Townsend, Massachusetts

Townsend is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 8,927 at the 2010 census.

Townsend, Massachusetts
Townsend Common
Townsend Common
Official seal of Townsend, Massachusetts

Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°40′00″N 71°42′20″W / 42.66667°N 71.70556°WCoordinates: 42°40′00″N 71°42′20″W / 42.66667°N 71.70556°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total33.1 sq mi (85.8 km2)
 • Land32.9 sq mi (85.1 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
315 ft (96 m)
 • Total8,926
 • Density270/sq mi (100/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
01469, 01474
Area code(s)978, 480, 617
FIPS code24-70360
GNIS feature ID0618238
WebsiteTown of Townsend Massachusetts


Townsend was first settled in 1676, and was officially incorporated in 1732.[1] The town was named after Charles Townshend, English secretary of state and an opponent of the Tories.[2] Earlier spellings of the town are referred to as "Townshend" but by the 1800's, the "h" was eventually dropped.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.1 square miles (85.8 km²), of which 32.9 square miles (85.1 km²) is land and 0.2 square mile (0.6 km²) (0.72%) is water. Townsend has the largest land area of any town in Middlesex County.

Townsend is bordered by Mason, New Hampshire and Brookline, New Hampshire to the north, Pepperell to the east, Groton and Shirley to the southeast, Lunenburg to the south, and Ashby to the west.

Route 119 runs east-west through Townsend, and Route 13 runs north-south.


As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 8,926 people, 3,240 households, and 2,483 families residing in the town. The population density was 279.8 people per square mile (108.0/km²). There were 3,516 housing units at an average density of 96.9 per square mile (37.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.7% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 3,240 households out of which 34% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.7% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 34.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $76,533, and the median income for a family was $87,227. Males had a median income of $52,714 versus $35,843 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,862. About 3.3% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.



United Methodist Church - Townsend, Massachusetts

United Methodist Church (1770)

Reed Homestead (exterior) - Townsend, Massachusetts

Reed Homestead, with murals attributed to Rufus Porter, founder of Scientific American

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Townsend, Massachusetts". Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Profile for Townsend, Massachusetts, MA". ePodunk. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  4. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  5. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  6. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  7. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  9. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  11. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ "People: Andy Sellars". Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Retrieved February 12, 2013.

Further reading

External links

Albert Stone

Albert Stone is the owner of Sterilite and a philanthropist from Townsend, Massachusetts.

Asa Whitney (canal commissioner)

Asa Whitney (December 1, 1791 Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts - June 4, 1874 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was an American manufacturer, inventor, railroad executive and politician.

Daniel Adams (physician)

Daniel Adams (September 29, 1773 – June 8, 1864) was a noted physician, textbook author, and state legislator. He was born in Townsend, Massachusetts to Daniel Adams and Lydia Taylor Adams in 1773.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1797, and received his M.D. in 1799. He married Nancy Mulliken in 1800, and began the practice of medicine in Leominster, Massachusetts that same year. He was chosen to deliver the eulogy for George Washington at the memorial service in Leominster. According to some accounts, this version was so popular that the town council had it printed and distributed free to the entire town. With Salmon Wilder he published the weekly newspaper Telescope from 1800 through 1802. Around 1805, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, taught at a private school, and edited the monthly magazine Medical and Agricultural Register. In 1813, he moved to Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, and returned to the practice of medicine. He served in the New Hampshire Senate from 1838 through 1840. Later, in 1846, he moved to Keene, New Hampshire, where he remained until his death in 1864.

Adams compiled or wrote several different textbooks over the course of his life. His first was The Scholar's Arithmetic (1801). The text was very popular during the first quarter of the 19th century, and he published a revision of it, entitled Adam's New Arithmetic, in 1827. Much later in 1848, he published another mathematics textbook entitled Primary Arithmetic. He compiled three reading textbooks during his life, The Understanding Reader (1803), The Agricultural Reader (1824), and The Monitorial Reader (1841). He also wrote a grammar textbook The Thorough Scholar, or the Nature of Language (1802), a geography textbook Geography, or a Description of the World (1814), and an accounting textbook Bookkeeping (1849).

