Location in Norfolk County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Representative town meeting|
|• Town Administrator||Michael Dennehy|
|• Total||34.4 km2 (13.3 sq mi)|
|• Land||33.8 km2 (13.0 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.6 km2 (0.2 sq mi)|
|Elevation||40 m (130 ft)|
|• Density||780/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||617 and 857|
|GNIS feature ID||0619459|
Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, and an affluent suburb of Boston. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census.Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. In 2007, 2009, and 2011, Money magazine listed Milton as 7th, 5th, and 2nd, respectively, on its annual list of the "Best Places to Live" in the United States.
Milton is located between the Neponset River and the Blue Hills. It is bordered by Boston's Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods to the north and its Hyde Park neighborhood to the west; Quincy to the east and south; Randolph to the south, and Canton to the west.
Before the Europeans settled in what is now Milton, the area was inhabited by the Neponset tribe of the Massachusett people. During the spring and summer, they would inhabit the marshes of the Neponset River and Squantum, living off the plentiful supply of seafood. In the fall and winter, they would migrate inland to the Blue Hills to hunt game in the thickly forested hills. The Massachusett people named the area 'Unquatiquisset' or alternatively 'Unquity' meaning "Lower Falls", denoting the place where the Neponset River meets the Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay.
Milton was settled in the 1630s as a part of Dorchester by Puritans from England. Richard Callicott, one of the first settlers, built a trading post near the Neponset River and negotiated the purchase of Milton from Sachem Cutshamekin. Many of the settlers arrived during the 1650s, fleeing the aftermath of Oliver Cromwell's deposition from power and the English Civil War.The original name for the area, translated to "Lower Falls" was adapted as "Lower Mills" after the establishment of the Israel Stoughton Grist Mill in 1634. In 1662, "that part of the Town of Dorchester which is situated on the south side of the Neponset River commonly called 'Unquatiquisset' was incorporated as an independent town and named Milton in honor of Milton Abbey, Dorset, England."
Many early Puritan families of Milton became influential in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, such as: the Sumners, Houghtons, Hutchinsons, Stoughtons, Tuckers, Voses, Glovers and Babcocks.
A powder mill established in 1674 may have been the first in the earliest in the colonies, taking advantage of the town's water power sites. Boston investors, seeing the potential of the town and its proximity to the city, provided the capital to develop 18th-century Milton as an industrial area, including an iron slitting mill, paper and sawmills, and the first chocolate factory in New England (the Walter Baker Chocolate Factory) in 1764, which was converted from the old Stoughton Grist Mill. Laying of streetcar lines fueled the rapid expansion of residential development.
The Suffolk Resolves were signed in Milton in 1774, and were used as a model by the drafters of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Suffolk Resolves House, where the Resolves were passed, still stands and it is maintained as the headquarters of the Milton Historical Society. At the time of the Resolves it was owned by Capt. Daniel Vose, a well-known businessman, and later a representative to the Provincial Congress.The house was moved to a new location at 1370 Canton Avenue in West Milton in order to save it from demolition at its previous location in "Milton Village" at Lower Mills. They were the "Suffolk Resolves" because Milton was part of Suffolk County until 1793, when Norfolk County split off, leaving only Boston and Chelsea in Suffolk County.
Two royal governors of Massachusetts, Jonathan Belcher and Thomas Hutchinson, had houses in Milton. The Governor Belcher House dates from 1777, replacing the earlier home destroyed in fire in 1776, and it is privately owned on Governor Belcher Lane in East Milton. Although Hutchinson's house was demolished in the 1940s, Governor Hutchinson's Field, owned by the Trustees of Reservations today is a wide expanse of greenery on Milton Hill, with a view of the Neponset River estuary and the skyscrapers of Boston six miles (10 km) away. Both Governor Belcher's house and Governor Hutchinson's field are on the National Register of Historic Places.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, Milton was a prosperous agricultural town. The town grew wealthy in the 19th century with the booming China Trade and the industrialization of Massachusetts during the early Industrial Revolution. As a result, many wealthy Bostonians built grand country-estates set on vast grounds throughout the former farmlands of Milton. Most of these estates were concentrated on Milton Hill, Brush Hill and Upper Canton Avenue. Among the last remaining of these intact estates is the W.E.C Eustis Estate on Canton Avenue.
During the 20th century, the character of the town changed from that of agriculture and rural retreat for the wealthy to suburban. The population of the town exploded following World War II. By the 1950s, many of the big estates were broken into subdivisions as the town's residential growth continued.
