Named after statesman Daniel Webster, the town was founded by industrialist Samuel Slater, and was home to several early American textile mills. It is home to the Chaubunagungamaug Reservation of the Nipmuc, as well as Lake Chaubunagungamaug, the third largest body of freshwater, and largest natural lake, in Massachusetts.
Town Hall, Webster, Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
| • Town|
|• Board of Selectmen||Andrew M. Jolda, Chairman|
Randy Becker, Vice Chairman
Mark G. Dowgiewicz, Secretary
Donald D. Bourque
Robert J. Miller
|• Total||14.5 sq mi (37.7 km2)|
|• Land||12.5 sq mi (32.3 km2)|
|• Water||2.1 sq mi (5.3 km2)|
|Elevation||460 ft (140 m)|
|• Density||1,200/sq mi (440/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||508 Exchanges: 671,943,949|
|GNIS feature ID||0618389|
Webster was first settled in 1713 and was officially incorporated on March 6, 1832. The area forming the town had previously been divided among the town of Dudley, the town of Oxford and an unincorporated gore. The primary founder was the manufacturer Samuel Slater, who came to the area after his celebrated activities in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and founded several textile mills, one of which was taken over by the Cranston Print Works in 1936. He named the town after his friend Daniel Webster. Slater spent his last years in Webster and died and is buried there in Mount Zion Cemetery.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.5 square miles (38 km2), of which 12.5 square miles (32 km2) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), or 14.10%, is water.
The town is home to Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, also known as Lake Chaubunagungamaug or simply "Webster Lake", the third largest lake in Massachusetts. The 45-character name is often regarded as the longest place name in the United States Of America and the third longest in the world.
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,415 people, 6,905 households, and 4,274 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,314.2 people per square mile (507.4/km²). There were 7,554 housing units at an average density of 604.8 per square mile (233.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.82% White (92.9% if non-Hispanic whites are counted), 1.11% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 1.49% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.95% of the population. About 60% of the Latinos were Puerto Ricans.
The town is known for incorporating many Polish-American immigrants. Persons of Polish descent may constitute as much a third of the town's population. St. Joseph Basilica, the oldest Polish-American Catholic parish church in New England, is located in Webster.
As of 2000, there were 6,905 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,169, and the median income for a family was $48,898. Males had a median income of $37,863 versus $26,912 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,410. About 8.1% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.
Chaubunagungamaug Reservation, a state-recognized Nipmuc Indian reservation, is located within the town. There are over 500 tribe members officially recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but they are not recognized as a tribal government by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Public schools in Webster include Park Avenue School (grades K-4), Webster Middle School (grades 5-8), and Bartlett High School (grades 9-12). Webster Middle School opened in 2005, replacing the former Anthony J. Sitkowski Middle School, a building attached to Town Hall which is now an apartment building for senior citizens.
Three of Webster's Catholic churches also support elementary schools: St. Anne's, St. Joseph's and St. Louis. In 2016, St. Anne's and St. Louis's were combined to form All Saints Academy, which has two buildings: a middle school campus (grades 5-8), and an elementary school campus (grades K-4).
Mapfre Insurance (formerly the Commerce Insurance Group) is based in Webster.
Indian Ranch is a summer concert venue located on Webster Lake, and has hosted musical acts such as Charlie Daniels, Thomas Rhett, the Barenaked Ladies, Scotty McCreery, Third Eye Blind, Huey Lewis & the News, Gavin DeGraw, and many more. Also, it is currently home to the Indian Princess, a riverboat that once rode the Mississippi River, where guests can take a tour of the lake.
|County-level state agency heads|
|Clerk of Courts:||Dennis P. McManus (D)|
|District Attorney:||Joe Early Jr. (D)|
|Register of Deeds:||Katie Toomey (D)|
|Register of Probate:||Stephanie Fattman (R)|
|County Sheriff:||Lew Evangelidis (R)|
|State Representative(s):||Joseph D. McKenna (R)|
|State Senator(s):||Ryan Fattman (R)|
|Governor's Councilor(s):||Jen Caissie (R)|
|U.S. Representative(s):||James P. McGovern (D-2nd District)|
|U.S. Senators:||Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)|
The Chester C. Corbin Library opened in 1921 and served the town until being demolished in the fall of 2016, with its contents temporarily moved to the Webster Town Hall while a new building was constructed. The new library, named for Gladys E. Kelly, opened in 2018.
