Natick /ˈneɪtɪk/ is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. Natick is near the center of the MetroWest region of Massachusetts, with a population of 32,786 at the 2010 census. Only 17 miles (27 km) west of Boston, Natick is considered part of the Greater Boston area. The center of population of Massachusetts in 2000 was in Natick. A 2014 census shows Natick's population was 34,230. This means between 2010 and 2014 Natick grew 3.6%, making it one of the fastest-growing towns in the Boston area.
Home of Champions
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Representative town meeting|
|• Total||16.1 sq mi (41.6 km2)|
|• Land||15.1 sq mi (39.1 km2)|
|• Water||1.0 sq mi (2.5 km2)|
|Elevation||181 ft (55 m)|
|• Density||2,171.3/sq mi (838.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0619407|
The name Natick comes from the language of the Massachusett Native American tribe and is commonly considered to mean 'Place of Hills' However, a more accurate translation may be place of (our) searching, named to celebrate John Eliot's successful search for a location for his Praying Indian settlement.
Natick was first settled in 1651 by John Eliot, a Puritan missionary born in Widford, Hertfordshire, England who received a commission and funds from England's Long Parliament to settle the Massachusett Indians on both sides of the Charles River, on land deeded from the settlement at Dedham. They were called Praying Indians – Natick was the first and for a long time served as the center of Eliot's network of praying towns. While the towns were largely self-governing under Indian leaders, such as Waban and Cutshamekin, the praying Indians were subject to rules governing conformity to English Puritan culture (in practice Natick, like the other praying towns, evidenced a combination of traditional and English culture and practices). Eliot and Praying Indian translators printed America's first written Bible in the Algonquian language.
The colonial government placed such settlements in a ring of villages around Boston as a defensive strategy. Natick was the first and best documented of such settlements. The land was granted by the General Court, part of the Dedham Grant.
A school was set up, a government established, and the Indians were encouraged to convert to Christianity. In November 1675, during King Philip's War, the Natick Indians were sent to Deer Island. Many died of disease and cold, and the Indians who survived found their homes destroyed. The Indian village did not fully recover, and the land held in common by the Indian community was slowly sold off to white settlers to cover debts, and, by 1785, most of the Natick Indians had drifted away.
In 1775, both English and Praying Indian citizens of Natick participated in the Battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, as well as serving in the Continental Army. The names of the Praying Indian soldiers from Natick are memorialized on a stone marker, along with all of Natick's Revolutionary War veterans, on a stone marker on Pond St near downtown Natick.
The town was officially incorporated in 1781. Henry Wilson, a U.S. senator born in 1812 who became eighteenth Vice President of the United States (1873–1875), and who lived most of his life in Natick as a shoemaker and schoolteacher and was known as the "Natick Cobbler", is buried there. He is the namesake of one of Natick's middle schools.
Though Natick was primarily a farming town, the invention of the sewing machine in 1858 led to the growth of several shoe factories. The business flourished and peaked by 1880, when Natick, with twenty-three operating factories, was third in the nation in the quantity of shoes produced. The shoes made in Natick were primarily heavy work shoes with only one or two companies adding lighter dress shoes to their line. Natick was famous for its brogan (shoes), a heavy ankle-high boot worn by soldiers in the American Civil War.
The wound core for a more resilient baseball was developed by John W. Walcott and combined with the figure-eight stitching devised by Col. William A. Cutler. It was manufactured by the firm of H. Harwood & Sons in their factory built in 1858 – the first plant in the world for the manufacture of baseballs. In 1988 the H. Harwood & Sons factory was converted into baseball factory condominiums
In 1874, a great fire in downtown Natick demolished 18 business blocks, two shoe factories, the Town Hall, Natick's only fire engine house and the Congregational Church, as well as many private homes. Though no lives were lost, the loss of property was greater in proportion to the town's wealth than the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1875, Natick's new Central Fire Station was completed on Summer Street and opened with grand ceremony on the same city block where the great fire was first discovered. The Central Fire Station is now the home of a private non-profit performing arts center called The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.0 square miles (41 km2), of which, 15.1 square miles (39 km2) of it is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) of it is water. The total area is 7.04 percent water, including bodies of water Lake Cochituate and Dug Pond.
