Middlesex County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2018, the estimated population was 1,614,714, making it the 22nd most populous county in the United States, and the most populous county in both Massachusetts and New England. As part of the 2010 national census, the Commonwealth's mean center of population for that year was geo-centered in Middlesex County, in the town of Natick at ( ). (This is not to be confused with the geographic center of Massachusetts, which is in Rutland, in neighboring Worcester County.) Middlesex County is included in the Census Bureau’s Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA–NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.
On July 11, 1997, the Massachusetts legislature voted to abolish the executive government of Middlesex County due primarily to the county's insolvency. Though Middlesex County continues to exist as a geographic boundary it is used primarily as district jurisdictions within the court system and for other administrative purposes, such as an indicator for elections. The National Weather Service weather alerts (such as severe thunderstorm warning) continue issuances based upon Massachusetts's counties.
|Middlesex County, Massachusetts|
Middlesex South Registry of Deeds in Cambridge
Location within the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location within the U.S.
|Founded||May 10, 1643|
|Seat||Lowell and Cambridge|
|• Total||847 sq mi (2,194 km2)|
|• Land||818 sq mi (2,119 km2)|
|• Water||29 sq mi (75 km2), 3.5%|
|• Density||1,838/sq mi (710/km2)|
|Congressional districts||3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC−5/−4|
The county was created by the Massachusetts General Court on May 10, 1643, when it was ordered that "the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four shires." Middlesex initially contained Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading. In 1649 the first Middlesex County Registry of Deeds was created in Cambridge.
On April 19, 1775, Middlesex was site of the first armed conflict of the American Revolutionary War.
In 1855, the Massachusetts State Legislature created a minor Registry of Deeds for the Northern District of Middlesex County in Lowell.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Boston annexed several of its adjacent cities and towns including Charlestown and Brighton from Middlesex County, resulting in an enlargement and accretion toward Suffolk County.
Beginning prior to dissolution of the executive county government, the county comprised two regions with separate county seats for administrative purposes:
Since the start of the 21st century much of the current and former county offices have physically decentralized from the Cambridge seat, with the sole exceptions being the Registry of Deeds and the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, which both retain locations in Cambridge and Lowell. Since the first quarter of 2008, the Superior Courthouse has been seated in the city of Woburn; the Sheriff's Office is now administratively seated in the city of Medford and the Cambridge-based County Jail has since been amalgamated with another county jail facility in Billerica. The Cambridge District Court (which has jurisdiction for Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge); along with the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, although not a part of the Middlesex County government, was also relatedly forced to relocate to Medford at the time of the closure of the Superior Courthouse building in Cambridge.
Of the fourteen counties of Massachusetts, Middlesex is one of eight which have had no county government or county commissioners since July 1, 1998, when county functions were assumed by state agencies at local option following a change in state law. Immediately prior to its dissolution, the executive branch consisted of three County Commissioners elected at-large to staggered four-year terms. There was a County Treasurer elected to a six-year term. The county derived its revenue primarily from document filing fees at the Registries of Deeds and from a Deeds Excise Tax; also a transfer tax was assessed on the sale price of real estate and collected by the Registries of Deeds.
Budgets as proposed by the County Commissioners were approved by a County Advisory Board that consisted of a single representative of each of the 54 cities and towns in Middlesex County. The votes of the individual members of the Advisory Board were weighted based on the overall valuation of property in their respective communities.
The County Sheriff and two Registers of Deeds (one for the Northern District at Lowell and another for the Southern District at Cambridge) are each elected to serve six-year terms. Besides the employees of the Sheriff's Office and the two Registries of Deeds, the county had a Maintenance Department, a Security Department, some administrative staff in the Treasurer's and Commissioners' Offices, and the employees of the hospital.
The country government also owned and operated the Superior Courthouse, one of which was formerly in Cambridge (since 2008 relocated to Woburn.) and one in Lowell; and the defunct Middlesex County Hospital in the city of Waltham.
