Peabody, Massachusetts

Last updated
Peabody, Massachusetts
City
Peabody City Hall, February 2021.jpg
Peabody City Hall
Peabodyseal.png
Nickname(s): 
Tanner City, The Leather City [1]
Essex County Massachusetts incorporated and unincorporated areas Peabody highlighted.svg
Location in Essex County and the state of Massachusetts.
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Peabody, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°31′40″N70°55′45″W / 42.52778°N 70.92917°W / 42.52778; -70.92917 Coordinates: 42°31′40″N70°55′45″W / 42.52778°N 70.92917°W / 42.52778; -70.92917
CountryUnited States
State Massachusetts
County Essex
Settled1626
Incorporated1855 (town)
Incorporated1916 (city)
Named for George Peabody
Government
  Type Mayor-council city
  MayorEdward A. Bettencourt, Jr.
Area
[2]
  Total16.81 sq mi (43.54 km2)
  Land16.24 sq mi (42.05 km2)
  Water0.57 sq mi (1.49 km2)
Elevation
17 ft (5 m)
Population
 (2020)
  Total54,481
  Density3,355.36/sq mi (1,295.54/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
01960–01961
Area code(s) 351/978
FIPS code 25-52490
GNIS feature ID0614307
Website www.peabody-ma.gov

Peabody ( /ˈpbədi/ ) is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 54,481 at the time of the 2020 United States Census. Peabody is located in the North Shore region of Massachusetts, and is known for its rich industrial history.

Contents

History

The area was long inhabited by Native American people known as the Naumkeag. [3] [4] [5]

The area was settled as part of Salem in 1626 by a small group of English colonists from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant. It was subsequently referred to as the Northfields, Salem Farms, and Brooksby. [6] Several area residents were accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century, three of whom were executed (John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Martha Corey). [7]

In 1752, the area was set off from Salem, and incorporated as a district of Danvers. It was referred to as "the South Parish", associated with a church located in present-day Peabody Square. In 1855, the community broke away from Danvers, and was incorporated as the independent town of South Danvers. The name was changed to Peabody on April 30, 1868, in honor of George Peabody, noted philanthropist born in present-day Peabody, widely regarded as the "father of modern philanthropy". It was granted city status in 1916. The western, less densely populated area of town is often separately, yet unofficially, referred to as West Peabody.

Peabody started off as a farming community, but its rivers and streams attracted mills which operated by water power. In particular, Peabody was a major center of New England's leather industry, which attracted immigrants from all around the world.

Panoramic map of Peabody (1877 View of Peabody, Mass. 1877. LOC 75694598.jpg
Panoramic map of Peabody (1877

By 1915, a third of the population was born outside the United States. [8] In addition to becoming home to large Irish and Russian populations, Peabody developed a large community of laborers hailing from the Ottoman Empire, mostly Turkish and Kurdish speakers from the region of Harput, now known as Elazığ. [8] The population was situated primarily on Walnut Street, where they filled boarding houses and coffee houses to such an extent that it became known as "Ottoman Street," and, more pejoratively and less accurately, "Peabody's Barbary Coast", as the United States was at war with the Ottoman Empire during World War I. [8] One visitor even noted that signs in town were written in both English and Ottoman Turkish. [8]

On the morning of October 28, 1915, twenty-one young children were killed in the St. Johns School fire in the downtown area on Chestnut Street. The cause of the fire is believed to have been arson. [9] Their bodies were found after the fire subsided, huddled together and burnt beyond recognition, near the entrance just steps away from survival. As a result, Peabody became the first city in the United States to establish a law that all entrances or exits in public buildings be push-open, rather than by handle or knob. [10] [11]

The tanneries that lined Peabody's "Ottoman Street" remained a linchpin of the city's economy into the second half of the 20th century. The tanneries have since closed or been relocated elsewhere, but the city remains known locally as the Leather City or Tanner City. The mascot of Peabody Veterans Memorial High School is named the Tanners.

The loss of the tanneries was a huge blow to Peabody's economy, but the city has made up for the erosion of its industrial base, at least in part, through other forms of economic development. Early in the 20th century, Peabody joined the automobile revolution, hosting the pioneer Brass Era company, Corwin Manufacturing. [12]

The Northshore Mall, originally known as the Northshore Shopping Center, is one of the region's largest shopping malls. The mall opened in September 1958 as an outdoor shopping center, and was built on farm land originally owned by Elias Hasket Derby, one of America's first millionaires. Centennial Park, [13] an industrial park in the center of the city, has attracted several medical and technology companies. West Peabody, which was mostly farm land until the 1950s, has been developed into a middle-to-upper class residential area. Brooksby Farm, [14] a 275-acre (1.11 km2) working farm and conservation area has been one of the city's most popular destinations for decades.

