Attleboro, Massachusetts

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Attleboro, Massachusetts
Attleboro City Hall, Massachusetts.jpg
Attleboro's city hall
The Jewelry City, A-Town
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Bristol County Massachusetts incorporated and unincorporated areas Attleboro highlighted.svg
Location in Bristol County in Massachusetts
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Location in Massachusetts
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Attleboro (the United States)
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Attleboro (North America)
Coordinates: 41°55′54″N71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503 Coordinates: 41°55′54″N71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503
CountryUnited States
State Massachusetts
County Bristol
Incorporated1694 (town)
Reincorporated1914, (city)
Named for Attleborough, England
  Type Mayor-council city
   Mayor Paul Heroux (D)
  Total27.77 sq mi (71.93 km2)
  Land26.78 sq mi (69.36 km2)
  Water0.99 sq mi (2.57 km2)
138 ft (42 m)
  Density1,734.98/sq mi (669.87/km2)
Time zone UTC-5:00 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-4:00 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-02690
GNIS feature ID0612033
Downtown Attleboro Attleboro MA Downtown.jpg
Downtown Attleboro

Attleboro is a city in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. It was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World" for its many jewelry manufacturers. According to the 2020 census, Attleboro had a population of 46,461. [3]


Attleboro is located about 10 miles (16 km) west of Taunton, 10 miles north of Providence, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Fall River, and 39 miles (63 km) south of Boston.


In 1634, English settlers first arrived in the territory that is now Attleboro. [4] The deed that granted them the land was written by Native American Wamsutta. The land was divided in 1694 as the town of Attleborough. [5] It included the towns of Cumberland, Rhode Island, until 1747 and North Attleborough, Massachusetts, until 1887. In 1697 in response to an unwanted amount of disturbances, mainly from nearby tribes of natives, the town had a meeting and ended up deciding that selectmen would keep tabs on strangers and foreigners as well as banning certain ones from entering the town. The town was reincorporated in 1914 as the City of Attleboro, with the "-ugh" removed from the name, although North Attleborough kept it. Like many towns in Massachusetts, it was named for a British town.

During the Native American insurgency in the colonial era, Nathaniel Woodcock, the son of an Attleborough resident, was murdered, and his head was placed on a pole in his father's front yard. His father's house is now a historical site. It is rumored that George Washington once passed through Attleborough and stayed near the Woodcock Garrison House at the Hatch Tavern, where he exchanged a shoe buckle with Israel Hatch, a revolutionary soldier and the new owner of the Garrison House.

The city became known for jewelry manufacturing in 1913, particularly because of the L.G. Balfour Company. That company has since moved out of the city, and the site of the former plant has been converted into a riverfront park. Attleboro was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World", and jewelry manufacturing firms continue to operate there. One such is the Guyot Brothers Company, which was started in 1904. [6] General Findings, M.S. Company, James A. Murphy Co., Garlan Chain, Leach & Garner, and Masters of Design are jewelry manufacturing companies still in operation.

Cancer cluster

In late 2003, The Sun Chronicle reported that a state investigation had been launched into the deaths of four women in the city from glioblastoma.[ citation needed ] In 2007, the State of Massachusetts issued a report concluding that although the diagnosis rate for brain and central nervous system (CNS) cancers was higher than expected when compared to statewide data, the increase was determined not to be statistically significant. [7]

Scorecard, Environmental Defense's online database of polluters, lists seven facilities contributing to cancer hazards in Attleboro, including Engineered Materials Solutions Inc., the worst offender in Massachusetts. [8]

Shpack Landfill contamination incident

In 2002, the Massachusetts Public Health Department was asked to evaluate the former Shpack Landfill, on the border of Norton and Attleboro, for its cancer risks. The investigation continued at least through 2004. [9] [10] The informal landfill included uranium fuel rods, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds. [11]


