Norfolk, Massachusetts

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Norfolk is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States with a population of 10,460 people in 2,818 households at the 2000 census. Formerly known as North Wrentham, Norfolk broke away to become an independent town in 1870.



Norfolk is a rural suburban town on the periphery of metropolitan Boston, located on an upper valley of the Charles River. There were a half dozen small farms in the town after 1669, the result of a determined effort to populate the colonial frontier. This was seen as a difficult task despite the good agricultural lands, fresh water fishing and fish runs because the settlement was so remote.

It was abandoned during the King Philip's war, and when Norfolk was re-established settlers relied on agriculture and cattle grazing with some considerable lumbering and planting of orchards. After 1812, three cotton manufacturing companies were established at Stony Brook, and later in the 19th century George Campbell's paper mill was opened at Highland Lake making heavy wrapping and building papers.The town saw a rapid increase in population after 1925 when a hospital and a state prison were built in Norfolk on the Walpole line. Major residential development took place before 1940 in the Pondville and Clark Streets section of town with scattered new housing along Seekonk and Main Streets, and suburban residential building has continued since.

It is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by Millis and Medfield on the north, Walpole on the east, Foxborough and Wrentham on the south, and Franklin and Medway on the west. Norfolk is 20 miles southwest of Boston; about 21 miles north of Providence, Rhode island; and about 205 miles from New York City.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39.3 km²), of which, 14.8 square miles (38.4 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it (2.30%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 10,460 people, 2,818 households, and 2,412 families residing in the town. The population density was 705.1 people per square mile (272.1/km²). There were 2,861 housing units at an average density of 192.9/sq mi (74.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 88.97% White, 4.90% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.43% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.88% of the population.

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