The legislation abolishing the Middlesex County executive retained the Sheriff and Registers of Deeds as independently elected officials, and transferred the Sheriff's Office under the state Department of Public Safety and the two Registry of Deeds offices to the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office. Additionally, all county maintenance and security employees were absorbed into the corresponding staffs of the Massachusetts Trial Court. The legislation also transferred ownership of the two Superior Courthouses to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The hospital was closed. Finally, the office of County Commissioner was immediately abolished and the office of County Treasurer was abolished as of December 31, 2002. Any county roads transferred to the Commonwealth as part of the dissolution. The other administrative duties (such as Sheriff, Department of Deeds and court system, etc.) and all supporting staff were transferred under the Commonwealth as well.
Records of land ownership in Middlesex County continue to be maintained at the two Registries of Deeds. Besides the Sheriff and the two Registers of Deeds, the Middlesex District Attorney, the Middlesex Register of Probate and the Middlesex Clerk of Courts (which were already part of state government before the abolition of Middlesex County government) are all elected countywide to six-year terms.
In Middlesex County (as in the entirety of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts), the governmental functions such as property tax assessment and collection, public education, road repair and maintenance, and elections were all conducted at the municipal city and town level and not by the county government.
In 2012 the 22-story Superior Court Building in Cambridge which was transferred from the abolished Executive County government was sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Due to its transfer from state control, many local residents had tried to force the private developers to reduce the overall height of the structure.
Even following abolition of the executive branch for county government in Middlesex, communities are still granted a right by the Massachusetts state legislature to form their own regional compacts for sharing of services and costs thereof.
|Clerk of Courts:||Michael A. Sullivan|
|District Attorney:||Marian T. Ryan|
|Register of Deeds:||Richard P. Howe, Jr. (North at Lowell)|
Maria C. Curtatone (South at Cambridge)
|Register of Probate:||Tara E. DeCristofaro|
|County Sheriff:||Peter J. Koutoujian |
|State Representative(s):||37 Representatives: |
|State Senator(s):||16 Senators: |
|U.S. Representative(s):||James P. McGovern (D-2nd District)|
Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-4th District)
Lori Trahan (D-3rd District)
Seth Moulton (D-6th District)
Katherine Clark (D-5th District)
Ayanna Pressley (D-7th District)
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 847 square miles (2,190 km2), of which 818 square miles (2,120 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (3.5%) is water. It is the third-largest county in Massachusetts by land area.
The MetroWest region comprises much of the southern portion of the county.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of 2006, Middlesex County was tenth in the United States on the list of most millionaires per county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,503,085 people, 580,688 households, and 366,656 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,837.9 inhabitants per square mile (709.6/km2). There were 612,004 housing units at an average density of 748.3 per square mile (288.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.0% white, 9.3% Asian, 4.7% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 3.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.5% of the population.
The largest ancestry groups were:
Of the 580,688 households, 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.9% were non-families, and 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.10. The median age was 38.5 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $77,377 and the median income for a family was $97,382. Males had a median income of $64,722 versus $50,538 for females. The per capita income for the county was $40,139. About 5.1% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
79.6% spoke English, 4.3% Spanish, 2.7% Portuguese, 1.6% Italian, 1.6% Chinese including Mandarin and other Chinese dialects and 1.5% French as their first language. Middlesex County has the largest Irish-American population of any U.S. county with a plurality of Irish ancestry.
The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective if the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns. Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
|Chestnut Hill (02467)||ZCTA||$55,947||$114,140||$151,375||21,952||6,237|
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 17, 2018|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
Prior to 1960, Middlesex County was a Republican Party stronghold, only backing two Democratic Party presidential candidates from 1876 to 1956. The 1960 election started a reverse trend, with the county becoming a Democratic stronghold. This has been even more apparent in recent years, with George H.W. Bush in 1988 the last Republican presidential candidate to manage even forty percent of the county's votes.