Bates Island is a forested and uninhabited island located in Lake Chaubunagungamaug in Webster, Massachusetts.Bette Boucher
Barbara Ellison (née Barbara Boucher, born July 29, 1943) is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by her ring name, Bette Boucher.Chaubunagungamaug Reservation
The Chaubunagungamaug Reservation refers to the small parcel of land located in the town of Thompson, Connecticut, close to the border with the town of Webster, Massachusetts and within the bounds of Lake Chaubunagungamaug (Webster Lake) to the east and the French River to the west. The reservation is used by the descendants of the Nipmuck Indians of the previous reservation, c. 1682-1869, that existed in the same area, who now identify as the Webster/Dudley Band of the Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck. Together with the Hassanamisco Nipmuc, both have received state recognition under the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs.The reservation only consists of 2.5 acres (1.0 hectare), and does not support a permanent population. It does serve as a meeting ground, ceremonial center and celebration area for the current tribe. The land is also used as a place for the re-interment of local Native American remains. The tribe, and its reservation, are recognized in Massachusetts, but both lack recognition in Connecticut and at the federal level.Civil War Memorial (Webster, Massachusetts)
A Civil War Memorial stands in downtown Webster, Massachusetts in front of the town hall as one part of a series of war monuments called Honor Court. This memorial was dedicated in 1907 and consists of a central tower with a bronze statue of a soldier on top. Four other bronze statues of soldiers stand at each of the four corners: an infantryman, artilleryman, cavalryman, and sailor.Each bronze soldier statue was created in 125% scale from real life.
On October 11, 1906 the contract for this memorial was awarded to J.W. White & Sons of Quincy.Cobble Island (Massachusetts)
Cobble Island is an inhabited island located in Lake Chaubunagungamaug in Webster, Massachusetts.
The home on the island dates back to before 1922. There is a large rock that sits at the eastern side of the island. The massive boulder is widely recognized among the town's natives and is often considered Webster's greatest fishing spot. On the island's western side there is a small cove that is often inhabited by an LA-4-200 Lake Buccaneer.Frank Gilmore
Frank T. Gilmore (April 27, 1864 in Webster, Massachusetts – July 21, 1929 in Hartford, Connecticut) was a professional baseball player who played pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1886-1888. He would play for the Washington Nationals.French River (Massachusetts)
The French River is a river in south-central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut, USA.
The river rises near Leicester, Massachusetts, and flows generally southwards through Auburn, Oxford, and along the town line between Webster and Dudley; it then enters Connecticut where it joins the Quinebaug River at Thompson, just northeast of Putnam. The Quinebaug in turn flows into the Shetucket River and ultimately the Thames River to empty into the Long Island Sound.
The river's total length is 25.3 miles (40.7 km), of which 18.8 miles (30.3 km) are in Massachusetts. It drains a watershed area of about 95 square miles (250 km2), containing 67 lakes and ponds, 38 of which cover at least 10 acres (4.0 ha). Only one lake in its basin is larger than 500 acres (200 ha), namely Lake Chaubunagungamaug (Webster Lake) in Webster, Massachusetts at 1,195 acres (484 ha).
French River was so named from a settlement of French Protestants in Oxford.Gene Filipski
Eugene C. Filipski (June 14, 1931 – August 23, 1994) was an American football halfback who played two seasons with the New York Giants of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the seventh round of the 1953 NFL Draft. He first enrolled at the United States Military Academy before transferring to Villanova University. Filipski attended Grant Union High School in Sacramento, California. He was also a member of the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.George Derby (baseball)
George Henry Derby (July 6, 1857 – July 4, 1925), nicknamed "Jonah", was a professional baseball player from 1877 to 1883. He played three seasons in Major League Baseball as a right-handed pitcher for the Detroit Wolverines in 1881 and 1882 and for the Buffalo Bisons in 1883.