The town was home to America's first piano factory. Revolutionary Milton is the setting of the opening of the 1940 bestselling historical novel Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts. The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory is located in the town, home of the nation's oldest continuously kept meteorological records.
The Granite Railway passed from Quincy to the Neponset River in Milton, beginning in 1826. It is often called the first commercial railroad in the United States, as it was the first chartered railway to evolve into a common carrier without an intervening closure. A centennial historic plaque from 1926 and an original switch frog and section of track from the railway can be found in the gardens on top of the Southeast Expressway (Interstate 93) as it passes under East Milton Square. The frog had been displayed at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.
East Milton Square developed as a direct result of the Granite Railway. Four sheds there were used to dress the granite stone prior to it being brought by rail to the wharf for transfer to boats. East Milton Square was originally termed the "Railway Village" and a train station was located there after 1871 when the Granite Railway became a passenger line of the Old Colony Railroad. The Blue Bell Tavern, which was also a hotel, served as the headquarters of the Granite Railway and it was later named the Russell House. It was located on the site of the current United States Post Office in East Milton Square.
In 1801 Josiah Bent began a baking operation in Milton, selling "water crackers" or biscuits made of flour and water that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages from the port of Boston. The crackling sound occurred during baking, hence the name. This is where the American term "cracker" originated. His company later sold the original hardtack crackers used by troops during the American Civil War. The company, Bent's Cookie Factory, is still located in Milton and continues to sell these items to Civil War reenactors and others.
Robert Bennet Forbes was a noted China Trade merchant, sea captain, and philanthropist during the Irish Famine. He built a Greek Revival mansion in 1833 at 215 Adams Street on Milton Hill. The Captain Robert Bennet Forbes House is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for tours. In addition to artifacts from the China Trade period, the museum's grounds include a log cabin replica and a collection of Lincoln memorabilia.
George Herbert Walker Bush was born at 173 Adams Street on Milton Hill on June 12, 1924. He became the 41st President of the United States, serving from 1989 to 1993, and his son would become the 43rd President. Coincidentally, Adams Street is named for the family of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, who lived on the same street just a few miles southeast in Quincy, Massachusetts. The Bush Family moved from Milton to Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1925. The Victorian house where President Bush was born is now privately owned and not open to the public.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 13.3 sq mi (34.4 km2), of which, 13.1 sq mi (33.8 km2) is land and the balance is water.
Great Blue Hill in the Blue Hills Reservation is the highest point in Norfolk County. The summit houses the Blue Hill Observatory, home of the longest continuous weather record in North America, along with multiple radio transmitters.
There are no official wards or neighborhoods defined in the town's governance and community planning processes.
There are three GNIS populated places located in the town:
Although geopolitical lines do not form neighborhoods in Milton, there are many distinct neighborhoods, such as the Columbine Rocks, Indian Cliffs, Scott's Woods, Brush Hill, Milton Village and Edge Hill Park, among others.
Milton is often cited as being the windiest city in the United States, with an annual average wind speed of 15.4 mph (24.8 km/h) measured at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory.
|Climate data for Blue Hills Reservation (Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory), 1891−2020 normals, extremes 1885−present|
|Record high °F (°C)||68|
|Average high °F (°C)||33.8|
|Daily mean °F (°C)||25.9|
|Average low °F (°C)||18.5|
|Record low °F (°C)||−16|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.24|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||16.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||132.1||146.7||174.0||185.6||220.2||231.8||258.1||242.5||204.1||182.1||133.3||125.9||2,236.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||46.3||50.9||48.5||47.9||50.4||52.7||58.0||58.7||56.7||55.1||47.0||45.9||51.5|
|Source: Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center|
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the censusof 2010, there were 27,002 people, 9,274 households, and 6,835 families residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 77.4% White, 14.3% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.
As of the censusof 2000, the population density was 1,999.1 people per square mile (771.7/km2). There were 9,161 housing units at an average density of 702.7 per square mile (271.2/km2).
The top six ancestries of Milton are Irish (38.0%), Italian (11.3%), English (8.6%), West Indian (4.8%), and German (4.7%).
Milton also has been cited as having the highest percentage of residents citing Irish lineage of any town in the United States per capita—38%.
There were 8,982 households, out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. Of all households 21.2% were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 24.1% 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 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
According to a 2010 estimate,the median income for a household in the town was $103,373, and the median income for a family was $131,025. Males had a median income of $85,748 versus $61,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $47,589. About 1.6% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.