Most municipalities in Middlesex County have a town form of government; the remainder are cities, and are so designated on this list. Villages listed below are census or postal divisions, but have no separate corporate or statutory existence from the cities and towns in which they are located.
Middlesex County is home to the Middlesex County Volunteers, a fife and drum corps that plays music from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Founded in 1982 at the end of the United States Bicentennial celebration, the group performs extensively throughout New England. They have also performed at the Boston Pops, throughout the British Isles and Western Europe, and at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo's Salute to Australia in Sydney, Australia.
Definition: The center is determined as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all residents were of identical weight. In 2000, Edgar Springs, Mo., was announced as the new U.S. population center.
WOBURN -- Middlesex Superior Court, currently located in the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge, will move to a new facility in Woburn in the TradeCenter on Sylvan Road beginning Friday, according to Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan.
Woburn, MA, March 17, 2008 -- The new furniture has been installed, years of case files have been dusted off, moved and organized, and the computers are all hooked up and ready to go. After 40 years in Cambridge, the Superior Court is open and ready for business in Woburn. [ . . . ] Serving nearly all of the 54 communities in Middlesex County, the new Woburn building houses 15 courtrooms, clerks' offices, judges' chambers, the probation department, the law library, and more. In addition, the Court estimates that more than 400 people will use the building every day, including, lawyers, judges, administrative staff, jurors, plaintiffs, defendants, visitors, and others who work at the building and use the system.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has extended its lease for the Middlesex County Superior Courthouse at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn for a seven-year term. This renewal comes five years after the Court moved from the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge, which was in need of extensive renovations and has since been slated for redevelopment.
The Middlesex Jail at the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge closed Saturday after 32 years of operation, according to Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian.
A high-security weekend operation has emptied the Middlesex County Jail in Cambridge of all its inmates.
The Cambridge District Court moved into Medford this week, placing itself in the former Cross Country building at 4040 Mystic Valley Pkwy.
Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan today announced that the Third District Court of Middlesex County, currently located in the Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge, will move to a new court facility on the Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford after the close of business on February 20, 2009, and open for business at this new site on Monday, February 23, 2009.
Leggat McCall Properties was selected from a pool of seven bidders to redevelop the 22-story, 600,000-square-foot EJ Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge, the state announced Friday, Dec. 14.
State officials are advertising for a buyer for the 22-story, asbestos-plagued Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge and hope to move prisoners housed in a county jail at the facility to another location by the spring of 2013.
The Appeals Court upheld a 2015 Land Court decision that determined the former Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse, when transferred from state ownership to private ownership under Boston developer Leggat McCall Properties, would still be considered a legal, preexisting nonconforming structure despite losing its government immunity from zoning rules.
The developers who want to remodel the imposing former courthouse tower in East Cambridge and enliven its ground floor had hoped an appeals court decision last month was the final green light they needed.
Upcoming mixed-use development located steps from Kendall Square that will transform the existing 22-story Sullivan Courthouse and Middlesex Jail tower in East Cambridge into a 20-story mixed-use tower. The new 40 Thorndike Street will feature approximately 430,000 square feet of office, research & development space and 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, along with 24 apartment residences on lower floors. Lower office floors will be marketed to startup companies as innovation space. Retail will include a grocery store and a health club; a daycare could be included as well.
Beaver Brook is a 30.7-mile-long (49.4 km) river located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Merrimack River, part of the Gulf of Maine watershed.
Beaver Brook rises in Chester, New Hampshire, and flows south into Derry, passing through Harantis Lake, Adams Pond, and Beaver Lake. Continuing south, the brook forms the boundary between Londonderry and Windham, then flows through Pelham. The brook crosses the state line into Dracut, Massachusetts, and reaches the Merrimack River in the city of Lowell.