Peabody is also the location of the Salem Country Club, a privately owned country club with a professional golf course, which hosted the U.S. Senior Open in 2001 and 2017, and the U.S. Women's Open in 1954 and 1984.

Geography

Peabody is located at 42°32′3″N70°57′41″W / 42.53417°N 70.96139°W / 42.53417; -70.96139 (42.534045, −70.961465). [15] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 square miles (43.5 km2), of which 16.2 square miles (42.0 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2) or 3.46%, is water. [16] The northwestern border of Peabody lies along the Ipswich River, with brooks feeding it, and the Waters River, a tributary of the Danvers River, drains the northeast part of town. Several other ponds and a portion of Suntaug Lake lie within town. The largest protected portion of the city is the Brooksby Farm, whose land includes the Nathaniel Felton Houses.

The city is wedge-shaped, with the city center located in the wider southeast end. The neighborhood of South Peabody lies south of it, and the more suburban neighborhood of West Peabody, where the high school is, lies to the northwest of the city center, separated by the highways and the Proctor neighborhood. Peabody's center is 2 miles (3 km) from the center of Salem, 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Boston, 18 miles (29 km) west-southwest of Gloucester, and 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Lawrence. Peabody is also bordered by Middleton to the northwest, Danvers to the north, Salem to the east, Lynn to the south and Lynnfield to the southwest.

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1860 6,549    
1870 7,343+12.1%
1880 9,028+22.9%
1890 10,158+12.5%
1900 11,523+13.4%
1910 15,721+36.4%
1920 19,552+24.4%
1930 21,345+9.2%
1940 21,711+1.7%
1950 22,645+4.3%
1960 32,202+42.2%
1970 48,080+49.3%
1980 45,976−4.4%
1990 47,039+2.3%
2000 48,129+2.3%
2010 51,251+6.5%
2020 54,481+6.3%
* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census [25]

As of the census of 2010, [16] there were 51,251 people living in the city and a total of 22,220 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 90.4% White, 2.4% African American, 6.3% Hispanic or Latino of any race (1.3% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Mexican, 0.1% Cuban, and 4.5% other Hispanic or Latino), 1.9% Asian, 3.8% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races.

The city has had a very large Greek population ever since the early 20th century. Ever since the mid 20th century,the Portuguese population has been very present, especially from the Azores. In the 21st century, Brazilians came in large swathes.

There were 21,313 households, of which 26.8% included children under the age of 18, 48.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. Of all households, 31.4% were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28, and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.1% under the age of 20, 22.5% from 20 to 39, 29.8% from 40 to 59, and 26.5% who were 60 years of age or older. The median age of people in Peabody was 44.6. For every 100 females, there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $65,515, and the median income for a family was $80,471. Males had a median income of $55,352 versus $44,167 for females. About 4.4% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

In the April 2009 edition of Forbes magazine, Peabody was ranked the 14th most livable city in the United States. [26]

Government

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

Economy

A.C. Lawrence Leather Company, c. 1910 A. C. Lawrence Leather Co., Peabody, MA.jpg
A.C. Lawrence Leather Company, c.1910
Major employers

Education

Infrastructure

Transportation

Peabody is the site of the large intersection of Interstate 95, Massachusetts Route 128, Massachusetts Route 129 and U.S. Route 1. Route 1 heads north–south through the city as the main route between Boston and its northeast suburbs, and Route 129 is an east–west surface route that runs concurrently with Route 1 in the neighboring community of Lynnfield. I-95 and Route 128 share a 37-mile long concurrency as a half beltway around Boston, but in Peabody, the two highways split, with Interstate 95 going north into New Hampshire and Route 128 going east towards Gloucester and Cape Ann. Massachusetts Route 114 passes through the northeast corner of town, going from Danvers towards Salem, with an intersection at Route 128's Exit 25, next to the Northshore Mall. The southern terminus of Route 35 is at Route 114, just a half mile before Route 114 enters Salem.

Several lines of the MBTA bus service pass through town. The Logan Express also stops on Route 1 in Peabody. The Springfield Terminal rail line passes through town, with one line passing from Lynnfield towards Danvers, and another, mostly abandoned, line passing from Middleton to Salem. The nearest commuter rail service is in Salem, along the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, with service to Boston's North Station. The nearest airport is the Beverly Municipal Airport, and the nearest national and international air service is located at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Utilities

The municipally-owned Peabody Municipal Light Plant provides electricity to the city. Natural gas service in Peabody is provided by National Grid. Cable television in Peabody is provided by Comcast and the City in June 2019 issued a second Cable TV license to RCN. [30] [31]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

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