Northbridge, town (1990 pop. 13,371), Worcester co., S Mass., on the Blackstone River; settled 1704, set off from Uxbridge and inc. 1772. Wood furniture, paper products, and stereo components are manufactured.
Northbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,182 at the 2000 census. The Northbridge Town Hall is located at 7 Main Street in Whitinsville. The town is now a part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, of the National Park Service. Northbridge claims to history include: Native American Nipmuc lands, Landowners who fought in the American Revolution, Seth Read, and Joseph Read, the Residence of Ezra T. Benson 1830-1832, the birthplace of President Millard Fillmore's mother, Phoebe, and home to the Whitin Machine Works from 1831-1964

For geographic and demographic information on the village of Whitinsville, please see the article Whitinsville, Massachusetts.


Early history

The earlist residents were the Nipmuc, or "Small Pond People". They had a well developed agriculture, made tools, and had a graphite mine at Sturbridge. Northbridge was first settled by Europeans in 1704 and was officially incorporated on July 14, 1772. The town was once part of Mendon, from 1667, and part of Uxbridge, from 1727-1772. Colonel Seth Read and his brother, Colonel Joseph Read owned more than half of the land in this town at the time of the American Revolutionary War. They both fought in the Massachusetts Militia, and the Continental Army. The mother of President Millard Fillmore, Phoebe Millard (Fillmore), was born in Northbridge. Ezra Taft Benson, Sr., a famous Mormon Pioneer, lived here from 1830-1832 on his sisters farm. He married Pamela Andrus, of Northbridge, and also apparently her sister, Adeline Brooks Andrus. He then married six more times and served as a missionary to the Sandwich Islands, and in the Utah Territorial Legislature.

Manufacturing and Mill Villages

This suburban, Worcester, community has a rich manufacturing heritage. The Blackstone and Mumford Rivers run through the Town and in the early 1800s numerous industrial developments were erected along the riverbanks, most notably the Whitin Machine Shop in Whitinsville, at its peak the largest manufacturer of textile machines in the world. The textile machine company and industrial village was written up as one of the Harvard studies of history in business. Northbridge stands as a testament to the success of mill villages throughout the 19th and 20th centuries when production was expanding so greatly that immigrant labor from Canada, Holland and Armenia was imported.Now, these mills stand, mostly renovated into housing and various businesses along the Blackstone River. Home of Lookout Rock through which the bike trails pass and which overlooks the meandering River below, this picturesque Valley community's outskirts are filled with horse farms and rural settings.Today most of the mill buildings are no longer used to full capacity, however, they do offer valuable incubator space to small businesses. Further, most of the Town's architecture developed during the 1800s has been preserved and serves as a fascinating view into the past.

National Heritage Corridor

Northbridge is part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission and is actively working with its neighboring communities to promote the region's special character and sense of history. The Blackstone River Valley was the first industrialized region in the United States. Northbridge has a number of valley sites designated by the National Park service. The Reservoir of the West Hill Dam flood control project and recreation area also lies within the town limits of Northbridge.

Town goals

Several goals of the town at present are: to strengthen the local economy through developing and reusing industrial areas as well as retaining existing businesses, and; to keep Northbridge as a desirable place to live through preserving and revitalizing the village centers, maintaining and expanding town services, and protecting natural resources.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.1 square miles (46.8 km²), of which, 17.2 square miles (44.5 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²) of it (4.87%) is water.

Villages in Northbridge

Adjacent towns


As of the census of 2000, there were 13,182 people, 4,800 households, and 3,499 families residing in the town. The population density was 767.2 people per square mile (296.3/km²). There were 4,941 housing units at an average density of 287.6/sq mi (111.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.25% White, 0.60% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.99% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.83% of the population.

There were 4,800 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.1% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,457, and the median income for a family was $62,095. Males had a median income of $42,847 versus $28,093 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,515. About 4.3% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.


Situated between Interstates 90 (Mass Pike), 146, 395, and 495, Northbridge has excellent access to and from major cities such as Worcester, Providence and Boston.


It is a full service community providing a full array of municipal services plus an extensive infrastructure including water and sewer utilities. Local Cable TV service is served by Charter Communication, Electricity is provided by National Grid and gas by Nstar/Commonwealth Gas Company.

Notable residents


External links

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