There are six public schools in Milton, including four elementary schools: Collicot, Cunningham, Glover, and Tucker; one middle school, Charles S. Pierce; and the Milton High School. There are also private schools, high schools and elementary/middle schools, including the prep school Milton Academy, the girls' school Fontbonne Academy, St. Mary of the Hills, St. Agatha's, Thacher Montessori School, Carriage House Schools, and Delphi Academy.
Milton is also home to Curry College, a small liberal arts institution.
Milton is also one of the few school systems to offer a French immersion program, starting in Grade 1. For those students that participate in this program, all classes are taught in French during grades 1 and 2, allowing children to become fluent in this language. In grades 3 - 5, some classes are taught in English as well to prepare for the MCAS. This program continues through grade 12. Spanish/English is taught as well. In the middle school Latin is available for the Spanish/English students.
Milton lies within the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority district. Fixed-route service includes the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line, a light rail extension of the Red Line. Milton has 4 stops: Milton, Central Avenue, Valley Road, and Capen Street. This was originally a steam railway prior to becoming a trolley line. Massachusetts Route 28 and Massachusetts Route 138 run north and south across Milton, and Interstate 93, which is also U.S. Route 1 and Massachusetts Route 3, loops around the town near the southern and eastern borders.
Cycling is a popular form of transportation and recreation in Milton. The opening of the Neponset River Greenway reconnected Milton with Boston Harbor via Port Norfolk, Dorchester. Other cycling routes and locations include Turner's Pond, Brook Road, Blue Hills Parkway, Milton Cemetery, and the Pine Tree Brook greenway.
The Milton Yacht Club began in 1902, with a small building in the Lower Mills area beside the Neponset River that was formerly the police department for the town of Milton. Various boats continue to be anchored there or stored on the dock during the winter.
Milton has 30 sites or districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the following:
Other places of interest include:
The Late George Apley, by John Marquand
1. "TOTAL POPULATION Survey/Program: Decennial Census, Years: 2010, U.S. Census Bureau." Retrieved 2020-06-03 https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=population%20milton,%20ma&g=1600000US2541725&hidePreview=false&tid=DECENNIALSF12010.P1&vintage=2018&layer=VT_2018_160_00_PY_D1&cid=DP05_0001E
Suffolk County is located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of 2019, the population estimate was 803,907 making it the fourth-most populous county in Massachusetts. The county comprises the cities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.
Canton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,561 at the 2010 census. Canton is part of Greater Boston, about 15 miles southwest of downtown Boston.
Quincy is a U.S. city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. It is the largest city in the county and a part of Metropolitan Boston as one of Boston's immediate southern suburbs. Its population in 2010 was 92,271, making it the eighth-largest city in the state. Known as the "City of Presidents", Quincy is the birthplace of two U.S. presidents—John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams—as well as John Hancock, a President of the Continental Congress and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as being the first and third Governor of Massachusetts.
Stoughton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 26,962 at the 2010 census. The town is located approximately 17 miles (27 km) from Boston, 25 miles (40 km) from Providence, and 35 miles (56 km) from Cape Cod.
Braintree, officially the Town of Braintree, is a municipality in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Although officially known as a town, Braintree is a city, with a mayor-council form of government, and is considered a city under Massachusetts law. The population was 35,744 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the Greater Boston area with access to the MBTA Red Line, and is a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's South Shore Coalition. The first mayor of Braintree was Joe Sullivan who served until January 2020. The current mayor of Braintree is Charles Kokoros.
The town of Randolph is a suburban city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. At the 2010 census, the city population was 32,158. Randolph adopted a new charter effective January 2010 providing for a council-manager form of government instead of the traditional town meeting. Randolph is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government but wish to retain "The town of" in their official names.
Winthrop is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 17,497 at the 2010 census and as of 2019 the population has grown to an estimated 18,544. Winthrop is an ocean-side suburban community in Greater Boston situated at the north entrance to Boston Harbor, close to Logan International Airport. It is located on a peninsula, 1.6 square miles (4.2 km2) in area, connected to Revere by a narrow isthmus and to East Boston by a bridge over the harbor inlet to the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. Settled in 1630, Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the United States. It is also one of the smallest and most densely populated municipalities in Massachusetts. It is one of the four cities that comprise Suffolk County. It is the southernmost part of the North Shore, with a 7-mile (11 km) shoreline that provides views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and of the Boston skyline to the west.