Many public services and public land use are downtown. Municipal buildings like the Natick Town Hall, Natick Fire Department, Natick Police Department and Morse Institute Library are there, along East Central Street. Also directly downtown is the Natick Town Common, where many town events and community activities are held. In the 1990s new downtown construction of a town hall, fire/police station, and enlargement to the library gave the downtown a fresh new look. New municipal buildings exist alongside several historic buildings and churches, the restored Central Fire House, several banks, restaurants and small businesses.
In 2012 the Massachusetts Cultural Council voted unanimously to make Natick Center one of the newest state-designated cultural districts, the tenth district to win this designation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Cultural Districts Initiative is designed to help communities attract artists and cultural enterprises, encourage business and job growth, expand tourism, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural development. Natick Center Cultural District is anchored by The Center for Arts in Natick, Morse Institute Library and the Natick Common.
South Natick, known for its scenic nature, is where the Native American settlers first arrived and began the town on the shores of the Charles River. Housing developers like Martin Cerel lived in South Natick, and thus refrained from building major tract neighborhoods in this part of town.
Most South Natick residents consider themselves to have a strong, separate cultural identity from the rest of Natick. It is the only community in Natick that can be separately addressed officially via the US Postal Office, and street signage such as a sign along Route 16 coming from Wellesley communicates arrival in "So. Natick."
East Natick is a community of Natick along Oak Street and at the intersection of Oak Street and Worcester Street. Notable landmarks include Jennings Pond, the Industrial Park on Oak St North, and the Lilja School. A sports and tennis club is in East Natick off Oak St. in the Industrial Park. The stretch of Route 9 in East Natick as one heads into Wellesley contains a multitude of ever-changing retail businesses.
West Natick is a large section of Natick that borders the town of Framingham. The Natick Mall, as well as the strip mall called Sherwood Plaza with its office Industrial Park behind, are considered to be the commercial hub of West Natick. In addition to its retail development, post World War II housing developments like Westfield, Pelham, and Sherwood as well as the National Guard depot and a golf course on Speen St brought many people to this part of town.
There are many businesses in West Natick along West Central Street as well as another MBTA Commuter Rail station in addition to the one downtown. The area in West Natick, along Route 135 is the most densely populated section of town, with its thousands of condominiums and apartments clustered across the street from the train station.
Natick is a small town, and thus, the various sections of tract development homes are considered neighborhoods. These were houses built by several contractors in the late 1940s until the late 1950s. Listed here, are a few of these sections.
One of the earliest post World War II developments in West Natick, the homes are colonial in style, with street names reminiscent of the Robin Hood legend. The homes were built in 1948 and the neighborhood remains popular due to the fact that there's no through traffic, and most of the houses have been enlarged with additions.
Walnut Hill is a neighborhood north of downtown. It is known for the private boarding school Walnut Hill School for the Arts, as well as many Victorian era houses lining Walnut and Bacon Streets.
The Wethersfield area of Natick is a residential neighborhood north of Route 9. It is a typical 1950s development of Campanelli ranch houses, and remains popular with first-time home buyers due to the relatively inexpensive slab-style houses. This area includes Drury Lane and all connecting roads within the boundaries of route 9, Pine Street, and Route 27.
South of Route 9, this section began as a summer vacation area, with tiny cottages surrounding Jennings Pond. Over the years, some houses were enlarged, but the area remains quaint and quiet with no thru traffic. On the westerly side of South Oak is a neighborhood of Cape style houses with streets named after World War II Generals. North of Route 9, other developments of small Cape-style homes were built in the early and mid-1950s and remain popular with first-time home buyers due to their affordability. There are two Industrial Parks along north Oak St that contain office buildings on one side of the road and larger warehouses on the eastern side.
Just south of the Natick Common, Cottage Street begins what is commonly called Little South, named so because of its proximity to South Natick. Little South nomenclature extends to the east portions of Everett Street, down to Eliot St. Homes along Cottage St. were primarily built in the early 1950s and are mostly modest and well-maintained. The best-known landmarks in Little South are a WWII monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers from Natick, and The Tobin School, a private daycare and elementary school that has two large, attractive buildings off of Cottage St. Everett St. has larger farm homes situated on generous lots. Eliot St., which runs parallel to the Charles River, has some of Natick's oldest and nicest homes. Just before South Natick begins, there is a beautiful Virgin Mary statue on a large rock on the south side of the Charles River, enveloped by graceful pine trees.
