|Incorporated||December 8, 1725|
|Incorporated a city||1917|
|Named for||Sir Paul Methuen|
|• Mayor||Neil Perry|
|• Total||22.99 sq mi (59.55 km2)|
|• Land||22.21 sq mi (57.53 km2)|
|• Water||0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)|
|Elevation||115 ft (35 m)|
|• Density||2,388.75/sq mi (922.29/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|Area code||351 / 978|
|GNIS feature ID||0612337|
Methuen ( // ) is a 23 square mile (60 km2) city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 53,059 at the 2020 census. Methuen lies along the northwestern edge of Essex County, just east of Middlesex County and just south of Rockingham County, New Hampshire. The city is bordered by Haverhill to the northeast, North Andover to the southeast, Lawrence and Andover to the south, Dracut (Middlesex County) to the west, Pelham, New Hampshire (Hillsborough County) to the northwest, and Salem, New Hampshire (Rockingham County) to the north. Methuen is located 17 miles (27 km) southwest from Newburyport, 30 miles (48 km) north-northwest of Boston and 25 miles (40 km) south-southeast of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Methuen was first settled in 1642 and was officially incorporated in 1726. Methuen was originally part of Haverhill, Massachusetts. In 1724 Stephen Barker and others in the western part of that town petitioned the General Court to grant them permission to form a new town above Hawke's Meadow Brook. Although opposed by their fellow townsmen, the petition was approved the following year (December 8, 1725), and the General Court gave them an act of incorporation under the name of Methuen. The town was named for Sir Paul Methuen, a member of the King's Privy Council and friend of acting Provincial Governor William Dummer. The first town meeting was held March 9, 1726, in the home of a resident. Land was set aside for a meetinghouse, which was erected later in 1726 on what is now Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery.
The residents in the northern part of the new town of Methuen soon petitioned to have their own meetinghouse (a combination of town hall and puritan church), and in 1736 the north parish was set off. Land for a meetinghouse was donated by descendants of the original proprietors of Haverhill, and in 1738 the second Methuen meetinghouse was raised. The structure survives to this day, as the Salem N.H. Historical Society building. In 1741, with the fixing of the Northern boundary of Massachusetts, most of this new north parish was removed from Methuen and placed in New Hampshire. It was incorporated as Salem, New Hampshire in 1750.
Industrial growth in the 1800s influenced Methuen's development. Construction of the Methuen Cotton Mills at the Spicket River falls in the 1820s and the increased manufacture of hats and shoes in small factories along the Spicket spurred the centralization of Methuen's economic, residential and cultural activities within the area around Osgood, Broadway, Hampshire and Pleasant streets. Three wealthy and prominent families—the Nevins, the Tenneys and the Searles—played a significant role in Methuen's history and development. These families were instrumental in the founding of many of Methuen's landmarks, including the Nevins Memorial Library, the Searles building, Tenney Gatehouse, Nevins Home, Spicket Falls, and the Civil War monument between Pleasant and Charles streets.
Methuen is located at 23.1 square miles (59.7 km2), of which 22.2 square miles (57.6 km2) is land and 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), or 3.42%, is water.(42.730040, −71.179352). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of
Methuen lies alongside the northern banks of the Merrimack River and is bisected by the Spicket (originally "Spigot") River,as well as many brooks and streams. There are several ponds dotting the area as well, and the town is home to a town forest, a bird sanctuary, and a small state park (Tenney State Park). Pine Island, near the southern end of town in the Merrimack River, is also part of the town's land.
Methuen lies at the northern end of Interstate 93 in Massachusetts, with three exits providing access. A portion of Interstate 495 crosses through the eastern side of town from Lawrence to Haverhill. Massachusetts Route 213, the "Loop Connector", provides highway access between the two, having three intermediate exits of its own, in addition to the exits for I-93 and I-495. The town is also crossed by Route 28, Route 110, and Route 113, the latter two meeting at I-93 Exit 43 (old exit 46). I-93 provides the town's only bridge across the Merrimack; there are several crossings in Lawrence, and several in neighboring Haverhill, but none for 7 miles (11 km) upstream from I-93 all the way to the eastern end of Lowell.
