any race, were 9.64% of the population (8.4% Dominican, 5.7% Puerto Rican, 0.6% Guatemalan, 0.3% Ecuadorian, 0.3% Mexican, 0.3% Cuban).

There were 16,532 households, of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,627, and the median income for a family was $59,831. Males had a median income of $41,693 versus $31,864 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,305. About 5.8% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.


Historically, Methuen had a town meeting-selectmen form of government and was known as the Town of Methuen until it adopted a charter replacing its traditional town meeting and selectmen with a council and manager. Even with a form of government that had historically and legally been exclusive to cities, the community, in a gesture of traditionalism, retained the name Town of Methuen in its charter.[22] However, because Massachusetts cities have self-governing powers not available to towns, it became known for legal purposes as "The City Known as the Town of Methuen". A subsequent charter, which adopted a strong mayor form of government, officially changed the community name to the "City of Methuen".

Methuen's city government consists of a mayor, three Councilors-at-Large, two East District councilors, two Central District councilors, two West District councilors, and six School Committee members.

  • The mayor of Methuen is James Jajuga.
  • The at-large city councilors are Jessica Finocchiaro, Ryan Hamilton, Jennifer Kannan (Chair).
  • The East District city councilors are Steven Saba and Eunice Zeigler.
  • The Central District city councilors are Joyce Campagnone and James McCarty.
  • The West District city councilors are George Kazanjian and Lynn Vidler (Vice Chairperson).
Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 17, 2018[23]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Republican 4,031 11.56%
Democratic 11,322 32.46%
Unaffiliated 19,012 54.51%
Minor Parties 124 0.36%
Total 34,881 100%


Methuen High School, Methuen MA
Methuen High School

Public schools

  • Methuen High School
  • Comprehensive Grammar School
  • Tenney Grammar School
  • Timony Grammar School
  • Marsh Grammar School

Private schools

  • Saint Monica's is a Catholic K through 8 school run by the Sisters of Notre Dame.
  • St. Ann's Home and School provides residential, outpatient, and private day school options for a wide range of learning disabilities and/or behavioral and emotional disorders. All programs are designed to provide a continuum of special needs services to assist children and adolescents who need intensive and comprehensive help for themselves and their families. The Day School program offers education for children and adolescents with special emotional needs, complemented by a strong therapeutic component. Children are transported to St. Ann's from communities in a one-hour radius. Referrals come from school districts seeking an academically focused, clinically supported school setting for students with significant emotional, developmental, behavioral, and learning needs.[24]
  • Presentation of Mary Academy is a private Catholic high school founded in 1958. The academy is on a 22-acre (8.9 ha) campus formerly known as the Edward F. Searles Estate. The school was originally for young women grades 9–12 but went co-educational with the 2011–2012 school year.[25]
Nicholson Stadium
Nicholson Stadium, home of the Methuen Rangers


Methuen High School's athletic teams play in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Their big rivals are the Andover Golden Warriors, the Central Catholic Raiders of Lawrence, and the Haverhill Hillies. On Thanksgiving Day, the football team plays fellow Merrimack Valley foe the Dracut Middies. The teams first met in a non-Thanksgiving Day game in 1935 and did not play again until the Thanksgiving series started in 1963. The school colors are blue and white, and their mascot is the Ranger, named after Rogers' Rangers, the precursor of the U.S. Army Rangers, which was founded by town resident Robert Rogers.

Historic district

The Searles Tenney Nevins Historic District, established by the city in 1992 to preserve the "distinctive architecture and rich character of one of Massachusetts' most unique neighborhoods", is named after the three Methuen city fathers: David C. Nevins, Edward F. Searles and Charles H. Tenney.

