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Abington, Massachusetts

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Abington, Massachusetts

Abington, Massachusetts
Abington Town Offices
Abington Town Offices
Official seal of Abington, Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Plymouth
Settled 1668[1]
Incorporated 1712[1]
Named for The Abingtons, Cambridgeshire, UK[1]
 • Type Open Town Meeting
 • Total 9.9 sq mi (25.6 km2)
 • Land 9.7 sq mi (25.0 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.6 km2)
Elevation 108 ft (33 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 15,985
 • Density 1,600/sq mi (620/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02351
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-00135
GNIS feature ID 0618336

Abington is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States, 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Boston. The population was 15,985 at the 2010 census.[2]


Before the Europeans made their claim to the area, the local Indians referred to the area as Manamooskeagin, which means Land of Many Beavers.[1]

Abington was first settled by European settlers in 1668. The lands included the current towns of Bridgewater, Rockland, Whitman, and parts of Hanover. The town was officially incorporated in 1712,[1] having been named six years earlier by Governor Joseph Dudley as a tribute to Anne Venables-Bertie, Countess of Abington, Cambridgeshire, who helped him secure the governorship of the colony from Queen Anne.

In 1769, an iron foundry was established within the town. In 1815, Jesse Reed invented a machine that mass-produced tacks, which in turn lead to the shoe industry becoming established in the town.[1] During the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the manufacture of boots and shoes was its primary industry, with nearly half of the footwear provided for the Union Army during the Civil War being provided by Abington factories.[1] From 1846 to 1865, Abington was a center of the abolitionist movement.[1] In 1874 and 1875, the towns of Rockland and Whitman, respectively, separated and incorporated as towns.

In 1893, the town was the site of a riot between town constables and workers from the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, over the town's rights to build a streetcar line that crossed the railroad's tracks. The town eventually built the line, and as a "peace offering," the railroad built the North Abington Depot building, which was built in the style of H. H. Richardson.[3]


Abington has evolved into a predominantly residential community with some light manufacturing including printing and machine-tool.[1]


Abington is located at (42.119534, -70.947876).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.9 square miles (25.6 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25.0 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 2.41%, is water.[5]

Abington ranks 308th of 351 communities in the Commonwealth, and is the fourth-smallest town (behind Hull, Whitman and Rockland) in Plymouth County. Abington is bordered by Holbrook to the northwest, Weymouth to the northeast, Rockland to the east, Whitman to the south, and Brockton to the west. Abington is considered to be an inland town of the South Shore, and is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of Boston.

Abington has two major waterways; the Shumatuscacant River to the west provides the town's border with Brockton, and Beaver Brook runs through the eastern part of town; it was the source of much of the water power used by the shoe factories. In the northwestern corner of town lies Ames Nowell State Park, a large forested area around Cleveland Pond. Island Grove Pond was created in the 1700s, when a dam was built on the Shumatuscacant River. Much of the town's population is centered on the eastern side of town, closer to the former town geographic center. The northeast corner of town is also the site of portions of the runways of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, which was closed in 1996 as a part of the fourth round of BRAC base closures.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abington has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[6]


As of the census of 2010, there were 15,985 people, 6,080 households, and 4,111 families residing in the town with 6,377 total housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 92.5% White, 2.1% Black or African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.8% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 6,080 households out of which 33.6% had individuals under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 25.1% of all households consisted of someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 19, 5.6% from 20 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 29.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.5 years. Males made up 48.9% of the population, while females made up 51.1%.[17]

The median income for a household in the town, based on a 2006-2010 projection, was $74,589.[18] In 2000, the median income for a family was $68,826. Males had a median income of $44,151 versus $30,923 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,380. About 2.1% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Statistically speaking, Abington is the 125th largest community by population in the Commonwealth, and ranks 71st by population density. Its population is lower than the population average but above the median; the population density is above the average.


On the national level, Abington is a part of Massachusetts's 8th congressional district, and is represented by Stephen Lynch. The state's senior (Class II) member of the United States Senate, elected in 2012, is Elizabeth Warren. The junior (Class I) senator, elected in 2013, is Edward Markey.

