Wareham, Massachusetts

Wareham (/ˈwɛərəm/, WAIR-əm) is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 21,822.[1]

Wareham, Massachusetts
"The Western Point of Cape Cod"
"The Western Point of Cape Cod"
Official seal of Wareham, Massachusetts

cape cod
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°45′45″N 70°43′20″W / 41.76250°N 70.72222°WCoordinates: 41°45′45″N 70°43′20″W / 41.76250°N 70.72222°W
CountryUnited States
 • TypeOpen town meeting
 • Total46.3 sq mi (119.9 km2)
 • Land35.8 sq mi (92.7 km2)
 • Water10.5 sq mi (27.1 km2)
20 ft (6 m)
 • Total21,822
 • Density470/sq mi (180/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)508/774
FIPS code25-72985
GNIS feature ID0618353


Wareham was first settled in 1678 by Europeans as part of the towns of Plymouth and Rochester. It was officially incorporated in 1739 and named after the town of Wareham in England. Because of its geography, Wareham's early industry revolved around shipbuilding and the related industries. It also served as a resort town, with many smaller resorts scattered around the town, especially in Onset. Like Sandwich, its waterways, especially Buttermilk Bay, were considered as possible pathways for the Cape Cod Canal. Although the canal proper goes through Bourne and Sandwich, the southern approach to Buzzards Bay passes just south of the peninsulas that make up the topography of the town.

Wareham is home of the Tremont Nail Factory, the oldest nail manufacturer in the United States. The factory was established in 1819.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.3 square miles (120 km2), of which 35.8 square miles (93 km2) is land and 10.5 square miles (27 km2) is water. The total area is 22.64% water. Wareham is bordered by Marion to the southwest, Rochester to the west, Middleborough to the northwest, Carver and Plymouth to the north, and Bourne to the east. The town's localities are numerous, the most important being East Wareham, Onset, Point Independence, Wareham Center, and West Wareham. The town is just west of Cape Cod, and is 18 miles (29 km) east of New Bedford, approximately 45 miles (72 km) east of Providence, Rhode Island and 55 miles (89 km) south-southeast of Boston.

Wareham is the innermost town on the north shore of Buzzards Bay. The Weweantic River empties in the southwest corner of town, with the Sippican River and other brooks emptying into it. The Wareham River, which is formed at the confluence of the Wankinco and Agawam rivers, flows into the harbor east of the Weweantic, and has brooks and the Mill Pond River as tributaries. To the east lie Onset Bay and Buttermilk Bay, both of which empty into the head of the bay, at the right-of-way of the Cape Cod Canal. Between these rivers and bays lie several points and necks, including Cromesett Point, Swift's Neck, Long Beach Point, Indian Neck, Stony Point, Cedar Island Point, Codman's Point, Sias Point and Whittemore's Point. The southern boundary of Myles Standish State Forest is concurrent with the town line between Wareham and Plymouth.

The town of Wareham encompasses a number of neighborhoods and named places, including Onset, Wareham Center, West Wareham, East Wareham, and Weweantic.

There are a number of ponds and lakes in Wareharm, including Blackmore Pond, Horseshoe Pond, and Marys Pond.


Historical population
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 20,335 people, 8,200 households, and 5,338 families residing in the town. The population density was 568.1 people per square mile (219.3/km²). There were 10,670 housing units at an average density of 298.1 per square mile (115.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 57.42% White, 32.92% African American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 5.20% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. Of the population 1.44% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,200 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,422, and the median income for a family was $45,750. Males had a median income of $37,601 versus $28,306 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,312. 10.7% of the population and 8.1% of families were below the poverty line. Of those 16.6% under the age of 18 and 13.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Today, Wareham is mostly residential, although it still has a strong summer tourism industry.[13] It has retail centers along Routes 6 and 28, including Wareham Crossing, opened in 2007.[14]

Historically, the cranberry industry has dominated Wareham's economy, as evidenced by the fact that the main local road is known as Cranberry Highway (Route 28) and one of the world's largest cranberry growers,[15] the A.D. Makepeace Company (a founder of the Ocean Spray growers' cooperative), is headquartered in Wareham. The University of Massachusetts Cranberry Research Station is also located in Wareham, as is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cranberry Marketing Committee.