From the City of Methuen:

Today, the trio's collective vision can be seen in mills, housing, schools, mansions, churches, monuments, playgrounds, the library, and the architectural fantasies that resulted from their artistic rivalry. The historic district boundaries were established to include properties and buildings constructed or used by the Searles, Tenney and Nevins families and the people who worked for them.[26]

The historic district is administered by the Methuen Historic District Commission, which protects the district from alterations that might compromise its historic integrity. Bounded within the Searles Tenney Nevins Historic District are the Spicket Falls Historic District and the Pleasant-High Historic District. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are many of the other buildings within the area.[27]

Points of interest

Notable people

See also

Notable Court Cases:



  1. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Methuen Town city, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Gilbert's History of Salem, N.H. (1907)
  4. ^ "City of Methuen, Massachusetts Profile" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on August 10, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Methuen Town city, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  7. ^ [anon] (1879). New England: A handbook for travellers. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company. p. 279. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  8. ^ "Breakdown lane will be closed for rotary project in Methuen". Eagle Tribune. Eagle Tribune. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "Methuen Rotary Project: Home". MassDOT. MassDOT. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  10. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  11. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  22. ^ Although it is called the "Town of Methuen," it is a statutory city of Massachusetts. See Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
  23. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 17, 2018" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  24. ^ "Residential Program, Special Education, Outpatient Services in MA - St. Ann's Home and School".
  25. ^ "Presentation of Mary website". Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  26. ^ "City of Methuen Website: the Historic District". Archived from the original on August 24, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
  27. ^ National Park Service (April 24, 2008). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  28. ^ "St. Xenia Orthodox Church - History of the Parish".
  29. ^ Gagnon, Don (2008). Methuen: An Eclectic History. The History Press. pp. 33–35. ISBN 978-1-59629-422-6. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  30. ^ Faggen, Robert (2001). The Cambridge companion to Robert Frost. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 17. ISBN 0-521-63494-6.
  31. ^ "Nesbitt v. City of Methuen et al (1:17-cv-11255), Massachusetts District Court". Retrieved September 14, 2018.

External links

Alphonse Fournier

Alphonse Fournier, (March 24, 1893 – October 8, 1961) was a Canadian politician.

Born in Methuen, Massachusetts, he was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada representing the Quebec riding of Hull in the 1930 federal election. A Liberal, he was re-elected in 1935, 1940, 1945, and 1949.

From 1942 to 1953, he was the Minister of Public Works. From 1948 to 1953, he was the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Liberal Party House Leader.His, son, Roy Fournier, was also a member of the Quebec parliament and solicitor general for the province of Quebec.

Calvin Kattar

Calvin Kattar (born March 26, 1988) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2007, he formerly competed for EliteXC. As of June 10, 2019, he is ranked #9 in the official UFC featherweight rankings.

Edward Francis Searles

Edward Francis Searles (July 4, 1841 – August 6, 1920) was an interior and architectural designer.

First Church Congregational (Methuen, Massachusetts)

First Church Congregational is a historic church at Pleasant and Stevens Streets in Methuen, Massachusetts. The stone Gothic Revival structure was built in 1855 for Methuen's first congregation, established in 1729. Its first meeting house was on Daddy Frye's Hill, but moved to the present location in 1832. The present building features granite walls, a slate roof, and a tower with crenellated top and typical Gothic lancet windows. In 1895 the church installed a stained glass representation of Christ's Resurrection designed by John LaFarge.The church was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and included in the Pleasant-High Historic District in 1984. The current congregation is active in the United Church of Christ. The Rev. William D. Ingraham is its current Senior Pastor.

Joseph R. Bodwell

Joseph Robinson Bodwell (June 18, 1818 – December 15, 1887) was an American politician who most notably served as the 40th Governor of Maine.

Linda Dean Campbell

Linda Dean Campbell is an American politician from the state of Massachusetts. Since 2007 she has been a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives representing the 15th Essex – consisting Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the town of Methuen, Essex County.

Merrimack Valley Seaplane Base

Merrimack Valley Seaplane Base (FAA LID: MA2) is a privately owned, public-use seaplane base located three miles (5 km) west of the central business district of Methuen, a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States.

Methuen High School

Methuen High School is a public secondary school located in the city of Methuen, Massachusetts. Methuen High serves grades nine through twelve for about 1,900 students. It is one of five public schools in Methuen and it is the only high school in the district.

