Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Total||12.7 sq mi (32.9 km2)|
|• Land||12.6 sq mi (32.7 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||162 ft (49 m)|
|• Density||2,292.5/sq mi (883.4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
02492 / 02494
|GNIS feature ID||0618325|
Needham was first settled in 1680 with the purchase of a tract of land measuring 4 miles (6.4 km) by 5 miles (8.0 km) from Chief Nehoiden for the sum of 10 pounds, 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land, and 40 shillings worth of corn. It was officially incorporated in 1711. Originally part of the Dedham Grant, Needham split from Dedham and was named after the town of Needham Market in Suffolk, England. By the 1770s settlers in the western part of the town who had to travel a long distance to the meeting house on what is now Central Avenue sought to form a second parish in the town. Opposition to this desire created conflict, and in 1774 a mysterious fire destroyed the extant meeting house. Some time afterwards the West Parish was formed.
In 1857 the City of Boston began a project to fill in the Back Bay with landfill by filling the tidewater flats of the Charles River. The fill to reclaim the bay from the water was obtained from Needham, Massachusetts from the area of present-day Route 128. The firm of Goss and Munson, railroad contractors, built 6 miles (9.7 km) of railroad from Needham and their 35-car trains made 16 trips a day to Back Bay. The filling of present-day Back Bay was completed by 1882; filling reached Kenmore Square in 1890, and finished in the Fens in 1900. The project was the largest of a number of land reclamation projects, beginning in 1820, which, over the course of time, more than doubled the size of the original Boston peninsula.
In 1865, William Carter established a knitting mill company in Needham Heights that would eventually become a major manufacturer and leading brand of children's apparel in the United States. The site of Mill #1 currently houses the Avery Manor assisted living center, while Mill #2 stood along the shores of Rosemary Lake. By the 1960s, the company owned seven mills in Massachusetts and the south. The Carter family sold the business in 1990, after which Carter's, Inc. moved its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.
In the late 1860s William Emerson Baker moved to Needham. A notably wealthy man due to his having improved the mechanical sewing machine, Baker assembled a parcel of land exceeding 800 acres (3.2 km2) and named it Ridge Hill Farm. He built two man made lakes on his property, including Sabrina lake near present-day Locust Lane. Baker turned part of his property into an amusement park with exotic animals, subterranean tunnels, trick floors and mirrors. In 1888 he built a sizable hotel, near the intersection of present-day Whitman Road and Charles River Street, called the Hotel Wellesley which had a capacity of over 300 guests. The hotel burned to the ground on December 19, 1891.
In 1891, George Walker, Boston owner of a lithograph company, and Gustavos Gordon, scientist, formed Walker-Gordon Laboratories to develop processes for the prevention of contamination of milk and to answer the call by enlightened physicians for better babies' milk formulas. This plant was located in the Charles River Village section of Needham with another large facility in New Jersey. The scientific dairy production facilities of the Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm were widely advertised and utilized modern advancements in the handling of milk products.
In 1881 the West Parish was separately incorporated as the town of Wellesley. The following year, Needham and Wellesley high schools began playing an annual football game on Thanksgiving, now the second-longest running high school football rivalry in the United States (and longest such contest on Thanksgiving). Also the longest running public high school rivalry. In 2013 Wellesley broke a 3-year Thanksgiving game losing streak to the Needham Rockets, defeating them 22-6. The Wellesley Raiders now hold a 60-57-9 advantage in the historic rivalry.
With the loss of the West Parish to Wellesley, the town lost its town hall and plans to build a new one began in 1902 with the selection of a building committee. The cornerstone was laid by the Grand Lodge of Masons on September 2, 1902 and the building was dedicated on December 22, 1903. The total cost for the hall was $57,500 including furnishings. Because it was located on the town common, the cost did not include land as none was purchased. In 2011, the town hall was extensively refurbished and expanded. In the process, the second-floor meeting hall was restored to its original function and beauty.
Needham's population grew by over 50 percent during the 1930s.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 12.7 square miles (32.9 km²), of which 12.6 square miles (32.7 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km²) is water.