As of the census of 2010, there were 32,786 people, 13,080 households, and 8,528 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,132.9 people per square mile (823.7/km2). There were 13,368 housing units at an average density of 886.3 per square mile (342.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 85.4% White, 2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 7.2% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2% from two or more races.
There were 13,080 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.8% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $61,855, and the median income for a family was $85,056. Males had a median income of $51,964 versus $41,060 for females. The per capita income for the town was $36,358. About 1.7% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
Natick is surrounded, on three sides, by five of the ten most affluent towns in Massachusetts with Wayland to the north, Weston to the northeast, Wellesley to the east, Dover to the southeast, and Sherborn to the southwest.
Natick has representative town meeting form of government(consisting of 180 members) with a Board of Selectmen and a Town Administrator. The members of the Board and the dates their terms end are(as of March 2019):
Mismanagement of Middlesex County's public hospital in the mid-1990s left the county on the brink of insolvency, and in 1997 the Massachusetts legislature stepped in by assuming all assets and obligations of the county. The government of Middlesex County was officially abolished on July 11, 1997. The sheriff and some other regional officials with specific duties are still elected locally to perform duties within the county region, but there is no county council or commissioner. However, communities are now granted the right to form their own regional compacts for sharing services.
These are the remaining elected officers for Middlesex County:
The Natick Public School District operates the following schools:
Bus service is provided in Natick by the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.
Natick appears on the Family Guy episode "Da Boom" when the family sets out to the town after Peter reveals that there is a Twinkie factory there (Natick did contain a Hostess factory until 2007 when the Natick Mall expanded into the collection). He eventually starts a town on the ruins of the community, naming it New Quahog.
To solvers of crossword puzzles such as those of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, natick (as coined by Michael Sharp, alias Rex Parker) refers to any square a solver cannot fill in correctly without guessing because the solver does not know either clue that passes through it (and there are at least two letters that are reasonable guesses). Such clues are generally proper nouns.
Scenes included in the 2013 American drama film Labor Day (film) starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Tobey Maguire were filmed in Natick, at locations including The Center for Arts in Natick and Park Street Ice Cream.
Natick appears in the 2015 video game Fallout 4, which is set in the greater Boston area (referred to in the game as The Commonwealth).
David Paul Linsky (born October 16, 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American attorney and politician who currently represents the 5th Middlesex District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.Dug Pond
Dug Pond is a small body of water in Natick, Massachusetts. Most notably it is home to Memorial Beach, one of few swimming beaches in Natick, and its eastern shore is the site of Natick High School.Felchville, Massachusetts
Felchville is a populated place in Natick, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States.Irving Pray
Irving Rudolph Pray (December 25, 1886 – August 27, 1948) was an American football coach. He served as the head coach at Louisiana State University (LSU) for part of the 1916 season and for full seasons in 1919 and 1922, compiling a career record of 11–9. Pray was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born in Natick, Massachusetts and died in Alexandria, Louisiana.Lake Cochituate
Lake Cochituate is a body of water in Natick, Wayland, and Framingham, Massachusetts, United States. Originally a reservoir serving Boston, it no longer serves that function, and is now a local recreational resource and home to Cochituate State Park.MathWorks
MathWorks is an American privately held corporation that specializes in mathematical computing software. Its major products include MATLAB and Simulink, which support data analysis and simulation.Meg Mallon
Meg Mallon (born April 14, 1963) is an American professional golfer. She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1987 and won 18 LPGA Tour events, including four major championship, during her career. Mallon was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.MetroWest Medical Center
MetroWest Medical Center is a teaching hospital in Framingham and Natick, Massachusetts.
It is the largest health care provider in the MetroWest region between Boston and Worcester. MWMC was formed by the 1992 merger of two hospitals in neighboring towns: Framingham Union Hospital and Natick's Leonard Morse Hospital; the two hospitals have a combined capacity of 302 beds. It was acquired by Columbia/HCA in 1996; Tenet Health Systems in 1999; Vanguard Health Systems in 2009; and once again Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 2013 when Tenet acquired Vanguard. MWMC also operates an outpatient diagnostic and rehabilitation facility, MetroWest Wellness Center, in Framingham.