Methuen Memorial Music Hall

Methuen Memorial Music Hall, initially named Serlo Organ Hall, was built by Edward Francis Searles to house "The Great Organ", a very large pipe organ that had been built for the Boston Music Hall. The hall was completed in 1909, and stands at 192 Broadway in Methuen, Massachusetts.

Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent

Nathaniel Peaslee Sargent (frequently also spelled Sargeant, November 2, 1731 – October 12, 1791) was a Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1782 to 1791. He was the second Chief Justice of the court from 1790 to 1791, after the American revolution.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Methuen, Massachusetts

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Methuen, Massachusetts.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Methuen, Massachusetts, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.Essex County, of which Methuen is a part, is the location of 471 properties and districts listed on the National Register. Methuen itself is the location of 45 of these properties and districts.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 7, 2019.

Presentation of Mary Academy

Presentation of Mary Academy, commonly abbreviated PMA is a private Roman Catholic co-ed high school, grades 9-12 in Methuen, Massachusetts. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

The school was founded in 1958. The Academy, located at 209 Lawrence St, is situated on a 22-acre campus formerly known as the Edward F. Searles Estate. In 2008, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary. In October 2016, the estate was opened up for public tours.

PMA's student body hails from 31 local cities and towns, represents 3 New England states, and 4 countries.

Rumbo (newspaper)

Rumbo is a free weekly bilingual newspaper published in Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States, covering the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire.

Sean Furey

Sean Furey (born August 31, 1982) is an American javelin thrower. He has placed in the top three at the U.S. National Championships six times, winning the javelin event in 2010, 2014 and 2015. He represented the United States in international competition between 2009 and 2016, including 2 Olympic, 2 World Championship and 2 Pan American teams. In 2009, at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, Sean qualified for the final with a season best throw and ultimately finished 12th. In 2012, Furey placed fourth at the Olympic Trials. Since the first and second placers had not met the Olympic "A" Standard and Furey had, he qualified to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Spicket River

The Spicket River is a 17.7-mile-long (28.5 km) river located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States. It is a left tributary of the Merrimack River, part of the Gulf of Maine watershed. It is sometimes spelled "Spickett".

The Spicket River begins at the outlet of Island Pond in Derry, New Hampshire, and flows south into Salem, New Hampshire, passing through the Arlington Mill Reservoir. The river continues through Salem, encountering copious suburban development, and enters the city of Methuen, Massachusetts, where it drops nearly 100 feet over a series of dams on its way to the Merrimack River in Lawrence.

Steve Bedrosian

Stephen Wayne Bedrosian (born December 6, 1957) is an American former Major League Baseball player of Armenian descent. Nicknamed "Bedrock", he played from 1981 to 1995 with the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and Minnesota Twins. Bedrosian won the 1987 National League Cy Young Award.

Tenney Castle Gatehouse

The Tenney Castle Gatehouse is a historic gatehouse at 37 Pleasant Street in Methuen, Massachusetts, United States. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 20, 1984. It is the only surviving element of the large estate of Charles H. Tenney, a leading local industrialist.

The Loop (Methuen, Massachusetts)

The Loop is a strip mall in Methuen, Massachusetts that was built on the former site of the Methuen Mall. It contains a Loews Cineplex owned and operated by AMC Theatres.


WUBG (1570 kHz; "Big 105.3") is a commercial AM radio station licensed to Methuen, Massachusetts, and serving the northern suburbs of Greater Boston. The station is owned by Costa-Eagle Radio Ventures Limited Partnership, a partnership between Pat Costa and his chief investor, The Eagle-Tribune. WUBG broadcasts a classic hits format. The station is branded as "Big 105.3", referring to its FM translator station, W287CW at 105.3 MHz.

WUBG's transmitter is located off Chandler Road in Andover, near the interchange of Interstate 93 and Interstate 495. The station is powered at 44,000 watts by day, but because AM 1570 is a clear channel frequency reserved for Mexico, it must reduce power at night to only 140 watts to avoid interfering with other radio stations. It uses a non-directional antenna at all times. The 250-watt translator station, W287CW, has a transmitter near Girard Road in Medford.

Places adjacent to Methuen, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Major cities
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