Ipswich is a coastal town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,175 at the 2010 census. Home to Willowdale State Forest and Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich includes the southern part of Plum Island. A residential community with a vibrant tourism industry, the town is famous for its clams, celebrated annually at the Ipswich Chowderfest, and for Crane Beach, a barrier beach near the Crane estate. Ipswich was incorporated as a town in 1634.
Walpole is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Walpole Town, as the Census refers to it, is located about 25 miles (40 km) south of downtown Boston and 30 miles (48 km) north of Providence, Rhode Island. In 2020, the population of Walpole was reported to be 25,324, with an annual growth rate of 0.25%. Walpole was first settled in 1659 and was considered a part of Dedham until officially incorporated in 1724. The town was named after Sir Robert Walpole, de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. It also encompasses the entirely distinct entity of Walpole (CDP), with its much smaller area of 2.9 square miles.
Milford is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 27,999 according to the 2010 census. First settled in 1662 and incorporated in 1780, Milford became a booming industrial and mining community in the 19th century due to its unique location which includes the nearby source of the Charles River, the Mill River, the Blackstone River watershed, and large quantities of Milford pink granite.
Dorchester is a Boston neighborhood comprising more than 6 square miles (16 km2) in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Originally, Dorchester was a separate town, founded by Puritans who emigrated in 1630 from Dorchester, Dorset, England, to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This dissolved municipality, Boston's largest neighborhood by far, is often divided by city planners in order to create two planning areas roughly equivalent in size and population to other Boston neighborhoods.
The Neponset River is a river in eastern Massachusetts in the United States. Its headwaters are at the Neponset Reservoir in Foxborough, near Gillette Stadium. From there, the Neponset meanders generally northeast for about 29 miles (47 km) to its mouth at Dorchester Bay between Quincy and the Dorchester section of Boston, near the painted gas tank.
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 about 685,094 people, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas and the CSA has a more than 8 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.
The Granite Railway was one of the first railroads in the United States, built to carry granite from Quincy, Massachusetts, to a dock on the Neponset River in Milton. From there boats carried the heavy stone to Charlestown for construction of the Bunker Hill Monument. The Granite Railway is popularly termed the first commercial railroad in the United States, as it was the first chartered railway to evolve into a common carrier without an intervening closure. The last active quarry closed in 1963; in 1985, the Metropolitan District Commission purchased 22 acres (8.9 ha), including Granite Railway Quarry, as the Quincy Quarries Reservation.
This is a list of properties and districts in Massachusetts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are over 4,300 listings in the state, representing about 5% of all NRHP listings nationwide and the second-most of any U.S. state, behind only New York. Listings appear in all 14 Massachusetts counties.
Great Blue Hill, also known as Massachusett, is a hill of 635 feet located within the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton and Canton, Massachusetts, about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of downtown Boston. It is the highest point in Norfolk County and the Greater Boston area.
Blue Hills Reservation is a 7,000-acre (2,800 ha) state park in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, it covers parts of Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Canton, Randolph, and Dedham. Located approximately ten miles south of downtown Boston, the reservation is one of the largest parcels of undeveloped conservation land within the Greater Boston metropolitan area. The park's varied terrain and scenic views make it a popular destination for hikers from the Boston area.
The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, also known as Great Blue Hill Weather Observatory, Blue Hill Weather Observatory, or simply the Blue Hill Observatory, in Milton, Massachusetts is the foremost structure associated with the history of weather observations in the United States. Located atop Great Blue Hill at the junction of Interstate 93 and Route 138 about 10 miles (16 km) south of Boston, Massachusetts, it is home to the oldest continuous weather record in North America, and was the location of the earliest kite soundings of the atmosphere in North America in the 1890s, as well as the development of the radiosonde in the 1930s.
Blue Hills Parkway is a historic parkway that runs in a straight line from a crossing of the Neponset River, at the south border of Boston to the north edge of the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Massachusetts. It was built in 1893 to a design by the noted landscape architect, Charles Eliot, who is perhaps best known for the esplanades along the Charles River. The parkway is a connecting road between the Blue Hills Reservation and the Neponset River Reservation, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
The Dorchester and Milton Branch Railroad was a railroad in Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1846 as a branch off the Old Colony Railroad main line from Boston to Plymouth. The 3.3 mile road was completed on December 1, 1847, from Neponset Village in Dorchester, Massachusetts, through the town of Milton to the village of Mattapan.
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