Country music artist Jo Dee Messina was born at the hospital.Natick High School
Natick High School is an urban/suburban public high school serving students in grades 9–12 in Natick, Massachusetts. The school is located on the banks of Dug Pond. It enrolled 1603 students as of the 2015-16 school year. The original building was built in 1953 at approximately 189,000 sq ft (17,600 m2). and opened in 1954. The building was expanded in 1965 (additional 94,000 sq ft.). Additional renovations took place in 1985. In 2010, the town voted to replace the Natick High School building. The new facility was constructed on the fields immediately to the south of the former building. Demolition on the former building began on June 25, 2012. The new building design is based on a model approved by the state of Massachusetts. This was necessary in order to maximize state reimbursement for design and construction; it cost $78 million. The new high school opened to students on August 29, 2012.Natick Mall
The Natick Mall (previously named the Natick Collection) is a shopping mall in Natick, Massachusetts. The original facility was the first enclosed shopping mall in Greater Boston upon opening in 1966; it was demolished and replaced by a larger building in 1994 and expanded in 2007. The mall, with the adjacent Shopper's World power center in Framingham, are major components of the Golden Triangle shopping district in the center of MetroWest, situated between Route 9 and Route 30. With 1,860,000 square feet (173,000 m2) of gross leasable area, the Natick Mall is the largest in New England by number of tenants, with 214. It is currently owned by Brookfield Properties Retail Group.
As of 2019, the Natick Mall is anchored by department stores Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, supermarket Wegmans, and full-service restaurant and video arcade Dave & Buster's. Previous anchors include department stores Filene's, Jordan Marsh, J. C. Penney, and Sears.Pamela Rosen Lampitt
Pamela Rosen Lampitt (born December 19, 1960, Natick, Massachusetts) is an American Democratic Party politician, who serves in the New Jersey General Assembly, where she represents the 6th legislative district, having taken office on January 10, 2006.Phil Schiller
Philip W. "Phil" Schiller is Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple Inc. He is a prominent figure in Apple's famed presentations and has been a member of the company's executive team since Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997.Rob Patterson
Rob Patterson (born November 9, 1970) is an American guitarist and composer.Ted Bishop (golfer)
Stanley Eugene "Ted" Bishop (January 10, 1913 – September 25, 1986) was an American amateur golfer.
Bishop was born in Natick, Massachusetts. He had a brief professional career before being reinstated as an amateur in the 1930s.Bishop won several amateur tournaments, including three Massachusetts Amateurs and two New England Amateurs, with his biggest win being the 1946 U.S. Amateur. He defeated Smiley Quick on the 37th hole of the 36-hole final match at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.Bishop played on the winning Walker Cup teams in 1947 and 1949.The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a college admission services company offering test preparation services, tutoring and admissions resources, online courses, and books published by Random House. The company has more than 4,000 teachers and tutors in the United States and Canada and international franchises in 14 other countries. The company is headquartered in New York City, and is privately held. Despite the title, it is not associated with Princeton University.Tom Connolly
Thomas Henry Connolly (December 31, 1870 – April 28, 1961) was an English-American umpire in Major League Baseball. He officiated in the National League from 1898 to 1900, followed by 31 years of service in the American League from 1901 to 1931. In over half a century as an American League umpire and supervisor, he established the high standards for which the circuit's arbiters became known, and solidified the reputation for integrity of umpires in the major leagues.United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), also known as the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC), or simply as Natick Labs, is an element of the United States Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM), headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and a tenant unit on the installation of the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) at Natick, Massachusetts.
NSRDEC exists to develop and test new material systems for U.S. Army soldiers. It has been the prime developer of MREs, elements of the Future Force Warrior System, the PALS grid and other items and methods used in the modern American military.United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) is the U.S Army’s main institution and facility for military environmental medicine and exercise physiology research. It is located at Natick, Massachusetts, within the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) installation, but is a subordinate lab of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA.WQOM
WQOM (1060 AM) is a radio station broadcasting Catholic radio programming in the Boston market. The station is owned by Holy Family Communications and is licensed to Natick, Massachusetts.
|Climate data for Natick, Massachusetts (1981−2010 normals)|
|Average high °F (°C)||27.7
|Average low °F (°C)||16.4
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.41
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||15.8
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.3||9.2||10.3||11.1||12.4||11.3||9.8||9.7||9.0||10.2||11.0||10.7||125|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||5.4||3.8||2.6||.4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.7||3.4||16.3|
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
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