Daniel LaPlante

Daniel J. LaPlante (born 1970) is an American convicted triple-murderer serving multiple life sentences for the 1987 murders of Priscilla Gustafson and her two children in Townsend, Massachusetts, which he committed at age seventeen. LaPlante had a juvenile record of breaking and entering, and lived with his mother and stepfather near the Gustafsons. On 1 December 1987, he broke into the Gustafson residence, possibly with the goal of burglary. He raped Priscilla Gustafson, who was pregnant, and murdered her using a revolver. He then drowned the two children, seven-year-old Abigail and five-year-old William. Priscilla Gustafson's husband, Andrew Gustafson, found his wife's body and called 911.LaPlante fled during the investigation, but was captured and eventually convicted on all three counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole. In 2017, he asked to be re-sentenced on the basis that he was a juvenile at the time of the crimes. However, the judge ruled that he had to wait 15 more years before becoming eligible for parole.LaPlante was featured in Season 2, Episode 1 of Investigation Discovery's Your Worst Nightmare series, "Bump in the Night."

Huntley N. Spaulding

Huntley Nowel Spaulding (October 30, 1869 – November 14, 1955) was an American manufacturer and Republican politician from Rochester, New Hampshire. He served as Governor of New Hampshire (1927–1929). In addition, he was notable for his philanthropy in health and education.

John Kerin (umpire)

John Patrick Kerin (March 3, 1875 – March 16, 1946) was an American professional baseball umpire. He umpired 265 American League games from 1908 to 1910. Kerin also umpired in the Eastern League and the Southern League from 1911 to 1920.

Mary Walcott

Mary Walcott was one of the "afflicted" girls called as a witness at the Salem witch trials in early 1692-93.

Mason, New Hampshire

Mason is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,382 at the 2010 census. Mason, together with Wilton, is home to Russell-Abbott State Forest.

Miss USA 1972

Miss USA 1972 was the 21st Miss USA pageant. It was held at Cerromar Beach Hotel in Dorado, Puerto Rico, on May 20, 1972. Tanya Wilson of Hawaii was crowned by outgoing titleholder Michele McDonald of Pennsylvania. This was the second time Hawaii has won the pageant.

Bob Barker (who later that year would begin a 35-year run as host of The Price Is Right on CBS) and singer Helen O'Connell hosted the pageant and the Everly Brothers were the guest entertainers.Prior to the final competition contestants participated in a number of public appearances, including an official parade held in Ponce and a televised ceremony with Governor Luis Ferre.This was the first time the pageant was held outside the continental United States. The event was marred by two bomb blasts at the hotel during the pageant, thought to have been caused by anti-American activists. There was severe property damage but no injuries were reported. Earlier that day the venue had been picketed by the Puerto Rican Socialist Party.

New Hampshire Route 124

New Hampshire Route 124 (abbreviated NH 124) is a 28.083-mile-long (45.195 km) east–west highway in southern New Hampshire, United States. It runs from Marlborough to the Massachusetts border.

The western terminus of NH 124 is in Marlborough at New Hampshire Route 101. The road continues through Marlborough, a short section of Troy and enters the northwestern part of Jaffrey. The road skirts the southern slopes of Mount Monadnock, across Jaffrey, and into Sharon. In Sharon there is an historic marker on the northern side of the road marking the site of a gate that once collected tolls for the 3rd New Hampshire Turnpike, which followed much of the present-day route of NH 124. The road enters New Ipswich and continues through that town.

The eastern terminus of NH 124 is at the Massachusetts state line in Mason. The road continues into Massachusetts as Greenville Road in the town of Townsend.

North Middlesex Regional High School

North Middlesex Regional High School is a public high school located in Townsend, Massachusetts in Middlesex County. It serves grades 9-12 primarily from Townsend, Pepperell, and Ashby. North Middlesex Regional High School has approximately 1100 students.