Capron Park CAPRON PARK Attleboro, Massachusetts - panoramio (1).jpg
Capron Park

Attleboro is located at 41°55′54″N71°17′40″W / 41.931653°N 71.294503°W / 41.931653; -71.294503 and has a total area of 27.772 square miles (71.930 km2), of which 26.779 square miles (69.356 km2) is land and 0.994 square miles (2.574 km2), or 3.59%, is water. [12] Its borders form an irregular polygon that resembles a truncated triangle pointing west. It is bordered by North Attleborough to the north, Mansfield and Norton to the east, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to the south, and Cumberland, Rhode Island, to the west, as well as sharing a short border with Central Falls, Rhode Island through the Blackstone River. It includes the areas known as City Center, Briggs Corner, West Attleboro, East Corner, East Attleboro, North Corner, Maple Square, Camp Hebron, Oak Hill, Dodgeville, East Junction, Hebronville, Park Square, and South Attleboro.

The Ten Mile River, fed by the Bungay River and by several brooks, runs through the center of Attleboro. The Manchester Pond Reservoir lies beside Interstate 95, and there are several small ponds in the city. There are over twenty conservation areas amounting to more than 600 acres of walkable woods</ref>:the Antony Lawrence Preserve, Coleman Reservation, Attleboro Springs as well as the Bungay River Conservation Area in the north of the city. The highest point in Attleboro is 249-foot (76 m) Oak Hill, located in the southern part of the city north of Oak Hill Avenue. [13]

Attleboro sits on the border between the Massachusetts and Rhode Island regional dialects of New England English: the eastern part of the city is in the same dialect region as Boston, and the western part is in the same dialect region as Providence. [14]


Attleboro Post Office US Post Office, Attleboro, Massachusetts.jpg
Attleboro Post Office

Attleboro is part of the Providence metropolitan area. It is a short distance from Boston, and is linked to the Boston metropolitan area.

As of the 2010 census, there were 43,593 people, 16,884 households, and 11,212 families living in the city; the population density was 1,626.6 inhabitants per square mile (628.0/km2). There were 18,022 housing units at an average density of 672.5 per square mile (259.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.1% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.5% Asian (1.5% Cambodian,1.3% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.4% Vietnamese) 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.8% some other race, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino people of any race made up 6.3% of the total (2.0% Puerto Rican, 1.7% Guatemalan, 0.5% Mexican, 0.4% Salvadoran, 0.3% Dominican, 0.2% Colombian). [27] Most of the Hispanic and Asian populations were concentrated in the East Side.

Of the 16,884 households, 33.3% had someone under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were headed by married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.6% were non-families, 26.4% were individuals, and 9.8% were people aged 65 or older living alone. The average size of household was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.11. [27]

The age distribution in the city was: 22.7% under 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% over 64. The median age was 39.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 93.3 males. [27]

For the period 2009–2011, the estimated median annual income for a household in the city was $63,647, and the median income for a family was $71,091. Male full-time workers had a median income of $52,558, females $40,954. Per capita income was $30,039. About 4.2% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under 18 and 7.8% of those aged 65 or over. [28]


Revitalization efforts

Attleboro City Hall Attleboro City Hall, Massachusetts.jpg
Attleboro City Hall

In December 2011, the City of Attleboro was awarded US$5.4 million in state and federal funding to support revitalization efforts within the city's Historic Downtown area. [29] The city's "Downtown Redevelopment and Revitalization Project" [29] is intended to transform underutilized industrial and commercial parcels into areas of mixed use that include commercial, recreational, and residential space. The project also includes transportation improvements to both MBTA rail and GATRA bus services along with enhanced road construction. [29]

The city project was also selected for the state Brownfield Support Team (BST) Initiative, [29] which encourages collaboration between state, local, and federal government to address complex issues to help pave the way for economic development opportunities in cities and towns across the state of Massachusetts. Contributing BST organizations include the MassDEP, Mass Development, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the MassDOT. [29]

Congressman Jim McGovern highlighted the importance of this project in 2011 by saying,

This transformative funding presents a landmark opportunity for Attleboro to reshape its downtown and make a strong community even stronger. The new transit plan, when implemented, will make Attleboro a model for other small cities, and the aggressive reclaiming of contaminated sites will enhance economic development. [29]


Attleboro is represented in the state legislature by officials elected from the following districts:


Attleboro has four museums.

Other places of interest in the city include:

In 2017, Attleboro began hosting the annual Jewelry City Steampunk Festival.