Methuen is served by the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority's bus service. Daily intercity bus service to Worcester and New York City is provided by OurBus from the Methuen Park and Ride. The nearest rail station is in South Lawrence, which is part of the Haverhill/Reading Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, providing service into Boston's North Station. Small plane service can be found at Lawrence Municipal Airport and the Merrimack Valley Seaplane Base, with the nearest national service being at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and the nearest international service being at Logan International Airport.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the censusof 2000, there were 43,789 people, 16,532 households, and 11,539 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,954.7 persons per square mile (754.8/km2). There were 16,885 housing units, at an average density of 753.7 per square mile (291.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.35% White, 1.35% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.38% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.87% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos, of any race, were 9.64% of the population (8.4% Dominican, 5.7% Puerto Rican, 0.6% Guatemalan, 0.3% Ecuadorian, 0.3% Mexican, 0.3% Cuban).
There were 16,532 households, of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $49,627, and the median income for a family was $59,831. Males had a median income of $41,693 versus $31,864 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,305. About 5.8% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.
Historically, Methuen had a town meeting-selectmen form of government and was known as the Town of Methuen until it adopted a charter replacing its traditional town meeting and selectmen with a council and manager. Even with a form of government that had historically and legally been exclusive to cities, the community, in a gesture of traditionalism, retained the name Town of Methuen in its charter.However, because Massachusetts cities have self-governing powers not available to towns, it became known for legal purposes as "The City Known as the Town of Methuen". A subsequent charter, which adopted a strong mayor form of government, officially changed the community name to the "City of Methuen".
Methuen's city government consists of a mayor, three Councilors-at-Large, two East District councilors, two Central District councilors, two West District councilors, and six School Committee members. The following are the current members of Methuen's municipal government:
Methuen is part of the Massachusetts Senate's 1st Essex district.
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 17, 2018|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
Methuen High School's athletic teams play in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Their big rivals are the Andover Golden Warriors, the Central Catholic Raiders of Lawrence, and the Haverhill Hillies. On Thanksgiving Day, the football team plays fellow Merrimack Valley foe the Dracut Middies. The teams first met in a non-Thanksgiving Day game in 1935 and did not play again until the Thanksgiving series started in 1963. The school colors are blue and white, and their mascot is the Ranger, named after Rogers' Rangers, the precursor of the U.S. Army Rangers, which was founded by town resident Robert Rogers.
The Searles Tenney Nevins Historic District, established by the city in 1992 to preserve the "distinctive architecture and rich character of one of Massachusetts' most unique neighborhoods", is named after the three Methuen city fathers: David C. Nevins, Edward F. Searles and Charles H. Tenney.
From the City of Methuen:
Today, the trio's collective vision can be seen in mills, housing, schools, mansions, churches, monuments, playgrounds, the library, and the architectural fantasies that resulted from their artistic rivalry. The historic district boundaries were established to include properties and buildings constructed or used by the Searles, Tenney and Nevins families and the people who worked for them.
The historic district is administered by the Methuen Historic District Commission, which protects the district from alterations that might compromise its historic integrity. Property owners within the historic district must obey the Rules and Regulations of the Historic District Commission. The rules and regulations specify general criteria for materials used, size and proportions of the buildings, colors, as well as other features. Any violation of the rules and regulations can result in fines and other possible legal action.
Bounded within the Searles Tenney Nevins Historic District are the Spicket Falls Historic District and the Pleasant-High Historic District. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are many of the other buildings within the area.
Notable Court Cases:
Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2020 census, the total population was 809,829, making it the third-most populous county in the state, and the eightieth-most populous in the country. It is part of the Greater Boston area. The largest city in Essex County is Lynn. The county was named after the English county of Essex. It has two traditional county seats: Salem and Lawrence. Prior to the dissolution of the county government in 1999, Salem had jurisdiction over the Southern Essex District, and Lawrence had jurisdiction over the Northern Essex District, but currently these cities do not function as seats of government. However, the county and the districts remain as administrative regions recognized by various governmental agencies, which gathered vital statistics or disposed of judicial case loads under these geographic subdivisions, and are required to keep the records based on them. The county has been designated the Essex National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.
Haverhill is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. Haverhill is located 35 miles north of Boston on the New Hampshire border and about 17 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The population was 67,787 at the 2020 United States Census.