Wareham is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Second Plymouth district, which also includes Carver and part of Middleboro. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the First Plymouth and Bristol district, which also includes Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Dighton, Marion, Middleborough, Raynham and Taunton.[16] The town is patrolled by the Seventh (Bourne) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[17]

On the national level, Wareham is part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district and is currently represented by William R. Keating. Its senators are currently Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.

Wareham is governed by the open town meeting form of government, which is led by a town administrator and a board of selectmen.

There is a central police station located along Route 28. The Wareham Fire District (career/on-call) has stations located in Wareham Center (Station No. 1, Manned Career/on-call), East Wareham (Station No. 4, Unmanned On-call), West Wareham (Station No. 2, Unmanned On-call) and in White Island, near Glen Charlie Pond (Station No. 3, Unmanned On-call) in the northeast corner of town. The Onset Fire District (paid/on-call) has fire stations located in Onset Village and off Route 28/Cranberry Highway near the intersection of Main Avenue. Wareham EMS has a station located on Sandwich Road (Route 6).

There are four post offices for the town's four ZIP Codes, located in East Wareham (02538), West Wareham (02576), Wareham Center (02571) and a branch office in Onset (02558). The southeast portion of Wareham is also covered by 02532 of Buzzards Bay. The town's public library, located across the street from the town hall, is part of the SAILS Library Network.


Public schools

Wareham has a public school system. There is one elementary school—John W. Decas. Minot Forest Elementary—was closed in 2018 and absorbed into the middle school until a new building is erected for Minot. ; Wareham Middle School; and Wareham High School. The East Wareham Partnership houses the former West Wareham Academy and the Cooperative Junior-Senior High School.

Wareham High competes in the South Coast Conference for athletics. Its nickname is the Vikings, and its colors are Blue, White, and Gold. Wareham competes with Bourne High School in an annual Thanksgiving Day football game.

The town also sends students to Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School

High school students may also choose to attend Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Bourne.

Private schools

There are no private schools in the town, with the nearest being Tabor Academy in Marion. The nearest Catholic high school is Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth.


Major highways

The town has always been a vital transportation point, as the Bay Colony Railroad crosses through the town on its way to Cape Cod. Interstates 495 and 195 both terminate in the western part of town, with I-495's highway route continuing on as Massachusetts Route 25, which passes through town and around Buttermilk Bay before ending at the Bourne Bridge. Additionally, U.S. Route 6 and Massachusetts Route 28 meet in East Wareham and continue on towards Cape Cod. Route 58's southern terminus is at Route 28 in Rochester near the Wareham town line.


There is currently no commuter rail service to Wareham, as the MBTA's Middleborough/Lakeville commuter rail line was only restored to Middleborough/Lakeville in 1997. The seasonal CapeFLYER service began stopping at Wareham Village station in June 2014.[18] Based on the success of the CapeFLYER, commuter service to Wareham and Buzzards Bay is under consideration.[19][20]

The nearest inter-city (Amtrak) passenger rail stations are Route 128, Providence, and Boston's South Station. The nearest MBTA commuter rail station is the Middleborough/Lakeville station.

Freight rail service is provided by the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad.


Bonanza Bus Lines stops at the Mill Pond Diner daily. A local bus service, the OWL (Onset Wareham Link), operated by the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA), provides bus service around Wareham. The buses also have run to a Tedeschi store in Bourne for connection to Bonanza Buses and to the MBTA's Middleborough/Lakeville Station. Service to these locations is often changed.


The nearest national and international flights can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston or T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island. Barnstable Municipal Airport is also a short trip away, although it only allows for national service.


Wareham is home to the Wareham Gatemen, a collegiate summer baseball team and a member of the Western Division of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Wareham currently plays its home games at Clem Spillane Field.