According to the official North Middlesex Regional School District website, North Middlesex is a comprehensive school accredited by the New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. The professional staff includes approximately 75 full-time teachers, a library/media coordinator, an academic support center coordinator, 4 guidance counselors, 3 school nurses, a school psychologist, approximately 15 teaching assistants, 2 assistant principals, one principal, and a resource officer.

Rolland H. Spaulding

Rolland Harty Spaulding (March 15, 1873 – March 14, 1942) was an American manufacturer and Republican politician. He was elected Governor of New Hampshire in 1914, where he served one term.

Squannacook River

The Squannacook River is a 16.4-mile-long (26.4 km) river in northern Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Nashua River and part of the Merrimack River watershed flowing to the Atlantic Ocean.

The river rises within West Townsend, Massachusetts, at the juncture of Walker Brook, Locke Brook, and Willard Brook. Walker and Locke Brooks rise within Greenville, New Ipswich, and Mason, New Hampshire, while Willard Brook rises in Ashby, Massachusetts. The Squannacook flows east and southeast through Townsend and West Groton, Massachusetts, and joins the Nashua River in wetlands just east of Woodsville. The river is dammed three times in Townsend and twice in West Groton. Its watershed covers 73 square miles (190 km2), of which 18% is permanently protected. It has been designated an Outstanding Resource Water.

There has been a conversion of one of the former mills on the Groton portion of the river. The former E.H. Sampson Leather Board Mill became a senior citizen/ nursing home. Riverside is located next to West Groton Square.


Sterilite Corporation is an American manufacturer of plastic storage containers. The company was founded by Saul and Edward Stone and Earl Tupper in 1939.

Townsend (CDP), Massachusetts

Townsend is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Townsend in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,128 at the 2010 census.

Townsend Harbor, Massachusetts

Townsend Harbor is a village in Townsend, Massachusetts, containing Harbor Pond dammed from the Squannacook River. At this location Jonas Spaulding and his brother Waldo started a mill in 1873 that made leatherboard (composed of leather scraps and wood pulp). They did business as Spaulding Brothers. Their family business expanded to locations in New Hampshire and western New York.Jonas Spaulding expanded further into leatherboard manufacturing, founding a second mill at Milton, New Hampshire, around 1893. This allowed Jonas to bring his three grown sons: Leon C., Huntley N., and Rolland H. Spaulding, into the business in a second company organized as J. Spaulding and Sons. The senior Spaulding started construction of a third leatherboard mill at North Rochester, New Hampshire. It began production in 1900 shortly after his death.

The three Spaulding sons were successful and acquired the Spaulding Brothers mill in Townsend Harbor in 1902, making it part of J. Spaulding and Sons. They later moved their corporate offices to Rochester, New Hampshire. The three brothers continued to expand the business, building a vulcanized fibre mill in Tonawanda, New York in 1911, and a fourth leatherboard mill at a second location in Milton in 1913.

They continued the company as J. Spaulding and Sons until about 1924, when they changed its name to the Spaulding Fibre Company to reflect its product. The corporate offices were moved to Tonawanda, New York, as that plant became the biggest operation. It reached its peak of production and employment in the 1960s, after having added product lines in Spauldite (a competitor for Bakelite) and a fiberglass tube.

Operation of the leatherboard mill at Townsend Harbor ceased in 1957, after the last two surviving siblings, Huntley Spaulding and his married sister Marion S. Potter, died. The two siblings had previously created a charitable trust that took over the Spaulding Fibre Company after their deaths and sold off all assets within 15 years.

Willard Brook State Forest

Willard Brook State Forest is a publicly owned forest with recreational features located in the towns of Ashby and Townsend, Massachusetts. The forest's fast-running brook and tree stands of a classic New England nature give it a character more in line with that of the forests found farther west in the state. It is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]
Places adjacent to Townsend, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.