Lawrence is a smaller sized city of just under 7 square miles located in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, on the Merrimack River. At the 2020 census, the city had a population of 89,143. Surrounding communities include Methuen to the north, Andover to the southwest, and North Andover to the east. Lawrence and Salem were the county seats of Essex County, until the Commonwealth abolished county government in 1999. Lawrence is part of the Merrimack Valley.
Merrimac is a small town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, and on the southeastern border of New Hampshire, approximately 34 miles (55 km) northeast of Boston and 10 miles (16 km) west of the Atlantic Ocean. It was incorporated on April 11, 1876. It is situated along the north bank of the Merrimack River in the Merrimack Valley. The population was 6,723 at the 2020 census. Historically a mill town, it has long since become a largely residential community. It is part of the Greater Boston metropolitan area.
North Andover is an affluent town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2020 census the population was 30,915.
Merrimack is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 26,632 as of the 2020 census.
Pelham is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,222 at the 2020 census, up from 12,897 at the 2010 census.
Atkinson is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,087 at the 2020 census.
Salem is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 30,089 at the 2020 census. Being located on Interstate 93 as the first town in New Hampshire, which lacks any state sales tax, Salem has grown into a commercial hub, anchored by the Mall at Rockingham Park. Other major sites include Canobie Lake Park, a large amusement park; and America's Stonehenge, a stone structure of disputed origins. It is the former home of Rockingham Park, a horse racetrack. The Sununu political family hails from Salem, including former New Hampshire governor and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu, and his sons John E. Sununu, a former U.S. senator, and Chris Sununu, current New Hampshire governor.
Windham is a suburban town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population at the 2020 census was 15,817, up from 13,592 in 2010.
The Merrimack River is a 117-mile-long (188 km) river in the northeastern United States. It rises at the confluence of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers in Franklin, New Hampshire, flows southward into Massachusetts, and then flows northeast until it empties into the Gulf of Maine at Newburyport. From Pawtucket Falls in Lowell, Massachusetts, onward, the Massachusetts–New Hampshire border is roughly calculated as the line three miles north of the river.
Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston and its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the Northeast megalopolis, so Greater Boston means both a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and a combined statistical area (CSA), which is broader. The MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast and Cape Cod; the CSA additionally includes the municipalities of Providence, Manchester, Worcester, the South Coast region, and Cape Cod. While the city of Boston covers 48.4 square miles (125 km2) and has 675,647 residents as of the 2020 census, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas and the CSA has a more than 8.4 million people, making it one of the most populous such regions in the U.S. The CSA is one of two in Massachusetts, the other being Greater Springfield. Greater Boston is the only CSA in New England that lies in three states ; some definitions extend it into a fourth (Connecticut).
Bradford is a village and former town, in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. Eastern Bradford is the current town of Groveland, while western Bradford was annexed by the city of Haverhill, and today consists of the part of Haverhill on the south bank of the Merrimack River. While its separate existence from Haverhill has been largely obscured, the names of many locations in the area still bear the Bradford name.
Edward Francis Searles was an interior and architectural designer.
The Spicket River is a 17.7-mile-long (28.5 km) river located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States. It is a left tributary of the Merrimack River, part of the Gulf of Maine watershed. It is sometimes spelled "Spickett".
David Nevins Jr. was a wealthy Yankee merchant in the city of Methuen, Massachusetts during the industrial boom of the late 19th century.
Charles Henry Tenney was proprietor of C. H. Tenney & Co., established 1868, and become one of the most successful commissioned merchant and hat dealers in the world. He was also a director of the Bank of the Manhattan Company and life trustee of the Bowery Savings Bank.
The Spicket Falls Historic District encompasses the historic industrial and commercial heart of Methuen, Massachusetts, and one of the lower Merrimack River's best-preserved 19th century mill complexes. It is centered on the falls of the Spicket River, from which the 19th century textile mills of Methuen derived their power. The historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, includes commercial and civic buildings in and near Gaunt Square, the heart of the city, and along both sides of the Spicket River between Gaunt Square and the Boston and Maine Railroad tracks south of the river. It abuts the residential Pleasant-High Historic District, which lies to its east.
Col. Henry Coffin Nevins was an industrialist from an established New England family in the city of Methuen, Massachusetts.
The Merrimack Valley is a bi-state region along the Merrimack River in the U.S. states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Merrimack is one of the larger waterways in New England and has helped to define the livelihood and culture of those living along it for millennia.