Derby won 29 games and led the National League in both strikeouts and shutouts as a 24-year-old rookie in 1881. However, after pitching 55 complete games and almost 500 innings in 1881, Derby developed shoulder problems that reduced the velocity of his pitches. His career was cut short, and he played in his final major league game in July 1883 at age 25.George R. Stobbs
George Russell Stobbs (February 7, 1877 – December 23, 1966) was an attorney and politician. A Republican. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts for three terms.Joseph D. McKenna
Joseph D. McKenna is a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, sworn in January 2015. A resident of Webster, Massachusetts, he was elected as a Republican to represent the 18th Worcester district. McKenna is a former clinical counselor and legislative aide.>Lake Chaubunagungamaug
Lake Chaubunagungamaug, also known as Webster Lake, is a lake in the town of Webster, Massachusetts. It is located near the Connecticut border and has a surface area of 1,442 acres. Since 1921, the lake has also been known by a much longer name having 45 letters comprising fourteen syllables: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The name attracts many tourists. It is a very famous lake, simply because it is the longest name of any place in all of the United States.Mike Sullivan (outfielder)
Michael Joseph Sullivan (June 10, 1860 – June 16, 1929) was a Major League Baseball player. He appeared in 28 games for the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, mostly in the outfield.Samuel Slater
Samuel Slater (June 9, 1768 – April 21, 1835) was an early English-American industrialist known as the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" (a phrase coined by Andrew Jackson) and the "Father of the American Factory System". In the UK, he was called "Slater the Traitor" because he brought British textile technology to America, modifying it for United States use. He memorized the designs of textile factory machinery as an apprentice to a pioneer in the British industry before migrating to the United States at the age of 21. He designed the first textile mills in the US and later went into business for himself, developing a family business with his sons. A wealthy man, he eventually owned thirteen spinning mills and had developed tenant farms and company towns around his textile mills, such as Slatersville, Rhode Island.St. Joseph Basilica (Webster, Massachusetts)
St. Joseph Basilica is a parish church in Webster, Massachusetts, founded in 1887 as the first Catholic parish designated for Polish immigrants in New England. Located in the Catholic Diocese of Worcester, it was raised to the dignity of a minor basilica in 1998 by Pope John Paul II.St. Joseph Parish, Webster
St. Joseph Parish is a Catholic parish in Webster, Massachusetts, located in the Diocese of Worcester. Founded in 1887, it was the first parish designated for Polish immigrants in New England.
In 1998, its parish church was raised to the dignity of a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II.Thompson, Connecticut
Thompson is a rural town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The town was named after Sir Robert Thompson, an English landholder. The population was 9,458 at the 2010 census. Thompson is located in the northeastern corner of the state and is bordered on the north by Webster, Massachusetts and Dudley, Massachusetts, on the east by Douglas, Massachusetts and Burrillville, Rhode Island, on the west by Woodstock, Connecticut, and on the south by Putnam, Connecticut.
Thompson has the highest-banked race track (Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, a 5/8 mile oval and a restored 1.7 mile road course) in New England. This speedway holds one of the biggest race programs in New England, The World Series of Auto Racing, where 16 divisions and about 400 cars show up each fall. Another claim to fame is that the Tri-State Marker is located just on the border of Thompson. The term "Swamp Yankee" is thought to have originated in Thompson during the American Revolution in 1776.
Thompson was the site of the Great East Thompson Train Wreck in 1891, one of the worst train wrecks in American history and the only one to involve four trains.WGFP
WGFP (940 AM; "The Lake") is a radio station broadcasting a classic hits format. Licensed to Webster, Massachusetts, United States, the station serves the Worcester area. The station is owned by Just Because, Inc.WGFP serves Southern Worcester County, Northern Rhode Island and Northeastern Connecticut. WGFP also provides the area with local high school sports (Football and Basketball) live with Matt Morway and Pete Geanis.
For several years now WGFP has been operating from a long wire antenna instead of a tower. On the site of the tower rests an experimental tower WX1CFA using a "crossed field" design.On December 29, 2017, WGFP changed formats to classic hits as “The Lake 940”. The station previously broadcast a country format.William Slater Brown
William Slater Brown (November 13, 1896 – June 22, 1997) was an American novelist, biographer, and translator of French literature. Most notably, he was a friend of the poet E. E. Cummings and is best known as the character "B." in Cumming's 1922 memoir/novel The Enormous Room.
His books, published under the name Slater Brown, include the novel The Burning Wheel (1943); Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys (1956), a biography for children; and The Heyday of Spiritualism (1970), a study of the 19th-century interest in parapsychology and the occult.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Municipalities and communities of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
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