On the state level, Abington is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Seventh Plymouth district, which includes the towns of East Bridgewater and Whitman. The Seventh Plymouth district is represented by Geoff Diehl. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Norfolk and Plymouth District, which includes Holbrook, Quincy, Rockland and part of Braintree.[19] The town is patrolled by the First (Norwell) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[20]

Abington is governed by the open town meeting form of government, and is led by a town manager and a board of selectmen. The town operates its own police and fire department, with firehouses located in the north and south of town along Route 18. There are two post offices in town, on Route 123 east of Route 18 and on Route 58 north of Route Route 139. The Abington Public Library, a member of the Old Colony Library Network, is located adjacent to the town hall, both of which opened in 1997 across from the high school. The town operates a park, Island Grove Park, located in the southeast of town. Current Board of Selectmen (August 2014): Michael F. Franey; Maureen Jansen; R. Andrew Burbine (Vice-Chairman); Kenneth Coyle (Chairman); Tom Dion;[21]


Abington has its own school department for the town's approximately 2,300 students. Center School, located near the center of town, serves children pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. Beaver Brook Elementary (formerly the Early Childhood Center or ECC), located near the Charles M. Frolio Junior High School, serves children from first grade to fourth grade. Woodsdale Elementary, located near the Ames Nowell State Forest, serves students in fifth and sixth grade. The Charles M. Frolio Junior High School serves seventh and eighth grade students. Abington High School is located just west of Route 18, down the street from the Town Hall and library. Abington's colors are green, gold, and white, and their teams are known as the Green Wave. The school's chief rival is Whitman-Hanson Regional High, whom they play in an annual Thanksgiving Day football game. Abington High School has a rich history of athletic excellence. The AHS Boys Baseball Team won the State Championship in 2009. This year the AHS Girls Softball team won the Eastern Mass Championship losing in the state finals to Grafton 1-0. In addition the Ultimate Frisbee Team has grown steadily over the past few years and this year competed in the State Championship for the first time.

The Arts are also an area were AHS students excel. This year the students at AHS received 22 Scholastic Art awards. This number greatly surpassed those of nearby larger and more affluent communities. The Drama department is also a jewel at AHS and this year's production of Annie was enjoyed by the community at large. Shining the spotlight on the many talented performers at the High School.

High school students may also choose to attend South Shore Vocational-Technical High School in Hanover free of charge. Abington is also home to Saint Bridgets School, a Catholic parochial school along Route 58, which offers a pre-school program and enrolls students from kindergarten through eighth grade. There are other private schools nearby, located in the neighboring towns of Brockton and Weymouth.


There are two main north-south routes through town, Route 18 and Route 58, the latter terminating at the former just a 0.5 miles (800 m) north of the town line. Route 123 and Route 139 run east to west through the town, with Route 139 being the more northern route. There is no freeway access to town; the town is located between Route 24 and Route 3.

The former Old Colony Railroad line runs through the eastern part of town, and is currently used as a part of the Plymouth-Kingston route of the MBTA's commuter rail line. There is a stop in Abington, just southwest of the intersection of Routes 123 and 58. A spur off the line formerly went into the town of Rockland; that spur is now abandoned. There is no air service in the town; the nearest national and international air service can be found at Logan International Airport in Boston.


Nathan Swartz bought a half interest in the Abington Shoe Company in Abington, in 1952. He purchased the remainder of the company in 1955 and manufactured private label shoes for leading manufacturers for the next decade. In 1965, Swartz' family introduced injection-molding technology to the footwear industry, making all of the shoes and boots produced waterproof. In 1973, the Swartz family developed the Timberland® brand name. Timberland® was the first shoe company to guarantee waterproof shoes and boots.[22]

The Timberland® Abington Fall 2012 collection pays homage to Abington.

On June 10, 2012, Abington celebrated the 300th anniversary of its incorporation.[23]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abington". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. p. 33.  
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Abington town, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ Abington Historical Commission: Abington's Nationally Registered History
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  5. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Abington town, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Abington, Massachusetts
  7. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  8. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  16. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  17. ^ U.S. Census Bureau FactFinder
  18. ^ U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts
  19. ^ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from
  20. ^ Station D-1, SP Norwell
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Abington 300th Website
  24. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  25. ^ Belkin, Douglas (October 27, 2005). "Is killer's life story best left untold?". The Boston Globe. 
  26. ^ Judge Martha Ware of Abington remembered as 'awesome woman' The Patriot Ledger. Retrieved on August 7, 2009.

External links

  • Town of Abington official website
  • AbingtonCAM (Abington Community Access and Media)
  • Abington Montage Video tour by Christopher Prall
  • The Patriot Ledger, local newspaper
  • The Enterprise, local newspaper
  • Answer Book/Abington, "Everything you need to know"
  • Abington Public Library
  • Abington Public Schools
  • St. Bridget Catholic School
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