Wareham has many town youth sports as well, including Wareham Little League, Wareham JBA, Gateway Babe Ruth, Pop Warner Wareham Tigers, Wareham Girls Softball (WGSA), and more.

Points of interest

Notable people


  1. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Wareham town, Plymouth County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  3. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  13. ^ "About Wareham". Town of Wareham. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  14. ^ "About Warehma Crossing". Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "A.D. Makepeace Company : Inspired by Nature". admakepeace.com. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  16. ^ "Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from". Mass.gov. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  17. ^ Station D-7, SP Bourne Archived December 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "New Wareham CapeFLYER Stop Opens" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  19. ^ Kinsella, James (16 August 2013). "Cape Commuter Rail Is A Real Possibility". Cape News. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Chamber: Bring on commuter rail to Wareham, Buzzards Bay". Wicked Local Wareham. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.

External links

Abiels Ledge

Abiels Ledge is a small barren rock located in Buzzards Bay, within Massachusetts. The rock is just off the southeast coast of Stony Point Dike, near Hog Island Channel and within the town limits of Wareham. This is a good place to catch stripers when they are running.

Beetle Cat

A Beetle Cat is a 12-foot-4-inch (3.76 m) gaff-rigged catboat first built in 1920 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by members of the Beetle family. Over 4,000 have been built. Beetle, Inc., now in Wareham, Massachusetts, is the sole builder of Beetle Cat boats.

Crooked River (Massachusetts)

The Crooked River is a small tributary of the Wareham River located entirely within the town of Wareham, Massachusetts, United States. Its source is found in salt marshes and cranberry bogs east of Indian Neck Road, and its mouth empties into the Wareham River opposite Swifts Neck. In all, its length is just over one mile.

Donald W. Nicholson

Donald William Nicholson (August 11, 1888 – February 16, 1968) was a 20th-century American politician from the state of Massachusetts.

Born in Wareham, Massachusetts, Nicholson attended the public schools and took college extension courses. He first worked as a salesman, then during the First World War served overseas in the United States Army from 1917 to 1919.

Returning to Massachusetts, he entered politics and served as selectman, assessor, and overseer of the poor in Wareham from 1920 to 1925. He served as a delegate to all Republican state conventions from 1924 to 1947; served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1925 and 1926; as a member of the Massachusetts Senate from 1926 to 1947, and as president of the state senate in 1946 and 1947. He was elected as a Republican to the Eightieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Charles L. Gifford, and reelected to the five succeeding Congresses (November 18, 1947 – January 3, 1959).

Nicholson retired to his home in Wareham, remaining there until his death on February 16, 1968; he is buried in Center Cemetery.

In 1964 a bridge in Wareham was named after Nicholson.

Glen Charlie Pond

Glen Charlie Pond is a 185-acre (0.75 km2) warm water pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. The maximum depth of the pond is 12 feet (3.7 m). The pond is part of the Agawam River. The pond is located southwest of White Island Shores, northeast of Spectacle Pond, north of Sandy Pond, and approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Route 25. Exit 2 off Route 25 eastbound provides direct access along Glen Charlie Road. The pond is developed with summer and year-round homes mostly along the southern and eastern shores. Public access is possible through town-owned land at the gas pipeline crossing. This pond is popular for both warm-water fishing and ice fishing.

Little Long Pond (Wareham, Massachusetts)

Little Long Pond is a 45-acre (180,000 m2) pond in Wareham and Plymouth, Massachusetts. The pond is located east of the southeasternmost point of Myles Standish State Forest within Camp Cachalot, southeast of Charge Pond, southwest of Five Mile Pond, and south of Abner Pond.

There is another Little Long Pond entirely within Plymouth's borders located north of Long Pond and Gallows Pond.