Most of the brook's course is through gently hilly terrain that is rapidly being converted into suburban land use.Burlington, Massachusetts
Burlington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 24,498 at the 2010 census..Crystal Lake (Newton, Massachusetts)
Crystal Lake is a 33-acre (130,000 m2) natural lake located in Newton, Massachusetts. Its shores, mostly lined with private homes, also host two small parks and a town beach and bath house. The name Crystal Lake was given to the pond by a nineteenth-century commercial ice harvester that sold ice cut from the pond in winter. It had previously been called Baptist Pond and used for baptisms by the Newton Center Baptist Church. The ice company felt that Crystal Lake was a better name for marketing purposes. In the colonial era it was called Wiswall's Pond.Fairhaven Bay
Fairhaven Bay is a lake located within the Sudbury river in Concord, Massachusetts, United States (US). It was frequented by David Henry Thoreau who, together with Edward Hoar, accidentally set fire to the woods near the bay in April 1844, as later described in Thoreau's journal.In 1895, George Bradford Bartlett, ”well-known in connection with the Manse boathouse”, wrote of the cliffs near Fairhaven Bay on the Sudbury River: "For more than a hundred years these cliffs have been a favorite resort for the nature lover, and the climax of many a Sunday walk or autumnal holiday trip, as no better view can be had of the waving tree-tops and gentle river".To the North, the Bay is bordered by Wright Woods, owned by the Concord Land Conservation Trust. The woods, where Thoreau often walked, link the Fairhaven Bay trails and the Lincoln Conservation land with the Walden Pond State ReservationGroton, Massachusetts
Groton is a town in northwestern Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, within the Greater Boston metropolitan area. The population was 10,873 at the 2012 town census. It is home to two prep schools: Groton School, founded in 1884, and Lawrence Academy at Groton, founded in 1792 and the third-oldest private school in Massachusetts. Lawrence Academy was founded with a charter from John Hancock.Near the former border with Maine, the historic town was a battlefield in King Philip's War and Queen Anne's War, with children taken captive in a raid by Abenaki and French; it had had incidents of insurrection during Shays' Rebellion, and was the birthplace of William Prescott, who commanded the colonial forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolution.Hardy Pond
Hardy Pond is a 45-acre (180,000 m2) pond located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Originally almost twice the size, in recent times the pond level was lowered in an inappropriate approach to controlling flooding. The quality of the water has degraded due to eutrophication caused by run-off from roads, fertilizers, and storm drain inputs. The pond is contiguous with 35 acres (140,000 m2) of adjoining wetlands. It is a popular site for bird sightings, with over 140 species listed.Horn Pond (Massachusetts)
Horn Pond is a 102-acre (41 ha) water body along the Aberjona River in Woburn, Massachusetts in the United States. The pond is fed by several brooks and flows out via Horn Pond Brook to the Aberjona River and the Mystic Lakes, eventually reaching the Mystic River and the Atlantic Ocean. It was also traversed by the Middlesex Canal from 1802 to 1860.