Attleboro High School

The high school building currently being used was built in the 1960s on Rathbun Willard Drive. The city of Attleboro voted on whether to build a new school or renovate the current building, and "reached an agreement to put proceeds from the sale toward the cost of a new high school before the $260 million was approved by voters last spring." [39] The sale of the first Attleboro High School built in 1912 on County Street gave the city funds for the new building. The new Attleboro high school is slated to open in 2022. [40] [41]


Attleboro is located beside Interstate 95 (which enters the state between Attleboro and Pawtucket, Rhode Island), I-295 (whose northern terminus is near the North Attleborough town line at I-95), US Route 1, and Routes 1A, 118, 123 and 152, the last three of which intersect at Attleboro center. The proposed Interstate 895 was to run through Attleboro and have a junction at the present day I-295/I-95 terminus. When driving from Rhode Island on I-295, the stub exits before the half-cloverleaf exit to I-95.

The city is home to two MBTA commuter rail stations: one in the downtown area and the other in the South Attleboro district, near the Rhode Island border. Attleboro and Taunton are both served by the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority, or GATRA, which provides bus transit between the two cities and the surrounding regions.


Attleboro Public Library Attleboro Public Library (Massachusetts).jpg
Attleboro Public Library

Attleboro's school department has five elementary schools (Hill-Roberts, Hyman Fine, A. Irvin Studley, Peter Thacher and Thomas Willett), three middle schools (Brennan, Coelho and Wamsutta), and two high schools (Attleboro High School, and Attleboro Community Academy). Attleboro High School has its own vocational division, and its football team (the "Blue Bombardiers") has a traditional rivalry with North Attleborough High School, whom they play for their Thanksgiving Day football game. Attleboro Community Academy is a night school for students aged 16–25 to obtain their highschool diplomas and could not function in traditional high school. Bishop Feehan High School is a co-educational Roman Catholic high school which opened in 1961 and is named for Bishop Daniel Francis Feehan, second Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River. The city also has a satellite branch of Bristol Community College, which used to be housed in the city's former high school building but has since been relocated to an old Texas Instruments site. Bridgewater State University opened a satellite site in Attleboro in 2009, sharing space with Bristol Community College.


Religion reflects the historic ethnic makeup of the community. The Attleboro Area Interfaith Collaborative [42] was founded in 1946 to serve the community.

There are three parishes [43] in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River:

There are two Orthodox churches:

There are various Protestant churches:

Second Congregational Church Second Congregational Church, Attleboro, Massachusetts.jpg
Second Congregational Church

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

Congregation Agudas Achim is part of the Reconstructionist Judaism movement. The congregation formally started in 1911 with the purchase of the Swedish Evangelical Church on Pearl Street. The current synagogue was built in 1968.

Murray Unitarian-Universalist Church (1875) [64]

The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

La Salette Shrine is a local tourist destination for its holiday light displays. La Salette Shrine, Attleboro, Massachusetts.jpg
La Salette Shrine is a local tourist destination for its holiday light displays.

In 1942, the Missionaries of La Salette purchased 135 acres (0.55 km2) and a castle in Attleboro for use as a seminary. [65] The shrine was opened to the public in 1953 with a Christmas manger display. [66] [65] The annual Christmas Festival of Lights has grown to an annual display of 300,000 lights and attracts about a quarter million visitors each year. [65] A devastating fire destroyed the castle on November 5, 1999. [65] A new welcome center was opened in 2007 which includes a 600-seat concert hall. [65] In addition to the Christmas Festival, the shrine offers programs, concerts, workshops and events throughout the year. [66] [65] The grounds also include Our Lady's Chapel of Lights, an outdoor chapel, and a church. [65]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bristol County, Massachusetts</span> County in Massachusetts, United States

Bristol County is a county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As of the 2020 census, the population was 579,200. The shire town is Taunton. Some governmental functions are performed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, others by the county, and others by local towns and cities. See administrative divisions of Massachusetts. The property deed records are kept in Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mansfield, Massachusetts</span> Town in Massachusetts, United States

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Attleborough, Massachusetts</span> Town in Massachusetts, United States

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