Needham's area is roughly in the shape of an acute, northward-pointing triangle. The Charles River forms nearly all of the southern and northeastern boundaries, the town line with Wellesley forming the third, northwestern one. In addition to Wellesley on the northwest, Needham borders Newton and the West Roxbury section of Boston on the northeast, and Dover, Westwood, and Dedham on the south. The majority of Cutler Park is in Needham and is located along the Charles River and the border with Newton and West Roxbury. Needham is elevated at sea level, but is a very hilly town.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2010, there were 28,886 people, 10,341 households, and 7,792 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,292.7 people per square mile (885.2/km²). There were 10,846 housing units at an average density of 860.1 per square mile (332.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.3% White, 1.4% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 7.1% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
There were 10,341 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 6.9% have a female householder with no husband present and 26.7% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the town, the population was laid out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $116,867, and the median income for a family was $144,042. Males had a median income of $76,459 versus $47,092 for females. The per capita income for the town was $56,776. About 1.6% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
Needham uses the old style town government, with a representative town meeting. Also, the populace of Needham elects a Board of Selectmen, which is essentially the executive branch of the town government.
The northern side of town beyond the I-95/Route 128 beltway, however, was developed for light industry shortly after World War II. Many companies food and restaurant companies call Needham home  Trader Joe's also operates a packing plant in Needham. More recently, Needham has begun to attract high technology and Internet firms, such as PTC and TripAdvisor, to this part of town.
The Town of Needham operates one high school, Needham High School, which underwent a $62-million renovation that was completed in 2009; two middle schools: William F. Pollard Middle School, for seventh and eighth grade, and High Rock School, for sixth grade only; and five elementary schools for grades K-5: John Eliot Elementary School, Hillside Elementary School, William Mitchell Elementary School, Newman Elementary School, and Broadmeadow Elementary School. Needham is currently in the process of building a new elementary school, Sunita L. Williams Elementary School, to replace the aging Hillside Elementary School, scheduled to open in the fall of 2019 or 2020. Needham is also home to Catholic schools such as St. Joseph's Elementary School, and Monsignor Haddad Middle School. Needham is also home to St. Sebastian's School, a Catholic school for boys in grades 7-12. St. Sebastian's is part of the rigorous Independent School League.
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is located in Needham.
Needham is part of the Greater Boston media market.
In addition to the Boston Globe (and its Your Town Needham website) and Boston Herald newspapers, there are two local weekly newspapers, the Needham Times (published by Gatehouse Media, Inc.) and Needham Hometown Weekly (published by Hometown Publications, LLC), and a website owned by AOL called Needham Patch.
The studios of television stations WCVB (5 Boston, ABC) and WUNI (27 Worcester, Univision) are located in Needham, as are the transmitters of WCVB, WBZ-TV (4 Boston, CBS), WGBH-TV (2 Boston, PBS), WGBX-TV (44 Boston, PBS), WBTS-LD/WYCN-CD (8/15 Boston/Nashua, New Hampshire, NBC) WFXT (25 Boston, Fox), WSBK (38 Boston, independent), CW), and WYDN (48 Worcester, Daystar Television). The television towers are also the sites of FM radio stations WBUR-FM, WKLB-FM, and several backup facilities for other stations.
The Needham Channel provides Public-access television to cable TV subscribers in Needham. PEG Public, educational, and government access programming is produced and delivered through three channels - a community channel, a municipal channel and an educational channel. The three channels are available on the channel lineups of each of the three franchised cable TV providers provided - Comcast, RCN, and Verizon. Selected content is also available for streaming through The Needham Channel's web site.
Programming on The Needham Channel includes:
Boston radio station WEEI (850 AM) transmits from a three-tower site south of the town recycling transfer station. Needham has one radio station studio location, that of Concord-licensed 1120 WBNW located at 144 Gould Street.