Yellow perch were the most common species recorded at Horn Pond in a 1982 survey, with additional species, including: largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, killifish, chain pickerel, golden shiner, carp, white sucker, brook trout, yellow bullhead, brown bullhead and black crappie. Trout (primarily rainbows, but also browns
and brookies) have been stocked in the past, with mofish and trout in the fall.Learned Pond
Learned Pond was formed during the last glaciation. It is next to Brigham Road and Union Ave in Framingham, Massachusetts next to MetroWest Medical Center and Marian High School (Massachusetts) at an elevation of 165 ft. The pond has a beach and is surrounded in parts by woods.Lexington, Massachusetts
Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,394 at the 2010 census, in nearly 11,100 households. Settled in 1641, it is celebrated as the site of the first shots of the American Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. It is part of the Greater Boston Area and is the sixth wealthiest small city in the United States.Lost Lake (Groton)
Lost Lake also known as Knop/p/s Pond is a reservoir in Groton, Massachusetts, United States. It was formed from three lakes by the headwaters of Salmon Brook. The southern part of the lake is known as Knops Pond where it is near 30 feet deep. It is stocked with rainbow, brown and brook trout every spring and fall and is home to several species of warm water fish. There is also a boat launch located on the northeastern side of the lake.Mill River (Massachusetts–Rhode Island)
The Mill River is a river in the U.S. states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It flows approximately 17.1 miles (27.5 km).Minute Man National Historical Park
Minute Man National Historical Park commemorates the opening battle in the American Revolutionary War. It also includes the Wayside, home in turn to three noted American authors. The National Historical Park is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and protects 970 acres (392.5 ha) in and around the Massachusetts towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord.National Register of Historic Places listings in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
This is a listing of places in Middlesex County in the U.S. state of Massachusetts that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. With more than 1,300 listings, the county has more listings than any other county in the United States.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.Nissitissit River
The Nissitissit River is a 10.5-mile-long (16.9 km) river located in southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts in the United States. It is a tributary of the Nashua River, itself a tributary of the Merrimack River, which flows to the Gulf of Maine. This river is part of the Nashua River Watershed.
The Nissitissit River begins at the outlet of Potanipo Pond in the town of Brookline, New Hampshire. It flows southeast at a very mild gradient, crossing the southwest corner of Hollis, New Hampshire before entering Massachusetts, where it joins the Nashua River in the town of Pepperell.Pepperell, Massachusetts
Pepperell is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,497 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of East Pepperell.Reading, Massachusetts
Reading ( (listen) RED-ing) is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, 16 miles (26 km) north of central Boston. The population was 24,747 at the 2010 census.Stoneham, Massachusetts
Stoneham is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, nine miles north of downtown Boston. Its population was 21,437 at the 2010 census, and its proximity to major highways and public transportation offer convenient access to Boston and the North Shore coastal region and beaches of Massachusetts. The town is the birthplace of Olympic figure-skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan and is the home of the Stone Zoo.Stony Brook (Middlesex County, Massachusetts)
Stony Brook is a stream largely running through Weston, Massachusetts, then forming the Weston/Waltham boundary, and emptying into the Charles River across from the Waltham/Newton boundary. It has two tributaries, Cherry Brook and Hobbs Brook, and its watershed includes about half of Lincoln and Weston as well as parts of Lexington and Waltham. Since 1887, it has been the water supply for Cambridge.
Various water mills have been erected at the mouth of Stony Brook: a corn mill in 1679-80; a paper mill in about 1802.In the late 19th century, Eben Norton Horsford identified the mouth of Stony Brook as the location of a supposed Norse city, Norumbega, and commissioned the Norumbega Tower, which carries a long inscription describing the supposed city.
There are three large ponds, all artificial, in the Stony Brook watershed: the Cambridge Reservoir (Hobbs Pond), the Stony Brook Reservoir (Turtle Pond), and Flint's Pond (also known as Sandy Pond).
In 1887, on the site of Turtle Pond, the city of Cambridge completed construction of the Stony Brook Reservoir Dam, where Stony Brook joins the Charles, as part of its water supply. Stony Brook Reservoir has a drainage area of 23.57 square miles (61.0 km2) and an available storage capacity of 354,000,000 US gallons (1,340,000 m3) (1087 acre-feet). In 1910, Hobbs Pond was dammed to become the Cambridge Reservoir. Its drainage area is 7.25 square miles (18.8 km2) and its storage capacity is 2,338,000,000 US gallons (8,850,000 m3) (7178 acre-feet). Flint's Pond (also known as Sandy Pond) was dammed to become the reservoir for the town of Lincoln; the DeCordova Museum is on its southeast bank.Wilmington, Massachusetts
Wilmington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States.
Places adjacent to Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
|Cities and towns|
|Cities and towns|
|Cities and towns|
Massachusetts public high schools
Italics indicates closed schools