Mill Pond (Wareham, Massachusetts)

Mill Pond, also known unofficially as Agawam Mill Pond, is a 150-acre (0.61 km2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. The pond is located northwest of Union Pond, west and north of Spectacle Pond, west of Sandy Pond, and southwest of Glen Charlie Pond. The Agawam River runs through the pond. Route 25 runs through the southwestern part of the pond, and the Exit 2 off-ramp from Route 25 eastbound lies along the shore en route to Glen Charlie Road, which runs along the pond's eastern shore.

Parker Mills Pond

Parker Mills Pond is a 105-acre (0.42 km2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. The Wankinco River flows through the pond. Additionally, Harlow Brook flows into the pond. The water quality is impaired due to non-native aquatic plants and non-native fish. Route 25 runs through the northern part of the pond just east of the highway's terminus with Interstates 195 and 495, and Route 28 runs along the southern shore of the pond.

Rose Point

Rose Point is a very small peninsula located in the town of Wareham, Massachusetts, United States. It is formed by the splitting of the Sippican River into the Weweantic River.

Sandy Pond (Wareham, Massachusetts)

Sandy Pond is an 18-acre (73,000 m2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. The pond is located east of Spectacle Pond and Mill Pond, and south of Glen Charlie Pond.

Sippican River

The Sippican River ("long river") is a short river in Massachusetts, United States.

The Sippican River is 6.2 miles (10.0 km) long, arising from east and west branches in the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion (once known as Sippican), and Rochester, Massachusetts. Each branch flows through a complex system of cranberry bogs and reservoirs, and empties a short distance away through Wareham into Buzzards Bay near the Weweantic River mouth.

As of 2006, efforts are underway to restore the native alewife population to the river.

Spectacle Pond (Wareham, Massachusetts)

Spectacle Pond is a 42-acre (170,000 m2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. It is located east and south of Mill Pond, west of Sandy Pond and southwest of Glen Charlie Pond. A small stream connects it to the Agawam River.

Tihonet Pond

Tihonet Pond is an 89-acre (360,000 m2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. The Wankinco River flows through the pond. Tihonet village lies on the southern shore of the pond.

Environmental Protection Agency

Tremont Mill Pond

Tremont Mill Pond is a 50-acre (200,000 m2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts, in the West Wareham section of town. The Weweantic River flows through the pond. Route 28 runs north of the pond. Tremont village is located southwest of the pond. The water quality is impaired due to non-native fish in the pond.

Union Pond (Massachusetts)

Union Pond is a 25-acre (100,000 m2) pond in Wareham, Massachusetts. The pond is located southeast of Mill Pond. Route 25 runs north of the pond, Routes 6 and 28 runs south of the pond, and Glen Charlie Road runs west of the pond.

Wankinco River

The Wankinco River is a 7.3-mile-long (11.7 km) river in eastern Massachusetts, United States. It is a tributary of the Wareham River, which drains into Buzzards Bay.

Although now spelled Wankinco, it was previously written as Wankinquoah, which may have been derived from Wonqun, meaning "crooked".

The river originates at East Head Reservoir, a pond in the Myles Standish State Forest, and flows southwards through various impoundments and cranberry bogs to join the Agawam River near the center of Wareham, Massachusetts, after which it forms the Wareham River, forming Wareham's main harbor with a depth of about 12 feet (3.7 m). During a portion of its course, it serves as the boundary between Carver and Plymouth, Massachusetts.

West Wareham, Massachusetts

West Wareham is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Wareham in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 2,064 at the 2010 census.

White Island Pond

White Island Pond is a system of two ponds in Plymouth and Wareham, Massachusetts. The area of the western basin is 122 acres (0.49 km2), and the area of the eastern basin is 159 acres (0.64 km2). The pond is located east of Glen Charlie Pond in Wareham and, in Plymouth, south of Halfway Pond, southwest of Fawn Pond and Deer Pond, and west of Ezekiel Pond. White Island Shores lies along this pond.

Wickets Island

Wickets Island is a 4.6 acres (1.9 ha) island located in Onset Harbor in Wareham, Massachusetts. It is located 1,100 feet (340 m) from shore.

Municipalities and communities of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
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