Ben Karlin (born c. 1971) is an American television producer and writer. He has won eight Emmy awards, and is best known for his work in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. He is one of three co-creators of The Colbert Report along with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Karlin left Comedy Central in December 2006. He has also been a writer for TV show Modern Family. Karlin will serve as producer, writer, and showrunner of a new TV series set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe titled Damage Control, based on the Marvel Comics' team with the same name. The series was set to premiere on ABC Network in 2017, but never aired.His book, released February 2008, is a collection of essays entitled Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me. It contains essays by Andy Richter, Will Forte, David Wain, Stephen Colbert, Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, and many others. Karlin is also the co-editor of America (The Book) alongside Jon Stewart and David Javerbaum. He wrote for Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and The Onion from 1993-1996.Cutler Park
Cutler Park is a state-owned nature preserve and public recreation area that lies between Route 128/I-95 and the Charles River in Needham, Massachusetts. The state park's 739 acres (299 ha) contain the largest remaining freshwater marsh on the middle Charles River. Parts of its major trail run directly through the marsh via boardwalks; over 100 species of birds have been sighted here. The park is part of a plan by the Town of Needham to connect 18 public areas by 35 proposed trails. It is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.Dave Cadigan
David Patrick Cadigan (born April 6, 1965) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League.Denise Garlick
Denise C. Garlick (née Collatos) is an American state legislator representing the 13th Norfolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.Garlick was graduated from Dedham High School in 1972. She is a Needham resident and a member of the Democratic Party. In 2017, she was honored as the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council's Legislator of the Year. She is also a registered nurse.Eric Johnson (tight end)
Eric Maxwell Johnson (born September 15, 1979) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Yale.Frank Malzone
Frank James Malzone (February 28, 1930 – December 29, 2015) was a Major League Baseball third baseman who played for the Boston Red Sox (1955–65) and California Angels (1966).Joey McIntyre
Joseph Mulrey McIntyre (born December 31, 1972) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He is best known as the youngest member of the 80s pop group, New Kids on the Block. He has sold over 1 million records worldwide as a solo artist.Karl Ravech
Karl Ravech (; born January 19, 1965) is an American journalist who works as the primary Baseball Tonight host for ESPN.Mac Steeves
Mac Steeves (born July 31, 1994) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a forward for USL Championship club Hartford Athletic.Needham Heights station
Needham Heights is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Needham, Massachusetts. It is the terminus of the Needham Line, and serves the Needham Heights neighborhood. It opened around 1860 as an infill station on the New York and Boston Railroad. The station is fully accessible.Needham Junction station
Needham Junction is an MBTA Commuter Rail station in Needham, Massachusetts. It serves the Needham Line. It is located on Junction Street near Chestnut Street in the southwestern part of Needham. It opened in 1906 when the New Haven Railroad built the Needham Cutoff to connect the Charles River Railroad to its main line. The station is fully handicapped accessible.Nelson Goodman
Henry Nelson Goodman (7 August 1906 – 25 November 1998) was an American philosopher, known for his work on counterfactuals, mereology, the problem of induction, irrealism, and aesthetics.Richard Patrick
Richard Michael Patrick (born May 10, 1968) is an American musician, singer and songwriter. He is the frontman for the rock band Filter and a founding member of the supergroups Army of Anyone and The Damning Well, and has served as a touring guitarist for Nine Inch Nails. As a teenager, Patrick was the frontman for The Akt.Scott Rosenberg
Scott Rosenberg (born April 24, 1963) is an American screenwriter, film producer, and actor.Steven Hauschka
Stephen Theodore Hauschka (name commonly spelled as Steven Hauschka; born June 29, 1985) is an American football placekicker for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He played college football at Middlebury College and North Carolina State.
Hauschka has also been a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Locomotives, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks. He won Super Bowl XLVIII as a member of the Seahawks, and is the seventh most-accurate kicker in NFL history.Sunita Williams
Sunita Pandya Lyn Williams (born September 19, 1965) is an American astronaut and United States Navy officer of Indo-Slovenian descent. She formerly held the records for total spacewalks by a woman (seven) and most spacewalk time for a woman (50 hours, 40 minutes). Williams was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and Expedition 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33.TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor, Inc. is an American travel and restaurant website company that shows hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings and other travel-related content. It also includes interactive travel forums.
Headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts, TripAdvisor is the largest "social travel website" in the world, with about 315 million reviewers (active and inactive) and about 500 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses. TripAdvisor was an early adopter of user-generated content. The website services are free to users, who provide most of the content, and the website is supported by a hotel booking facility and an advertising business model.WB Games Boston
WB Games Boston (formerly Turbine Inc, Turbine Entertainment Software, Second Nature, and originally CyberSpace, Inc.) is an American computer game developer that develops 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Turbine was founded by Johnny Monsarrat, Jeremy Gaffney, Kevin Langevin, and Timothy Miller as CyberSpace, Inc., changing their company name in 1995 to Turbine, Inc.
Turbine was a privately held company backed by Highland Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and other private investors since 1998. On April 20, 2010, the company was acquired by Warner Bros..Wellesley, Massachusetts
Wellesley is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Wellesley is part of Greater Boston. The population was 27,982 at the time of the 2010 census. In 2008, Wellesley had the 3rd highest median household and family incomes in all of Massachusetts. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that Wellesley was the 7th wealthiest city in the United States. It is best known as the home of Wellesley College, Babson College, and a campus of Massachusetts Bay Community College.
Municipalities and communities of Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States
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